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What really makes us happy? Thursday March 20, 2014

This year Moodscope are partnering with Action for happiness to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Happiness. I hope you'll all join in. Here's what it's all about:

If you ask parents what they want above all for their children, nearly all of them say something like "I just want them to be happy". Happiness is the thing we want the most for the people we love the most.

But the problem is that our happiness has been hijacked. We're bombarded with false images of happiness. Advertisers say it comes from buying their products. Celebrities and the media pretend it comes with fame or beauty. And politicians tell us that nothing matters more than growing the economy.

I could point to many studies confirming how wrong this all is - lasting happiness does not come from what we consume, how we look or how much we earn. But, let's be honest, you knew that already!

Today is the United Nations International Day of Happiness ( To celebrate this special day, Action for Happiness ( is running a global campaign with support from over 40 organisations and many thousands of people around the world. Their mission is to show the world what happiness really looks like - and in doing so, to reclaim happiness back from the advertisers, celebrities, media and others who try to manipulate us.

Here's how you can get involved...

Step 1: Find. Look through your photos right now for a picture of something that really made you happy.

Step 2: Capture. When something makes you happy today or in the coming days, remember to take a photo of it.

Step 3: Share. Share your images of happiness with others using the #happinessday hashtag (e.g. via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc)

People have already shared hundreds of great photos of what makes them happy - and you can see a collection of these on this inspiring wall of happiness ( Unlike the fake images in adverts and magazines, these authentic photos help to remind us of what really matters. We may not be able to change the world overnight, but together we can share a vision of happiness which is far more real that the one we're sold.

So why not take a moment to find (or take) a picture of something that makes you happy and share it right now. It might be profound, or perhaps profoundly silly! But however small and personal, the fact that you have noticed it makes it quite important enough.

Let's focus on the things that really matter. Let's reclaim happiness.

Mark Williamson

Dr Mark Williamson is director of Action for Happiness, a movement of people taking action to help build happier communities, families, schools and workplaces.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Lex McKee Thu, Mar 20th 2014 @ 7:21am

Looking eccentrically over my desk, I've a picture of the UK DJ and Presenter, Kenny Everett. I'm not sure Kenny was ever truly happy but he brought joy to multitudes of people. Fame didn't 'do' it for him - but documentaries suggest walking in nature was a real haven of happiness for him. Furthermore, he introduced me to the higher dimension of the smiley-fruit: the banana. Whenever I see a banana (I don't have to eat one to get the benefit), I think of Kenny and I smile.

I'd be very pleased to take on the advertisers, celebrities and whole materialistic myth to challenge this unholy trinity's claim on happiness. Let there be a revolution of smiles!

Anonymous Thu, Mar 20th 2014 @ 9:32am

Happy happiness day everyone!

I've found an app called 'happier' which encourages photo taking and sharing them every day. It's a really nice positive alternative to social media. Plus, when you're having a bad day, there's a bank of other people's happy moments to look at.

The thing that's made me smile today... My daffodils in my kitchen window box are in bloom, all facing away from me, apart from one cheeky daffodil peeking through the kitchen window. And it's the first day of spring. Lovely.

Mary Thu, Mar 20th 2014 @ 11:12am

You just can't beat a roadside verge full of dancing daffodils!

Anonymous Thu, Mar 20th 2014 @ 12:31pm

Thanks so much for posting this. Everyone's lovely pics made a good day even better !! Think of 5 things that make you feel grateful every day. I am finding that this works really well for me and the more you do it the more effective it is. Thank you all for your happy comments. The spring flowers make me feel happpy and I just noticed the new leaves beginning to grow on the trees.

Quacko Fri, Mar 21st 2014 @ 3:25am

Going to work on this- great idea. I take random photos all the time. Will put a little more focus on the happy aspect.

Diana Sat, Mar 22nd 2014 @ 12:48pm

I nearly got 'beaten ' by such Mary, as I took my camera specially to take their photo, and as it was a sloping verge....say no more ! So lucky -
as been doing Pilates of late, so my balance is good.

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