Sure, it sounds like an oxymoron, but Monday is the International Day of Happiness and the first day of spring. So smile, because winter is officially over, even if it doesn't feel like it in some areas.

The United Nations established International Day of Happiness to "recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world." Celebrations have been held on March 20 each year since 2013.

This year, the UN is using the Smurfs to promote its 17 sustainable development goals on the International Day of Happiness. Because nothing says "happy" like cartoons that were popular in the 1980s, right?

Self-described happiness expert Geoff Soloway says people can learn to be happier by focusing on the moment and relishing their positive experiences.

"We can train ourselves to be more mindful, more present in the moment," Soloway told CTV News Channel on Monday. "When we do that we can actually notice positive experiences when they're happening, because often we miss them."

Soloway, whose MindWell U organization offers online training in mindfulness, said there are three ways to become happier:

  1. Notice positive experiences and happy moments, no matter how small;
  2. explore the positive experiences once you notice them; and
  3. linger in the positive experiences so that they fully register.

"You need to notice these positive moments that are always happening," Soloway said.

Many Twitter users shared messages of happiness on Monday. 

But with International Day of Happiness on the first day of the work week, many were not feeling the good vibes.