What Makes You Happy? | International Happiness Day

Today, and every year on the 20th of March the whole world celebrates the day known as the International Day of Happiness. The day was declared in 2012 by the United Nations and has the aim to recognise that happiness is a fundamental human goal.

"By designating a special day for happiness, the UN aims to focus world attention on the idea that economic growth must be inclusive, equitable and balanced, such that it promotes sustainable development and alleviates poverty. Additionally, the UN acknowledges that in order to attain global happiness, economic development must be accompanied by social and environmental wellbeing."

The day got me thinking, what makes me happy. As a challenge, I set myself a goal of coming up with five things that make me happy. Here is mine:

  1. My family. This is such a cliche one I know, but being around the people I classify as a family, not just blood relations, that makes me happy from the inside out. 
  2. That feeling after you make it through something you really thought you couldn't do. Like when I finish a workout I was dreading, or when I actually went to a networking event and didn't have a panic attack in the process. 
  3. Being at home. I am a homebody and if you've been reading this blog for a while you will already know that one. I love being at home, surrounded by comfortable things. 
  4. Sleep-ins. They seem to be few and far these days but they make me happy- not having an alarm set for the next morning and knowing that you can sleep until your body actually wants to wake up. 
  5. Educating myself and being productive. If I can come home at the end of the day and feel like the day was productive and I learnt a thing or two- I feel happy. 

In celebration of the day I decided to branch out and ask other people the same question:

"What makes you happy from the inside out?" 

and this is some of the responses that I got:

  • "Horses" - okay this one was my little brother who also told me that nothing apart from horses makes him happy.
  • "For me, that's reading a good book."
  • "The kids- even though we whine and moan about them- when they do something or tell you a story that makes you burst with pride or someone compliments you on your child and you realise that you are raising good kids who will turn into good people.
    Bush walks with the dog- getting out of my bubble and putting foot to the floor out in the bush, surrounded by nature, taking in the little things like the sounds, smells, knowing the botanical names of plants I go past, finding a cool little area because I decided to go further. The anxiety and stress melt away!
    The ocean- I grew up a stone's throw away from the beach. There is nothing that makes me relax and be my "real" self like when I am near the ocean. It is a place of total bliss to me and I feel the happiness radiate out of my core."
  • "Spending time with my family... when they aren't annoying." - This came from my little sister who raised her eyebrows extremely high when she said this.
  • It makes me happy from the inside out to not take on other peoples shit. Happy soul = happy person."
  • "Things that make me happy... my kids being happy, catching up with friends and loved ones, wine."
  • "Being around the people that bring out the best in me and know me well."
  • "I guess.. the feeling that I have a bunch of great friends and family that I love very much."
  • "Well, I have many! Making other people happy, random acts of kindness, secret random acts of kindness, flowers, sewing/ crafting, when my children show that there is some hope of them being decent human beings when older, gherkins and cottage cheese (a match made in heaven!), buttermilk vanilla ice cream, being true to oneself, oh God the list could go on. Watching others succeed knowing how much hard work has been put in, the smell of rain, the feel of clean sheets, sitting on the beach while the waves roll in, childrens innocence before they are tainted by world views, old people couples still in love, love in general and all the different types of love, unexpected nights out that turn out to be the best nights ever."
  • "Does wine count? For real though.. I'd say my pets never fail to make me happy from the inside out." 
Well there you have it- the many things, big and small that make people happy from the inside out.

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