International Day of Happiness: What Does it Mean to be Happy?

Did you know there is an annual world happiness report?

And here are some rankings based of the research:

  • 10th: New Zealand
  • 12th: Australia
  • 15th: Canada
  • 16th: United States
  • 17th: United Kingdom
  • Read more here.

All our customers are in the top 20 happiest countries in the world – it feels good to know you’re on top right?!

But what does it actually mean to be happy? Happiness is defined as the ‘feeling or showing pleasure or contentment’. But that’s pretty ambiguous… Perhaps we can just settle with ‘feeling good’.

The most important thing to know about happiness, is that it’s actually going to be different for everyone. For example, you might feel happy going out fishing, while someone else would hate it. And no one is constantly happy, life is up and down and we all go through periods of feeling low. So what can you do, if you’ve been feeling down in the dumps?

Check out some tips from our friends at the Dry July foundation:

Do exercise you like:

With music you like. A McMaster University study found runners who exercised to their own playlist managed to increase their sprint performance because they were working out to a soundtrack they enjoyed.

Practice gratitude, daily

Gratitude may seem a little over saturated on Instagram, but it’s actually a good thing.

The American Psychological Association found when comparing two groups – those who kept a list of things they were grateful for showed significantly higher life satisfaction after ten weeks than those who wrote about things that bugged them.

Drink enough water

Sounds simple enough (and a bore to hear) but keeping hydrated could be the key to boosting happiness.

The University of Connecticut found when we’re mildly dehydrated, it not only leads to headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating, it affects mood as well.

Wake up earlier each day

What is that old saying…‘the early bird gets the worm.’ Well it might just have scientific backing.

The University of Toronto found early risers feel more awake, alert, happier and motivated to tackle the day over night owls.

While waking in the am is never easy (ever), you know those ‘activewear’ types up at the crack of dawn are onto a good thing when the mere glimpse of them radiates wellness.

Take a moment to meditate

It’s as simple as having a little quiet time each day to give back to ourselves, yet the majority of us can’t seem to find time to fit it into our schedule.

A study from the University of Sydney revealed those who meditated regularly for at least two years are healthier and happier than non-meditators.

Integrate weights

You don’t have to compete in weight lifting to get familiar with dumbbells. Weight training is quite literally a ‘pick me up.’

A Journal of Strength and Conditioning Report found even weight novices can get happy gains, revealing short term resistance training offers a bunch of psychological benefits.

Shop consciously

Have you ever chosen the single-origin coffee in a sea of cafes? Or sourced locally grown, organic produce from a farmers market? Maybe you should.

Being an eco-friendly shopper not only helps the environment, it gifts you with a greater sense of wellbeing too. A Knox College study found when people make sustainable purchases focused on personal growth, family, community, spirituality and nature they live happier lives.

Organise your week

If you’ve got too many tabs open (physical or mental), hit refresh and get organised.

A Princeton University study says our brain can’t handle clutter – the more we have around us the harder it has to work to filter them out, causing it to fatigue and stop functioning at full capacity.

Let music in

We listen to it when we’re sad, when we’re in transit, when we’re melancholy, but often when we’re happy too.

The catch is – you don’t need to be happy first to hit play. Simply putting on an upbeat soundtrack will get you there says the University of Missouri that found those who actively listen to happy music experience a rush of feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine to their brain’s pleasure centre.

Thanks to the Dry July foundation and partners for these tips. We hope they help you to enjoy International Day of Happiness.

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