If they could make Slough happy…

Twelve years ago, the BBC ran a short series called Making Slough Happy.

I think they probably chose Slough because it has a reputation for being a rather glum place (apologies to all who live there).

There was of course a book to go along with the TV show (How To Be Happy by Liz Hoggard, BBC Books), and browsing through it, I came across a few little nuggets about happiness.

Here are three for you:

1. If you do 20 minutes of exercise three times a week for six months, your general feeling of happiness will improve by 10-20 per cent.

2. People who rate in the upper reaches of happiness on psychological tests develop about 50 per cent more antibodies than average in response to flu vaccines.

3. Immigrants tend to acquire the happiness characteristics of the nation to which they move, not the nation in which they were born.


I’ll pop another three in Friday’s message.

3 thoughts on “If they could make Slough happy…

  1. Interestingly, Slough attracted many Welsh migrants between the wars. In the valleys, those who stayed behind carried coffins with their names on it and the placard, ‘not dead, but gone to Slough’. The migrants were not happy at first in Slough, but they took with them their cultural and sporting institutions and replanted them in the new areas. In Oxford, they formed a Male Voice Choir with the motto, ‘You can’t stop us singing’. So, if we want migrants to acquire the ‘happiness characteristics’ of the nation they move to, I would suggest that that does not mean giving up the characteristics of their homeland, which could help their integration and make their hosts happier too.

  2. I am not completely agreeing with 3rd point. All over the world, there is some kind of negative feelings towards immigrants currently. So they may feel insecure, in extreme cases scared also. But may be their happiness quotient might be some where between the country which the left and the one which they have migrated to. Am I correct?

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