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International Day of Happiness


The view from Mt Pope. A large lake is in the background with trees all around. A small brown dog is on the mountain top rocks.
A couple things that bring Gloria happiness: mountains and sunshine with her hiking buddy, Sunny.

Get active in the pursuit of happiness: International Day of Happiness is March 20, 2022

Happy International Day of Happiness! Did you know this day existed? Since 2012, the United Nations has designated and recognized March 20 as the International Day of Happiness, recognizing happiness as a basic need for all, and the pursuit of happiness as a human right. In today’s world, this may seem a bit tactless. How can we be focused on pursuing and celebrating happiness when we’re surrounded by so much pain, uncertainty, and frankly, unhappiness?

I actually believe it’s times like this that we need to lean into happiness most. We need to work to see the positive things that are happening in spite of the negatives, to recognize and appreciate the things, people, and activities that make us happy, and to spread some positivity to those around us.

Action for Happiness, a UK-based charity, has created a list of 10 Keys to Happier Living, which include giving and relating to others, trying new things, loving and accepting oneself, finding meaning, and getting active, to name a few.

Physical activity – especially outdoors – provides an immediate mood and brain boost, and also helps us deal with stress (which tends to run high these days)! It doesn’t have to be complicated; fitting in a bit of fun movement most days can benefit your physical and mental health, as well as help you get a better night’s sleep. Some ideas are dancing to your favourite songs; active playing, walking, or running with a dog; or riding a bike.

This Happiness Day, or some day during this week, I challenge everyone reading this to get outside and get active in pursuit of happiness and overall wellness. Let us know what activities bring you joy and how you’ll be celebrating this year’s International Day of Happiness!

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different, and yet the same.” — Anne Frank