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Delight Time: Budapest’s first Happiness Week promotes positivity

Photo : World Class Health Academy Marriott
Delight Time: Budapest’s first Happiness Week promotes positivity

Hungary may have a reputation for harboring negativity among its populace, but this damaging characteristic doesn’t need to be a permanent trait, according to British psychologist and former karate champion Paul Pahil, who lives and works in Budapest for a decade now. As an ardent proponent of the theories formulated by Hungarian-born professor Mihály Csikszentmihály and Martin Seligman – the world’s leading psychologists and researchers on the science of positive psychology – Pahil is organizing the country’s first-ever Happiness Week during September 15-21, following the examples of numerous nations that have experienced far-reaching beneficial effects after launching efforts to promote mental well-being.

By arranging a weeklong series of diversely enjoyable activities that all generate positive emotions, feelings, and moods – ranging from group meditation to dance performances to psychology workshops to children’s yoga lessons – Paul aims to offer Budapest residents the opportunity to discover myriad ways that positive efforts can help break anyone out of the spiral of negativity that often overwhelms many Hungarians and longtime Hungary residents, which can result in severe health problems and strained relationships. In our recent article about Paul’s work as the founder of Hungry 4 Learning, we discovered that following an active program to improve psychological well-being can soon make people feel better mentally and physically, allowing them to achieve the state of flow identified by Mihály Csikszentmihály and encouraging momentum toward a goal of flourishing in professional and personal life.
Photo: Paul Pahill with Mihály Csikszentmihály
With this in mind, the program for Budapest Happiness Week includes multilingual discussions intending to help individuals discover self-imposed obstacles hindering well-being, along with active pursuits that stimulate positive emotions. All of the activities of Happiness Week are offered at no cost to participants, although some require advance registration – check out (Hungry 4 Learning’s official website) for complete details; below we offer a few highlights of the cheer-creating proceedings.
Masterclass in Positive Psychology
Learn about the groundbreaking discoveries of Martin Seligman, Chris Peterson, Barbara Fredrickson, and Mihály Csikszentmihály – whose theories about achieving a state of flow are highly regarded worldwide as the optimal way to improve mental health and to lead a flourishing life, as well as boosting performance at work and encouraging fruitful relationships – and how this knowledge can help you find joy. Delivered by Paul Pahil, the masterclass is immediately followed by the Strategies for Happiness Communication workshop delivered by Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky to share some useful and insightful strategies to enrich communication and develop positive relationships.  

Time: September 15, 6pm 
Location: Eötvös 10 Community and Cultural Space, Pest VI, Eötvös u. 10

Photo: F&M Fitness and More
Exercise classes
Recent psychological studies indicate that a negative outlook on life can damage an individual’s health on a cellular level, causing physical ailments that only lead to more negative emotions and feelings. With regular exercise being widely known as a means of boosting long-term well-being, a variety of physical activities are offered for Happiness Week to help break unhealthy habits, including yoga, back exercises, stretching, pilates, zumba, circuit training, cycling, aerobics, and more.  

Times: September 15-21, multiple times daily
Locations: World Class Health Academy Marriott, Pest V, Apáczai Csere János u. 4; Gyöngy Fitness, Buda XI, Fadrusz u. 5; F&M Fitness and More, Buda XII, Csörsz u. 14-16

Happiness consultations
Uncover the impediments that hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest with personal meetings offered by professional psychologists in multiple languages. Along with identifying hindrances to happiness, participants are given suggestions as to how they can develop their positive emotions to overcome their problems and begin to flourish at work and home by developing therapeutic qualities such as gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, attention, resilience, and compassion.  

Times: September 16-19, 9am-noon; Sept. 20-21, 10am-1pm
Location: Capital Square, Pest XIII, Váci út 76, next to the K&H Bank entrance

Photo: Hungry 4 Learning
Happiness workshop
This interactive research-based workshop will reveal new ways of dealing with the pace of daily life as it increasingly speeds up in the 21st century, causing us to often forget to take time to appreciate the simple pleasures that produce genuine contentedness, such as participating in activities that we are truly passionate about, using the power of love, and getting creative juices flowing. This workshop helps participants rediscover these approaches while revealing strategies used by people who are flourishing.  

Time: September 17, 2pm-6pm
Location: Capital Square, Pest XIII, Váci út 76, next to the K&H Bank entrance

Photo: AQVA Lounge Bar
Budapest Happiness Week Party
As the inaugural Budapest Happiness Week draws to a close, relax and celebrate into the night along with fellow participants amid a stylish lounge with a backdrop of panoramic views over the Danube riverscape. While sipping cocktails and taking advantage of special prices at the bar, groove to the music of DJs Zoohacker, Brad Vee Johnson, and Iza Szeles, and savor the giddy anticipation of possibly winning a prize in the raffle.  

Time: September 20, 7:30pm
Location: AQVA Lounge Bar, Pest V, Apáczai Csere János u. 4