Exploring the Global Movement for a Happier and Kinder World

Embracing joy with Action for Happiness and the International Day of Happiness.

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(Photo courtesy @ Action for Happiness) 

In a world often filled with uncertainty and challenges, the pursuit of happiness takes on a profound significance. Action for Happiness embodies the belief that happiness is not just a fleeting emotion but a fundamental aspect of human wellbeing that can be cultivated and shared. The group organizes the International Day of Happiness, a day set aside to emphasize the value of happiness and inspire people throughout the world to take action together to create a world that is kinder and happier. 

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International Day of Happiness 2024
International Day of Happiness is a global celebration coordinated by Action for Happiness, with participants from 160 countries and supported by a network of like-minded organizations. This endeavor marks a significant shift in global attitudes, emphasizing that true progress should prioritize human happiness and wellbeing rather than solely focusing on economic growth. 

The establishment of March 20 as the International Day of Happiness reflects a united effort, with 193 United Nations member states adopting a resolution that emphasizes the importance of happiness and encourages its prioritization in policymaking and societal development. This day serves as a reminder of the collective commitment to fostering a world where happiness and wellbeing are central to our values and aspirations. 

“For International Day of Happiness, 2024, we're focusing on a theme of ‘happier together'. Which is saying that happiness is not a solo practice. Happiness actually comes from our connections with others. It comes from being part of a community. It comes from being part of something bigger than ourselves. It comes from volunteering. When we give, it lights up the same part of the brain as when we receive you know we're social animals and all of our connections really do matter,” Sarah Vero, Head of Communications at Action for Happiness, told Goodnet. 

CNN reports on the 2024 World Happiness Report that ranks countries by their happiness levels using global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries.

Creating a happier world
At the heart of Action for Happiness is a mission to help people prioritize happiness and kindness in their lives and communities. This is achieved through various initiatives and resources including empowering individuals to take meaningful daily action through an app and calendar, and a specially designed happiness course.

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One of the key pillars of Action for Happiness is the promotion of evidence-based skills for happier living. Through their Ten Keys to Happier Living, the organization provides practical tools and daily actions that people can incorporate into their lives. These actions are rooted in scientific research and cover areas such as mindfulness, gratitude, resilience-building, and nurturing positive relationships.

“The ten keys underpin everything that we do. It might be something incredibly simple like listen to a song that you love today or smile at a stranger. But underneath that one simple action that anyone can take, there's this peer reviewed evidence that actually this is tuning in to either having good relationships or trying something new in your life and being a constant student,” Vero explained.  

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Coming together to prioritize happiness 
Action for Happiness encourages regular gatherings and discussions among members, both online and in person where possible. These meetings provide a sense of belonging, support, and camaraderie as individuals come together to learn, share experiences, and commit to personal actions that contribute to their own happiness and the happiness of others.

“We have a lot of stories of people who were very lonely and isolated and then came to one of our groups and made really great friends and then they continue to meet up once a month and share tea and coffee and share how their lives are going. People have built really deep and meaningful friendships through Action of Happiness meetings,” Vero conveyed. 

Through their various programs, including the Action for Happiness course, online resources, live talks, and support for schools and workplaces, Action for Happiness has reached millions of people globally. Their efforts have been supported by a dedicated team based in the UK, working tirelessly to spread the message of happiness and kindness.

Vero spoke of how often people who have been dealing with difficulties turn to Action for Happiness with the desire to seek out a life with greater meaning. “Sometimes when people go through something challenging it awakens them to the fact that there's actually a bit more meaning out there in the world and we often get people coming to us at that point - where they're sort of awakening to this idea and they want to connect more with others and they want to look after their mental health. And we're quite accessible, almost sort of like a gateway for people to find out more about mental health and happiness and resilience.” 

The impact of Action for Happiness extends beyond individual wellbeing to encompass broader societal change. By raising awareness about the science of happiness and advocating for policies that prioritize wellbeing, the movement aims to create a culture where happiness is valued, and kindness is the norm. As we celebrate the International Day of Happiness, let us join hands with Action for Happiness and embrace the power of collective action in creating a happier and kinder world for ourselves and future generations. Together, we can make a difference and inspire positive change that resonates far and wide.

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