Micro Moments of Love

Micro Moments of Love

In her book Love 2.0, Barbara Fredrickson (Fredrickson, 2013) claims we can experience micro-moments of love numerous times a day, even with complete strangers. She goes on to say that any moment of connection with another person gives the same pleasure as felt when...

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Addiction vs Habit

Addiction vs Habit

  Am I addicted? Recently I have started to question whether I have an addiction to alcohol.  Life has continued to throw its challenges in our lives and I find myself drinking something virtually every day.  Is that considered an addiction though? Or is it a...

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Renewable Vitality : FLOW

Renewable Vitality : FLOW

“The happiest people spend much time in a state of flow, the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter…” If I’m being honest, I wasn’t 100% willing to go back to college. I had taken a small hiatus in between classes, which...

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Habits to well-being

Habits to well-being

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.~Somerset Maugham Upon taking this course, I thought it was a course teaching the positives of psychology.  I wondered, to myself,  there must be a course called...

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Mindful Versus Mindless 

Mindful Versus Mindless 

The rise and rise of mindfulness Mindfulness is, in it’s simplest form, conscious awareness. It has become big business. The assistant head teacher responsible for pastoral care at my children's secondary school tells me he is overwhelmed with emails from businesses...

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Habits and Communication

Habits and Communication

“In a relationship, when communication starts to fade, everything else follows.” Before Taking Positive Psychology I was not sure what to expect. I thought the class would be about how to have a more positive attitude and outlook on life. This class taught me many...

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Is Less Able, More Able?

Is Less Able, More Able?

I have to thank Dan Collinson a fellow positive psychology practitioner for helping cultivate and inspire this seed thought – ‘is less able, more able’. The image I chose for this piece is one I captured whilst in China. To me, this speaks of individuality and...

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Fake News

Fake News

I cannot get the picture of President Trump pointing his finger at members of the press and stating ‘You are fake news’ out of my mind. And the accompanying news report, stating that statistics show that people are unable to differentiate between fake and real news....

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How to Empower Woman through Laughter

How to Empower Woman through Laughter

Part 1. Woman in Business More and more companies are focusing on empowering woman in the work place and this is a subject close to my heart. The positive outcomes through doing this are amazing and beneficial to all involved and are the inspiration of my upcoming...

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Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Placebos have always intrigued me.  A placebo is a fake pill and has no theraputic effect on the person presecribed the tablets.  Placebos are usually used in drug trials to find out whether a new drug is effective by giving one group the new drug and the ‘control...

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The Value of Being “Wild”

The Value of Being “Wild”

“Wild” means meeting your own needs. We don’t feed wild animals because it undermines their ability to meet their own needs. I was reminded of this by a blog warning to tourists in Costa Rica: “Don’t Feed the Monkeys. Conditioning them to expect human handouts...

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World Laughter Day 2017

World Laughter Day 2017

What a good time to have World Laughter Day 2017 and boost those positive vibes. In a world full of uncertainty and disruption let’s take a break and laugh for no reason other than choosing to do so. We know laughter cannot fix or heal a problem but it can help you...

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YES!

YES!

“No is a complete sentence.” - Anne Lamott “Hey, are you coming to the mason jar party on Saturday?” My colleague popped her head into my office. It took me a second to realize she wasn’t talking about checking out that new bar that serves irresistibly overpriced...

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Command – Courage To Lead

Command – Courage To Lead

People with the Command StrengthFinder talent theme have courage to lead, especially in times of crisis or conflict. They have a strong charismatic presence. Understanding the Command Strength Command is the least frequent strength at 34 of all StrengthsFinder themes...

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Fake News

Fake News

I cannot get the picture of President Trump pointing his finger at members of the press and stating ‘You are fake news’ out of my mind. And the accompanying news report, stating that statistics show that people are unable to differentiate between fake and real news....

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Positive Mindlessness

Positive Mindlessness

Getting the best of yourself by releasing outgrown beliefs and feelings In the vast storage system of the mind we can sometimes unwittingly hold on to old belief systems which not only no longer serve us, but can actually be damaging to us in some way. We may also be...

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Supporting Teens with Exam Stress

Supporting Teens with Exam Stress

It’s not only students who suffer with stress as GCSE examinations approach; teachers and parents can feel stressed too and often don’t know how to support their teens effectively. A recent Radio 5 Live survey reveals that parents say their mental health and sleep...

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Activator – Wide Open Throttle

Activator – Wide Open Throttle

People with the Activator StrengthsFinder talent theme live life with a wide open throttle. They make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They have a need for speed. Understanding the Activator Strength Activator is ranked 29th in frequency out of all 34...

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Choosing Your Mood – You Decide!

Choosing Your Mood – You Decide!

Angry or Happy? Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness’.  Wise words, but is choosing your mood as simple as that?  How easy is it for you to decide what your mood is going to be.  Can choosing your mood become a...

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The Art of Connection

The Art of Connection

I’ve heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul. And, I believe—and have experienced—that making eye contact with a stranger or friend creates an instant connection. Lately I’ve been hearing more about disconnecting from technology to connect with...

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Everyone Has Moments of Suffering

Everyone Has Moments of Suffering

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill Legend has it that restaurateur Fernand Lachance exclaimed, "Ça va faire une maudite poutine!" ("It will make a damn mess!") when first asked to throw a handful of cheese curds on some french fries in...

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Motivation

Motivation

New Year It’s that time again!  A brand new year and with it resolutions made.  Some kept but most broken.  The motivation and willpower were strong when the resolutions were declared during the feel good celebrations of the festive season.  Then the reality sinks in...

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FLOW into a New Perspective

FLOW into a New Perspective

Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream —John Lennon Before Taking Positive Psychology, my thoughts about the course were that I wondered what on earth positive psychology meant. I thought that the course was going to be very analytical, and based more on...

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Communication is Key

Communication is Key

"The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand we listen to reply." Using what I learned I thought Positive Psychology was about having a positive outlook on life, and how to deal with things in a positive manner. I know that psychology deals...

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A New Perspective

A New Perspective

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns; or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses ”—Abraham Lincoln Prior to learning about the field of positive psychology, I thought it was just another of the may viewpoints within psychology. I thought that positive...

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Closure

Closure

The Confrontation Back in September, I wrote about dealing with confrontation and an experience I had been through at work.  At the time, I hadn’t got to the point of closure and was in turmoil about what to do about it.  My manager had accused me of inappropriate...

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Life’s Lessons – Patience

Life’s Lessons – Patience

What’s The Hurry? Patience!  It’s one of life’s lessons that I am still learning.  I am better now than I was even 5 years ago.  I know that I have wished huge chunks of my life away through lack of patience.  I remember a teacher telling me, when I was around 8 or 9...

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Serotonin and Conflict

Serotonin and Conflict

Serotonin may seem like the opposite of conflict since it produces a pleasant feeling. But animal studies show that this pleasantness is the expectation of social dominance. Citations A landmark serotonin study put a one-way mirror between an alpha monkey and his...

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Input – Mind like a Sponge

Input – Mind like a Sponge

People with the Input theme from StrengthsFinder have a mind like a sponge. Their minds soak up, collect, and store information like a sponge. Then they squeeze this useful information out for others when they most need it. Understanding the Input Strength Input is a...

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness

On the way to work today, I was listening to Ray Charles and Elton John singing "sorry seems to be the hardest word." This got me to think about the importance of "saying sorry" and of "forgiveness", but also to consider the need for both the sorry and the forgiveness...

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GOOD Enough

GOOD Enough

Sometimes good enough is good “Uh…Good enough,” he tosses the words behind him and scuffs up the stairs to his room. My neighbour sighs at her son’s pubescent disengagement. I on the other hand, am caught off guard by his remark and gracefully slosh my scalding coffee...

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Be The Change

Be The Change

Is it Friday yet? In the teaching profession all I hear, and have heard for the past 14 years, is “is it Friday yet”? Teachers seem to spend much of their life wishing it away – looking to the weekend, or the next break so they can really enjoy life.  Many teachers...

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Ideation – Innovating with Ideas

Ideation – Innovating with Ideas

People with the Ideation talent theme from StrengthsFinder love innovating with ideas. They are fascinated by ideas. They can connect the dots from random perspectives. Understanding the Ideation Strength Ideation is a strategic thinking theme that ranks 15 in...

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The Exciting History of Psychology

The Exciting History of Psychology

I find inspiration in the history of psychology. A hundred years ago, the fight-or-flight response was explained by the research of Walter B. Canon. I saw this discovery through his eyes in his autobiography, “The Way of an Investigator: A scientist's experiences in...

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Clarity is … evolving

Clarity is … evolving

Clarity is …. evolving Since 2014, I've been writing a reflection of what clarity means to different people at different times. Many of our former and contemporary professionals also use clarity, or clarifying as a wheelhouse tool to prove a point, share their wisdom,...

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The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude

Reflections of gratitude I recently spent a month in The Philippines which brought the depth of gratitude I have for the country that I was born and raised in, to a whole new level.  I have actively been practising gratitude in the form of a daily gratitude journal -...

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Clarity is … easier

Clarity is … easier

Clarity is ... easier My Tuesday's have turned into the craziest, busiest days of the week. I completely forgot that yesterday was Tuesday! It was, in my brain, Monday. Not everyone has a M-F 9-5. As a matter of fact, there are millions of people in our world that...

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Teachers on the Catwalk: Modeling Behavior

Teachers on the Catwalk: Modeling Behavior

As my son (11) and I went to drop off school supplies for my son's teachers, we approached a school employee who appeared to be the building gate-keeper; she stood strongly in front of the entrance doors. The conversation went something like this: Me: [Smiling], ma'am...

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Clarity is … courtesy

Clarity is … courtesy

Clarity is … courtesy “It is good to toil for others' sake, and happy is he who learns to make the joy of others – cure his own heart ache.” ~ Dr. Norah Perkins, Sunshine and Shadows, 1917 My most cherished possession is now a little book, self published by a female...

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Dealing with Confrontation

Dealing with Confrontation

I have never been good at dealing with confrontation.  It’s something I get from my Mother.  I am a very sensitive person and I don’t sit comfortably with any form of aggressive challenge.  Thankfully, it is very rare for me to experience these occurrences in my life,...

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Growth Mindset and the Power of Yet

Growth Mindset and the Power of Yet

How do you create a growth mindset culture?  Businesses, organisations, industries and schools all over the world are asking this question. Why are they asking?  If we can create a growth mindset culture we can establish an environment where people can flourish and...

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Clarity is … listening

Clarity is … listening

Clarity is … listening Have you ever heard what isn't being said? Have you ever listened to the non-verbal communication while in a conversation? Have you ever never heard back from someone, only to spend long periods of time wondering why they never responded?...

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Duvet Days and Mullativity

Duvet Days and Mullativity

The other day I had the first ‘duvet day’ I have had in…well, decades really. The thing is duvet days are just not me. I am usually an early riser and up and doing with the lark, so this ‘lack of impetus’ really floored me. Running out of gas I think the emotionally...

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ECDYSIS

ECDYSIS

To arrive at a new place you must first leave where you are.”- Christopher J. Stubbs Most boys ask for a puppy. But true to his “march-to-the-beat-of-my-own-maracas” personality, my son announces over Cheerios his intention to adopt a less common pet. “The tegu,” he...

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Oh BITE me!

Oh BITE me!

(B)e  (I)n  (T)he  (E)xperience - BITE If you are learning about Positive Psychology, you will find a lot of technical aspects highlighting the ought to be's or the should be's  of getting to a point of feeling happiness or happier. “Go to Disneyland, try a yoga...

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The Dangers of Gratitude

The Dangers of Gratitude

I’m a big believer in gratitude and firmly believe that practicing gratitude is good for your wellbeing and happiness.  In 2011 when I first took the VIA Character Strengths Test gratitude featured at number 9 on my strengths list.  I took the test just prior to...

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Flow Through Change

Flow Through Change

Organisational restructures are a common occurrence in today’s world. As an individual going through a restructure how can you ensure that you are best placed to benefit from the change? If you are to look at both ends of the personal spectrum of people going through...

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Clarity is… vision

Clarity is… vision

Clarity is.... vision When I post on social media, it's usually along with an image of what I 'see', rather than asking you to see me. That's true of when I was in school for mass media and I loved being behind a camera. That's true in the field of psychology, when I...

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Getting Lost is Good for the Soul

Getting Lost is Good for the Soul

Admittedly, I allow too much of my day to be caught up in doing, doing, doing. It seems I am constantly Judging. “What needs to be done?” “What did I do?” “What didn’t I do?” Judging, questioning, and doubting catapults me out of the present moment and into either the...

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Being The Change You Wish to Create

Being The Change You Wish to Create

The Untold Story: Being the change you wish to create in the world. Francis Report I recall reading the Francis report (2013) for the first time and trying to take in the shocking realisation that many people had died unnecessarily at the hands of our so called...

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Clarity is … gentle

Clarity is … gentle

Clarity is.... gentle. There comes a time in life when a person simply leans into the fluidity of the moment. They gentle their soul to the realizations of who and what they have become. They embrace their reality. Settle into love of their own truth. They become...

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Seizing The Moment

Seizing The Moment

Recently, as I drove home at the end of my working week, I thought about an evening relaxing on the sofa, with a few drinks and watching TV.  I didn’t really pay much attention to the glorious sunshine, which is unusual for me.  I guess that I was just tired. ...

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Take me back to the village

Take me back to the village

Family life is rewarding but in the early years of having my children I encountered unexpected struggles with daily life. I say unexpected because it was the small things that threw me the most. I found myself constantly reflecting on why the simple things seemed so...

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Clarity is… PLayFuL

Clarity is… PLayFuL

Clarity is.... PLayFuL? Pokemon Go is the latest craze. My business partner, Taylor R. Powers,  leveled up when trying to explain it to me. I need games explained. My son is a total fanboy of all things YouTubers. We live in the world of online games. When I was a...

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Clarity is… Courage

Clarity is… Courage

Clarity is... courage Courage means that we won't stop trying to do something simply because we were worried about it. Courage means that we'll fully evolve, grow, clarify who we are, no matter the criticisms against us. Courage means that we will pursue happiness in...

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Clarity is … core

Clarity is … core

Before we can do anything else, we have to find our center. We have to create a common core that doesn't complicate our lives, but instead, sets us up for a balanced, healthy, happy life. Unrealistic? No. Not if we're free to choose. When we have a core understanding...

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The After-image and Finding Meaning

The After-image and Finding Meaning

Lingering after images and meaning in life After-imaging is related to visual perception and light activity associated with sight. It is an optical phenomenon whereby the image a person experiences, through sensation, remains lingering in an altered state. Within the...

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How to be Ridiculously UNhappy!

How to be Ridiculously UNhappy!

Hopping aboard  the UNhappy train With the happiness movement in full swing I thought I would go against the grain and talk about how to be completely and ridiculously UNhappy! I am somewhat of an expert of this topic since I was suicidal from the age of 12 to 24 and...

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Using FLOW to sync your life

Using FLOW to sync your life

“Anxiety turns you into a problem-solver; when you’re anxious, you’ll do anything you can to get yourself and others out of a pressing situation” Connecting the curriculum with my future Before Taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were: this is...

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A Celebration of Life!

A Celebration of Life!

On June 10 2016, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a celebration of life service, for a colleague and friend who had recently moved on in her spiritual journey.  It truly was a celebration of Jacqui’s life and I felt privileged and honoured to be there as part...

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It’s all about the end game

It’s all about the end game

As a teacher for the past 15 years I have always been interested in the question ‘why do some very able students fail to achieve their full potential yet other less able students fulfil their full potential and very often excel in school?’. Is it the teachers they...

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Where is your focus?

Where is your focus?

“Comparison is the thief of joy” Through my study and practice of Positive psychology isn’t all about rainbows and unicorns, it’s more about where we choose to place our focus. Do we choose to think on the positive aspects of our lives or focus on the lack? While we...

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Illuminative coaching in the workplace

Illuminative coaching in the workplace

What does illuminative coaching really look like in the workplace? I use the term illuminative coaching as that is what I've termed my particular style of coaching which is underpinned by positive psychology. Illuminative as a term can mean to 'shed light' but can...

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The Implementation Challenge

The Implementation Challenge

As the business world becomes more accepting of positive psychology and the need to understand and support employees performance from both a work and home perspective it draws an interesting issue around implementation and uptake from the workforce themselves....

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Universal Happiness?

Universal Happiness?

The recently published Word Happiness Report 2016 reported that the top five happiest counties in the world were Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland. It also reported that when taking continents as a whole, there was a difference between the happiness...

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Your Wishes are Germinating

Your Wishes are Germinating

Usually a little J-Lo will do the trick. I take her Let’s Get Loud literally, crank the stereo and wonder how her “block” could ever have resembled mine. But though Jenny’s love might not cost a thing, deep down I know my own self-neglect might be costing me dearly....

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HaPpY BoOst

HaPpY BoOst

Some of you may have come to realise that one of the latest crazes in the western world is the “pay it forward” concept of conducting random acts of kindness (or RAKS). A RAK, essentially, is when somebody does something kind for someone else (typically a stranger)....

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I Am A Procrastinator!

I Am A Procrastinator!

For years I have considered myself a procrastinator.  I am always full of ideas; plans and goals but seem to lack the initiative to actually get them off the ground. I first learnt the word at the ripe old age of 19, when I was living and working in Toronto.  I was...

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Character Development in UK schools

Character Development in UK schools

Should character development become an addition to the UK education system? As an educator for the past 14 years working in the UK I have thought long and hard over this time about how our education system could benefit from teaching our children the importance of...

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Analytical – Prove It

Analytical – Prove It

I could tell within seconds of talking to Andy that his dominant strength was Analytical, a man whose first response was always “prove it.” He wanted proof of any claim. He wanted data, statistics and facts. Yet even more facts often wasn’t enough to settle things...

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Laughing Out Loud

Laughing Out Loud

I’m not a huge fan of online or text slang and will usually cringe at the sight of LOL (call me old fashioned). But, that aside, what’s behind the popular acronym is something really special. Laughing is both heart-warming and nourishing for the body, mind and soul....

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Happy to be Jealous

Happy to be Jealous

Oh, I am so jealous Recently, at the start of one of my classes, I found myself wrapped up in a savoring sense of jealously. As the student expressed their intention of travel to Japan, I found myself jealous that it was not me making the trip. I had lived in Japan...

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Clarity is … Joyful

Clarity is … Joyful

2016 is my year to be on the hunt for joy. I realized just this morning that the leaves are rapidly growing, and I didn’t even notice it until now. They’ve been bursting through their slumber for some time now. It’s my long days, many projects and urgency to make...

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Are Your Abilities Depleting Your Energy?

Are Your Abilities Depleting Your Energy?

What is Realise2? A couple of years ago I was introduced to something called Realise2.  I quickly learned this to be an advanced developmental tool to assess people’s individual strengths.  Realise2 consists of various sections that are really useful to distinguish...

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Talking Strengths

Talking Strengths

Talking Strengths I coach people at all levels in organisations and have probably heard the full range of ‘I wants…’ From I want promotion, I want to be more confident, I want to be seen as professional, I want to be more assertive, I want to work less hours and so...

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Beating The Post Holiday Blues

Beating The Post Holiday Blues

Back from Holiday Every year, my partner and I travel to his homeland, Brazil at the beginning of March, for a 2-3 week break.  We usually spend most of our time in São Paulo visiting family and friends.  We also make sure we get to the coast to enjoy the beautiful...

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That’s Life!

That’s Life!

“That’s life!”. This may not sound like the kind of advice someone should give anyone struggling with adversity however, consider its meaning for a moment.  As a teacher for the past 14 years I have noticed a shift in children’s mental health awareness and...

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Defensiveness Is Draining

Defensiveness Is Draining

Defending yourself is a natural survival tool, but too much defensiveness can wear you out. This drain on your energy is easier to manage when you know how your brain produces it. We are designed to scan continuously for potential threat, but our brain defines threat...

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How to Say Hello

How to Say Hello

How to Say Hello BODY: When it comes to the number of ways you can greet someone – we’re spoilt for choice. From a tentative ‘hello?’ on the phone to a firm handshake, wide smile, nod of the head, wave of the hand, warm embrace or even a kiss – there’s a myriad of...

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Sport, success and hope goals

Sport, success and hope goals

I’ve been looking into hope goals and how they affect performance in athletes and sportspeople recently with some interesting personal theories as a result. There appears to be a cut-off point in many athletes and sportspeople whereby when they have set a goal such as...

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Change the lens

Change the lens

Simple? Changing the lens, is it really that simple?  The idea came to me when I was watching Shawn Anchor’s TED talk, ‘The happy secret to better work’ when he discussed his time at Harvard and how he truly believed that all the students who attended Harvard would...

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Altruism is Selfish

Altruism is Selfish

Altruism feels good, but a deeper knowledge of the good feeling reveals a core of selfishness. There’s nothing wrong with selfish pleasure in good deeds, but like all pleasures, we’re drawn to seek more of it. You can become so dependent on the good feeling you get...

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Your Strengths Narrative

Your Strengths Narrative

From the stories you tell to your strengths narrative “The more we share our own stories, the closer we all become.”[1] Who did you get those strengths from? What stories have you been told about yourself that relate to your strengths? Have your strengths always been...

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Leaving Negative Self-talk in the Dust

Leaving Negative Self-talk in the Dust

“I shall try, to tri, my first triathlon..Ironman Cozumel 2015” Words to myself Ready..... Before Taking Positive Psychology I immediately knew what I’d apply the course’s teachings to: my journey towards becoming an Ironman. Becoming an Ironman (IM) consists of...

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Habits: From Thoughts into Motion

Habits: From Thoughts into Motion

“He who has a ‘WHY’ to live for can bear almost any ‘HOW.” —Friedrich Nietzsche We always ask ourselves how do we kick this bad habit, how do we become more happy? The answer lies within your mind and actions. Forming good habits lead to accomplishments and...

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Clarity is…. synchronicity

Clarity is…. synchronicity

It’s February. Traditionally here in the northeast part of the United States, it’s frigid, blustery and white. The sun only shines when it wants to. The ground is hard. The ice creeps up at whim, This is also the time of year spent on reflection. Reflection of our...

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Positive Leadership at Work

Positive Leadership at Work

With advancements within the field of Neuroplasticity, the topic of leadership becomes far more holistic than it once was. Gone are the days where it is acceptable for the corporate monster to come bearing down on you with his fists raised angrily screaming, “just...

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The Walking Habit: A Positive Direction

The Walking Habit: A Positive Direction

“If you think that you can do something, and have a great reason to do it, you will find a way.” Braco Pobric Before taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were: Beat me with a hammer, slap me, kick me, whip me, it won’t really matter. People such as...

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The Power of Self-Love

The Power of Self-Love

“You had the power all along, my dear.” –Glenda the Good Witch Preparing for the journey Before Taking Positive Psychology I just began my “real journey” to change my thoughts to change my world. I say “real journey” because for the first time in my life, I truly made...

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Silver Linings

Silver Linings

Finding silver linings! `Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining’ is a metaphor commonly used, describing optimism for something that on face value appears negative.  However, how easy is it to find the silver lining or to encourage someone to find it for themselves? The flow...

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Get Your FLOW on

Get Your FLOW on

“Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen…Trusting that whichever way it goes. It’s for the best”– Mandy Hale Prior to taking Positive Psychology, I really wanted to learn how I can turn my attitude around, as I have some bad days and I seem to have a hard time...

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Focus – The Eye of The Tiger

Focus – The Eye of The Tiger

I call Focus, the eye of the tiger. A person with Focus is especially talented in taking direction, following through and making the corrections to stay on track. People with focus tend to prioritize then act. It's most likely paired with achiever at .55 percent,...

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Laughter— Always the Best Medicine

Laughter— Always the Best Medicine

“Laugh out loud follow your heart and enjoy the little things” My thoughts before taknig Positive Psychology were: Here is another class that is going to go and on about what it is to be positive and in short blow smoke about positivity. My Ah-Ha moment: realizing...

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A Cup of Optimism and a Dash of Pessimism

A Cup of Optimism and a Dash of Pessimism

Before taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were that I was going to learn about techniques focusing all about increasing a person’s happiness in life. I thought it would be about being happy all the time or just focusing on the good things in life....

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Pessimism

Pessimism

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ― Winston S. Churchill Rainbows and unicorns Before Taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were that it would be entirely about how everyone...

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Transformation: A New Perspective

Transformation: A New Perspective

“Positive thinking evokes more energy, more initiative, more happiness”- Unknown Before taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were: Before taking Positive Psychology, I thought that the course would be about positive thought and it’s impact on an...

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A Little More Mindful Everyday

A Little More Mindful Everyday

The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance” – Jodi Picoult Before Taking Positive Psychology... Initially, I took this course because I was always intrigued by positive psychology. I took it not only for...

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Dalai Lama’s secrets to happiness

Dalai Lama’s secrets to happiness

While I’ve heard the Dalai Lama speak a number of times, and have made several short films about his views, including the ‘Dalai Lama’s guide to happiness’, what sticks in my mind most relates to a story his friend Dr Allen Wallace revealed to us, and the Dalai’s...

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Optimism

Optimism

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”— Winston Churchill Before Taking Positive Psychology my thoughts about the course were that I would basically just learn how people are able to maintain...

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Clarity is … delicious!

Clarity is … delicious!

Delicious The short definition of ‘delicious’ is, “highly pleasing to the senses’. It’s that time of year when people become aware of what they’re eating in combination with how much exercise they’re getting. Recipes have been all over the web for weeks now. Every...

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Wishes for 2016 – EMAPP Team

Wishes for 2016 – EMAPP Team

Dan Collinson, our PPP “liason” has challenged the Portuguese team to write the January post on the theme: “wishes for 2016”. We’ve loved the idea and, based on the “gratitude exercise”, we’ve decided to add to our wishes, the things that we feel blessed for in the past year, 2015. So each member was invited to do this exercise and we are very happy to share it with you.

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Resolutions and Willpower!

Resolutions and Willpower!

New Year’s Resolutions As another year draws to a close, so a new one begins and with it comes the almost mandatory New Year’s Resolutions!  Resolutions that are mainly broken before the end of the first week of the year.  The dark depressing winter evenings (although...

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A Journey into Self

A Journey into Self

"True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know” —Confucius A reflection of the journey As I reflect on this journey, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of accomplishment and relief. As with all of my previous courses, I jumped in with an open-mind and I attempted to...

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A Year of Giving

A Year of Giving

Choosing presents In 2016, I would like to continue with one of the aspects of Christmas that I most enjoy. It is the choosing of presents, this makes me feel closer to friends and family when I'm not geographically close to them. It makes me smile when I find a gift...

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Clarity is … quiet

Clarity is … quiet

It is miraculous. It is not forced. It is not the subject of something external. Having clarity means having choices. Being clear on what you will or will not allow in your life is liberating. If you can see yourself in your true form, something rare to be sure, you...

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Habits of a Happy Brain

Habits of a Happy Brain

Happy brain chemicals Animals have the same happy brain chemicals that we have. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin reward an animal with a good feeling when it meets a survival need. Animals don’t mask these impulses with words, so they help us understand...

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Clarity is … priority!

Clarity is … priority!

In our hectic, sometimes confusing and mixed up world, priorities are the only thing keeping us focused on what matters most to us. For many of us, prioritizing is our business. It’s our skill set that we teach or coach or instill in others. We discuss feeling ‘over’...

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Go Luck Yourself!

Go Luck Yourself!

Have you noticed that some people seem to experience more good luck than others? Why is that? Are they just lucky so-and-so’s or might they actually be able to ‘attract’ good luck?

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Playing To Strengths…Through Style?

Playing To Strengths…Through Style?

Trying to achieve one’s style is linked to identity and how we see, portray, and feel about ourselves. Yet, the pressure to follow trendy styles made me feel foolish and out of place. Who I am/was/would be and what I was wearing did not reflect my current state.

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Clarity is … penchant

Clarity is … penchant

Carl Jung said, “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” In positive psychology, when we speak about our character, we speak about our strengths according to a carefully measured and weighed set of virtues and strengths. The powerhouse team of Dr....

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Finding YOUR  Compass

Finding YOUR Compass

I set forth on the journey into Positive Psychology for two reasons. First, to stop looking at everything through a muddy lens of what is wrong with people. Second, to far distance myself from the self-help homogeneous world of “you can do it—just put on a smile, and...

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Awkwardness: Sense vs Hypersensitivity

Awkwardness: Sense vs Hypersensitivity

"The Science of Awkwardness” A Youtube video called "The Science of Awkwardness” is giving millions of people bad advice. It suggests relying on your awkward feelings without stopping to ask whether they are accurate information about the world. This leads to more...

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Building Christmas Memories

Building Christmas Memories

Halloween is over.  The fireworks have gone ‘bang’.  Christmas is next on the list. It’s that time of year when we can’t avoid the Christmas atmosphere – the Christmas adverts are competing with each other for our awe and attention, the supermarket shelves are filling...

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Clarity is … hopeful

Clarity is … hopeful

When life is difficult for us, we sometimes wish it away. We will sometimes pretend all is fine. We will exercise our right to smile through the pain. We sometimes stand to flee or fight it, depending on our natural tendencies. The pain, isolation and loneliness of...

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Help for the Despairing

Help for the Despairing

The impact of suicide The impact of suicide on the families and society is considerable, so why is it that in 2013 there were 6,233 successful suicides recorded? This means that in every 85 minute period someone kills themselves, according to the Office for National...

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The Fear of Success

The Fear of Success

As I hemmed and hawed over this article it was for good reason and perfect timing that there was as delay. Two days ago I received a call from my younger brother, who at 47 years old has decided to pop the question to his girlfriend. While we all have seen movies such...

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Clarity is … not

Clarity is … not

Clarity is ... not Not competition. Not shadows. Not another wall. It’s not obvious… until it is. Clarity is always the goal. To be clear who we are, why we are here, what is our purpose, how we choose to live is freedom. It’s not what others tell us to be. To be...

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Political Anger is a Reflex

Political Anger is a Reflex

Political anger is often equated with intelligence and virtue, but it is more like an automatic reflex when viewed at a brain level. Each surge of political anger builds a pathway in the brain that makes it easier for new information to turn on the anger. The...

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Clarity is … education

Clarity is … education

Michael J. Fox said, “If the child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” Education through inspiration, not intimidation. Education through sparking a curiosity in the seeker of knowledge, not blowing out the flame of understanding...

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World Mental Health Day 2015

World Mental Health Day 2015

Dignity in mental health 1992 saw the first ever World Mental Health Day, organised by the World Federation for Mental Health (http://www.wfmh.org/) as a celebration of mental health education, awareness and promotion. October 10th will be the day that the event will...

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The pleasures of food

The pleasures of food

Overlooking the pleasures of food There is no better season than summer to write about pleasures and food falls squarely within this realm. Yet, we routinely overlook its sensuality and fall into mindless, functional eating or succumb to overconsumption, missing...

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Question – Who are you?

Question – Who are you?

Question of my working life 25 years in and probably 25 years to go I am still not sure what the title of my working life should be. Do you know? Do we need a title to answer the introductory question so often used to put us in one box or another…”so what do you...

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Nature – Not just a pretty face

Nature – Not just a pretty face

The benefits of nature in environments There are many positive benefits that we receive when we are in natural environments and they all improve our psychological well-being. Being in a natural environment such as a park, the mountains and the coast have been shown to...

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Clarity is … lucid

Clarity is … lucid

Where are we going? Clarity is lucid. There is no greater self-indulgence than that of those who believe that they are the only ones who know a subject. There is no greater life lesson lost than that from those who argue they are the only experts. We’ve read vast...

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Consistency – The Ultimate Referee

Consistency – The Ultimate Referee

Does your team need the strength of Consistency? It's placed in the leadership domain of the executing strengths.  We know that consistency ranks 26 out of the 34 talent themes in frequency.  Gallup defines Consistency as people who are especially talented in being...

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Can People Change?

Can People Change?

A question of change Can people change or “Are we wasting our time with all these efforts to change ourselves, or is it really possible?" I was asked this last week during one of my mammal-brain zoo tours. I had just explained neuroplasticity, and the limits of...

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Strengths – Belief

Strengths – Belief

Belief People who have the strength of Belief possess strong core values and are often considered “traditional.” Those with the Belief strength can be very spiritual or religious, family-oriented, and typically have a strong sense of ethics and integrity with...

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Clarity is … indelible

Clarity is … indelible

We all wear tattoos. Most are invisible to the world. There are some marks on our lives that simply can’t  be removed by wishing them away. There are some marks in our lives that we hope never leave us. The hard truth about human pain or joy is that though it can, in...

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In Favour of Holiday Resolutions

In Favour of Holiday Resolutions

Why do we love holidays? The travel industry continues to blossom as people have more disposable income with which to travel and the time to do so bringing with it the expected analysis from the field of psychology. Why do we love (or long) to travel and what are the...

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Hope theory and goals at work

Hope theory and goals at work

Hope Theory and goals at work If you’re a Team Manager, Director or Executive with an increasing number of conflicting objectives, projects and tasks landing on your desk then you need the theory of hope in your kit bag. In positive psychology, Hope theory can help us...

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Grief and Positive Psychology

Grief and Positive Psychology

What applying positive psychology taught me about grief I will begin this blog with a caveat, there is some emotional content to follow that might make for tough reading relating to cancer and death. Now that we have that out of the way I want to share with you how...

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A Positive Community of Practice

A Positive Community of Practice

A Positive Community of Practice? Can The Positive Psychology People become a community of practice for positive psychology? The dramatic growth in the number of registered members of The Positive Psychology People in the last few months has been remarkable, and it...

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What are Habits?

What are Habits?

Habits are rituals and behaviors that we perform automatically, allowing us to carry out essential activities such as brushing our teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed for work, and following the same routes every day without thinking about them. Our unconscious habits free up resources for our brains to carry out other more complex tasks like solving problems or deciding what to make for dinner.

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Happiness and Defining Value

Happiness and Defining Value

I want, I need, I must have, If only I could get…do any of these sound familiar? All of these phrases come in about a ten minute time span of shoe shopping with my teen daughter. It is not a crime to enjoy ‘things” and to indulge ourselves in things that we enjoy, but there is often a disconnect between the value we place on the wants and needs over what truly fuels our life-zest fire. As a noun, value can be defined as a placed importance, usefulness, an

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Clarity is … changing

Clarity is … changing

Clarity is … changing. When I was a kid, I was fast. Not because of training. Not because I focused on it. I was told I was going out for the town track meets, so I did. When I was ten (10), I raced a bunch of kids and won a gold medal. It was cool. Then, I was told that I won female athlete of the year (10). I had NO idea why. I showed up, I ran as fast as I could. I hated being behind people. That was my only motivation. I didn’t like the feeling of being behind someone else. I had to be in front.

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The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

I have always had an interest in living a good life – perhaps a natural attraction towards positive psychology. An experience early on in life eventually taught me the value of seeing the self as far deeper than the finely curated fragments of body and mind that we spend a lifetime trying to conquer. It showed me, albeit exclusively, the faint and subtle yearnings of the soul that often went unheard in the noise and clamour of daily life.

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Choose Humor, Choose Happiness

Choose Humor, Choose Happiness

Deny it, complain about it, wish it weren’t so, but the fact is, sometimes life is hard. Even the Buddha told us “life is suffering.” OK, so maybe he wasn’t exactly referring to the hopeless feeling you get being stuck in a dead-end job, or the nausea that rolls over you the moment you realize your partner isn’t who you thought they were, but the wise prince had a point- Life. Is. Hard.

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An Optimal Level of Happiness for Academic Achievement?

An Optimal Level of Happiness for Academic Achievement?

The Department for Schools, Children and Families conducted a study in 2009 along with Ofsted called the Tellus4 Survey. The survey aimed to assess the happiness levels of 150,000 15-16 year olds across England. They focused on five key areas of wellbeing including levels of emotional health, substance abuse and bullying along with how often teenagers volunteered in their local community and took part in sport. The results surprisingly highlighted Knowsley

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Clarity is … deciding

Clarity is … deciding

Deciding “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” ~ Coco Chanel For years, I’ve wanted to know what it was like for women who had to cut all their hair off because of cancer related treatments. I’ve seen the wigs, the scarves, the confident bald heads...

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Share your life with others

Share your life with others

Alone I’m about to board a plane in a far flung corner of northern China. I’m alone - again. It’s not so bad – I’m from a large family so alone time is really quite a novelty. However, as I look up at the tiny six seater airplane, walk along the runway’s rocky asphalt...

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Strengths – Arranger

Strengths – Arranger

The arranger is a conductor The Arranger is like the conductor of a symphony. They can manage and organize all of the people and variables in a project. They are flexible and, many times, make great multi-taskers. Arrangers can look at a complex situation, a complex...

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Recovering with an Inner Smile

Recovering with an Inner Smile

Recovery from pain Recovering from anything painful can take time. When struck down, we often reach a point when feeling weak seems to stretch out endlessly. Then fears tend to kick in. And the dreadful question comes up if this is ever going to end. This creates...

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Clarity is … love

Clarity is … love

Love What good is the science of psychology if we can’t put it into practice? Once upon a time, we couldn’t cure a common cold… now, it’s common knowledge. Why? Because we love humanity enough to have created entire fields dedicated to improving the quality of life...

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Grit and the impact of fear

Grit and the impact of fear

What is GRIT? GRIT, in psychology terms, is a personality trait that can be described as perseverance and passion for long term goals. A “Gritty” person is very motivated to achieving these long term goals and often visualises an end-state that, coupled with powerful...

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The Art of Self-Care

The Art of Self-Care

Self-care the challenge The activation of personal positivity surely has to stem from accessing self time, to take care of your needs. For as you consider yourself correctly, this energises positivity and accesses a deeper sense of happiness and wellbeing to be...

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Make time for nature

Make time for nature

Nature is important I was thinking about what I could write as a blog that was different, for me the idea of nature is important. If I want to de-clutter my head, I just need to drive to the seaside and watch the waves go in and out, the sounds invoke good memories...

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Post-traumatic growth and the after life

Post-traumatic growth and the after life

Positive psychology and mediumship When you think about positive psychology, the subject that is probably furthest from your mind is that of the conundrum of whether consciousness survives physical death. However, recent research asking participants about their...

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Courage of the coward

Courage of the coward

The strength of courage Strengths is far and away my most favourite topic in positive psychology and is something that for over a decade now, I have passionately researched and applied in my life. Whenever I take a strengths survey, whether it be the VIA Character...

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Clarity is … knowing

Clarity is … knowing

Clarity is ... knowing Clarity is knowing when you need something, and when to give it away. There are plenty of things that I want. I've come to realize, that there's not much that I need. I have a way to serve others without being overtly altruistic. It's subtle. I...

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Strengths in teaching

Strengths in teaching

Strengths in teaching It is the end of another academic year, a time for reflection. What went well? What engaged and energised the students? What do I need to adapt, abandon, create? Why do I reflect on how energised students are? This is because it is a sign that...

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Wholehearted Leadership

Wholehearted Leadership

So what is Wholehearted Leadership all about? Wholehearted leadership - the next level of leadership Are you ready for the next level of leadership? Are you prepared to ditch the competency framework and engage your workforce wholeheartedly? Then the practice of...

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Feed your Positive

Feed your Positive

A choice Please don’t think you are about to read how wonderfully rosy the world is and we should all just put on a happy face and dance through the streets; although street dancing does sound appealing. There are times when I would much rather pull the covers up over...

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Clarity is … daunting

Clarity is … daunting

Clarity is … daunting at times. Understanding what is truly clear to us can be in fact, a lot of mental toughness. Figuring out how to navigate through the scores of moments, knowing which to choose, knowing which to purposefully ignore, is an emotional task unto...

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Vampires of Happiness

Vampires of Happiness

Rewards are blood-sucking vampires of happiness The rewards that we give ourselves as fame, fortune, position, clout, acquisitions, trophies, connections, and social network friends, and of course  money provide only short lived gratification and happiness. These...

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Positive Leadership in Communities

Positive Leadership in Communities

Positive Leadership in Communities Opportunities Knock Opportunities knock at every mindful acknowledgement that creating something larger than one’s self is but an email, a call, or just a conversation away. Commitment to connection is the essential factor that...

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Strengths and Youth with Disability

Strengths and Youth with Disability

VIA Character Strengths and understanding our qualities At the Beach Center on Disability and Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities on Disability at the University of Kansas with support from the VIA Institute on Character, we have been working on a...

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About A Smile

About A Smile

About a Smile "In ancient China, the Taoists taught that a constant inner smile to oneself, insured health, happiness and longevity. Why? Smiling to yourself is like basking in love: you become your own best friend. Living with an inner smile is to live in harmony...

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Aging Positively in Chile

Aging Positively in Chile

Aging Positively in Chile In the last few years there has been a growing interest in understanding older adult’s well-being, due to the increase of life-expectancy and decrease of mortality as a result of advances in medicine, biopsychosocial protection and improved...

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Positive about nature

Positive about nature

Positive about nature A nature walk should be uplifting, but it devolves into hell-in-a-hand basket thinking too often these days. I toured a garden-of-paradise in Kauai with a guide who raged continually about our forefathers. This soured me on nature guides for a...

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Clarity is … discovery

Clarity is … discovery

Recently, I’ve moved to a new location. Somewhere bigger. Somewhere that appreciates a more urban lifestyle, more arts and sciences, more…. everything. We (our boutique business) needed bigger. We hoped for some things to stay the same. However, we knew it was time...

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Time for Kindness

Time for Kindness

A bit of misfortune In the week, I had a slight accident in my car, bursting my front passenger's wheel. Nobody else was involved and nobody was hurt. Being unsure of some factors in the car, I called the breakdown recovery company. They were busy, but booked somebody...

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PERMA – M is for Meaning

PERMA – M is for Meaning

PERMA - M is for Meaning. The forth element of the PERMA model focuses on meaning (M). Specifically, how one finds meaning in their life and how it relates to being part of a “good life”. Meaning is like the threads that bind and riddle a quilt to hold large and small...

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Real World Positive Psychology?

Real World Positive Psychology?

Is there a role for positive psychology in conflict situations? I have just returned from Kurdistan (Iraq) where I visited several Yazidi families, many of which lost their children or family members under siege near Mount Sinjar this December. This trip forced me to...

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Is Sadness Essential for Joy?

Is Sadness Essential for Joy?

Is Sadness Essential for Joy? Sadness is essential for joy, says new Pixar movie. The inner workings of the brain are the subject of Disney/Pixar’s new animated feature, Inside Out. The film makes a statement about happiness instead of just being cute. It follows an...

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Is there a missing element to recruitment?

Is there a missing element to recruitment?

Is There A Missing Element To Recruitment? There is a new, emerging shift in the way that organisations are carrying out their recruitment, which is something that I believe has been missing for a while now. That missing element is to focus on the strengths required...

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PERMA – E is for Engagement

PERMA – E is for Engagement

PERMA - E is for Engagement Let’s talk about the E of PERMA. To recap the umbrella of PERMA, PERMA is the acronym for the five vital elements that accompany the journey: These include: (P) Positive Emotion; (E) Engagement; (R) Positive Relationships; (M) Meaning; and...

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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day - 10th October A challenge for all those interested in flourishing us to get involved with at least one event on World Mental Health Day. Let's recognise the work of Corey Keyes who states that "flourishing is complete mental health". The...

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How to Amplify PP Practice

How to Amplify PP Practice

How to Amplify PP Practice I have recently become poignantly aware of how practicing and living not just one of the positive psychology principles in isolation, but combining and blending a handful of exercises (what Martin Seligman calls a ‘package of positive...

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Say Yes To Stress

Say Yes To Stress

Say Yes to Stress. Your brain learns from stress. In the hours after a stressful experience, your brain builds new wiring so you can avoid similar threats in the future. This is the survival mechanism we’ve inherited from our animal ancestors. Stanford Professor Kelly...

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