Love And Happiness Go Hand-In-Hand

December 18, 2013 by ·

Giving love,  accepting love and making love last are what makes for a happier life. George E. Vaillant led a study for more 40 years quantifying what makes happiness. The study watched 238 men at Harvard University who were sophomores between 1939 and 1946. In his book, Triumphs of... Read More

Lessons In Character Strength Learned From Running Challenge

November 19, 2013 by ·

In this first of a two-part series, Australia counselor and author of How to Be Happy, Julia Barnard shares her memorable story of practicing VIA character strengths in a fun year-long challenge with her brother. Running into strengths Every year at school we used to have time trials as... Read More


From Mindless to Mindfulness

August 7, 2013 by ·

Learn how to make an impact on one of your bad habits. First, select one of your “bad” habits or vices. Pick something you are struggling with or bothered by and that you do each day. Then, consider one way you will bring greater mindfulness to the habit or... Read More

Strengths Spotting Your Way to Happiness (Part 1)

January 8, 2013 by ·

Strengths-spotting is one of the best, initial activities that deepens our understanding of our strengths and the strengths of others. There are 2 general levels to strengths-spotting: 1.) Spotting strengths in action in others and 2.) Spotting strengths in action in oneself. This blog entry will focus on spotting... Read More

Mindfulness and Character Strengths: Training #2 (True Happiness)

July 1, 2012 by ·

Perhaps nobody has brought more clarity to how mindfulness can manifest in our daily lives than Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh offers five mindfulness trainings that help individuals bring more depth, purpose and meaning into their lives. Keep in mind: These are mindfulness trainings not mindfulness commandments. The... Read More

Re-discover Happiness with Laughter and Humor

April 25, 2012 by ·

I used to lead a laughter group a few times a year for clients at a psychotherapy clinic. The group was interactive and educational. The purpose was to highlight the therapeutic benefits of laughter. Participants were encouraged to bring jokes, funny stories, and come dressed in costume. There was... Read More

New Ways To Happiness with Strengths

April 20, 2012 by ·

Need a happiness boost? Discover your signature strengths and use them in a new way each day. Research has found this intervention gives a boost to happiness and a decrease to depression, with some studies finding effects lasting up to six months. Below are examples of how this intervention... Read More

Depression? Turn to your VIA Strengths!

April 11, 2012 by ·

Using your top VIA strengths – your signature strengths – has been shown to be effective to increasing happiness and decreasing depression. Several scientific studies have shown this. As a psychologist for many years helping clients with depression, I focused heavily on what was wrong. I asked my clients... Read More

The Contagion of Character: Building a Better Society, Not Just a Better Self

February 8, 2010 by ·

I have been sympathetic to some criticisms of positive psychology as being too “self”-centered – focusing on how individuals can make themselves happier or otherwise improve their own lives. It can appear that positive psychology is a continuation of a “me-me-me” egocentric, self-indulgent culture. There may well be those... Read More