What makes you happy? For me, it’s such a simple question to answer. It’s the funny faces my children make. My nightly snuggles with our dog. A shared meal with my husband (preferably one I didn’t have to cook). Knowing that I’m raising my children with the very best intent. Ice cream. Cheese. And more ice cream. 

When I asked my children the same question, it was clear it was an easy question for them too: friends, rollerblading, volleyball, getting good grades (so mom & dad don’t get mad), and fettucine alfredo.A plate of Fettucine all'Alfredo pasta in a butter cream and parmesan sauce garnished with a sprig of basil and sprinkled with grated cheese Day of Happiness  

When I stop and think about this crazy world we live in and what might make someone happy across the globe, I’m quickly humbled knowing my privilege affords me happiness that so many others struggle to find, especially with the challenges people are facing today, far beyond their own control. 

www.dayofhappniess.net say: “When we choose to take action to help others, they benefit, we benefit, and we set an example of kindness that can ripple out into the world too.” So what kind of actions can you take in honor of the International Day of Happiness:  

  • Surround yourself with positive thinkers, positive news, and people and/or things that lift you up. Be that positive thinker for someone else too. 
  • Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. While you’re there, smile when someone walks by you, even if their headphones are in and your dog is going crazy. The introvert in me cringes at this idea, but it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone for a quick smile. 
  • Intentionally do something nice for someone. Buy a stranger their coffee while you wait in line at the coffee shop, throw a love note into your child’s lunch box, tip your pizza delivery person a little extra, take your gloves and give them to the homeless person on the street just waiting for the sun to shine.  

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, who proclaimed March 20th as the International Day of Happiness almost ten years ago, says “the pursuit of happiness is a fundament human goal.” So let’s start working to achieve that goal. Success may not happen overnight, but every little step we take makes a difference. Going out of your way to make someone happy has the potential to trigger them to go out of their way to make someone happy, thus creating that ripple effect that keeps on going and going and going…