Our movement is about an idea, which if implemented, could uplift the quality of life in our societies.
The idea is that what we want for our society is as much happiness as is possible and, above all, as little misery. And the implication for each of us is that we should aim to create more happiness in the world around us and less misery.
If each of us made this our goal, this would radically improve our societies.
To do it, we can use the new scientific knowledge about the causes of happiness and misery, which adds significantly to ancient wisdom.
We should use this knowledge in whatever way we can to create more happiness in our homes, our workplaces and in our communities.
It should influence how we approach our personal lives,how we bring up our children, how we behave at work and how public policy is made.
And we should always consider the happiness of future generations, as well as our own.
The Exploring What Matters course developed by Action for Happiness – and backed by the Dalai Lama – has been evaluated bya Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) carried out by academic experts from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University and University College London as part of the evidence program of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
The 8 week “Exploring What Matters” course is volunteer-led and has already been attended by 6,000 people in over 250 locations. The content is based on the findings of hundreds of scientific studies relating to happiness and mental wellbeing. Participants learn how to cultivate happiness by taking action in their daily lives, exploring themes such as how to cope with difficult times and be more resilient, how to have good relationships, how to find meaning at work and how to create happier and stronger communities.
The trial was led by Dr Christian Krekel (LSE) and Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Oxford) with additional support from Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL). It found that, relative to a control group, the course provides large and statistically significant benefits in three areas: personal wellbeing, mental health and pro-sociality.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to device what kind of difference you want to make.
~ Jane Goodall
There is a wide range of proven actions we can take to boost happiness, both for ourselves and others. Although partly determined by factors outside our control - such as our genes and circumstances - our happiness is significantly affected by the conscious choices we make and the way we choose to react to what happens to us. Happiness is also contagious, so when we feel good we help make others around us happier too.
Positive relationships are the most important 'external' contributors to happiness. We need to put people first and do everything we can to create positive, loving and collaborative relationships in our families, organisations and communities.
Good mental health is the most important 'internal' contributor to happiness. We need to take care of our emotional and psychological health as well as our physical health and give much greater support to those struggling with anxiety and depression.
Self-centred individualism is not the route to happiness. Helping others is of course good for their happiness, but it also makes us ourselves happier and healthier too. Giving connects us together, provides us with a sense of meaning and makes us more accepting of ourselves and others. It creates stronger communities and helps to build a happier society for everyone.
Stichting Action for Happiness Nederland Foundation – firstname.lastname@example.org – KvK 65305191 – NL68INGB0006 8585 39 – Stay happy ☺️