Today, Feb. 11, is World Happy Day.
I got this email informing me about World Happy Day, with the premiere screenings of "Happy," the latest film from Academy Award® nominated director Roko Belic ("Genghis Blues"), being held around the globe today.
"Our goal is for people all around the world to come together, on the same day, start the conversation about happiness and begin to live healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives," says Belic.
The film "Happy" was inspired by a challenge. Executive producer Tom Shadyac ("Bruce Almighty,"" Liar, Liar," "Patch Adams") read a New York Times article ranking the U.S. 23rd in happiness. He asked Belic to find out why. Belic investigated questions like: What is happiness and where does it come from?
"The desire for happiness is universal," says Belic. "The sources are much more common and attainable than many of us believe."
Well, it got me wondering how many of my friends and family members are happy and what makes them happy and where does their happiness come from. So, I did a little survey of my own. I'm happy to report that out of the 21 people I surveyed, (myself included) 18 responded that they are happy. One said she was "relatively happy," another one said she was "extremely happy" and one guy gave me, "Overall-yes."
When asked if they could measure happiness, 12 said "yes," five said "no" and two said they weren't sure, one said "perhaps" and another one said, "possibly."
I asked them what made them happy. Surprisingly, money was never mentioned. The number one answer was family. Friends, a great spouse and helping others were close behind.
I asked if there was anything they do on a regular basis that helps them be happy. Here are their answers.
"Don't let everyday stress get you down. If you do this, things will be easier and happier to do." Jerry Keiper.
"Pray, help my family and friends, do things for myself, spend time with family and friends." Renee Keiper.
"Read my Bible, cook, garden, take care of people, being with my children and grandchildren, doing things with my husband, being with my Bible study group and enjoying nature that God has surrounded us with, especially flowers." Carol King.
"Read a lot of different books, listen to music, watch a movie and see my grandchildren as much as possible." Lucy Hardesty.
"Having breakfast and dinner together, sitting in the sunroom with wine, calling relatives and friends on the phone, going to church, watching our cats, watching and feeding the birds and volunteering." Meg and Paul Carpenito.
"When I can do, or provide, for others. Finding new vacation spots with my family. Being with my husband and doing things he enjoys (when it's just him and I), massages, pedicures, drive-in movies, parties, visiting museums, Broadway shows, shopping and traveling." Diane Huber.
"Smile and show my happiness to others." Sandra Costenbader Borger.
"Enjoy life." Glenn Borger
"Mostly I look around me with a feeling of gratitude. I look at my house and instead of thinking about what's not in it, I appreciate what is. I think about those special people who have come into my life and have given me the gift of friendship. I take nothing for granted and give thanks for all things, even a trip to Wal-Mart with my husband." Pattie Mihalik.
"The one thing that always makes me feel happy is walking and taking joy from nature and everything around me. Participating in life instead of sitting back and being bored or wondering what I can do. Just get out and do it! Live it! Learn it! Staying in touch with friends and family either through phone, email, visits or letters." Sharon Wary.
"Doing things with my husband, getting together with family and friends, walking, eating out, visiting, going to the movies, reading, helping a friend in need, being around babies, petting my dog and having him sit next to me. Focus on good news, not bad news (like on TV and newspapers, which is hard to do today.)" Susie Weaver.
"Fellowship with my Lord and Savior and like-minded believers, fellowship with my family and friends, charitable organizations and artistic time." Sharon Solt.
"Whenever I start to feel down about something, I stop to think about all the blessings in my life and all I have to be thankful for. Exercising also helps me." Connie Moretz.
"Laugh, tell corny jokes. I also volunteer with many organizations that help people. Of course, being with the man I love and my family and friends makes me more than happy. It makes me complete." Honi Gruenberg.
"I say a prayer every morning, that I accomplish what I want to get done. That makes me happy when that works out. I take some time during the day to read a few chapters of whatever I may be reading, and just relax. And most important, spending time with Darryl (husband). It doesn't sound like much, but these things do make me happy." Devoe Brenich.
"I try to create situations that maintain my happiness or add to it. Simple things like a good cup of coffee in the morning makes me happy. Work doesn't necessarily make me happy, but I try to enjoy my ride into work. Laughing hard and often is something else I try to do. Engaging in hobbies or using my creativity also adds to my overall happiness. I feel happiness is directly related to your quality of life. If you do things to increase the quality of your life, you inevitably add happiness." Becky Burch.
"Try to keep ahead of things and not wait until the last minute to get things accomplished." Diann Bittenbender.
"Smiling, laughing and enjoying life with our friends and family," Scott and Patti Meckes.
"I'm happiest when I am outside, walking, biking, reading, working, eating, doesn't matter. The out of doors is the best, I love it." Terrie Mahala.
What do I do to make me happy? Lounge in my pool, read a good book, listen to favorite music, get lost in my painting, try out a new recipe, hang out with my daughter and my family and friends, and spend as much time as I can with Harry.
What do you do to make yourself happy? Maybe we all need to step back and ask ourselves that every once in a while to help us appreciate the things we have in our lives.
Whatever it is, do it today, on World Happy Day, and everyday. And as a wise man once said, "Don't worry. Be happy."