Ken Dodd must have been Bhutanese!

Because he certainly had his fair share of happiness, or so the song goes….

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed
With more than my share of happiness

To me this world is a wonderful place
I’m the luckiest human in the human race
I’ve got no silver and I’ve got no gold
But I’ve got happiness in my soul

And on the song goes, full of diddy-men happiness….

The lyrics kind of suggest that happiness is a state of mind, an attitude, an inside job.

Each one of us has the ability to create it inside of us, so that it shows up on the outside of us.

The psychologists tell us that our external world is a direct reflection of our internal world – so if all this is true, then we’re all able to create happiness from the inside out, right?

The need for happiness was first recognised by Bhutan’s King, Jigme Singye Wangchuk in 1972. He was also the first to introduce the Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy as an alternative indicator for GDP, as a tool to measure the country’s progress or development.

Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of the Bhutanese people. The level of GNH for an individual and for Bhutan as a country is determined through measures in nine domains:

Gross National Happiness graphic.png

Boy do we have a few lessons we can learn from the Bhutanese people, wouldn’t you agree!? Indeed, our Senior Consultant Dee Cano is doing some awesome work out in Bhutan with her partner Martin right now – and I can’t wait to bring you their news in a blog to follow over the next month or two. There are certainly several reasons to be cheerful when you hear their stories about what GNH really means to the Bhutanese people and its visitors!

And then I took a little closer look to home – a 24 year old entrepreneur who’s moving and shaking the planet with her obvious abundance of the happiness gene. Founder, director, creator, designer, illustrator, promoter and postman of ‘The Happy Newspaper’, Emily Coxhead is a typical Northern lass with a lovely, big, smiley vision to “sprinkle a tiny bit of happiness all over the planet”.

The Happy Newspaper celebrates all that’s good in the world – a platform to share positive news and give a shout out to all those ‘ordinary’ extraordinary human beings who are doing things every day to make others happy! The first issue launched in December 2015 and is released quarterly, containing happy news and packed with positive stories from across the globe, with an entire section dedicated to our Everyday Heroes. These are ordinary people, groups or organisations who the general public have nominated to feature in the paper, because they add a little bit of sunshine to the world. Some of the stories are simply heart-warming and others are just mind-blowing….

“My sister Jennifer has undergone two mastectomies in the last five years. We now make pillows free of charge to help with the comfort and support of women and men who have undergone surgery for breast cancer”

“The global bubble parade is a movement of happiness makers that want to spread some joy around the world using soap bubbles. In May 2016 they gathered in more than 60 cities in the world to increase the awareness about personal well-being and created a simple action that can make a lot of people happy”

“It was my son’s idea when he was 10. We’ve been painting and spreading rocks with positive words for people to find. After 4.5 years doing that, we have our #wordrocks scattered all over the world and have also inspired a lot of people to do the same”

Jeez peeps, it ‘aint rocket science is it? Simple, random acts of kindness and spreading happiness can make such a huge difference to someone else’s day or week or even their life!

The Independent published its 10th annual Happy List in August last year, naming 50 outstanding (yet ordinary) human beings whose volunteering, caring, fundraising, mentoring, charity work or plain selflessness make Britain a happier place to live. Founded in 2008 as an antidote to the lists that celebrate status and wealth and fame and fortune, the Happy List honours the Great British public, who are doing extraordinary things for others with no thought of personal gain or fame.

This last year’s list has shone a light once again on remarkable people who may otherwise have gone totally unnoticed or unappreciated – and with our country (and world) in a start of flux right now, with politics dominated by division and confusion, it’s important to recognise people who enrich the lives of others, so to inspire more of us to try to follow their lead.

The latest Happy List from The Independent include an 86 year old who raises money for charity by jumping out of planes; a baker who is helping former prisoners avoid a life of crime; the Brighton man who set up the first Happy Café to beat loneliness; the Disco Bunny – a free spirit bringing joy and happiness to strangers through dance (and glitter!) and a feisty breast cancer survivor who is one of the biggest campaigners of the CoppaFeel Boobettes, raising critical funds for research and empowering , educating and encouraging women (and men) to regularly ‘cop a feel’!

We’re all busy, I get that.

We’re all trying our best to get by, I get that too.

We’re all only human and generally selfish by nature and design. I get that even more.

And hey guys! Let’s all just press that pause button for one tiny second today to consider this question…..

What can YOU do right now to make someone happy!? Could it be:

A pleasant smile?
A positive arm round the shoulder?
A caring look?
A thank you?
A random act of kindness?
A compliment?
A helping hand?
A word of encouragement?
An emotional leg-up?

There are so many small things that we can all do, say or be that can make such a BIG difference to someone – helping to raise their spirits or boost their morale and perhaps even increase their GNH levels!

You don’t have to be Bhutanese to experience happiness you know – so go on, be more Ken Dodd like today and go spread a little happiness!

Until next time, keep FIT!

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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