This month, the third ‘key’ to happiness (we’re focusing on one per month), suggested by our partner Action for Happiness is: exercise. Yes, we all know exercise is good for our bodies but there’s a mountain of scientific evidence* that shows it’s also brilliant for improving self-esteem, raising our mood, decreasing anxiety, and even combatting depression. However, if the thought of joining a gym makes you want to stay in bed, you just need to think about it differently, advises Vanessa King, positive psychology expert at Action for Happiness.
I had a heated debate once with an acquaintance who told me I ought to be happy. Just like that. I should be happy. "What, all the time?" I asked. This person thought, yes, I should be at all times. It was almost like this happiness thing was a physical something that a person could simply obtain and keep. Maybe if I searched in my handbag, I'd find it with the tissues and the crumbs? I'm sure I had it the other day..
Hello from the ski slopes! We finally had our first Happiness Club meeting last week. Three men, five ladies, all relatively local. Everyone knew at least one other person. I was so pleased at how open they were, and they had clearly given it some thought before.There were some really good vegetable crisps from Marks, cheese, and a bit of wine it being a Friday night. So what did we learn from our discussion? So much, but here are few things:
Hello Happiness Explorers! My name is Donna and I have been running the Chelmsford Happiness Project for a year now and it has been a very exciting journey! I started it after finishing my Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychology, where I learnt and fell in love with Happiness Psychology :). I have always wanted to start a community group and thought an Action for Happiness Club would be perfect for me; what's more there wasn't one in the whole of Essex at the time, which was exciting! The first group meeting was in March 2014 and we all made Happiness Jars, while discussing the 10 keys for Happier Living . Since then, the group has lots of new members and over the past year, we have tried lots of FUN things - Basketball, Geo-caching, Forest Bathing and Yoga. Other highlights included a talk to 250 members of the Chelmsford 'New City' Woman's Institute on happiness (sharing the stage with my friend and founder of the Colchester Happiness Project). It was scary but I loved it and the feedback was amazing! I also created a happiness tent during Chelmsford's Fling Festival, where we encouraged people to pop in and take part in happiness activities. Check out my blog for lots of pictures and more info - https://wordpress.com/stats/chelmsfordhappinessproject.wordpress.com x The Chelmsford Happiness Project is now one of Psychologies Magazine's 100 Happiness Clubs! I was really excited about being a part of this, so CHP could connect with other clubs, share ideas, and grow. Most importantly I want CHP to be a part of this experiment to see how we can spread happiness................
I read about the Happiness Club idea in Psychologies magazine when I was on the train home from an overnight Spa break with my sister. I knew instantly that it was something I wanted to do and felt excited straight away. I didn’t have the comedown from the Spa break I expected! I emailed to be one of the Club Founders from the train station waiting for my connecting train home and it made me feel so energised. The feeling I get whenever I do anything to take control of my own happiness is so empowering and exhilarating that I knew I’d love to be in a Happiness Club, committing to each Key to Happiness and discovering along the way how that made me feel. I wanted to find friends to join me as soon as I could and I was delighted that I had 6 friends who said yes. I was ready to plan in the first date when I had an email congratulating me on being a Club Founder! I couldn’t wait to share it with the Club. We set about organising a good day for everyone to meet, which was no mean feat! Eventually we found a date most could commit to – Wednesday 25th February.
It’s the UN’s International Day of Happiness on 20th March, celebrating the fact that ‘the pursuit of happiness is fundamental human goal.’ This year, alongside other Happiness Activists and our partners Action for Happiness, we are encouraging you to connect with friends, colleagues, strangers – this Friday.