Four Science Backed Tips To Improve Your Year Ahead

Four Science Backed Tips To Improve Your Year Ahead

Leading wellbeing authors offer free online course in positive psychology.

A new branch of science called Positive Psychology focuses on how to bring out the best in ourselves and other people. It reveals how simple practices can act as a foundation for wellbeing and make a real difference to our quality of life.

Starting on New Year’s Day and running through January 2020, Dr Chris Johnstone (author of Seven Ways to Build Resilience) and Miriam Akhtar (author of the Little Book of Happiness) offer a free online course in Positive Psychology introducing these four practices to support a better year ahead.

  • Hunt the Good Stuff

One of the choice points available to us is what we focus attention on. Whatever we look at, our gaze can be guided by the question “what do I like here?”. We can look around us for what we find interesting, beautiful, nourishing or inspiring. When we notice what we like, and give this our full attention, we give our mood a boost

  • Harness Your Strengths

We can hunt the good stuff when looking at ourselves, noticing our finer features and areas of strength. Research shows that when we identify strengths, then intentionally use them more, our satisfaction in life grows.

  • Build Resilience

Resilience training has been shown to reduce the risk of depression in both adults and children. A simple resilience practice is to ask ourselves the perspective check questions of ‘what’s the best that can happen here? what’s the worst? and what’s most likely?’ – by considering a range of ways things can go, we can develop an openness of mind that both recognises risks and spots opportunities.

  • Nourish Relationships

Few things support wellbeing more than the warmth of nourishing relationships. Yet even if we don’t see ourselves as a ‘people person’, the ability to make and keep friends is helped by learnable skills. One of the simplest is listening – but not just any listening. Research shows that it is particularly when someone shares good news that feeling heard well improves their satisfaction with the relationship.

Each week of the free online course focuses on one of these practices, describing how to use them effectively and help them become habits that improve our lives.

For course info, see

For a short You Tube video introduction, see

“There are skills we can learn that help us bring out our best and enjoy life more. Wellbeing is a direction we can move in from any starting point, and Positive Psychology practices help us do that” says Dr Chris Johnstone, author of Seven Ways to Build Resilience

I don’t think that it’s enough to talk about mental health, what we really need to do is change the way we tackle it. What’s missing is a focus on building mental health rather than just repairing it when there’s a problem” says Miriam Akhtar, author of The Little Book of Happiness.