March 20, 2014

Celebrate Happiness Every Day

Brianna Murphy from the U of A Community Social Work Team recommends that we celebrate happiness every day and shares her advice on how to increase being happy.

March 20 is the UN's International Day of Happiness — recognizing that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and should be seen as important as other metrics for measuring personal success. 

This seems like a simple concept, but the theories of happiness, appreciation and gratitude are gaining higher levels of scholarly recognition and are proven to truly impact your overall well-being and success in other areas such as academics.

Students face many stressors during the course of their school year, but just telling someone “be happy” might not immediately seem likely to work, but there are many different ways we can help achieve this mindset.

Ways to increase your happiness:

  1. Daily gratitude. When you wake up each morning, say three things you are grateful for in your life
  2. Keep a mood journal. Throughout your day, write down how you are feeling and what might be happening around you to cause that feeling. Then think about if there are ways to improve the situation, or to be appreciative of how you are feeling
  3. Tell someone you appreciate them. By telling others how they have positively impacted our lives, we not only make them feel happy, but increase our own sense of well-being
  4. Get outside. Being in nature and using your senses to feel your surroundings is linked to calmer mental states
  5. Practice deep breathing. By consciously slowing down our breath and relaxing your muscles, you can release stress and re-set yourself to a more engaged and focused mindset
  6. Laugh. Find a funny video online, watch a movie, attend a comedy club or hang out with friends and let out some stress through laughter

While there are numerous ways to help achieve a happier mindset, sometimes we run into stumbling blocks, and there are many resources both on- and off- campus that can help. Check out the Community Social Work Team website for more resources or connect with us to figure out what next steps might be.