12/04/2011 06:08 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Happiness Is A Switched-Off Mobile Phone

There are lots of things that might make you happy. But are material possessions really among them? If you're not really convinced that a new car, a wardrobe full of designer clothes or the latest electronic wizardry are the keys to happiness, you may be interested to hear about Action for Happiness, a new global movement that's being officially launched today.

dalai-lama-action-for-happiness Action for Happiness member: the Dalai Lama. Photo: Getty Images, Mario Tama

Co-founded by Richard Laylard, a London School of Economics professor, and counting the Dalai Lama among its members, Action for Happiness claims material wealth is not what makes people truly happy.

Instead, it recommends simple things such as thinking positive and taking a break from your mobile phone. Action for Happiness offers ten practical keys for happier living, including doing things for other people, taking care of your body, noticing the world around you, learning new things and being comfortable with who you are.

"We want Action for Happiness to be a mass movement of people pursuing a better way of life," says Professor Laylard. "Without trying we already have a membership of 4,000 people from 60 countries. That shows the hunger that people have for a better way of living. They feel that a better way of life must be possible. And the scientific evidence shows they are right."

Is Professor Laylard right? Does happiness have little or nothing to do with material wealth? Are we no happier today than we were 50 or 60 years ago, when we were substantially less wealthy than we are today?

Find out more about the movement and join up yourself at

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