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How the Action for Happiness course is changing lives

30 May 2016 | Action for Happiness

In September 2015, our Patron the Dalai Lama helped us launch our 8-week Exploring What Matters course at a big event in London.

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This article shares an update on the roll-out of the course in communities across the UK and beyond. It's still very early days, but we're delighted with how things are going so far. We want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who's been involved so far, especially all the wonderful volunteer course leaders who have given their time and energy so generously.

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Volunteer course leaders

  • 2,500 people have signed up to show interest in leading a course
  • 230 volunteers have gone on to complete our full Leader Registration process

Courses & participants

  • Over 100 courses have been submitted (each is run by two co-leaders) - 25 are complete, 26 are in progress/booking and the remainder are being set up
  • Over 750 participants have taken the course so far (average of 16 per course)

Impact of the course

  • 95% of participants would recommend the course to others
  • 94% say the course has had a Positive impact on their life (vs 5% Neutral, 1% Negative)
  • Participants experience significant increases in Life Satisfaction (+19%), Mental Wellbeing (+12%), Compassion (+9%) and Social Trust (+17%), based on comparing standardised survey measures taken before and after the course.

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But perhaps most important of all are the human stories and personal feedback we receive all the time. Here are a few examples:

"The course has been life changing for me I cannot express how thankful I am that I attended thank you"

~ Judy, participant


"Thank you for the course. I felt very disconnected and shut down from people before but I have a sense now that connecting with others is of equal benefit to me and to them. I have greater sense of equality between all people, and feel more open to people in general, and more inclined to relax and trust others. I'm delighted that I did the course and plan to continue meeting with the group in the future"

~ Tina, course participant


"I just wanted to take this opportunity to say how blown away I've been by the Action for happiness local programme design and set-up by you and your people. I'm helping to run this in Henley. As a full-time coach I thought I knew quite a lot about happiness. It's been life-changing! For me and others on the course. The design is superb and I wanted to let you know and thank you and your team. (I used to design training and this means I'm even more impressed)"

~ Joy, volunteer course leader

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And finally here is a lovely list of things people say they're going to do as a result of the course..

  • "Listen better and invite others views and be considerate of other perspectives"
  • "Keep my work and recharge times in balance, so I can be at my best for myself and others"
  • "Express more gratitude and compassion to myself and others"
  • "Be more mindful in my daily life. Show greater kindness to strangers"
  • "Start volunteering and taking a more active role in my community"
  • "Do more to help others to realise that finding more contentment in life is possible"
  • "Introduce science of happiness into my workplace and run a wellbeing group"
  • "I gave up smoking and alcohol, began actively looking for and applying for new roles, stepped more into myself and who I truly want to be"
  • "Plan to run my own course in the future"
  • "Go out of my way to help others and keep challenging myself"
  • "Definitely have more resilience than when I started the course"
  • "Volunteering a lot more and also taking time to chat to strangers whenever possible"
  • "I am telling others about the course and what I learned on it"
  • "I'm now part of a group from the course who plan to do more for the community"
  • "I have been trying to be more gentle with myself and others"
  • "I feel a stronger sense of responsibility for my own happiness"
  • "I hope to meditate every day and try to see other people's point of view"
  • "I will continue to act with kindness and compassion towards people, but with more confidence and pride that that is a good way to live"
  • "Notice when I am in a defensive mode and try to open out to others more"
  • "I am changing my career and direction in life. I am doing more things for no financial reward. I am connecting with others in my community more"
  • "Make a conscious effort to lead a more meaningful and happy life"
  • "Spread the word about action for Happiness wherever possible"
  • "Take more notice of the good things in life, less stress over silly things"
  • "Think about how I treat other people"
  • "Try to help others more, have more compassion. Have more courage to face more personal difficult issues"


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Click here for full list of currently available courses.

DALAI LAMA SUPPORT

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Watch BBC news coverage about the Exploring What Matters course, including support from our patron the Dalai Lama.

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