Tuesday, 02 September 2014

UN in your language

Happiness

The UN and happiness

1

How happy were you on 20 March this year? Given Western European statistics, let’s assume not overtly happy. Because, let’s face it; a grey March day in Europe is not always the most uplifting scenario. In fact, it might very well be that you cannot recall any specific feelings from the 20th of this rather anonymous month at all. However, the UN has named the 20 March the International Day of Happiness.

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Interview with Leo Bormans

Interview with Leo Bormans, editor of "The World Book of Happiness"


F
acts:

  • Happiness: a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. [1]
  • The International Day of Happiness is celebrated on 20th March when the sun is on the same plane as the earth’s equator so that day and night are of equal length, creating balance in the earth’s celestial coordinate systems.
  • Physically happiness is created by four different brain chemicals; endorphin, , dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin [2]
  • Human relationships are the most important external factor affecting happiness. The extent to which a country’s inhabitants trust each other turns out to be a major determinant of happiness in a society. [3]
  • Studies in UK and US reveal that the populations’ happiness and satisfaction levels have remained the same despite massive economic growth the last decades. [4]


[1] Wordnet 3.0, 2012)

[2] (L. G. Breuning, Phsycology today

[3] R. Layard, Happiness, 2011, (second ed.) p63-64, 68-9, 80-82)

[4] (For U.S., Gallup Poll and General Social Survey. For U.K., Gallup and Eurobarometer)