Happy International Happiness Day!

Photo: Graham Crumb/Imagicity.com

Photo: Graham Crumb/Imagicity.com

Today is International Happiness Day. Why are we pleasantly concerned? Remember when Vanuatu was top of the Happy Planet Index back in 2006, before long haul airports taking over grazing land at Teouma and crumbling airstrips at Bauerfield, million vatu bribery charges and the sacking of Parliament. That one just had to go and we are all glad because it has. And we’ve got a new one. AND it meets in proper debate tomorrow for the first time! Hooray!!! We are happy!!!!!

Your editor asked Jamie Tanguay from the Vanuatu National Statistics Office to tell us a bit more about happiness in Vanuatu today. He said:

The VNSO co-authored a factsheet on happiness in Vanuatu published last year in October that we are happy to share with you all. The data used for the publication was collected in the Pacific Living Standards survey from 2013-2014 as part of the Melanesian Well-being Indicators initiative and was used here to assess subjective well-being and its correlation to income, level of educational achievement, age, household size and more. Satisfaction levels are investigated in the fact-sheet along dimensions of health, family, time use, food security, housing, financial security, and community. Furthermore, the analysis offers a look into main sources of stress facing Ni-Vanuatu.

There are many other ways you can commemorate this important day. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Practice skills to enhance your happiness by meditating, taking time to pray, or by making a list of what you are grateful for
  • Cherish the environment – make it a day for cleaning up, planting things, or taking a hike
  • Celebrate your relationships – call, or write a letter to someone you love – make March 20th a day for random acts of kindness
  • Do something to raise the happiness level within your neighborhood or community – host a dinner, volunteer, or simply get together with friends
  • Be creative: use art as a way to express your commitment to well-being for all people and the planet
  • Learn more about the Melanesian Well-being Indicators initiative at the VNSO

Whatever you do, celebrate and enjoy! Make happiness the new bottom line. Thank you in advance for making positive choices in your life and working for positive change in your community!