If you’re happy and you know it… share it! Pursue it! Think on it!

By Smera Nadeem, ELBA’s Interim Head of Programmes, Challenge team

Since 2013, the UN has been celebrating International Day of Happiness and we, at ELBA, are embracing this day too.

For 2023, International Day of Happiness (20 March) focuses on being ‘Mindful, Grateful and Kind’.[1] The day celebrates the work of the United Nations and Action for Happiness ‘to spread awareness that progress is not only about increasing bottom lines and encouraging economic growth, but well-being and human happiness as well.’[2] ELBA share this view.

WELBA, the wellbeing committee at ELBA, actively fosters an environment of gratefulness. During lockdown 2020, WELBA encouraged and inspired staff to participate in a WELBA gratitude journal, which was practised extensively and brought to the forefront the need to be mindful of our wellbeing:

Grateful for the card my niece sent me.”

“For my balcony, sun was beaming and I was chilling enjoying my Canary Wharf view.”

“This moment of calm – enjoying the breeze through the patio doors to the garden, sunshine, birdsong and coffee.”

‘The sunshine, the anticipation of a run later to clear my head, the kids playing together happily for a few minutes.”

(ELBA gratitude journal entries, 19 May 2020)

From positive thoughts, connecting with colleagues virtually, taking walks or actively appreciating the good things around us and being grateful, the gratitude journal captured our journey.

WELBA has taken this approach forward, incorporating acts of kindness to bring happiness to the working day, from staff receiving a friendly message on a post-it note or end-of-year praise in an email. The feedback and smiles received speak for themselves and we encourage all to get involved to help share and spread happiness. We have found that sharing your joy with colleagues, or showing appreciation makes a difference and, it’s not limited to just one day of happiness, but ongoing and is a good reminder to take care of ourselves and each other!

[1] https://www.dayofhappiness.net/


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