The International Day of Happiness falls on the 20th March, having been created by the UN under the pledge: I [we] will try to create more happiness in the world around me [us]. The aim is simple: make happiness a priority and together we will create a happier place to live and enjoy.
I’ve spent my time since September researching the topic of ‘happiness’ for my dissertation on Disneyland and the Disney corporation more broadly. At times it has had me relieved, deflated, enthralled and intrigued; in all honesty, I’m quickly becoming aware of the fact that ‘happiness’ is by no means ‘universal’ and it is a vital project of self-formation and decision-making. I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be happy and more importantly, what kinds of things make ‘happiness’ possible.
In true celebratory fashion of the International Day of Happiness, having been inspired by my fellow Cornish-Pasty loving pal, Shannon, I’ve put together a list of 8 ‘things’ (and/or moments) that make me happy!
Spending time with Family
Ever since I moved to London from Cornwall for university I realised the importance of family. We recently had friends down to stay with us for February half-term and it was just nice to sit about chatting, laughing and joking. Likewise, my Nan came to visit me in London last week, and we spent most of the time nattering away. Family-time is just good and something I miss whilst at university.
Family, when it boils down to it, are all you have, well, for me anyway. The laughter, tears and everything in-between make the special moments worth while.
Spreading Kindness like Confetti
It sounds cheesy, but being kind, caring and considerate towards others is something that I have always tried to do. Okay, I admit, sometimes I’ve failed or it has not gone quite to plan. However, with my volunteering rounds abroad and coming from a place whereby everyone is loving and a ‘friend’; helping others is something I consider to be the key to happiness and success. It’s true that to find happiness in the self, often you have to look within others. I stand by this: be kind and you will eventually feel the reward. The smallest acts can make the most difference. Seeing others happy, whether it be family, friends or even strangers, makes me happy.
I love to travel, explore and find new places. I’ve spent many-of-days wondering around London in the past few months and I’ve found areas that I adore, and some that I hate. But visiting, absorbing and being within new places (beaches, cities, and even countries) is refreshing and always leaves me with a smile slapped on my face. I always tell people to travel and push oneself into new, sometimes awkward or ‘uncomfortable’, situations. It does not matter what you do, just try it; whether it be moving away for university or a job a little further from home. Who knows what you will find and discover about the world and most importantly, yourself.
I’ve always been creative and arty, well, I’ve always tried to be. Recently, I have taught myself how to use Illustrator (properly) and it’s been a real self-achievement. After months of yelling at the computer and getting (very) upset at times, I finally figured it out and it felt GREAT! Whilst, of course, I also enjoy a bit of amateur photography here and there; honestly, I have THOUSANDS of photos that I have taken on my phone or camera, to the point where the 1TB hard-drive is now full… It’s shocking and a serious problem. However, designing bits and bobs, doodles and such, on the laptop is something I am currently LOVING.
Doing more of what I love
This is my life motto: do more of what you love or find something you love and do it forever. I cannot say I’ve found my exact ‘thing’ but I have definitely found various ‘things’ I love to do: from studying Social Anthropology (it is fascinating, trust me) to pyjama days on Sunday’s. It is the little things that make life bright.
Whilst, I have my doubts about ‘reading’ as my dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it a chore (most of the time). I really like studying and learning new things. I cannot imagine life outside of education, having be apart of it for 15+ years. The thought of finding a job makes a ickle anxious but excited to move on and ‘learn’ something different in a completely new context.
Fresh-Air but no exercise (or bugs, hehe). It dawned on whilst in Hyde Park last Monday, how happy the outdoors makes me feel. The sun was shining, everyone had their picnics out beside the lake, the birds were chirping and it was the first day, in a long time, whereby the weather made me feel on-top-of-the-world. I like being outside, either by the seaside or in the heart of a city – both are fine by me. I know that I will really miss London when I have to leave in July following Graduation; however, Cornwall has the glorious beaches and the sound of the sea that I couldn’t be without for too-long. Who knows where I’ll end up but on the cards for the future is: the city and the sea (hard to find but not impossible).
Of course, my profound list about ‘happiness’ couldn’t be without food… duh! Gingerbread is my current delight. I’m actually obsessed… The smell, the taste = heaven. Agreed? Okay, good.
What makes you happy? Let me know in the comments below or by contacting me here.
Smile and be kind, be brave, be you.
Happy International Day of Happiness!