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


Be a Happiness Activist

The research from positive psychology is very empowering. It shows that our actions can have a big impact, not only on our own well-being but on the happiness of those around us.

Being a Happiness Activist is about putting happiness - our own and other people's - at the heart of our philosophy of life. It's about working together, spreading the word, and 'being the change we want to see in the world'.

What should be the goal of my life?

What should be the goal of my life? It is perhaps the most important question of all but one that many of us struggle to answer. Should it be to make sure we have the best life possible? Or to have the most successful career? Or to achieve fame and recognition?

We think there's a very simple answer: we should be aiming to produce as much happiness and as little unhappiness in the world as we can.

It's a very simple idea and one that goes back to 18th century enlightenment thinking. But if more of us really made this part of our philosophy of life then the world would undoubtedly be a better, happier place to live.

The beautiful thing about this idea is that it's good for everyone. It involves us recognising that our happines is connected to that of the people around us. When we do things that make others happier, this has the benefit of boosting our own well-being too. And when we do things that make us feel positive and happy, this spreads contagiously to the people around us - our friends, families, neighbours, colleagues and even strangers we meet.

How can I be a Happiness Activist?

Being a Happiness Activist involves choosing to live in a way that promotes happiness, not just for ourselves but for the people we love and the people we meet. It means approaching life in a positive, loving and collaborative way - being a force for good rather than a voice of cynicism, criticism or selfishness.

As Happiness Activists we can use the 10 Keys to Happier Living to encourage positive living in all parts of our lives: at home, at our child's school, at work, in our local community and beyond.

Being a Happiness Activist also means caring deeply about alleviating pain and suffering in the world around us and taking positive action to help reduce unhappiness. This could mean helping people struggling with anxiety and depression, working to rebuild broken relationships, making people feel valued at work or reaching out to friends and neighbours in need.

Why happiness ?

"We all want to be happy and we want the people we love to be happy. Happiness means feeling good about our lives and wanting to go on feeling that way. Unhappiness means feeling bad and wanting things to change"

Richard Layard

Lord Richard Layard
Founder, Action for Happiness

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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%.