Monday, February 15, 2010

More on happiness

Some time ago I wrote about the Happiness Tsar, and my second list on health and wellbeing reminded of him, because the list comes from the BBC who did a large-scale experiment on increasing the happiness and emotional wellbeing of a whole town. They also developed a happiness manifesto from which the following steps are taken:

1. Get physical - exercise for half an hour three times a week
2. Count your blessings - at the end of each day, reflect on at least five things you're grateful for.
3. Talk time - have an hour-long uninterrupted conversation with your partner or closest friend each week.
4. Plant something - even if it's a window box or pot plant. Keep it alive!
5. Cut your TV viewing in half.
6. Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger - at least once a day.
7. Phone a friend - make contact with at least one friend or relation you have not been in contact with for a while and arrange to meet up.
8. Have a good laugh at least once a day.
9. Every day make sure you give yourself a treat - take time to really enjoy this.
10. Daily kindness - do an extra good turn for someone each day.

My only quibble with some of these is that they assume a certain lifestyle already - it may not be possible for some people to treat themselves each day; nor might having a good laugh be a possibility. That aside, it isn't a bad list.

In the photo, Regina Spektor reacts to the welcome given her by the fans at the opening of her set.

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