Hunt for Happiness Week, 2024

Ah, happiness…

Beware of the glitter, glam and flash because it’s not the late model cool car, the gorgeous house, the extravagant vacations or the couture wardrobe that will sustain your happiness. Money can buy a great lifestyle, along with tantalizing comfort and luxury, but happiness? No, it can’t do that. 

So, what does make people – you, me, our relatives and friends – happy? 

Psychology Today cuts to the chase in these succinct words: “Happy people live with purpose. They find joy in lasting relationships, working toward their goals and living according to their values.” The happy amongst us, they add, also take pleasure and contentment from life’s simple pleasures and conclude that all of this is largely within our control. How cool is that?  

Which brings me to “Hunt for Happiness Week.” Yes, it is a real thing, started in 2001 by “The Society of Happy People.” I love that these seven days (1/21 – 1/27 this year) commence after the holiday rush and fanfare when most of us have settled back into the routine rhythm of our lives. I also love that this week encourages us to focus on what has proven to foster happiness: living with a sense of purpose, fostering meaningful relationships, pursuing specific goals and, not the least of which, living according to our values. All of which are nurtured by our day-to-day choices and actions. 

Can You Spot a Happy Person?

A happy person:

…is typically open to learning new things and is high in humility and patience.

…smiles and laughs readily, goes with the flow, expresses gratitude, practices compassion and exercises self-care.

…enjoys healthy relationships and is happy for other people.

…doesn’t feel entitled, has fewer expectations, isn’t spiteful or insulting, doesn’t play games or hold grudges.

…doesn’t fret over yesterday or tomorrow, isn’t a martyr or a victim and, DRUMROLL please: 

…is generous with his or her happiness.

Who doesn’t want to be around a happy person? And, more to the point of what is within our control, why not commit to working on your own personal happiness?

The Society of Happy People explains that “Hunt for Happiness week is all about hunting for reasons to be happy. The general theme of everyone’s life is about finding happiness. Hunt for Happiness week is all about celebrating the little joys in life. It is not about being happy all the time; it is about making the best out of little things as much as we can.” 

Happy Facts about Happiness

Did you know that…

Happy and Strong

Happiness can positively affect overall health by improving the immune system.

Happiest Country

Finland is the happiest country in the world according to the World Happiness Report.

Happy Color

Most studies suggest that the color yellow is associated with happiness.

Happiest Animal

Quokka, a cute and friendly Australian marsupial, is known as the happiest animal in the world. 

Happiness is Contagious 

Happiness spreads; we can feel happiness just by being around happy people.

As a wise person noted: “It isn’t happiness per se that promotes well-being, it’s the actual pursuit that’s key.” So, what can you do to embrace the Hunt for Happiness Week? Read on!

Happiness-Cultivating Activities to Pursue this Week

  • Revisit your sense of purpose. I know that my purpose has certainly shifted over time,  while its core remains the same.
  • Express yourself: tell others what makes you happy.
  • Cultivate relationships: reach out to someone who has made you happy.
  • Exchange ideas with someone close to you about how to increase the happy in your lives.
  • Intentionally indulge in small pleasures and challenging activities.
  • Set one or two goals and take concrete steps to progress toward achieving them.
  • Consider all of your actions, your way of being in the world and align or realign them  with your core values.

Beyond resolutions and commitments, I hope that you embrace this new year by gifting yourself with the attitudes and behaviors that bring you happiness. Isn’t that really what a quality life is all about?


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