It’s the International Day of Happiness on 20th March; if you’re not feeling like celebrating and want to turn that frown upside down, the organisers have developed a ten-point plan which helps people take action for happiness. They have split the list into five external actions and five internal feelings, but there is a lot of crossover between the two. We take a look at the action plan and some options for broadening your horizons and letting more happiness into your life.
Do things for others
This is number one on the list because sometimes helping others is the best way to help ourselves. It also links to one of the emotional changes, to become a part of something bigger. If you’re looking to feel like you’re making a difference, you can volunteer in your own community or embrace the trend of “voluntourism” and travel the world taking part in everything from essential building projects to educational and conservation work. The combination of definite action to make the world a better place, together with the connections you build, are sure to make you feel happier.
Connect with people
A strong and wide-ranging network of relationships can be the key to greater happiness – from extended family to trusted friends and even fellow enthusiasts of whatever your hobbies are, keeping in touch with others helps us to keep in touch with our happiness. It will also help you with one of those emotional goals, to be comfortable with who you are. If you’re surrounded by people who love you just as you are, then it will help to reinforce that message. For distant friends or relatives, remember there’s always Skype for a quick catch up, and if you organise a visit, you’ll get to visit a new or unfamiliar place and see your friend, which gives you a lot to look forward to.
Take care of your body
The healthier and more active you are, the more likely you will be happy. Exercise can improve your mood and even help prevention and recovery from depression. One of the key emotional tenets of the happiness action plan is to find ways to bounce back from any times of loss or stress. Having a strong body and a regular exercise routine is a great way to ensure you have the strength to bounce back. If you’ve got into bad habits or want to kick start a new regime, why not combine this with building your connections and organise a spa holiday or yoga retreat with friends to get yourselves all in healthier habits so you can all share in a happier mind set.
Wrap all your happiness goals together
If you’re feeling stuck in life, aiming for happiness may seem impossible, but the suggestions above also take in the rest of the 10-point plan. For example, whether you’re pursuing a hobby, travelling the world or taking up a new sport, you’ll be learning new things. It doesn’t have to be an academic qualification, anything new that brings a sense of accomplishment will help you feel happier. The broader perspective of these experiences and new confidence will also help you set achievable and motivating goals. Finally, all these new experiences, adventures and accomplishments are a great way to ensure that you’re living mindfully in the moment and finding the good in people wherever you are.
There is no limit to the places your quest for happiness will take you, so shout hallelujah and start making your own happiness plan today with your prepaid explorer multi-currency Mastercard® as your happy travel companion.