The theme of this year’s International Day of Happiness is ‘Keep Calm, Stay Wise, Be Kind.’ What a wonderful slogan! So, to mark this momentous occasion, we’ve decided to break down a few of our favourite Happynesshub tools that fit in with these three key messages. We’ve taken the explanations of the 3 slogans from happiness.com, and added some research underneath – enjoy!
‘Keep calm. There are lots of things outside our control. Let’s remember to breathe and focus on what really matters so we can respond constructively.’
It’s definitely true that any of the Happynesshub tools assist in cultivating calm and poise in even the most challenging situation. The key is making the tools into a habit – so that when we are confronted with things outside our control, we are primed and have our toolkit to call upon. I think my three top choices for essential tools to keep calm would be:
Positive focus: Good friend and colleague, Professor Elaine Fox has found that although our levels of optimism and pessimism are, to an extent, hardwired into our brain, by making a real effort to act and think more positively, we can create new neural pathways that increase positive affect, making us more optimistic and better able to cope with the ups and downs of life. Neat, huh!
‘Stay wise. Making wise choices helps everyone. Let’s choose positive actions that support our well-being and help others to do the same.’
Again, all and any positive psychology tools, used regularly, will certainly help to cultivate a ‘wise’ outlook on life. However, I’ve picked out a couple that are of particular value when it comes to this:
Awe: Individuals who report feeling higher levels of awe felt that they had more time available, were less impatient, were more willing to volunteer their time to help others, and reported greater life satisfaction. And, according to a paper by the wonderful human being and good friend Dacher Keltner, awe can ‘transform people and reorient their lives, goals and values.’ It may even be ‘one of the fastest and most powerful methods of personal change and growth’.
Using your strengths: Knowing and using your personal strengths is associated with greater authenticity, an improved ability to make good choices for yourself and higher self esteem – all of which contribute to greater wellbeing, as well as ‘wise’ choices.
‘Be kind.We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.’
This just seems such a serendipitous round-off to this year’s theme, considering it was also the core message of the Now and Beyond on Inside Out Day Festival – which I’m sure you all remember we collaborated on as Bow-Wowza just a few weeks ago. For people everywhere, young, old and everything in-between, kindness is surely one of the most important things we humans need to practise. And now more than ever! So here’s a little bit of research to inspire you, in case you needed it:
Hello! I’m Sally, Head of Happyness, as the team calls me. Silly title, I know, but it makes everyone giggle including me, so we’ve stuck with it. I’m the founder of the Happynesshub and I am passionate about our work. I’ve spent years reading about happiness and emotional wellbeing, putting the research into practice, and trying to navigate the ups and downs of life’s rollercoaster ride. My dream is to share the work and the love, for each of of us to fulfil our individual potential, and to ultimately
make the world a happier place.