Updated: Aug 3
Happiness Happens Month is a whole month dedicated to celebrating what makes you happy. Celebrated annually in August, the occasion is based on the premise that happiness is unlimited and contagious, and that sharing one's happiness can bring a lot of joy in other people's lives.
The concept for Happiness Happens Month was coined by the Secret Society of Happy People (SOHP) in 1998. The SOHP is an organization that was founded on the simple premise of recognizing and expressing happiness. Their goal is to help people realize that they have the right to express their happiness, as long as it's not at the expense of someone else's happiness.
The purpose of this month-long celebration is not only to encourage individuals to express joy, cheer, and delight, but also to persuade them to look on the brighter side of life and recognize the moments of happiness in their day-to-day lives. Studies have found that acknowledging the moments of joy and savoring them can greatly contribute to our overall sense of well-being.
Here are a few ways to celebrate Happiness Happens Month:
1. Acknowledge Your Happy Moments: Every day, make a point to identify and reflect on at least one thing that made you happy. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee or as grand as reaching a long-term goal. The act of identifying these moments can train your brain to focus on the positive.
2. Spread the Joy: Happiness is infectious, and spreading joy to others can amplify your own feelings of happiness. This could be as simple as sharing a smile, giving a compliment, or performing a random act of kindness.
3. Connect with Nature: Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can bring about feelings of calm, serenity, and happiness. Whether it's a leisurely stroll in a park, gardening, or a hike through the wilderness, these activities can ground you and offer perspective.
4. Practice Gratitude: It's closely linked with happiness. Take a moment each day to write down or contemplate what you're grateful for. This practice can shift your mindset to a more positive one and boost your overall sense of happiness.
5. Engage in Activities You Love: Whether it's reading a book, cooking, painting, or playing an instrument, dedicating time to activities that bring you joy is a powerful way to celebrate happiness.
6. Share Your Happiness Story: Share with others what makes you happy. This could be done through social media, conversations with friends and family, or even public speaking events. Not only will you uplift others with your story, but it's a great way to affirm your own happiness.
Celebrating happiness is about embracing all emotions, not just positive ones, recognizing that experiencing a range of feelings is part of being human. Toxic positivity involves an overemphasis on positivity, dismissing genuine emotional distress with a "just be positive" attitude. I believe this tends to stifle true emotions and potentially lead to feelings of guilt when constant positivity isn't achievable. Please remember that happiness doesn't mean ignoring difficulties, but acknowledging them while striving to maintain an optimistic outlook.
Happiness Happens Month is a wonderful time to reflect on the joy in our lives, but it's also a time to make happiness a habit. It's a reminder that happiness doesn't always come from grand gestures or major life events - it can be found in the simplest of moments. Recognizing and embracing these moments is the heart of Happiness Happens Month, leading us to live a happier, more satisfying life.
What happiness habit will you start with this month?