Starting from 2012, the General Assembly of the United Nations has established the “International Day of Happiness”, which is celebrated on March 20th every year, close to the start of spring. The resolution states that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental aim of humanity, also recognizing the need for a more inclusive, fair and balanced approach to economic growth, which promotes sustainable development, eradication of poverty, happiness and well-being of all people.
The World Happiness Report, a document that “certifies” the happiness of countries that has reached its seventh edition in 2019, has examined freedom, life expectancy in health, income, trust, generosity and social support. At the top of the rankings we find that last year Finland, Denmark and Norway, Nordic countries always synonymous with quality of life, social and economic well-being, Italy has jumped from the 47th to the 36th place in the standings.
Numerous studies show that a happy organization is more effective and productive. Denmark is the home of the Hygge, a lifestyle based on relaxation and positivity, which can also be applied to work. How? According to Marie Tourell Soderberg, author of the Hygge bestseller: the Danish method to live happily, to stay healthy in the office it is enough to adopt some small strategies and make six small changes:
- Personalize your desk making it more welcoming and familiar.
- Arrange flowers or a plant in the office: a green corner helps the mind to detach, the eyes to rest, the creativity to “explode”.
- Wearing headphones and listening to relaxing sounds or favourite music can help you concentrate when there is too much noise and maximum attention is required.
- Don’t skip the lunch break: eating at the desk must be an exception to the rule, in fact, it creates stress and hurts from all points of view, if you really can’t go out, it’s better to get up and look for a nice place to have lunch and take advantage of a subsequent break for a short walk.
- If there is a sofa or an informal area, exploit them: certain activities, such as sending emails, can be carried out easily even on the sofa, with the difference of being much more comfortable than in the chair.
- Making friendly relations with colleagues: having friendly relations with colleagues makes the working environment better and more peaceful. Hygge is also the feeling you get from being loved and well seen. In this way, moreover, there will be valid allies to rely on in moments of difficulty.
“Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice” – Stephen Covey
Being happy, therefore, also implies acting for happiness. And this is true both in private and in professional life. Choosing to act for one’s own and others’ happiness can be done starting from small gestures: a smile and a “thank you” to the person in charge of a service, a coffee brought to the busy colleague who, at that moment, cannot allow himself a break, a “good morning” exclaimed smiling when you arrive in the morning at work. And more, celebrate a colleague who has reached a goal, encourage those in difficulty … Each of these repeated gestures triggers a virtuous circle, which can grow exponentially. Gestures that show a different way of acting and that sprouting bring transformation.
Being happy is a choice, to be trained every day, recognizing, appreciating and enjoying what life offers us.