Thursday, October 18, 2007
The (scientific) pursuit of happiness
It seems that happiness, like health, is not what you have, but something you do.
In November 2005 I watched a BBC2 TV series by the psychologist Dr Richard Stevens, called "Making Slough Happy". He showed that you can increase your happiness in practical ways, and he demonstrated them on volunteers in Slough. It worked, even for the grumpies.
For more background, please click on the title below - but you may prefer to start the program straight away.
1. Take half an hour of exercise three times a week
2. Count your blessings. At the end of each day, reflect on at least five things you are grateful for
3. Have an hour-long, uninterrupted, conversation with your partner or closest friends each week
4. Plant something: even if it’s in a window box or pot. Keep it alive!
5. Cut your TV viewing by half
6. Smile at and say hello to a stranger at least once a day
7. Make contact with at least one friend or relation you have not been in contact with for a while and arrange to meet
8. Have a good laugh at least once a day
9. Give yourself a treat every day. Take time to really enjoy this
10. Do an extra good turn for someone each day