Happiness Habits

Happiness Habits are simple practices, backed by science, which have been shown to increase well-being. Now that we have the knowledge to show what really makes us happy, what counts is putting the knowledge into practice, because as one leading positive psychologist once said “Happiness is NOT a spectator sport”.

We make these practices easily accessible in fun, interactive sessions, with a mix of activities, conversations, creativity and reflection. Making a habit of these practices develops the neural pathways, which raise the bar on your happiness. These habits can help develop a more sustainable happiness so that you are better able to cope with stress, more resilient to anxiety and depression and equipped to bounce back from life’s tough times. The habits reap rewards for others too as happiness is contagious to up to 3 degrees of separation. So if you learn the habits you’ll be able to send out a positive ripple into the world.

“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 Happiness Habits is suitable for workplace well-being and community programmes. The 8 habits can be delivered in weekly sessions or as a half-day, 1- or 2-day courses.

“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

1. Getting the Happiness Habit. This session introduces the science of happiness. Habit 1 is savouring positive experiences. Squeezing maximum joy out of life’s good times.

2. The Attitude of Gratitude. How positive emotions not only feel good but also do us good. Habit 2 is practising gratitude – the art of appreciation – to train the mind to notice and focus on 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. 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. Habit 5 is nurturing relationships.

6. Learning Optimism is psychological self-defence. Pessimism puts you on the fast track to depression while optimism protects you from it. That’s why Habit 6 is learning optimism.

7. Resilience. From surviving to thriving – tools and ideas on how to bounce forward after adversity and cope better 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. Alternatively sign up for some coaching in the habits.

The Happiness Habits have been developed over the course of a decade, starting with the Happiness Zones. A later version was delivered with the Happy City Initiative, and the support of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Action for Happiness. The Happiness Habits were expanded from 8 to 12 in the Little Book of Happiness. Now we are shortly to launch the Little Toolkit of Happiness, which is the latest version of the Happiness Habits, with all you need to run a wellbeing programme at work or for a community. If you’re interested in professional training to equip you to design or deliver your own happiness programme, then one of the open courses is for you. Either the 2-day Positive Psychology Masterclass in Bristol or the online Positive Psychology Foundations.

“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!”

“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 counsellor, 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 that we explored 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. Although intensive, 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, and I look forward to learning more from her in the future. 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 One Day intensive.”  Rob Henley, Bristol.


Hear Miriam talk about the original inspiration behind the Happiness Habits below.