Today, March 20th, is International Day of Happiness!  The UN General Assembly passed something that encourages people around our world to take a moment and focus on what makes them happy.    How awesome is that?!  I love to hear that our world leaders are focusing on positive things.

So what exactly is happiness?  There are a lot of theories of what makes us happy.  I’ll go with the simple definition. According to the Webster dictionary, happiness is the state of being content or happy.  Furthermore, it defines happy as feeling pleasure and enjoyment.   Some people view happiness as a fleeting moment, due to a situation they are in or an experience one is going through at that moment.   For me, I define happiness as a sense of peacefulness or contentment, a feeling of “all is OK” at that moment in time. As I was writing this, I was thinking, what really makes me happy?  I would have to say having a job that I enjoy going to each day, having the opportunity to spend time with my family and having HOPE for what’s ahead.

All too often, we see in our culture that happiness comes from buying/consuming/obtaining things.  Sure, that might have happened as we’re swiftly passing by in life, but that doesn’t last.    Also,  (I admit I did this too), we attach our happiness on a goal. For me, in my 20s it was “When I reach graduate college I’ll be happy,” or “when I start a family I’ll be happy.”   What changed for me, was when I stopped saying, “I’ll be happy when…” and started saying “I choose to be happy now, in this moment, because…”

Then, the true happiness came when I changed my perspective to, “I am going to be happy in this moment, and I don’t need a reason.”    For me, happiness is no longer a travel destination that I go to a few times a month, it’s how I travel, how I move through life.  The other counselors in our office know,  that at any moment in time, I can break out the ribbons twirling and dancing around the office. Why?  Because I have a free moments in my day. That’s all. No reason, just being happy in the moment.

So what makes YOU happy?   Share your moments of happiness in the comments section below! 


Jennie Wilson is a child and adolescent therapist. She holds the credentials of a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor