Did you know that today, March 20th, is the United Nations International Day of Happiness (IDOH) - day? Neither did I, and at first it struck me as a bit of a weird occasion to mark. Since when did we as a general population need a marked event to celebrate being happy?
A little about me first... My (first name) is Walker and I'm a business partner with Joy at Joyous Health. My official title is Director of Possibilities / Operations and I'm in charge of all the business-y stuff, but my official title is Hubs, because I'm also Joy's partner in life. We work together and we live together and I couldn't be any happier.
In fact, if you were to ask my friends and family they would generally say that I'm a pretty happy guy. Perhaps it's this natural disposition that led me to question the need for such a day, but after taking a broader perspective (and actually researching what the day was about) it became crystal clear why it's so necessary.
IDOH recognizes that as a modern society, we are establishing fewer and fewer personal connections with each other, and argues that in a world of email, text messages, social media and the like, the basic element of human connection is being lost. I personally experience this on a daily basis given the online nature of Joyous Health. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have a meeting with a real person when I'm swimming in a sea of digital communications. I'm not alone in my observations - researchers have long established the relationship between human connection and happiness and have concluded that it is ESSENTIAL for our survival as a species.
So now I get it. I understand the need for an International Day of Happiness and the need for a reminder to stop, take stock of what makes you happiest and reach out to those who mean the most. When putting together my happy list, one thing became very apparent - most of the items are rooted in memories or experiences with other people. It just goes to show the importance of these connections...so without further adieu!
8 Things That Take Me To My Happy (or Joyous) Place:
1. Sunday Morning Oldies
For as long as I can remember, Sunday mornings were made for Oldies. To this day, there are few things in the world that make me happier than waking up on Sunday and listening to Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, The Beach Boys, Jackson 5, The Supremes, Franky Valli ... the list goes on and on!
2. Finger Puppets (recently discovered)
Ok, so I know this sounds weird but let me explain. I recently acquired a finger puppet and have been having so much fun with it! Maybe because it let's me play a completely different character, maybe it's indulging my childish need to play. Whatever the reason, it's been the source of lots of laughs and smiles in the Joyous HQ over the last few weeks.
3. Making a Delicious Sandwich
Making a sandwich makes me feel like an artist with a blank canvas who's imagination and ingredients on-hand are the only limiting factors. While there's obvious satisfaction in eating the sandwich, the real pleasure comes from the process of constructing my gastronomic masterpiece.
4. Making Music
Back in the day I used to dabble in DJ'ing. I do it far less than I would like to these days, but every time I do I'm instantly transported to my own world of bass drops and Beyonce. My favourite part? Watching people's reactions as the set progresses. I've recently started to learn the guitar as a musical outlet - reactions aren't as memorable thus far.
5. Quiet/Alone Time
I personally think it's essential for everyone to indulge in some alone time. If given even just a few minutes, get lost in your own mind, reflect and get re-acquainted with yourself. In a world with more distractions than ever, it's even more important to maintain a strong connection with YOU.
Exercise is obviously a great mood booster, but for me I often double it up and take advantage of the alone time that comes with the type of exercise I do most often. While I usually have my headphone on at the gym, more often than not it acts as a type of white noise, allowing me to catch up with myself (I'm an only child, can you tell?). For me, exercise hits the holy trinity of body, mind and spirit, which is why it's such a priority for me.
If you were looking for the superficial item on my list you've found it. I've always had a passion/interest in cars and even indulged that passion when I worked at Mercedes-Benz prior to officially joining Joyous Health. They're fast, shiny and noisy - what's not to like!?
8. My Family
Last but certainly not least, nothing make's me happier than my family. I include my whole family and close friends in this statement, because as we discovered earlier genuine human connections are key to happiness. But let me give a little extra love to Joy (and our two kitties) - I think the happiness they bring me can be adequately summed up by the eloquent Ms. Alicia Keys "They offered the world just to have what we got, But I found the world in you...".
Your Turn! What takes you to your happy place? Comment below or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by using the hashtag #joyousplace
Happy... well Happy Day everyone!
(first name) Walker