World Happiness Day is a relatively new concept celebrated throughout the world on 20 March. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012 to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being in the lives of human beings around the world. Happiness is considered to be a universal right and as an alternative to Gross Domestic Product which is an economic instrument to measure the progress of a country, it is instead proposed to measure the happiness index as an indicator of progress of a country. However, on a personal level, mental health is considered as a very important factor for living a quality life these days. Depression, anxiety, stress are at an all time high and the World Happiness day marks as a reminder for us to keep tabs on our inner feelings and mental health.
A quick google search would reveal that there are several ways to “celebrate” this day. Some of the very practical and effective ways suggested is by doing something that brings joy to yourself and others, by being kind, by helping someone or one can start to create a habit which over time can significantly improve your well being such as journaling or writing a gratitude letter at the end of each day. These practices when carried out consistently generate positivity inside of you and that positive energy is healing and nourishing to the mind and soul. It promotes happiness and contentment on the inside. As you move along this practice over a couple of months and gradually become calmer and steadier on the inside, one can attempt to practice meditation. As one might know meditation is a powerful technique to gain more control over one’s senses and the mind. Meditation in simple terms means having focussed attention on something and being absorbed in that activity or a being. When we decide to focus our attention on the supreme being who is called the ocean of love and happiness, we begin to absorb those qualities within ourselves. As we gradually accumulate drops of happiness every day over time, you will notice that it is not just a fluffy concept but a core pillar of living. For some the change might be sudden while for others it might be more subtle. One might dance with joy while for others the experience in being in connection with God might bring silent tears of joy. Whatever the experience, the result is long-term happiness and child-like light-heartedness. Deep down we all yearn for that innocent happiness, a feeling of being loved and cared for. The happiness we receive from the connection with God comes with a sense of security, it is solid unlike the happiness from material attainments that comes with fragility and insecurity.
Let’s begin to explore this journey on this World Happiness Day and let’s create a world where there is no need for such a day!
by Madhuri Muralidhar