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Would you like to be part of creating a happier society? Do you care about the happiness of others around you? If so please join us, add your pledge and take action - at home, at school, at work or in your community. Together we can create a better, happier future.

I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me

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What's it all about?

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Action for Happiness is a movement for positive social change. We're bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone.

For fifty years we've aimed relentlessly at higher incomes. But despite being much wealthier, we're no happier than we were five decades ago. At the same time we've seen an increase in wider social issues, including a worrying rise in anxiety and depression in young people. It's time for a positive change in what we mean by progress.

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Actions to create a happier society

HAPPINESS IDEAS

The Science of Happiness with Dr Tal Ben-Shahar

Join us for a fascinating evening with renowned author and lecturer Dr Tal Ben-Shahar as he explores the science of happiness and shares practical tools for a happy and fulfilling life.

7pm, 31 July 2014

Camden Centre, London

Find out more and book tickets

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Exclusive preview screening of new feature film starring Simon Pegg, followed by discussion with Suzy Greaves (Psychologies), Nic Marks (Happiness Works) and Mark Williamson (Action for Happiness).

6pm, 11 Aug 2014

May Fair Hotel - Theatre

Find out more and book tickets


DO HAPPINESS

Do Happiness is a unique new online programme that sends you special actions designed to boost your happiness and help make others around you happier too.

Sign up today to get six weeks of happy Do's, tailored for you!

Spread the word

Want to support the Action for Happiness movement and make a difference?

Why not order some free copies of our Ten Keys to Happier Living postcard and share them in your local community groups, public buildings, organisations, schools, events, festivals - or just hand them out to family, friends and colleagues.

Find out more and order yours

Our poster series

Everyone's path to happiness is different. But our review of the latest research has found 10 Keys to Happier Living.

Download and share our free series of posters on the 10 keys to happiness!

RESOURCES

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HAPPINESS FACTS

Happiness is good for your heart

Harvard School of Public Health examined 200 separate research studies on psychological wellbeing and cardiovascular health.

Optimism and positive emotion were found to provide protection against cardiovascular disease, to slow progression of heart disease and reduce risk, by around 50%, of experiencing a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack.

Together we're stronger

Having a network of social connections or high levels of social support has been shown to increase our immunity to infection, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older.

Not having close personal ties has been shown to pose significant risks for our health.

Happiness is contagious

Our happiness influences the people we know and the people they know.

Research shows that the happiness of a close contact increases the chance of being happy by 15%. The happiness of a 2nd-degree contact (e.g. friend's spouse) increases it by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%.

Mindfulness changes your brain

Recent research has shown that an 8 week mindfulness meditation class can lead to structural brain changes including increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.

Happiness: a skill you can learn

Western neuroscience has now confirmed what Eastern wisdom has known for a long time: happiness is a skill we can learn.

Research shows that happiness, compassion and kindness are the products of skills that can be learned and enhanced through training, thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brains.

Giving is good for you

When we give to others it activates the areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust.

Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins in the brain and boosts happiness for us as well as the people we help. Studies have shown that giving money away tends to make people happier than spending it on themselves.

Optimism helps us achieve our goals

Research shows that people who are optimistic tend to be happier, healthier and cope better in tough times.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined"
- Henry David Thoreau

Positive emotions make us more resilient

Our emotions affect our long term well-being. Research shows that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio with negative ones leads to a tipping point beyond which we naturally become more resilient to adversity and better able to achieve things.

Happier people live longer

Happiness doesn't just feel good. A review of hundreds of studies has found compelling evidence that happier people have better overall health and live longer than their less happy peers.

Anxiety, depression, pessimism and a lack of enjoyment of daily activities have all been found to be associated with higher rates of disease and shorter lifespans

Our happiness is not set in stone

Although our genes influence about 50% of the variation in our personal happiness, our circumstances (like income and environment) affect only about 10%.

As much as 40% is accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference.

Happiness leads to success

Most people think that if they become successful, then they'll be happy. But recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience show that this formula is backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.

When we're positive, our brains are more motivated, engaged, creative, energetic, resilient, and productive.

NEWS

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