March is Happiness Month

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


TO SAY that March is as demanding as December is not an exaggeration. Although the preparations are not as elaborate as that of the highly celebrated Christmas Holidays and the cheer that drain gift-givers, March is still a busy month. It is a season to be Merry!

Global events like the Women’s Month, Global Down Syndrome Day, the World Tuberculosis Day, the World Water Day, and the World Wildlife Day make March worth celebrating daily.

In the Philippines, students would have a hectic schedule accomplishing school requirements for the closing of the academic year. It is at this time when parents pray the hardest that their graduating children will indeed march in March.

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Moreover, March is a “fiery” month, as advocacies for fire safety are in full swing. It’s sad though that more houses and properties turn into ashes despite the fire prevention advocacy.

Fire incidents aside, what makes March significant is another equally momentous event worth celebrating—the First International Day of Happiness on March 20!

Yes, there is such thing, and it’s happening all over the world for the first time. All 193 member-states of the United Nations have adopted a resolution calling for “Happiness to be given greater priority.”

“March 20 has been declared as the International Day of Happiness - a day to inspire action for a happier world,” the UN resolution says.

UN states, “Our focus for International Day of Happiness is on bringing happiness to others. When we do things to bring happiness to others, everyone benefits. It helps the people we connect with, boosts our own well-being and also inspires others to be more caring and positive too.”

And so my advocacy for this month is to take part in this crusade for happiness. I invite you to do the same. The goal is recapitulated in two simple words we often have the hardest time dealing with— BE HAPPY.

Here’s my list to get you started:

Be in the moment- Worrying is like a rocking chair; it gives you a lot of work but gets you nowhere. While eating, don’t worry about anything else. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. When dining with your partner, enjoy a warm in conversation with him/her.

Put a pen in your mouth and smile, forcibly- The laughter yoga seminar I attended a few years back taught me this trick of life. Happiness is a chemical reaction. Voluntary or implied smiling is not making any difference to your brains to release the happy hormones. Get a pen, now!

No to bad news (and all things crazy) - Do not mind the world! Pack your bag for a weeklong trip! Just some rules to follow: No to TV, radio and online reports. Instead, take a vacation from the misery we’re exposed to every day in the media.

Pat yourself- Do this favor for yourself in times when no one does. Celebrate everyday success. A new pair of shoes, a surprise email from a distant friend, a smile from a stranger, or a wonderful idea that popped in your head—for all these, and more, you deserve a pat, my friend!

Go to sleep, not just go to bed- It has been my mantra to tell all cells of my body to sleep immediately when getting in bed. Happy people are never sleep-deprived.

Decide to be Happy- It’s a choice you have to be firm with. Happiness is a state of mind. When you decide to be happy and satisfied, you will feel so.

March is happiness. Try to be happier this month, and for sure, you will like to do it again in April. And the next months that follow, and so on. Then, what a lifetime of happiness it would be!*Adrian Bobe

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 04, 2014.

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