In this brief blog, we will discuss action for happiness.
What is Action for happiness?
Action for Happiness (AfH) is a UK based charity which looks to improve the level o happiness in people by supporting people from anywhere in the world find and achieve new heights of happiness.
Action for happiness looks to bring together all sorts of people from different walks of life and society.
It encourages them to take action to improve their quality of life and find better happiness.
The main person behind Action for happiness is Dalai Lama. As of today the action for happiness group has over one hundred ad fifty thousand users from all over the world.
They encourage these people to do things which improve their quality of life and happiness by using research-backed methods.
Action for happiness has over one million followers on Facebook.
Action for happiness states that their belief of our pursuit in happiness can be achieved by following once concept with the acronym called GREAT DREAM.
The G stands for Giving: do things for others
The R stands for relating: connect with people
The E stands for exercising: Take care of your body
The A stands for awareness: live life mindfully
The T stands for trying out: Keep trying new things
The D stands for direction: have goals to look forward to
The R stands for resilience: Find ways to bounce back
The E stands for emotions: Look for whats good
The A stands for acceptance: be comfortable with who you are
The M stands for meaning: Be part of something bigger
Action for happiness has been both praised and criticized for its views on how we can find happiness.
The approach that happiness can be gained by just focussing on the individual who has to adjust the way they think and find the positives in life has been heavily criticized by the British media… namely the guardian newspaper.
The guardian argued that this positive psychology move would make people who had come through their troubles be very happy and proud of themselves but those people who do not make it through their struggles will, therefore, blame themselves for their lack of happiness.
The major flaw in the action for happiness model, the guardian claims.
The guardian heavily argued that action for happiness had gotten this incredibly wrong and that the way they were going about things didn’t take into account the social context.
The guardian said “A person’s ability to make changes in their lives depends not only on the individual but on their social context – whether they have supportive relationships, a reasonable income and so on.
Unfortunately, we have a tendency to attribute a person’s behaviour to individual factors such as intelligence or moral strength, rather than their social contexts such as poverty or child abuse.
This is such a common research finding that psychologists have a term for it: the fundamental attribution error.
If psychologists accept Layard’s invitation, they could be at risk of making this error themselves.
Plans aimed at increasing individual resilience may have the unintended side-effects of increasing the self-blame of those who struggle in adversity, and supporting social policies experienced by some poor people as “victim blaming”.
To increase happiness we need firm action on inequality, rather than this vague Action for Happiness. “
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Action for happiness app
Action for happiness has also released an app which is available on the Google play store or the apple store.
The action for happiness app will:
“ Gives you friendly ‘nudges’ with an action idea each day
Sends you inspiring messages to give you a boost
Helps you connect & share ideas with like-minded people “
If you are suffering from, a lack of happiness, depression, anxiety, loneliness or any similar mental health issue then seeking help for it may be a good option.
Mental health issues such as depression, loneliness and anxiety can affect anyone of us.
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.
If you are under 18 then CAMHS, an NHS run programme may just be the answer for your mental health struggles.
You should look to see if you meet the CAMHS referral criteria and then fill in the CAMHS referral form.