Free hugs, group meditation, positive slogans and inspirational speeches marked the launch of Action for Happiness at Jerwood Hall yesterday. The new charity "is a movement of people committed to building a happier society".
Whilst some may find 'guerilla hugs' invasive and revulse at the idea of 'happiness activists' trying to brighten up their day, Action for Happiness has 10 sound ideas for improving happiness on a micro level. Simply, it's about remembering to say thank you to people and doing small things for others (making tea for two, instead of just one, for instance; white no sugar, please!) Acts that reduce local loneliness and isolation, whether at work or on your street, and shift focus away from material things are good. It's also about self-improvement and affirmation, striving to be comfortable with who you are.
The launch is timely, given we could all do with a injection of positivity contemplating the current economic and political climate. It will also come in handy for David Cameron's advisers tasked with introducing the 'happiness index' as a measure of how well the country's doing.
There's lots of enthusiasm around the hashtag #AfHlaunch and plenty of scepticism at large. But what practical acts would increase your portion of happiness in and around your London? Have your say on our Facebook page.
Action for Happiness is part of The Young Foundation, based in Bethnal Green, which "brings together insights, innovation and entrepreneurship to meet social needs" and whose success stories include the Open University and Which?
Image by Simon-K via the Londonist Flickrpool