World's first Museum of Happiness teaches keys to wellbeing in a fun and interactive way
Today we pre-launched our first pop up Museum of Happiness at Goldsmith's University in London.
The one day event was designed to teach evidence-based ways to raise wellbeing in a fun, engaging and powerful way.
Three hundred students attended the event as part of a careers and skills training event.
We had four tents exploring four keys to happiness - creativity, community, compassion and mindfulness.
The students had a happiness passport to keep them engaged and to show they've achieved something unique on the day.
First up, creativity. As the students are energetic, this is a great place to start. In the creativity tent, the students made stress balls using balloons and flour, and created other funky works of art. Kieran, our happy designer, helped in this tent.
In the community tent, students made pledges to connect with their community on the 'Communi-Tree'. Vicky, the main organiser of the event, ran this tent.
We believe that a strong, caring community lies at the heart of wellbeing.
There's great research to show the benefits of gratitude and relationships. This two minute activity plants wonderful seeds for wellbeing.
Next up was the Compassion tent run by Laura. In here, students wrote letters as a comment of support, which we posted for them using our own, homemade postbox.
Compassion is like the glue that keeps relationships healthy and joyous. And our research has found compassion to be far more healing and resilient than empathy.
Sending a letter in a nice way for the students to step away from their mobile phones, which can be distracting. The act of thinking about someone who's going through a tough time and sending them warm wishes is a lovely way to warm their hearts.
Finally was the Mindfulness tent. Here the students tried some mindfulness colouring in, mindful eating and were guided in some relaxing mindfulness meditation with Shamash.
As students use phones so much, Shamash used the analogy of battery life of a phone. Just as batteries need recharging, so does one's mind. Mindfulness and meditation is a way to recharge your mind so you feel fresh and happy.
Amazingly, most students were most interested in meditation rather than just mindful eating or mindful colouring in. So that's what he did.
The students all finished by making happiness pledges. This is so they go away with concrete actions to make themselves or the world a happier place to be. Without such a pledge, the learnings from the day could be easily forgotten. The use of hand image is a great way to personalise the process and put their stamp on the event.
The feedback was overwhelming positive. The students loved the simple, playful exercises.
We'd like to thank all the volunteer staff and wonderful students for such a beautiful event. And thank you to 'The Challenge' for sponsoring the event.
Next stop. Pop up Museum of Happiness in Spitafield's Market in January.
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If you'd like to invite the Museum of Happiness pop up to your community, workplace or event, shoot us a message and a smiley face :-)
And if you want to volunteer or come along, keep in touch via email.