10 Keys to Happier Living and a Great Dream.

20 Mar 2016

To celebrate this year's International Day of Happiness, Vanessa King from Action for Happiness has written today's blog which I hope you'll find interesting. Kind regards. Caroline. The Moodscope Team.

I've asked hundreds if not thousands of people the question: "If you had to choose one thing, you ultimately want from life or hope for those you care about, what would that be?" The answer is always the same: "I want to be happy or I want them to be happy." Yet when I then ask: "What does that mean in terms of your the way you live your life, your daily actions and ways of thinking?" people are always less clear.

The good news is that psychological research into what helps us lead happier, flourishing lives has exploded in the last few years, but if it stays in ivory towers and academic journals what good is that? That's why I was excited to write a book on 'Action for Happiness' 10 Keys to Happier Living – ten areas the science shows we can take action in our day-to-day lives to help us become happier and stay that way and that can also help us cope when times are tough.

I describe the 10 Keys as the 'active ingredients' in happiness. A lot of different factors or circumstances can impact how happy we feel and not all of those are in our control. Yet there's strong psychological evidence to suggest that for wellbeing we need a sense of control. So the 10 Keys to Happier Living are the areas science suggests we are most likely to have control to take action.

Importantly it's a menu not a prescription and there's room to think how each key applies for you. We're all different, so what works for each of us varies. It will also vary at different times too. When things are going well it's good to know how we can maintain that and when we're struggling other actions can help us pull through. Give different actions a go with a spirit of experimentation - you never really know what will work for you until you try it – you might be surprised! The Keys have already helped people around the world to make a difference - for themselves; in schools, colleges and universities; in workplaces, communities and healthcare settings.

The book is really practical. Each chapter focuses on one key with an accessible look at the science behind it, why it matters and how it works. There are questions to reflect on and, importantly, lots of evidence-based new ideas for action. Whether you read it from cover to cover or just dip in, I hope there's something for everyone.

The acronym for the 10 Keys to Happier Living is GREAT DREAM. It's my dream that the book inspires readers to take action to become happier and contribute to a happier world.

Vanessa King

Board Member and Lead Positive Phsychology Expert.

Action for Happiness.

10 Keys to Happier Living – A Practical Handbook for Happiness by Vanessa King is out now (Headline £12.99). Find out more here: http://www.actionforhappiness.org/ten-keys-to-happier-living-book

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