The blog post below was written by Sophie, a previous Graduate Volunteer with Youthscape. She hopes you find her reflection of what International Day of Happiness means to her helpful.

Today is International Day of Happiness, a day dedicated to making the world a happier place.

This doesn’t mean we put on a mask and pretend we’re on top of the world, but a day where maybe we dedicate a bit of time to bring happiness to those around us and ourselves.

I always tend to look out for other people’s happiness more than my own, so it was interesting to really think about what makes me happy and what I could do in my own life to actively boost my mood. I found that I don’t usually do the things that make me happy when I’m not feeling great. If I get myself into a negative mind-set, I can easily just stay in that place rather than trying to get out of it. A lot of the time our mood will influence what we do, rather than what we do, influencing our mood.

So, what makes you happy?

What makes us happy can range and be different from person to person: listening to music, playing an instrument, talking to a particular person or hanging out with a certain group of people, a mug of hot chocolate, your favourite food, favourite film, a walk in nature, reminiscing on fond memories, playing a sport, having a cuddle with your pet, being involved in something you are passionate about… The list could go on!

There are a lot of things that make me happy, and I find that if I’m watching my all-time favourite film, for example, it’ll always be made so much better if I’m watching it with the people I love. Ultimately, our happiness comes more from our attitudes and the relationships we have with the people around us rather than our possessions and money.

You may be reading this and not feeling happy at all today, and that’s okay. What could you do to boost your mood and change how you’re feeling? Maybe you don’t feel like going out or talking to anyone.  I am a big fan of the phrase ‘it’s the little things’. The smallest of things can influence our mood, whether that’s curling up with a good book, a cup of tea, or browsing through funny animal videos on Youtube! What small thing may bring a bit of light to your day?

How can we create happiness for others?

Again, there are so many ways that we can brighten someone’s day! The simple act of sending a message to someone could bring them joy. Perhaps someone you know is having a tough time or there is someone you haven’t caught up with in a while who’d really appreciate knowing you are thinking of them. You could help whoever at home by doing a bit round the house, giving others a word of encouragement, or making someone feel included and appreciated…

We don’t necessarily need to keep the spreading of joy just to the people we know. Instead of walking past a homeless person on the street, we could give them what we can, buy them food, or even stop and have a chat. Giving to the less fortunate, holding a door open for someone, or even just smiling at someone could make a difference to their day.

What could you do today to help make the world a happier place?

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