Action for Happiness - The Dalai Lama can't be wrong!

The Keys to Happier Living program, developed for primary students, is based on the GREATDREAM model by Action for Happiness, ‘a movement for positive social change, with the goal of happiness for everyone …’.  The model is underpinned by a wealth of research evidence from the field of Positive Psychology.  The Dalai Lama is the Patron of Action for Happiness and endorses this Program. 

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions". - Dalai Lama

Recent decades have seen big increases in the proportion of young people with emotional and behavioural issues. Mental health problems are increasingly prevalent, with 20% of children experiencing such issues each year. These problems affect other areas of a child's life and also increase the likelihood of mental health difficulties later on in adult life.

Why is this important?

The incidence of stress, anxiety and depression in children, young people and adults alike is increasing, and social cohesion is decreasing.  Material and financial progress has not diminished the stress that many experience in today’s world. The good news is that research shows that ‘intentional activity’ accounts for 40% of the differences in our happiness levels, suggesting that we can consciously make changes and implement a range of actions in order to feel happier.  We can all train ourselves to feel happier by practicing the skills of happier living, laying down new neural pathways until (with regular practice) our actions become second nature. 

Why the focus on Happiness?

Happiness is a ‘complex, longer term integration of positive and negative emotions into a coherent and deep sense of life satisfaction rather than a temporary sense of elation and the absence of negative emotions.’

Happiness is not a static state and the evidence from neuroscientists’ research is that, thanks to the neuroplasticity of the brain, intentional activity can lead to our happier living.

Happier students are more likely to 

·      achieve better academically, 

·      be more able to bounce back from adversity, 

·      manage their emotions better, 

·      be more compassionate towards others, 

·      be successful in their life satisfaction,

·      be happier adults.

"A fantastic toolkit which has been shown to bring considerable benefits. Teachers will especially appreciate the huge array of ideas and creative resources. This program fills a vitally important gap in our schools and I highly recommend it" ~ Sir Anthony Seldon

"Provides a wide variety of stimulating and creative ideas for developing skills that support happier living and wellbeing into the lives of pupils and parents/carers" ~ PSHE Association

"My daughter came home with her happier living journal and I would just like to compliment it. Wellbeing is so key. I love the fact that my children are being taught such things at school". Parent

“Schools experience the day-to-day reality of these issues but are also vital in combating them and promoting good emotional health. Our vision is for a movement of schools placing happiness and well-being at the heart of their ethos and culture, and proactively sharing their approaches with others.” Action for Happiness

The Keys to Happier Living Program is run over an eight week period. It involves students discovering the strategies to implement their own wellbeing and practicing these strategies. The program has a set of resources for students, teachers and parents and Jo would be keen to talk to you about delivering the program in your school. For further information, including costs, check out the website here

Jo Opie