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Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and more caring world

Our patron is The Dalai Lama and our members take action to increase wellbeing in their homes, workplaces, schools and local communities. Our vision is a happier world, with fewer people suffering with mental health problems and more people feeling good, functioning well and helping others.

Join the Action for Happiness course

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Ways you can take action

HAPPINESS IDEAS

The Future of Happiness

Join us for a special event on the future of world happiness with the influential economist and happiness expert Prof. Richard Layard.

What really makes us happy? What changes are on the horizon? What are the barriers? And what role can we play to help create a happier world?

Find out more and book tickets

7pm, Tues 25 Sept
Conway Hall, London

Solving the Happiness Equation

Join us for a unique and inspiring evening with Mo Gawdat, the international best-selling author, innovator and happiness thinker.

Mo has discovered an algorithm for happiness which he will share and distill into practical actions which are relevant for all of us.

Find out more and book tickets

7pm, Tues 9 October
Conway Hall, London

Keys to Happier Living Toolkit for Schools

The Keys to Happier Living Toolkit is an engaging, accessible and evidence-based programme to promote the emotional wellbeing and resilience of children aged 7-11.

Using the toolkit has been shown to lead to significant improvements in children's wellbeing. The toolkit has also been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark.

Find out more

Ten Keys to Happier Living

New book from psychology expert Vanessa King, showing how we can unlock the science of happiness, become happier and help create a happier world.

"A wonderful menu for living a happier, more fulfilling and caring life. Strongly recommended"

~ Sir Anthony Seldon

Find out more about the book

Action for Happiness Course

Take our 8-week 'Exploring What Matters' course to discover what really matters for a happy and fulfilling life - together with a group of friendly, like-minded people.

Courses are now running in various locations and many more are planned.

Learn more about the course

Find or request a course near you

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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) by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%.

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.

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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