An equation that measures happiness has allowed a mathematician to determine that today is the happiest day of the year, due in part to the length of evenings, proportion of outdoor activities and nice weather, and the first day of summer and its association with positive childhood memories. Well, personally, I’m always pretty happy. I have a sweet life, a great woman and a working brain. What more could anyone want? Is this the apex of my happiness, though? Will there be a downswing from here?
Somehow, I doubt it.
Happiness, though I firmly believe it can be affected by the weather, is not determined by the day of the year, even when a meeting of these factors is in effect. It makes sense why it’s a happy day, just like it makes sense that January 15th is the most depressed day of the year. However, considering the general things that are contributing to the average person’s woes: the state of the economy, the price of gas and food, the political climate, America’s international standing, the job market (or lack thereof), etc., I doubt that most people will stand up today and declare, “You know, this is the happiest I’ve been in a while.”
And you know what? That’s a shame.
Should their happiness and its concomitant declaration have anything to do with today’s date? No. But it should have to do with positive attitudes (lame sounding, I know) and the desire every day to be happier than the day before. Make an effort to be happier. Do something that makes you happy. Life is too short to be unhappy. My life only got consistently happy when I decided that that was a lot better than not being happy and that with a little effort – and being grateful for what I had, gratitude is key – I could walk around happily all the time.
An even better approach: try to make someone else happy today. Do something nice for someone in your life. Make your significant other chocolate covered strawberries. Buy someone a drink – maybe someone you don’t even know (and who you’re not hitting on). Help someone with his or her groceries. This isn’t about that pay-it-forward crap (though I do like that), but about making a collective effort to make other people happier – or at least a little more satisfied. Let’s remind people that the human decency is still left in us all.
Today, we’re all going to make a little more effort to be happy and make others happy and not rely on the factors coalescing on this day of the year. Let’s try it every day and see how things go, hmm.
What did you do for someone else today? Did it make you feel good? What will you do tomorrow? Any suggestions for making people happier?