he International Day of Happiness is an annual UN event promoting the idea that happiness is a global human right.
It also promotes the importance of happiness to humanity.
The campaign is organised by non-profit Action for Happiness, and aims to reduce global inequality, end poverty and protect the planet for future generations.
Read on to find out more about when it is, and how it originated.
When is the International Day of Happiness 2022 and what is the theme?
The International Day of Happiness takes place each year on March 20.
This year, the theme is ‘Build Back Happier’, which will focus on the global recovery from the Covid pandemic.
What are the origins of the International Day of Happiness?
The first International Day of Happiness was held on March 20 2013.
It was spurred by UN adviser Jayme Illien’s years of campaigning, who established the idea at the first ever UN conference on Happiness on July 12 2012.
The first celebration was launched by Ndaba Mandela and Chelsea Clinton at the TedXTeen conference in New York City in March 2013.
All member states of the UN are encouraged to observe the celebration to raise awareness of the importance of happiness for humanity.
Previous attendees include world leaders and celebrities.
Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams has been heavily involved with the event, and the 2013 celebration involved the first ever 24-hour global live streaming video of his global hit Happy.
Science of happiness
The first history of happiness studies began over 2,500 years ago.
Great philosophers such as Confucius, Socrates, Aristotle and Buddha devoted their lives to the pursuit of this topic.
Though it has roots in many disciplines, its key co-founders are psychologists Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
They defined positive psychology as a “science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions.”
This field of social science officially began in 1998 when Seligman made it his mission as President of the American Psychological Association to shift the focus of psychology toward the optimisation of the human experience.
Co-founder Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is most well-known for introducing flow theory, which proposed that the greatest enjoyment is to be gained from deep immersion in an activity in which an individual’s attention is fully absorbed.
Whilst traditional psychology focuses on making life better in the face of negative conditions, positive psychology, according to one of its pioneers Chris Peterson, is the study of things that make life worth living.
Scientists conclude that strong social ties and a sense of purpose in life are the keys to human wellness, whereas others believe a sense of well-being can be greatly attributed to a positive mindset.
One of the most significant benefits of happiness is that people who are happy tend to live longer and have fewer health problems like high blood pressure and heart issues.
Non-profit Action for Happiness hopes that the International Day of Happiness can raise even more awareness of the benefits of happiness, and help people all around the world to be happy in 2022 and beyond.