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March 20: World Happiness Day. Happiness or Resilience?

Happiness or Resilience?

Today is the International Day of Happiness, and while most of the planet shares a global feeling of anxiety when it comes to how things will turn out, the topic of happiness can appear fluffy for some of you, and not a number one daily priority. In my discussions with other partners from our Woohoo network, some prefer talking about psychological resilience as opposed to happiness or subjective well-being. 

From Wikipedia, psychological resilience refers to the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis quickly. For the last couple of months in Hong Kong, the concept of resilience has been a buzzword for some companies looking for ad hoc training to equip their employees with the right techniques to cope with this VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) we all live in. We at TGI Monday!  have been consulted by some of these companies, but decided not to change our wording when proposing our offer. 

Indeed, our vision is to make happiness the rule and not the exception. We do not deliver workshops or training or consulting on how to make people more resilient, but happier, and by being happier we believe you can be more resilient. We see it as a by-product.

Besides, I am not totally aligned with the idea of “returning to pre-crisis quickly”. I believe that such crises or chaos can be a beneficial period to design a better world for oneself at home or at work. Taking some time to pause and think about what could be better and more attuned with our own values, strengths and purpose can be the beginning of a promising post-crisis journey.

Learning about positive psychology

So, with today being the International Day of Happiness, let’s view it as a day to think about happiness. I’d like to encourage every one of you to take a few moments to learn about positive psychology and the science of happiness, which is the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing. 

Below are a few further articles, MOOCs and websites you can go through to make yourself more savvy to this new scientific domain, which has gained ground for two decades and serves as a guide to a more meaningful life and more positive leadership. It is taught in the most prestigious universities in the world, as well as in some international schools, and we have dedicated ourselves to raising awareness about its principles in all the programs we lead for our clients.

3 tips for today

For those of you who need more straightforward advice, below are three practical tips at the core of positive psychology.

  1. Get to know your strengths by filling in the quick survey from ViaCharacter and make full use of them in your daily life. A strength is defined by Alex Linley, founder of the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology as a “pre-existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energising to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance”.

Among its many benefits, science has demonstrated that knowing and using your strengths makes you more confident, decreases feelings of stress, increases resilience, generates a sense of vitality, and makes you more prompt in reaching targets. TGI Monday! offers strength-based leadership workshops, or, you could also read about it in the references below.

2. Cultivate and experience positive emotions on a daily basis. One of the main drivers for being happier is about experiencing positive emotions frequently. It’s not about intensity. Start asking yourself, which positive or pleasant emotions make you move, smile, laugh, feel well and lively? Is it about inspiration, gratitude, love, pride, amusement, awe? How can you make more of what makes you happy on a daily basis? 

Many of you are well aware of my constant reference to the 3 kifs or ‘three good things a day’—thinking every end of the day about the three things that made you feel happy. This is an easy and practical activity that could be transformed into a daily habit with your family and co-workers to foster a more positive mood. 

3. Happiness starts with a smile. If you already attended one of our workshops or programs, you know about this tip. Smiling is one way to increase the happy hormones your brain needs to make you feel good. Smiling is also a way to foster positive relationships and, according to several scientific studies, to make yourself more memorable, look more confident, and live longer. It doesn’t cost a dime and it’s highly contagious. In fact, it’s said that one smile has a ripple effect of 500 more smiles in a day! 

I hope I’ve inspired or interested you with this little article. I always appreciate your feedback or comments. 

TGIF ☺ (but only because the International Day for Happiness falls on a Friday this year!)

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