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Life Arts

UN Marks 1st Internat'l Day of Happiness March 20

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Don't worry, be happy
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The United Nations has proclaimed March 20, 2013, the First International Day of Happiness.

The initiative to declare a day of happiness came from the Kingdom of Bhutan -- a country with a Gross National Happiness Index. Bhutan promotes the concept that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of well-being.

It's a big idea from a tiny, landlocked country in the Himalayas. The term "Gross National Happiness" was coined in 1972 by Bhutan's fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, according to the wiki.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon notesOn this first International Day of Happiness, let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.

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The U.S. Constitution acknowledges the right to the pursuit of happiness.

Positive News website reports: A raft of events and activities will take place on 20 March 2013 to mark the day itself. There is the Happy Lunch event in Brussels, for example, or the thought-provoking Economics of Happiness conference in Australia. Those in Washington DC can expect a flood of happiness when the free hugs flashmob takes over, and passers-by at London's Liverpool Street train station will be inspired by groups of people holding up boards and banners with positive messages written on them.

One of the most ambitious events is the launch of Happathon, a 12-month effort to crowdsource a new definition of wellbeing and what makes people happy. The project will then create the digital tools to use this information to drive global contentment and build a new economy based on a more holistic sense of value.

Action for Happiness notes that it is   a movement for positive social change. We're bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone  and offers 10 Keys to Happier Living.

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Flowchart for Happiness
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Studies show that happier people are healthier,  live longer,  and are better at solving problems. click here

Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey
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Deepak Chropra and Oprah Winfrey are currently offering a free, online, 21-day meditation event, that offers an oasis of peace and wellbeing.  The event started on Monday, March 11, but participants may sign up for free at any time during the 21 days. The 16-minute meditations are available for free for 10 days after they are posted.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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