Happiness means different things to different people, yet most people agree that the pursuit of happiness is an essential part of life. In spite of this, many of us can find it difficult to make time for happiness; our own and that of those around us. This is one reason why it is so important that in 2012 The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 20th March as International Day of Happiness. To celebrate International Day of Happiness and support you in taking time for happiness, we’re inviting you to reflect on your happiness habits and share your own happiness haiku!

Happiness Habits

Happiness is an important aspect of holistic wellbeing. Here at NOW, we believe that people’s happiness depends in part on the health of the communities in which they live and work. This, in turn, depends on the fairness of society as a whole, and the long-term health of the natural world on which we all depend.

We’ve decided to focus on happiness habits as a theme for our activities this International Day of Happiness, because we see happiness not as a fleeting emotion, but as something we can build up over the long term through the daily actions we take. We’re aware that things don’t always go right in life, and that happiness is not a given; but putting actions in place that can help support yours and others’ happiness is well worth the effort.

There are many ways of putting happiness habits in place; if we ensure we take time to respect ourselves, be kind to others, and connect with the natural world then we’ll certainly be off to a strong start. Why not share your own suggestions and experiences of happiness habits in our Happiness Haiku competition!

Happiness Haiku Competition

A haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables in total, in three lines of five syllables, then seven syllables, and then five syllables again. You can find further explanation here. You can also find some examples written by members of our team below.

We’re marking International Day of Happiness with a Happiness Haiku Competition, and we’d like you all to join in! You can base your Happiness Haiku on anything happiness related, ideally focusing on your own happiness habits.

Hopefully putting together a happiness haiku will be a joy in itself, but to encourage you to share your haikus, we are offering some great prizes too!

All haikus entered will be shared on NOW’s social media channels, and in addition a few of the most inventive and inspiring will be selected to be shared on our website (always credited back to the original author), and those selected will be offered one of the following prizes:

  • Gretchen Ruben’s book “Better than before: what I learned about making and breaking habits to sleep more, quit sugar, procrastinate less and generally build a happier life
  • Sarah Van Gelden’s book “Sustainable Happiness: live simply, live well, make a difference
  • A subscription to Positive News
  • A t-shirt with your happiness haiku printed on to it

To enter your haiku you simply need to share it in one of the following ways:

  • On Twitter, share a photo of your happiness haiku or make it short enough to write it in a tweet, if possible. Please make sure to include the hash tag #HappyHaiku and tag @NetwrkWellbeing
  • On Facebook, write out or share a photo of your happiness haiku. Please make sure to include the hash tag #HappyHaiku and tag @Network of Wellbeing – NOW
  • On Instagram, share a photo of your happiness haiku and make sure to include the hash tag #HappyHaiku and @NetworkofWellbeing
  • Email entries to florence@networkofwellbeing.org

You can enter as many haikus as you’d like and you are welcome to enter no matter where in the world you are based. The deadline for entries will be Monday 21st March at 10am UK time, and winners will be announced on Tuesday 22nd March.

Happiness Haiku Examples

In the NOW team, we’ve been inspired by the idea of the Happiness Haiku Competition, and some of us have written our own (these will not be entered in to the competition; we’re just sharing here as examples).

Happiness is hard / Except when it is easy / Going with the flow. By Joshua Malkin

A terrarium, / Links people of all ages. / Memories are made. By Roger Higman

Paying attention / To the everyday moments / That make up our lives. By Florence Scialom

Catching the sun rise / Long walks followed by hot baths / Time spent with loved ones. By Kim Schilling

We also find this one from Charles Henderson very inspiring: A small seed planted / care and nourishment bestowed… / amazing results.

We really look forward to seeing all of your #HappyHaiku entries! 

Image shared above via Bell & Blue