INTRODUCTION: HAPPINESS – FROM THE START

A philosophical look at life and happiness and the potential to live life differently. We introduce the idea that you can actively manage your lifestyle in ways that create sustainable happiness. We ask and answer key questions such as: Why be happy? Is it selfish? Can happiness skills be taught? Can levels of happiness be sustainably changed? What are the benefits of being a happier person?

SESSION 1: THE MOOD OF HAPPINESS

This session is about happiness as a mood state. We look at the effects of hassles and uplifts upon your mood and look at ways of improving mood.

SESSION 2: WHAT LEADS TO HAPPINESS?

This session delves into cause and effect, considering what leads to happiness, and what doesn’t.

We review compelling evidence from positive psychology studies and experiments. We talk about some of the fascinating insights into human behaviour and study the mistakes people make when they try to be happier. What should you be doing instead? What ways of thinking, feeling and behaving have scientists found that work best to sustain and improve happiness?

How do you know if you’re happy? You have the opportunity to try out some of the world’s best happiness measuring methods for yourself, with the results for your eyes only.

SESSION 3: RELATIONSHIPS – THE HEART OF HAPPINESS

We humans are intensely social creatures and this session explores how love, our close relationships, our social lives, involvement in our community and interaction with colleagues at work affect our happiness and that of others.

We talk about the capacity to love and be loved, and what characterises happy relationships. You learn about the ratio of positive to negative and how science has shown how happy relationships have a strong bias towards the positive.

We tell you about some ways you could change the actions and communications in your relationships to good effect. We teach you the four ways you can respond to news from loved ones, and which one raises the sense of well-being the most for both of you.

SESSION 4: FEELING GOOD AND THINKING WELL

Why do we experience positive emotions and what effect do they have upon our happiness? Which ways of thinking are associated with happiness? This session is about two big contributors to happiness: the value of positive emotions, and the patterns and habits of thinking, both of which infuse happy people’s lives and help increase the enjoyment of living every day.

SESSION 5: A HAPPY OUTLOOK

This part of the course teaches you about the value of cultivating realistic optimism and the benefits of having a positive outlook. It looks at the ways people appraise and attribute cause and how awareness of that can change the way events affect you.

SESSION 6: HAPPINESS BODY AND SOUL

This session is all about states of mind and their effect upon one’s sense of happiness and contentment. You begin to understand the power and potential of four states and practices – visualisation, mindfulness, meditation and flow – to shift your perspective and sense of well-being.

We also look at the truly awesome – how to put the self in perspective and contemplate the bigger picture.

SESSION 7: STRENGTHS

We look in detail at character strengths, how to identify them and how to use them in life and work to increase a sense of well-being.

SESSION 8: TOUGH TIMES

This session is likely to be particularly valuable for the times ahead: we look at resilience, ways of coping and positive therapy, to help you survive the rough as well as enjoying the smooth. We work through the ways of thinking, feeling and acting which will bolster your resilience and immunise your well-being against the battering that life can sometimes deliver.

SESSION 9: TOWARDS SUSTAINED HAPPINESS

This session is dedicated to a whole range of strategies for sustaining happiness as well as skills practise. These include several new techniques devised by Professor Frude within his clinical practice.