Can you be happy in a world crisis?

by | Apr 7, 2020

Since 20th March 2013 the UN recognised happiness as a “human fundamental goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the health and happiness of all peoples”.  It was decided that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just the economy.

The International Day of Happiness is now celebrated throughout the World on March 20th.  I think this year it passed us by.  It might seem a little odd that we need a day specifically about being happy, but why not use it as the first day of the rest of your life.

Check out the playlist 3Plus created some years ago. What would you add to that list? Press play all and just chill and smile!

How can we be happy in a world crisis?

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

But what if you don't know what actions you can take? Sometimes it's easier said than done to become happy! Mary Lynn Ziemer, 3Plus Master Coach,  firmly believes that happiness delivers results, gave us these three basic tips can make a huge difference even in a crisis.

  • Smile
  • Say thank you
  • Give positive feedback

Shakespeare said in Hamlet

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Life will always be a challenge and  many of them will be unexpected. But we have a choice how we respond to a set of  circumstances make a big difference.

This year, in 2020, the message from UN partners was of hope during these tough times. They maintain that people can find happiness in a global pandemic and we can come out stronger if we make that active choice.

Easier said than done?

Making a choice to be happy sounds easier said than done during a global pandemic. Is it really possible to choose to be happy during such a stressful time, especially with global challenges which are impacting all of us on a daily basis? Research suggests that happiness can make us healthier and protect our immune systems.  A study from Carnegie Mellon University studying the impact of the virus behind the common cold, found that "people who regularly experience positive emotions, when exposed to rhinovirus, are relatively protected from developing illness,"

6 tips to be happy

happy in a world crisis

1. Make statement of intent

People who have a clear sense of purpose are both happy and successful. You have to decide what your goals during this challenging time, even if it's to get out in one piece. Try to resist all the hype around realising successful goals. People are suggesting on social media that if you don't emerge from confinement with a clutch of new skills you lack discipline. They clearly are not home-schooling two kids around the kitchen table.

You have to find what is best for you. It doesn't have to be a far-reaching goal. Just getting through without committing violence is probably good enough at the moment.

2.  Show gratitude

Commit to showing gratitude at least once a day. If you are reading this post, it means you have internet access and wi-fi. That is a big something to be grateful for.

Start a daily habit of writing down the 5 things that we are grateful for which will help you build more positive and happier connections. Choosing happiness is an active decision, not just for us as individuals but for teams and organisations

3. Be active

Choose any physical activity that you can do within the restrictions of your region. Some people can't even leave their homes. Hit a ball against a wall like Roger Federer. Play balcony ping-pong. Follow an online Pilates class. Dance to the Spotify "Happy Songs" track in your kitchen.  It is still possible to move, even when where are in confinement.

Exercise is more important than ever in a global pandemic and also helps boost our immune systems.

4.  Reframe situations

It's important to choose your language carefully and try to remove the negative from as many situations as you can. Research suggests that happiness increases productivity.  A study carried out in the University Rotterdam found that happy workers are 13% more productive.

Countries are now shifting from measuring national success on GDP but by happiness. In 2016, the United Arab Emirates announced the establishment of a Ministry for Happiness to coordinate the state’s work in this area. New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, launched her “world-first” well-being budget. Nicola Sturgeon Scotland's First Minister, also announced that “Scotland is creating an economy where ‘collective wellbeing’ is as fundamental as GDP.”

5. Block out white noise

There is an old acronym GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) so make sure you limit the cacophony of white noise to a minimum. Access news feeds twice a day, because it's still important to be in touch and know what's going on in the world, but without flooding your brain with crazy making detail.  Too many negative messages impact your brain and therefore your well-being.

6. Eat Mindfully

This is an ideal time to eat mindfully when you can plan your menus around limited expeditions to super markets to produce healthy menus.  Become aware of what your body is taking in.

Going forward

The COVID19 epidemic is a massive crisis which has impacted our lives and our economies and will continue to do so. It has highlighted many issues in our society that need addressing. We have to decide how we are individually and  collectively going to respond

Happiness is a choice. It is one that we need to make every day. Hopefully we will keep on making this choice no matter what challenges face us.


Maybe you can't switch off because you lack clear goals and directions?

3Plus can help you just get in touch

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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