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Making Tooting Happy!- TTT First Tuesday Event 1st May 2012

TTT First Tuesday event 1.5.12
 Making Tooting Happy!

After a welcome and update on what we have been up to this month by Charles, Belinda and Hilary talked about some of the events designed around wellbeing that are being held this year: The Treasuring Tooting Walk, The Wellbeing shop and Pop up kindness activities being run throughout Tooting. Please see

The group then explored a few ideas about happiness such as
What did we think about trying to improve happiness?
And then in pairs discussed the things that made us happy. A short feedback identified that satisfying our basic needs such as safety and home were essential; including having comfortable things that made us feel safe such as a warm blanket, favourite old teddy. This was closely followed by having time to spend reflecting, relationships and connecting with others. A few risky sports were cited as they brought joy and elation!

An interesting discussion ensued about money, wealth and happiness with a reflection on these things were important to happiness at one time, but perhaps other interests such as gardening had over taken.

Interspersed along the way was some interesting evidence and debate about

The range of interconnecting factors influences people’s health and wellbeing.

Its not money!
At approximately the £60K household earnings level, stress increases and the household earning level of £40K- a UK median percentile is a sort of ceiling of happiness, over which people are not really any happier.

The WHO states “health as being a complete state of mental, physical, social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO 1946).

Wellbeing is often defined as thriving within the world, having a perceived good quality of life and achieving optimal human potential: living rather than existing.

The New Economics Foundation recognises that “ Wellbeing is more than just happiness. As well as feeling satisfied and happy, it means “developing as a person, being fulfilled and making a contribution to society”.

Wellbeing is important not only for our psychological states but also for our physiological state. Helping or buffering the negative affects of stress and anxiety. It is suggested that positive emotion experiences were associated with greater resistance to developing the common cold

The group acknowledged that connecting and social relationships were crucial to human wellbeing; studies suggest, it is the number 1 factor that increases our happiness, partly because Oxytocin, (Hormone secreted when humans bond) counterbalances the effects of stress through human socializing and touch and because being pro- social is an adaptive function that helped us survive in early human development.

We acknowledged the need to build in more social connections and hugging in our lives to help us thrive in our lives.

On the subject of connecting, Jane very kindly shared the inspirational and touching journey she has made through her recycling and working at Age Concern, which encapsulated the idea of happiness coming from connecting.

Finally we managed to squeeze in a bit more understanding of how we could apply some of the science on wellbeing to ourselves through playing the diy happiness game which gave us tips such as complimenting someone, speaking to our neighbours, identifying things we appreciate in ourselves and things we are grateful for.


Coggins, T., Cooke, A., Friedli, L., Nicholls, J., Scott- Samuel, A., Stansfield, J, (2007) Mental Wellbeing impact assessment: A toolkit. CSIP NWDC

Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Turner, R. B., Alper, C. M., & Skoner, D. P. (2003). Emotional style an
Susceptibility to the common cold. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 652-657.

Dickerson, S. S., Kemeny, M.E. (2004) Acute stressors and cortisol responses: A theoretical integration and synthesis of laboratory research. Psychol Bull.;130:355–391. [PubMed]

Keyes, C. L. M. (in press) The mental health continuum: From languishing to flourishing in life. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.

World Health Organisation: (1946) Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.




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