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Richard Branson's 'Dear Stranger' letter is a profound piece published on 3 February 2017. I found Dear Stranger on Happiness, a Virgin blog, packed with wise ideas shared by inspiring people. In publishing Dear Stranger on Letting Go. Stepping Up. I acknowledge Richard Branson and the original source, Dear Stranger, a 2015 collection of inspirational, heartfelt letters to an imagined stranger from many authors, collated by Mind, a mental health charity.

Last month my post titled ‘It is possible to be happier, but not for the reasons you may think’ generated a good deal of interest. So much so in fact that I searched for more practical guidance on what you can do to be happier. Here's some key things we've learning about happiness through science, courtesy of Mindful newsletter columnist Stephany Tlalka (whose helpful synopsis of current research I quote and gratefully acknowledge).

Re-reading Sonja Lyubomirsky’s ‘The How of Happiness’ I was reminded of the evidence that to be happier, we should look to ourselves, not to others, nor to our circumstances [1]. It is possible, and desirable, for each of us to be happier. Here’s why and how.

The nature of happiness

First, we need to understand the nature of happiness and why happiness is important.