Happiness and health, a perfect combination

A Day to Remember to Be Happy

International Day of Happiness, celebrated every year on March 20th, is a unique opportunity to recognize the importance of happiness in people’s lives around the world. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, this observance aims to promote happiness as a fundamental right for every individual. The date of March 20th was chosen to coincide with the spring equinox, symbolizing rebirth and new life, thus reflecting the universal aspiration for happiness and joy.

Why Happiness?

Happiness is considered a universal goal and a key indicator of sustainable development and social well-being. The day encourages fair and balanced development that promotes the well-being of all people. It is interesting to note how the choice of this date was influenced by the personal history of Jayme Illien, an orphan saved from the streets of Calcutta, who proposed the idea to the United Nations, emphasizing the importance of individual actions in spreading happiness.

Benefits for Body and Mind

Happiness positively influences health at various levels, including beneficial effects at the chemical-biological level. Research underscores that happy individuals tend to live longer and with fewer disabilities, partly due to their higher likelihood of leading a healthy lifestyle, such as being physically active, eating healthily, and reducing the consumption of harmful substances. Happiness can also reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, and promote the release of endorphins, chemicals linked to well-being and pain reduction.

The neuroscience of happiness has shown that positive emotions not only improve psychological well-being but also directly influence physical health by promoting trust and compassion, mitigating depressive symptoms, and aiding in stress recovery. Moreover, the prolonged activation of specific brain areas, such as the ventral striatum, is directly correlated with the maintenance of positive emotions and rewards, suggesting that we can consciously influence these processes to improve our well-being.

The application of positive psychology techniques, such as expressing gratitude, meditating, building meaningful relationships, using positive affirmations, focusing on one’s strengths, and performing acts of kindness, can improve mental and physical health. These practices promote a positive attitude towards life, improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and enhance self-esteem, contributing to an overall sense of happiness and well-being.


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