A new course to help make Exmouth a happier and more caring place is coming to Exmouth. The idea is to help people discover how to live a happier and kinder life.

Backed by the Dalai Lama, the eight-week course is proven to leave people happier and more likely to help others. The next ‘Exploring What Matters’ course will be hosted at the Kennaway Centre, 10–12 Victoria Road, Exmouth EX8 1DL from Tuesday 25th September 2018.

You can book online here (pay by donation). More details can be found here.

This course has been developed by Action for Happiness, a UK-based movement of people taking action for a happier world, which has over 100,000 members.  It is secular, science-based, and open to people of all backgrounds.

The course is also backed by the Dalai Lama, who says:

“As patron of Action for Happiness I am delighted to see the work being done by members of this movement to create a happier and more caring society.  I wholeheartedly support the Exploring What Matters course and hope that many thousands of people will benefit from it and be inspired to take their own action to help create a happier world.”

Analysis of the course has found that it leaves people both happier and more pro-social, with participants reporting increases in levels of life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, compassion and social trust.  Many say the course is life-changing.

Jasmine Hodge-Lake came to the course having suffered for over a decade with chronic pain, which left her unable to work. She describes how it helped her:

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without Action for Happiness and that course.  I found there were things I could do that would make a big difference and started to feel hopeful about the future.  I still have bad days and life certainly isn’t perfect.  But it has really helped me so much.  Now I’m trying to be the change that I want to see.”

In Exploring What Matters, local groups meet for eight weeks, with each session exploring a big question.  They start with “What really matters in life?” and then “What really makes us happy?” These are followed by sessions on dealing with adversity, having good relationships, caring for others, and creating happier workplaces and communities.  They end with “How can we create a happier world?”

The course is delivered by community volunteers, with materials and support provided by Action for Happiness.  Many hundreds of volunteers have already put themselves forward to run the course and many thousands of people have already taken part, with more courses expected to follow over the coming months and years.

Dawn Andrews, one of the volunteer leaders of the course in Exmouth, said:

“I’m very excited to be a fellow leader for this course because it is chock full of tips, techniques and resources, that help us discover ways to raise our own happiness levels, as well as others – and as a result, contributing to a happier Exmouth!”

Co-founder of Action for Happiness, Professor Lord Richard Layard, said:

“A good society is one where as many people as possible are able to live happy, fulfilling lives.  We hope to see this course happening in thousands of local communities to help like-minded people support each other in taking practical actions, which are not only good for their own wellbeing, but also contribute to the happiness of others around them too”.

The course is being described as a challenge to the promotion of materialism and individual success, which is predominant in Western culture. Director of Action for Happiness, Dr Mark Williamson, said:

“In the modern world we are bombarded with false messages about what makes for a happy life. The Exploring What Matters course helps people discover for themselves that real success has much less to do with what we earn or consume – and much more to do with our inner attitudes, our relationships with others and our contribution to society”.

Action for Happiness is funded by its members and has no commercial, political or religious affiliations. It is a Registered Charity (1175160) and Company Limited by Guarantee (10722435) in England and Wales.

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