happinessIn a very unusual study, six British researchers believe they have developed a 10 step plan for happiness. The team, which included psychologist Dr Richard Stevens and psychotherapist Brett Kahr, worked with 50 volunteers “planting the seeds of happiness”.

The volunteers were taught the skills and attitudes to enable them to share what they had learned with the rest of their community. The experiment was so intriguing that the BBC has made a four part documentary about it entitled Making Slough Happy.

Based on the knowledge gained from their research the team developed a ten part plan for creating happiness. Each week we will take you through one of these steps and share ideas about how you can begin to incorporate some, or all, of them into your own life.

Step One – Plant something and nurture it:

When was the last time you planted a seed or added a new variety of flower to your garden? You don’t have to have a big yard to grow a plant. You don’t even really need a yard at all. Many plants are quite happy growing indoors in a pot.

Plants offer us mental and emotional benefits. Research has shown that they can have a positive effect upon our moods by reducing stress and improving our attitudes. Major companies that have incorporated plants into their interior design have reported that their employees become more creative and productive.

There are physical benefits to having plants, as well. Studies have shown that they help to remove toxins from the air. Certain species, such as the South American cactus Cereus Peruvianus, also help to reduce electromagnetic pollution. One six inch plant per 100 square feet of living area is enough to purify the air.

With all of these wonderful benefits, it’s easy to see why this step ended up on the list. So this week, why not go out and buy a plant or sow some seeds? You’re sure to reap the rewards.

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