Longer days, new blooms, and warmer weather have been on the horizon for some time now, and this weekend we have officially entered into the new season. Spring has been sparsely felt all over Europe, but today formally marks the first day, which is also known as the “spring equinox”, celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere.
You may disagree with me, but this year has felt like we’ve been waiting longer than ever, especially here in the UK. But with covid restrictions carefully easing steadily and the outdoors ever so inviting, now is the time for us to safely reemerge from our nests and mindfully bask in nature’s wonder.
I feel we all deserve it, don’t you agree? And those spring-like vibes are enough to nurture and improve creativity, health and well-being.
In spring, the Earth’s axis is tilted towards the sun, increasing the number of daylight hours and bringing warmer weather.
The first day of spring is called the vernal equinox. When the sun aligns with the Earth’s equator– that’s where the term equinox is derived from. The fall and spring equinoxes are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west.
According to the Greek myth, the return of spring coincides with the return of Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, who is the goddess of plants and fertility. This is perhaps why spring is often associated with birth, renewal, and growth.
The first spring flowers are typically dandelions, daffodils, lilacs, lilies, iris, and tulips.
Before spring was called spring, it was called Lent, in Old English.
Every year on the first day of spring, people in Poland gather to burn an effigy and throw it in the river to bid winter farewell.
For the Japanese, the opening of the cherry blossom, Japan’s national flower, in March or April signals the start of spring.
The first day of spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. A grand celebration is hosted for 13 days and dates back to the 3000-year-old tradition of Zoroastrianism.
Early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx, pointing directly towards the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox.
Another great note is that tomorrow shares a global awareness on identifying the importance of happiness and well-being as a universal aspiration. Happiness manifests in so many ways and can mean a multitude of many things to all walks of life around the world.
Bringing to the forefront the need to recognise, award and support the communities and front-line individuals who are doing so much to help us all through life to find, reclaim, and sustain happiness.
Finland has consistently been ranked as the happiest place on Earth. It’s known for its cleanliness, mutual trust, equality, and freedom.
Its often said that happiness is contagious, and many have found the saying to be true. So, if you’re feeling a bit down, spend some time with happy people, and you’ll start to notice your mood quickly elevating.
Doing something good for others triggers a high in the brain. This kind of happiness is often hard to describe, but the next time you out shopping or in your neighbourhood, try to do something good for someone and you’ll feel a pure sense of happiness.
Sleep can lead to happiness as its integral for the body to restore its energy levels. It’s also known to combat depression and heart disease.
Pets can make you happy and help you handle stressful situations. Stroking your pet can help lower your blood pressure and promote feel-good chemicals in the brain like dopamine and oxytocin, which are known to trigger happiness.
Particular foods can make you happy, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the unhealthy kind. Fruit, veggies, dark chocolate, mushrooms, and green tea can significantly increase your mood and overall happiness.
It’s natural to feel down at times as human beings, but it’s essential for us not to let life drag us down and always try to practice happiness. One way of doing this is to always try to identify the positive in a situation. You’ll start to see life in a whole new light.
Finally, a much-contemplated topic is that money buys happiness. Most people who have attained a certain level of wealth can attest to the fact that money can’t buy happiness.
At the end of the day, we all crave a deep human connection, someone we can relate to and share ideas, thoughts, and moments with. I believe last year highlighted the disparities within our society and overall well-being in so many ways. Our purpose now is to overcome our fears and seek true happiness in this post-pandemic world, most definitely not comparing it to others.
Happiness is a state of internal fulfilment. Happiness is not the result of external events. We labour under the misconception that external events are within our control. We tell ourselves that when we achieve what we want or acquire what we desire, happiness will be ours.Stephanie Harrison, Why Happiness Comes From Within, huffpost.com
Exercise can make you happy as it induces an endorphin-based high. Besides warding off illnesses like heart complications or high blood pressure, I’d say exercise is the perfect way to keep fit and healthy while also attaining happiness.
Our happiness is so complex and can mean a broad range of life situations, feelings, thoughts, actions and more to so many of us. Therefore, however you find, sustain and share it, whether it’s with family, partner, friend, furry friend, or even solo, that’s wonderful!