Action for happiness course (a brief guide)

In the following guide, you will find information about the action for the happiness course, its components and objectives. In the end, you will also find a brief critical commentary to reflect on this proposal. 

Action for happiness course

Action for happiness course is a proposal that seeks, in a unique and inspiring way, to help people through some weekly activities to explore what impacts on happiness and on getting a meaningful life. It is a movement that has been promoted by a group of people interested in the subject for several years. 

According to the principles of the proposal, which are set out on the website of this movement, action for happiness course is a short program of 8 weeks through which it is expected that people reach a number of achievements, especially related to reflection on some aspects that the proposal values as very significant when thinking about the issue of happiness. 

Action for happiness course: what is expected from people

Through this proposal, it is hoped that people will find the space to share, develop certain skills and generate new ideas. 

Firstly, action for happiness course seeks to give people the opportunity to meet others who are similar to them and that from this affinity certain reflections can also be built. Ideally, meeting similar people will help participants to think about what is really important. 

Is this also important to you? Why is this activity so important to you? should I do the same? In the meeting with other people, it is usual that certain concerns are activated in us that otherwise would not be.

Through contact with other people, similar and also different from us, we have the opportunity to see the world in other ways. We have the opportunity to observe life and what happens from different perspectives, which perhaps we would not have thought of because we retain a certain consistency. 

On the other hand, action for the happiness course seeks to help people learn, from some experts, mindfulness exercises and other very concrete tools that will help them move forward on their way to a more satisfactory life. It is hoped that, through the course and what is proposed each week, people will be able to integrate these tools into an appropriate and easy way into their lives. 

In addition to the above, one of the principles of action for the happiness course is that people have to start taking concrete actions in their lives in order to achieve real changes. Every week, then, action for happiness course proposes a space to define what actions can be taken to create happiness for oneself and also for the people around you. 

Action for happiness course: a series of topics of interest 

Action for happiness course proposes, during each week, a different theme that will be the focus of the work session (which lasts up to 2 hours), and around which those small actions we mentioned a moment ago will be built. We will then review each of these themes and reflect on what they might imply within the structure of the course. 

What really matters in life

This is a topic that, during week 1, action for happiness course proposes as a question that serves as a starting point. It is assumed that this reflection makes sense insofar as there are many important things in life, of course, but which of them matter more when we talk about gaining well-being and greater happiness? 

In the face of this question, many people will find themselves with different answers, which could guide us in the future in the type of actions they should take if they want to be happier. Not everything is crucial, when we talk about happiness and well-being, there will be some of the things we have as important that may not be so important.

It is also possible that we have not sufficiently valued some aspect or aspects of our lives, so by leaving them out of the picture we are missing the opportunity to improve our quality of life and gain in well-being. 

What makes us really happy 

Have you ever wondered about this? Above all, the focus of the action for happiness course is that there are many times when we confuse what is socially valued with what is individually important to us. It may be that on a social level, for example, earning more money is promoted as a way to become happier. 

Is that true? Is it that our attitude, or the external elements that can influence our happiness, is more important? This type of questioning is proposed for the second week of the action for the happiness course, and it is hoped that with it people will be able to broaden their outlook on the possibilities they have of becoming happier. 

Finding peace of mind: some strategies for handling moments of adversity

We all have, at some point, situations that make us feel low. It is normal that life has its changes and with them our feelings and emotions. The aim of this topic is to teach people how to deal with this type of difficulty in a practical way. 

Since life will always have certain difficulties, it is best to prepare in the best way to improve our reaction to them. Resilience, at this point, becomes very important, as does the ability to recover and restore well-being that was threatened by some circumstance. 

The way we treat other people 

This is another aspect that action for happiness takes as relevant. We are not alone, even though today’s society and way of life largely promote individuality. Is that adequate? What do we gain when an individualistic lifestyle is proposed? And what do we lose? In this space, we seek to reflect on these issues. 

It is common that when talking about happiness, the theme of altruism and compassion takes on relevance, those elements that are always played out in relation to others. Given the above, it is important to think about how much of this is part of our basic nature, or if we have promoted it through elements of the cultural level that did not exist before. 

How to achieve better interpersonal relationships

It is very clear, as it has been mentioned in different contexts, that human beings are a social species, so for us, it is very relevant to interact with other people if what we achieve through them. If we are going to talk about happiness, it is definitely necessary to talk about what makes our interpersonal relationships more satisfactory. 

As it is promoted throughout the structure of action for the happiness course, the aim is that this type of reflection always ends up in practical proposals to put into practice. Thus, during this week of the course, people will learn what they can do to improve their interpersonal relationships in a practical way. This would be, then, another step or way to achieve greater happiness and well-being. 

Can we be happier at work? 

Work is a very important part of our lives and, in fact, we spend a lot of time on it. During this week, the course participants are encouraged to reflect on this problem, since it is common for many people to perceive work as a source of stress and frustration. 

Could this be different? Could organizations benefit in any way if their employees are happier? What could organizations do to achieve this? Again, it is a matter of thinking of practical tools to help take action that will tend to improve this situation. 

If we spend so much time at work, and it is so important in our lives, why not do it in such a way that our quality of life and well-being will benefit? 

Communities must also be happier

On the other hand, during the course, people will come to a point where they must think about what actions should be taken to make the community they are in happier. Not only does happiness matter on an individual level, since we have seen that individualism has some negative consequences. 

There are a number of actions that can be put in place so that, at the community level, people experience greater well-being and feel more satisfied with their lives. What could those actions be? 

A happier world

At the end of the course, a reflection is proposed on how happy the world is in general, and whether this could be improved. Why should we worry only about ourselves and those who are close to us? When the world is happier, there is more equity and well-being, right? 

During this week, the course ends and we try to recover all that we have been learning so that we can think about what would be the best way to live, the actions that should be carried out, so that each person can contribute to making the world, in general, happier and have more well-being. 

Is all this possible? A review of the proposed action for happiness course

In an article in The Guardian, David Harper states, in the context of the analysis of what action for happiness course proposes, that happiness is not something that is only in the hands of people (on an individual level). What does Harper mean? 

Basically, this statement is based on a critique of the action for the happiness course model and its principles. Harper argues that there are two errors in the way this approach conceives of happiness, and for this reason, the promises of the course could be very volatile. 

First, Harper mentions that one misconception is that the source of unhappiness is only in people’s heads. Is this really the case? Do we only need to change what is in our minds to see the world in a better way? Harper claims that this is not the case and that a number of simply misconceptions result from this. 

The second misconception is that the solution for change is at the level of the individual. This is related to the previous one. If there is a misreading in my head, should I just change it to be happier? Harper opposes this idea and invites us to reflect on whether achieving happiness is really that simple. 

What do you think? What about all the elements that get out of hand and affect the way we feel? We’re not alone in the world, and that has its implications. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion 

Action for happiness course is an 8-week proposal, with two-hour sessions, focused on acquiring practical tools to achieve greater happiness and well-being. It seeks to get people to reflect on different issues that are relevant, and from there take concrete actions for change.

This proposal has received some criticism, one of which states that the conception of happiness of the proposal in question is wrong and that they give rise to false ideas about how to achieve happiness, or what this means. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about action for happiness course 

What defines happiness?

Happiness is the opposite of sadness, it implies a feeling of well-being and satisfaction with your life and with the actions you are carrying out. 

What causes happiness?

There are some chemical substances that generate the feeling of happiness, at a cerebral level. Among them are oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. 

How do you create happiness?

Some ways to obtain happiness are: do what you like best, share with the people you love most, accept yourself and stop fighting against what you cannot change, among others.

Is happiness an emotion?

Happiness is usually used in the context of human emotions and affective states that characterize us as a species. 

What is happiness in psychology?

In psychology, happiness is defined as a feeling of well-being, satisfaction, and balance between personal goals and their fulfillment. 


Recommended resources

  1. 50 Ways to Feel Happy: Fun activities and ideas to build your happiness skills
  2. The 6-Minute Diary | 6 Minutes a Day for more Mindfulness, Happiness and Productivity | A simple and effective Gratitude Journal and Undated Daily Planner
  3. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill

References

  1. The sad truth about the Action for Happiness movement. David Harper
  2. A is for The Action For Happiness Movement
  3. Happiness: A Very Short Introduction

Was this post helpful?