Review: Action for Happiness

Many thanks to committee member Ann for this review of our meeting on 3rd June. 

Action for Happiness is a charity set up around 10 years ago to promote the scientific understanding of happiness and how we all can lead happier lives.  Members of the movement make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world around them. Our speaker Karen Woodward became involved by attending an in-person training course on the 10 Keys to Happiness (more about this later), after which she started a local group In Bermondsey to spread the word and share the activities of the organisation.  Karen kindly joined SELHUG’s June meeting and, after telling us something about the people and activities of Action for Happiness, ran through with us how her local group works.  She started with an activity whereby everyone shared in a few words how they were feeling and a thing they were grateful for.  With the June heatwave just starting, nature and the outdoors featured in a fair few answers.  We also had a short meditative reflection and watched one of the many short videos available from Action for Happiness on one of the ten Keys.

Finally, Karen spilled the beans on the 10 Keys to Happiness.  And what are they? 

1. Giving, doing things for others

2. Relating, connecting with people

3. Exercising, taking care of your body

4. Awareness, living life mindfully

5. Trying Out, learning new things

6. Direction, having goals to look forward to

7. Resilience, finding ways to bounce back

8. Emotions, looking for what’s good

9. Acceptance, being comfortable with who you are

10. Meaning, being part of something bigger

Research has shown that these 10 Keys to Happier Living consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell “GREAT DREAM”.  Each month Action for Happiness publishes a calendar of ideas of things to do based on one of the 10 keys. June was “Joyful June”.  The calendars and other ideas and resources to enable people to take action at home, at work, in their community (or dare I say, at Humanist meetings!) can be found here.