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International Day of Happiness: Twenty Things You Should Do

Don’t Worry, Be Happy...

Most of us seem to go round in a constant state of anxiety and find it all too easy to find reasons to be unhappy-we don’t have enough money/we don’t like our job/we haven’t got a job/we’re not in a relationship/we don’t like the relationship we’re in/we’re overweight ad infinitum.

6 Reasons To Be Cheerful

  • Surveys in Britain and the U.S. show that people are no happier now than in the 1950s – despite massive economic growth.
  • Western neuroscience has now confirmed what Eastern wisdom has known for a long time: happiness is a skill we can learn.
  • Research shows that happiness, compassion and kindness are the products of skills that can be learned and enhanced through training, thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brains.
  • Anxiety, depression, pessimism and a lack of enjoyment of daily activities have all been found to be associated with higher rates of disease and shorter lifespans
  • Most people think that if they become successful, then they’ll be happy. But recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience show that this formula is backward: happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
  • Doing good is one of the best ways to feel good. People who care more about others are happier than those who care less about others. When people do good, their brain becomes active in the same reward centre as where they experience other rewards.

Whilst it’s true that for many people life can be hard, we tend to focus on the things we haven’t got and take for granted the things we have got (which tend to be free or inexpensive) such as friends, family, food, and good health.

Not only is today International Day of Happiness, but it’s Friday too. So just for today at least, why not forget about your worries, count your blessings and do one thing to brighten one person’s day and bring a smile to their face. You never know. It might make you happy, too.

20 Things To Do on International Day of Happiness

1 Give up your seat

2. Hold a door open for someone

3. Give a (sincere) compliment

4. Make someone laugh

5. Give someone a hug

6. Take time to really listen to someone

7. Make someone new feel welcome

8. Let one car in on every journey

9. Give directions to someone who’s lost

10. Have a conversation with a stranger

11. Pick up litter as you walk

12. Let someone in front of you in the supermarket queue

13. Tell someone they mean a lot to you

14. Let someone have your parking spot

15. Read a story with a child

16. Offer your change to someone struggling to find the right amount

17. Treat a loved one to breakfast in bed

18. Buy cakes or fruit for your colleagues

19. Invite your neighbour round for a drink and a chat

20. Offer to help with someone’s shopping

Share the happiness

Share your positive messages on Twitter at #InternationalDayOfHappiness

Find out more about International Day of Happinessat @actionhappiness or

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