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Well-being Works

November 2017

Having a sense of well-being is of international significance

International Day of Happiness

Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness on March 20th. It is to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.

They say smiling is contagious. It’s a fact that if someone smiles at us we tend to smile back.
World Smile Day.
In 1963. Harvey Bell a commercial artist, created the smiley face icon,the symbol of good will and good cheer. He later came up with the idea of World Smile Day which is celebrated each year on the first Friday of October. On World Smile Day we are encouraged throughout the world to perform acts of kindness and create smiles.
Guess how many times a day a child smiles?
I have heard it said that whilst children smile and laugh up to 300 times a day, and happy adults 40-50 times a day; the average adult only smiles 20 times a day. Whatever is true, children clearly laugh much more than adults.

Why should we smile?

“The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it.” Charles Darwin

When we use our smiling muscles, they send a signal to our brain increasing the level of happy hormones(endorphins).

In the eighties, psychologist Robert Zajonc, published a study on the emotional effect of producing a smile.

His subjects repeated vowel sounds which formed different facial expressions. When they made the long "E" sound, it stretched the corners of the mouth outward, whilst the long "U," changed the mouth into a pouty expression. Subjects reported feeling good after making the long "E" sound and the opposite with the "U".
 There is a saying “laughter is a smile with the volume turned up”.

In 1998, Dr Kataria whose brainchild is Laughter Yoga, created World Laughter Day.

World Laughter Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May in laughter clubs throughout the world as a positive manifestation for world peace and is intended to send a huge wave of laughter and positivity around the globe.
Measuring well-being?
In 2010, the UK government set up The National Well-being Programme.

The aim is to develop and publish annually an accepted and trusted set of national statistics, which help people understand and monitor well-being.

The latest assessment in 2017 used well-being indicators including, our health, natural environment, personal finances and crime. A broadly positive picture of life in the UK was shown, with most indicators either improving or staying the same over the 12-month period.

Have you heard that every year the United Nations measures the quality of life for citizens from participating member countries around the world through surveys and data analysis?

A World Happiness Report is produced by a group of independent experts from a survey of the state of global happiness and it ranks the participating countries by their happiness levels.

The 2017 World Happiness Report states of the 150 participating countries the top ten are - Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. (The UK came 19th out of the 150 countries and had risen 5 places since the previous year).
Sources: The Guardian, World Happiness Report, The New York Times, British Council and Office for National Statistics
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. Jim Rohn
Have a great month everyone.

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