How many steps to happiness?
May 12, 2011 § 3 Comments
Since 1970, the UK’s GDP has doubled, but people’s satisfaction with life has hardly changed. (NEF) Evidence-based approaches to well-being are emerging and there are a plethora of initiatives and groups transforming those insights into policy and public health campaigns. Recently the Action for Happiness campaign was launched. With a manifesto in the Guardian by one of the directors, Mark Williamson and a smashing website by Public Zone, yet another positive trumpet call has been sent to take care of our well-being. So, what are the suggested means to that end? Below is a rapid countdown from ten of some tactics to gain happiness from current to ancient thinking. Each suggestion is the outcome of volumes of research and wisdom….
10 – Action for Happiness – keys to happier living:
With the handy mneumonic “GREAT DREAM”: We have Giving, Relating, Exercising, Appreciating, Trying Out; Direction, Resilience, Emotion, Acceptance, Meaning. Image below. Read more about these here.
5 – New Economics Foundation – ways to well-being
Check out this report on evidence-based approaches to well-being by the New Economics Foundation published in 2008. There’a wealth of evidence-based reports on that site. They have distilled a huge amount of research into the following:
Connect, Be active, Take notice, Keep Learning, Give
3 – A summary of the Dharma
Or maybe the summary of all the teachings of the Buddhas might be easier to remember:
Commit not a single unwholesome action,
Cultivate a wealth of virtue,
To tame this mind of ours,
This is the teaching of all the buddhas.
1 – The Golden Rule
As Karen Armstrong explains in her TED talk, the emotion of compassion is the vital central point of all the great terditions:
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
<1 – Richard Wiseman’s 59 seconds
If you’d rather have a time-based approach check out the book 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, which seeks to expose self-help myths by presenting scientifically proven techniques to help you in less than a minute.
It’s a great disservice to list these without detailing each in better depth. I hope to expand on this in future entries.
Are lists and bullet points helpful at all do you think? What other lists are there out there? Schlep your ideas into a comment below.