practical ways to improve your sense of personal well-being. prof. ray miller

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Happiness In Practice. Practical ways to improve your sense of personal well-being. Prof. Ray Miller Chartered Psychologist. May 2012. 1. Happiness – the bandwagon. (June, 2011). project . Former BPS President Ray Miller, for example, said: ‘While everyone seems - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • May 2012

    *Practical ways to improve your sense of personal well-being.

    Prof. Ray MillerChartered Psychologist

  • Happiness the bandwagon

  • (June, 2011)project. Former BPS President Ray Miller,for example, said: While everyone seemsto be claiming a right to happiness, I wantto defend the right to be bloodymiserable. If people are seriously led tobelieve that happiness is a continuouslyattainable state, then they are beingmisled. Unhappiness becomes pathologyand people feel cheated and deprived.They seek a cure and believe someoneshould do something to alleviate theirsuffering. But unhappiness is a naturalreaction to some sets of circumstances.Like a pendulum, we will always swingbetween the two states with dynamicfluctuation only ending when the clockstops. In a more balanced way, we shouldperhaps be aiming for contentment.

  • May 2012

    *Taking Happiness Seriously?July 2011The term 'well-being' is often taken to mean happiness.

    Happiness is one aspect of the well-being of individuals and can be measured by asking them about their feelings subjective well-being.

  • May 2012

    *Happiness Success?But in fact the GDP is a hopeless measure of welfare. For since the War that measure has shot up by leaps and bounds, while the happiness of the population has stagnated. To understand how the economy actually affects our well-being, we have to use psychology as well as economics. Fortunately psychology is now moving rapidly in the right direction and I hope economics will follow.

  • Layard What is Happiness?So what do I mean by happiness? By happiness I mean feeling good enjoying life and feeling it is wonderful. And by unhappiness I mean feeling bad and wishing things were different.

  • May 2012

    *Scottish Happiness?National IndicatorIncrease the average score of adults on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale by 2011Current Status (Max score = 70)The mean score fell from 51 in 2006 to 50.0 in 2008 and remained at a similar level in 2009 (49.7) and 2010 (49.9).

  • May 2012

    *Warwick-Edinburgh ItemsIve been feeling optimistic about the future Ive been feeling usefulIve been feeling relaxedIve been feeling interested in other people Ive had energy to spareIve been dealing with problems wellIve been thinking clearlyIve been feeling good about myselfIve been feeling close to other peopleIve been feeling confidentIve been able to make up my own mind about thingsIve been feeling lovedIve been interested in new thingsIve been feeling cheerful

  • Positive PsychologyPositive psychology is a recent branch of psychology whose purpose was summed up in 1998 by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

    "We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise, which achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities."

  • May 2012

    *Happiness In PracticeHappiness is not an accident nor a gift. It is a state of positive mental and physical well-being you can learn to achieve, sustain and improve.

    The Positive Psychology movement has identified key methods and techniques that have inspired people to see that greater happiness is an achievable goal.

  • May 2012

    *Time for some change?Do you want to enjoy life more?Do you want a better and happier outlook?Do you want simple, proven techniques?Are you prepared to put in some effort?No cost!No drugs!No therapy!No nonsense!

  • May 2012

    *Product PromisesYou will not be Happy all the time shit happens

    Unhappiness is a normal reaction to adverse circumstances

    You can shift the balance to achieve a better, overall, level of contentmentSad Happy

  • May 2012

    *Make time for Happiness5 key skillsPractice appreciationActs of kindnessUse your strengthsSetbacks and resilienceExpressions ofgratitude

  • May 2012

    *AppreciationWe take so many things for granted that sometimes we hardly notice the things we enjoy and appreciate.

    On the other hand we certainly notice the things that annoy or upset us.

    For the next week try to pay more attention to the little and large things that you enjoy in the day. Aim for at least 3 things you Appreciate per day.

  • AppreciationEnjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

    Robert Brault

  • Examples of AppreciationBreakfast in bedA smile from a strangerChildren playingYour favourite musicAn outdoor lunchFive minutes of deep breathing A small victoryAn opportunity to be creativeFinding money you didnt know you hadA snack or drink you really likeA beautiful sunset or sunriseAn extra half-hour of sleepA warm, refreshing showerA book youre dying to readAn itch you can actually reachA new recipe that comes out perfectlySomething so funny it makes you laugh out loud

  • May 2012

    *KindnessIt may seem strange, but much of our own happiness and sense of well-being comes from helping improve the happiness and well-being of others.

    Each day, in large or small ways, we can practice acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that make the world just a little better place to live. Thats our world too!

    Try for 3 Random Acts of Kindness a day

  • Examples of KindnessGive up your seatHold a door open for someoneGive a (sincere) complimentMake someone laughGive someone a hugTake time to really listen to someoneMake someone new feel welcomeLet one car in on every journeyGive directions to someone who's lostHave a conversation with a strangerPick up litter as you walkLet someone in front of you in the supermarket queue

  • May 2012

    *StrengthsAlthough at times we may feel weak and helpless, we all have strengths.

    Often these go unrecognised and we may even believe some of the strengths are weaknesses.

    Lets get a more balanced view by looking at some important strengths you may display in your day to day life.

  • May 2012

    *Examples of StrengthsCreativity [originality, ingenuity]Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]Open-mindedness [ judgment, critical thinking]Love of Learning [education, understanding]Perspective [wisdom, balance] Persistence [perseverance, industriousness]Integrity [authenticity, honesty] Love [caring, empathy]

  • May 2012

    *Strength CheckIf youd like to check your signature strengths, please go online to:

    Register on the site (free) and complete the VIA Signature Strengths questionnaire.

  • May 2012

    *ResilienceLife doesnt always go smoothly. There are times when we all have to face difficulties, distress and pain; both physical and emotional. Thats normal.

    But as Winston Churchill once said: If you are going through Hell, keep going. There will be another side where you can come out and move on.

    The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. If we learn from our experiences, we come out better able to deal with future problems.

    Sometimes we have to fall to rise again.

  • May 2012

    *Examples of ResilienceAbility to bounce backBend but not break under stressMaintain equilibrium when things go wrongAbility to persevere through setbacksSee the bigger pictureAbility to look on the bright sideCreate meaning and purpose; transcendBe prepared to be flexibleGet support; accept helpRemember past successPhysical self-care; look after yourselfSense of humour

  • May 2012

    *Characteristics of ResilienceEmotional Self ControlStrong RelationshipsGenuineness and Self AcceptanceGoal SettingBelief in Self EfficacyPerspectiveCuriosityPersistence and flexibilityHumour

  • May 2012

    *GratitudeOne of the core ingredients of Positive Psychology is the Gratitude Letter: a written and specific expression of thanks to someone who has been especially kind or important to you and who has never heard you express your gratitude.

    It might be parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, team mates, employers, and so on

  • May 2012

    *Hints: Content and StyleWhy you are writing this letter.

    What you are grateful for. Be as specific as possible.

    Describe the things you are grateful for in concrete terms.

    Describe how they affected you, how you benefited, what you learnt.

    Allow yourself to be fully in touch with the feeling of gratitude as you write.

    Read and re-read the letter; ensure it captures your thoughts and feelings.

    Set a time and day to go on your gratitude visit.

    Make the visit. Often the hardest part, but also the most beneficial.

  • May 2012

    *Thats All FolksThanks too to Paul Newton ( who inspired and collaborated on the first Happiness in Practice course.This presentation can be downloaded from


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