DON’T worry: be Scottish and happy. This Saturday has been named Scotland’s Happiness Day. Designed to put a smile on the faces of cynical Scots, the event will involve singalongs and laughter therapy, while participants will be asked to create their own “bag of happiness” filled with “positive energy”.
The day will see a seven-hour “happiness” event in Glasgow, but Scots countrywide will be encouraged to take part in their own way.
“We want to be able to spread positivity and happiness throughout Scotland,” said organiser Kim Macleod, who runs a company called Stress The Positive. “If people can’t come along, we want them to use the three principles of happiness – getting together with loved ones, doing an activity you enjoy and performing an act of kindness – and have a day of their own to feel happy.”
The full-day event in Glasgow, which costs £30, will include laughter therapy, meditation, colour therapy, arts and crafts, and end with a “singalong for happiness”.
Macleod admitted that persuading Scots to be cheery can be an uphill battle “We have a reputation for being quite dour,” she said.
“I don’t think we are, but people can be quite sceptical about happiness. I am trying to make the ‘h’ word acceptable. Because if you ask people what they want from their life, they want to be happy.”
But Forth One DJ and cultural commentator Grant Stott questioned whether Scots need encouragement to find their inner happiness. “I can’t believe anyone would think we could be anything other than happy as a nation,” he said. “We’ve always managed to smile through the adversities thrown at us. If ever there’s a nation that can laugh at itself and embrace the bad things in life, it’s the Scots. Some of the funniest men on the planet have come from Scotland, from Billy Connolly to Kevin Bridges.”
Macleod added: “We have a history of being sociable but sometimes modern life leaves us stressed, anxious, worried and depressed. Scotland’s Happiness Day is a day to connect with our legacy and connect with our happiness potential.”