Happiness Habits

Happiness Habits are simple practices, backed by science, which have been shown to increase happiness. Now that we have the knowledge about what really makes us happy, what counts is putting the knowledge into practice.

We make these practices easily accessible in fun, interactive sessions, with a mix of activities, conversations, creativity and reflection. As a leading positive psychologist once said “Happiness is NOT a spectator sport!” These sessions are suitable for workplace wellbeing programmes and community workshops. The habits can help you grow a sustainable happiness, be more resilient and better able to cope with stress so that you bounce back faster from life’s tough times.  Happiness is contagious to up to 3 degrees of separation so these habits spread wellbeing, sending out a positive ripple into the world.

“The course is really helpful for being able to recognise how to be happy for yourself and family and everyone who comes into contact with you. I loved it!”

“The benefit that we’ve been deriving from our sessions has been priceless! Thank you so much for all the effort you go to. I would be happy to come the next time you r2013-11-06 13.26.53un this. Compared to one-on-one therapy which costs a fortune this is far more engaging and useful in my opinion as you feel an equal participant rather than a client /victim. Keep up the fantastic work.”

The eight habits can be delivered in weekly sessions such as a lunchtime ‘happy hour’ or as a half-day, 1- or 2-day course.

1. Getting the Happiness Habit. This session introduces the science of happiness, the benefits of feeling happy and the barriers that get in the way. We explore what makes YOU happy and the two branches of authentic happiness – the joyful highs and the deep, meaningful happiness. Habit 1 is savouring positive experiences. How to lengthen and strengthen a positive experience to squeeze maximum joy out of the good times in life.

2. The Attitude of Gratitude. Positive emotions not only feel good, they also do us good. They broaden our thinking and build resources that support wellbeing. Habit 2 is practising gratitude – the art of appreciation. Gratitude is much more than counting your blessings. It trains the mind to tune in and notice what’s right in life. Gratitude is a ‘meta-strategy for happiness’ according to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky.

3. From Strength to Strength. How you are when you’re at your best, playing to your strengths and realising your potential. This session explores the positive self – talents and positive characteristics and celebrates our strengths as communities. Habit 3 is using your strengths.

4. Meameaningpotning & Purpose. Diving into the deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life. Habit 4 is about finding meaning in the everyday and living life with purpose.

“At first I didn’t want to action my ‘life purpose’ statement and put it aside, however what came to me was ‘running writing groups for adults to support well being’.  So I tested the water with my friends and am starting in two weeks! I am really happy about that.”

5. Positive Relationships -You, Me & We. The happiest people have close personal relationships and active social lives. Relationships are the no 1 source of wellbeing. Discover what helps and harm our relationships and appreciate your ‘vital friendships.’ Habit 5 is nurturing relationships.

6. Learning Optimism is psychological self-defence. If you change the way you think, you can change the consequences for how you feel. Pessimism puts you on the fast track to depression while optimism protects you from it and helps you to success. That’s why Habit 6 is learning optimism.

7. Resilience. From surviving to thriving – tools to help you bounce forward after adversity and cope well with the tough times in life. Habit 7 is building resilience.

8. Positive Directions. The role of goals and motivation to give us a sense of progress and satisfaction with life. Habit 8 is to set positive goals.

“An excellent time, really valuable. I was surprised and delighted at how accessible the course was to different people and how positive everyone was.”

You can book the Happiness Habits for your organisation or we can design a bespoke programme for you.

“I worked with Miriam to bring the Happiness Habits workshop into Triodos Bank as part of a wider wellbeing programme.  Miriam brought a huge amount of warmth, insight and energy to the sessions.  She connected well with our co-workers and quickly earned their trust and engagement.  She oozed credibility on the research and latest developments within positive psychology and presented in an interactive, practical and engaging way.  The pre- and post-wellbeing evaluation assessment clearly demonstrated the positive impact that the workshops had on our co-workers’ wellbeing.  This was reinforced by some of the feedback I received personally once the programme had finished. Miriam is a true professional and someone who is enjoyable and very easy to work with.  I very much look forward to working with her again.” Paula Searle, Head of HR 

The Journey So Far 

The Happiness Habits is a programme that has been refined over the course of more than a decade and delivered as a workplace wellbeing programme and a community happiness programme. It first started with the Happiness Zones. The next version was delivered in partnership with the pioneering Happy City Initiative, which is now the Centre for Thriving Places and with the support of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Action for Happiness. The Happiness Habits went from 8 to 12 with the publication of the Little Book of Happiness and went online during the covid pandemic. Now we are creating a happiness habits manual for anyone who wants to run their own Happiness Habits programme. The Little Toolkit of Happiness will be the ideal for wellbeing champions, HR professionals and community facilitators who want a programme that you can pick up and go. We can add on coaching sessions to equip you to deliver the programme or take the online course in Positive Psychology Foundations.

“I would say that when you learn these things,  you can leave the negative behind and be positive about life and the future.”

“I attended this workshop with an open mind and vague expectations, but I must report that the content and structure has really opened up whole new areas of insight and possibility for me. I am an experienced group facilitator and teacher, and yet I learned more on this day than most of my training put together! The insights provided by the 8 Happiness Habits are revolutionary to those of us trained in other modes, and Miriam’s way of introducing these to the group was skilful, well-organised, concise and yet deep. The many exercises, discussions and background ideas were mixed in such a way that the group was enlivened, stimulated and engaged by the day. Miriam is an excellent trainer. Her personable, objective, clear and open style of relating provided the ideal model for participants’ own hopes of substantial and positive change. I would highly recommend the Happiness Habits.”  Rob Henley, Bristol.

The original intention behind the Happiness Habits was to support people in developing their mental health. Hear Miriam talk about her experience with depression and how it led her to create the Happiness Habits programme to help people to raise and recover their wellbeing.