Saturday, March 20, 2021

International Day of Happiness

Positive psychology is defined as the study of "positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions," in other words, of what leads to happiness.

One of the founders of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, developed a theory on happiness known as the PERMA model, an acronym for Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and purpose, and Accomplishments — five pillars that are central to a person's feeling of fulfillment. She also points out that the search for happiness is not about experiencing permanent highs, but about living a fulfilled life. 

When the United Nations declared March 20 to be International Day of Happiness in 2013, they had something else in mind: Basic conditions for happiness were at least 2,000 calories and access to 100 liters of water a day, a place to cook, six square meters of living space and six years of going to school — which is not a given everywhere in the world. 

The perception of happiness may be subjective, but some things are the same wherever you go. Laughter is contagious and makes people happy, as does being with other people or spending time in nature. 

Every year on March 20, the UN publishes the World Happiness Report that looks at the state of happiness in 156 countries. It will be interesting to see whether and how a year of the pandemic has affected people's happiness.

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