Back in June, the Trust encouraged people to take part in the '30 Days Wild' campaign, to discover their 'inner wildness' and to enjoy and take pleasure in the natural world around them. This month I'd personally like to focus on encouraging people to find their inner happiness…

Only a few years ago, in 2011, a new global movement – Action for Happiness – was born, with the Dalai Lama as its patron. It set out to encourage people to take action for a happier and kinder world with the aim of reducing mental ill health – just the thought of that puts a smile on my face!

So what is it all about?

Positive psychologist Vanessa King published her book '10 Keys for Happier Living' to tie in with the launch of the movement. The acronym for the 'ten keys' – or the ten areas where we can make positive changes in our life – is GREAT DREAM. All these areas have sound scientific evidence to prove that they work; that by taking these actions we can improve our mental well-being and help prevent depression and anxiety.

What is the GREAT DREAM?

The acronym spells the following:

G – giving: doing something for others

R – relating: connecting with people

E – exercising: taking care of your body

A – awareness: living life mindfully

T – trying out: keep learning new things


D – direction: having goals to look forward to

R – resilience: finding ways to bounce back

E – emotions: looking for what's good

A – acceptance: being comfortable with who you are

M – meaning: being part of something bigger

Everyone is different and you may find that some actions are easier to do, or achieve, than others – for example, starting to exercise may be easier than accepting without reservation who you are, or doing something kind for someone may be easier than figuring out what goals you might want to set yourself in life. The action list is just a starting point though and you may also find that by doing some of these actions to begin with will help you figure out how to go about achieving the others.

Wellbeing and happiness

Nearly every action in the GREAT DREAM is addressed by the Wellbeing Programme, which provides therapy through nature for people experiencing mental health problems in Wiltshire and Swindon.

The friendly and supportive groups we run focus on getting people out into the environment, helping with nature conservation work, learning new skills, learning about wildlife, building relationships, building confidence, being active; being aware of the natural surroundings and the people around you, working towards a goal, achieving goals, and helping people to move on to other things once they leave the programme. Current participants – and ex-participants – often tell us how it has helped them with their journey of recovery and with their wellbeing.

So what is your GREAT DREAM and what will you do to live a happier life? Feel free to drop us a line and let us know!

The aim of the Wellbeing Programme is to improve people's mental wellbeing. If you feel you would benefit from joining the programme, or know someone who might benefit, do get in touch with us on 01380 736098 or email [email protected].

For more information on Action for Happiness and on the book '10 Keys for Happier Living' visit