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My Grandma Washed Clothes in a Creek, and I Get Upset when my Washing Machine Breaks: How to Keep Perspective in our Daily Lives

My Grandma Washed Clothes in a Creek, and I Get Upset when my Washing Machine Breaks: How to Keep Perspective in our Daily Lives


Last summer I visited Greece, the country from which my parents emigrated. On one sun-soaked day, I was sitting with my uncle and my partner, enjoying some freshly picked figs from my maternal grandparent’s olive farm. We were sitting beside the ruins of my mom’s childhood home - An old, stone, two-room house, where she and her 10 brothers and sisters grew up. As we’re sitting there, my uncle describes that one his most vivid memories of my grandmother is her hunched over the small creek that runs through their property, washing clothes for hours on end. My heart sank. The thought of my grandma spending her days hunched over a muddy creek washing clothes elicited a mixed bag of reactions in me - shame at my ungratefulness for the relatively luxurious life I lead, sadness for my grandma (was she happy?), as well as an acute awareness of how lucky I am and all the opportunities I’ve had that my grandma could not have dreamed of. The mental image of her washing clothes in the creek still takes my breath away, and makes me feel at the same time like a privileged jerk and a deep sense of gratitude.

Back in Montreal, a few months ago, my washing machine broke and for various reasons couldn’t be fixed for a few weeks, so my partner and I were left carting our laundry to the local Laundromat, which I haven’t done since my university days. I was not happy. That image of my grandma easily slipped back to the forefront of my consciousness, and so my laundry “crisis” got me thinking more and more about how difficult it is for us, in our day-to-day lives, to let go of the small stuff and connect with what really matters in life. It seems easier to hold onto this grateful mindset when major life events happen, like when a loved one falls seriously ill, when we lay eyes on a newborn baby, when we get sick and aren’t able to do the things we normally do. But who wakes up every day, or even most days, thinking wow life is so precious, and feeling deeply grateful? Not me. I think most of us wake up sleep-deprived, pressed for time, ruminating about a conversation we had the day before, feeling fat and like we haven’t been working out enough.

So how do people like me, those lucky enough to be well-educated, able-bodied, and living in the first world, keep things in perspective and remain grateful in our day-to-day lives? Here are a few tips that I’ve found personally helpful.

Practice mindfulness

I hesitated to write about mindfulness, because it seems mindfulness these days is presented as a cure-all, and you might be tired of hearing about it. But, I wanted to be honest about what helps me, and I do find mindfulness (and specifically when I practice it through meditation) a great tool for helping me keep things in perspective. One characteristic of mindfulness includes noticing the “stories” (vs. the facts) we tell ourselves about a situation. For example, when I’m getting caught up in the small stressors of life, I might be telling myself things like, “Things have to be a certain way for me to be okay. I need this to be a certain way. This is a huge inconvenience.” If I’m remembering to be mindful, I can take a step back from these stories, and with compassion and curiosity, ask myself what are the facts of the situation? Am I catastrophizing? Am I excessively focusing on the negative? Is this a huge hassle or a minor bump in the road?

Add a little diversity to your life!

It is so easy and normal to get caught up in our own lives. Most of us likely spend the majority of our time with our family, close friends, and co-workers, and those people are often very similar to us in terms of cultural background, social status, etc. To top it off, our social media feeds make it seem like everyone else's life is sunshine and rainbows (and babies and kittens), making it even more difficult to maintain a sense of how lucky we truly are. For keeping things in perspective, I find it helpful to get outside my bubble. I love, for example, reading about other cultures in National Geographic, and of course travelling is an excellent way if you have the time and financial means. Reading the news is another great way to keep things in perspective. Here are some tips on how to stay informed in a balanced, healthy way: How To Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed By Your Newsfeed

Notice the invisible things you have to be grateful for!

I don’t know about you, but my brain is really great at focusing on the negative. It loves to hang onto all the things that went wrong during the day. I find gratitude, simply taking the time to notice the positives, like a breath of fresh air in all this chatter. If you want to up your gratitude game, check out this podcast, Why is My Life So Hard?, where social psychologists explain that we often fail to notice the invisible advantages that help us along, like a free society, our ability to walk, talk and dance, etc (1). The authors suggest, when practicing gratitude, ask yourself, “What are the ways I’m boosted along? What are the invisible things that are helping me?”  

Let go of first world guilt

Of course we have first world problems; we’re living in the first world. We will feel annoyed when our washing machine breaks down, because in the context of our lives this is an inconvenience and a hassle. However, beating ourselves up over “first world problems” is not an effective way to foster gratefulness. Instead, notice without judgment when you’re feeling bad over something relatively small, and try out one of the techniques above, or something else that helps you put things in perspective. When you notice yourself getting frustrated or anxious over “first world problems” you might even take it as an opportunity to pause and list a few things you’re grateful for.

A quick shout out to the emotion of anger before signing off - Feeling grateful and cultivating humility does not mean being okay with the bad stuff. Racism, sexism, etc. still exist in the first world. Anger and frustration are important emotions too – they let us know when we are possibly being disrespected, and they are activating and empowering. You can be angry at injustices AND grateful at the same time :)

Lisa Linardatos is a clinical psychologist in Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, at Connecte Montreal Psychology Group. The team at Connecte loves writing about ways to boost our mental health and bring psychology into our everyday lives. For more helpful tips, check out Connecte’s blogspodcast, follow @connectepsychology on Instagram or @ConnecteMTL on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

References and Resources

1. Davidai, S., & Gilovich, T. (2016). The headwinds/tailwinds asymmetry: An availability bias in assessments of barriers and blessings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(6), 835.

For more on mindfulness, check out Mindfulness: An Introductory Guide.

For more on gratitude, check out What’s the Big Deal about Gratitude?

4 reasons why travel is good for our mental health

4 reasons why travel is good for our mental health

For those of us who love to travel, the days we spend exploring are just about as meaningful and fulfilling as they come. Traveling is a time to disconnect from the daily hassles and stress of work, experience the way other cultures live, try new flavours (a highlight, of course), and, ideally, escape the cold Northeastern winters. It is also becoming increasingly clear that traveling has a number of psychological benefits. Planning ahead and taking that vacation we have been dreaming about can have a positive impact on our well-being, relationships, and maybe even our personality.

1. Traveling can improve our mood and well-being

We all have an intuitive sense that taking a break or trip can help us feel recharged. The good news is that this feeling is supported by research. Taking a vacation actually does improve our well-being and mood (1-3). In addition to helping us feel happier and more relaxed, traveling can reduce burnout and make us feel like we are better able to handle our jobs when we return (4-6). In addition to improving our mood, taking time off work for a vacation is associated with a number of better physical outcomes, including fewer health complaints and improved sleep (2,4,7).

In most studies, we return to our pre-trip state about 3 to 4 weeks after returning home (2,5). However, even if some of the benefits are short-lived, taking a vacation can really help us cope in times of stress and there are plenty of other reasons why travel is good for our well-being.

2. Traveling can have a positive impact on our relationships

Building new connections and strengthening the relationships we already have is a big reason why so many of us are passionate about traveling (8).

For starters, it can sometimes feel much easier to meet, and even approach, new people when we are in a new environment and operating outside of our normal routine and comfort zone. Whether it’s through an organized tour or a chance encounter with a stranger at a café or museum, engaging with fellow travelers or locals can lead to meaningful interactions and even long-lasting friendships. There are also a lot of great apps and resources available for those who are committed to meeting new people while on the road, including Meetup, TravBuddy, and backpackr.

Traveling with our partner or family can also improve our existing relationships. Taking a vacation with our partner or spouse can actually increase our relationship satisfaction (9). Moreover, given that participating in leisure activities as a family can improve feelings of connectedness, it is likely that bringing the kids along can have a positive impact on family functioning (8). At the very least, traveling as a family will no doubt lead to stories and experiences that will be remembered for years to come.

3. Traveling can help us to practice gratitude

Traveling is also a great way to help us recognize how fortunate we are. Through interacting with different people and ways of life, traveling can help us realize our privilege and all of the things we have to be thankful for. Gratitude has been shown time and time again to help us live happier and healthier lives (10). Reflecting on the differences between the places we visit and our life back home, and being grateful for all that we have, including the means to travel, can help us feel more content. As a bonus, traveling and having the opportunity to meet others from different cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds can also help us to be more accepting of diversity and compassionate toward others.

4. Traveling can impact our personality

If that’s not enough, research has also shown us that traveling can impact our personality in some pretty interesting and unexpected ways! We know that personality traits, such as openness to new experiences, can influence how likely someone is to seek out travel opportunities. Even more interesting, is that taking an extended trip can actually influence our personality. For example, long-term travel abroad can lead to increases in our openness to experiences, agreeableness (e.g., warm, empathetic, giving), and emotional stability (i.e., easygoing) (11). Oftentimes, the driving force behind these changes are the experiences and interactions we have with others while on the road.

Taken together, traveling can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, especially when we seek out meaningful interactions and connections. That being said, traveling isn't always in the cards. This is often true during the times when we feel like we need a vacation the most. The good news is that there are things we can do to recreate some of the benefits of a vacation while on a staycation.

  • The main benefits of travel come from disconnecting from the stressors of our everyday life. If you are planning a staycation, make sure you disconnect in the same way you would if you were actually out of town. Refrain from using your phone or the internet (especially for work-related tasks).
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well, sleep in, and try to be physically active. These are all things we are better at prioritizing while away on vacation and a big reason why we find travel so relaxing (3).
  • Schedule social and leisure time. As tempting as it is to stay home and relax on the couch for a week, chances are this isn’t going to help you recharge. Instead, pretend to be a tourist in your own city. Try new restaurants, check out the local museum exhibit, and get lost wandering around a new part of town. Setting aside time for leisure activities is a large part of what allows us to feel the positive impacts of vacation and travel (12).

Ultimately, regardless of whether it is a staycation or vacation, the key is to try and be mindful and in the moment. It can be tempting to count down the number of days we have left, or to feel pressure to document each moment so that we can share it on social media. The more we can resist these urges and focus on the present, the more likely it is that our vacation will end up being the experience we hoped for. Finally, planning our staycation or trip is a large part of the fun, so remember to enjoy this process too!

Miriam Kirmayer is a PhD Candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and a therapist at Connecte Montreal Psychology Group. The team at Connecte loves writing about ways to boost our mental health and bring psychology into our everyday lives. For more helpful tips, check out Connecte’s blogspodcast, follow @connectepsychology on Instagram or @ConnecteMTL on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.


1. Chen, C. C., & Petrick, J. F. (2013). Health and wellness benefits of travel experiences a literature review. Journal of Travel Research, 52, 709-719.

2. Strauss-Blasche, G., Ekmekcioglu, C., & Marktl, W. (2000). Does vacation enable recuperation? Changes in well-being associated with time away from work. Occupational Medicine, 50, 167-172.

3. Strauss‐Blasche, G., Reithofer, B., Schobersberger, W., Ekmekcioglu, C., & Wolfgang, M. (2005). Effect of vacation on health: moderating factors of vacation outcome. Journal of Travel Medicine,12, 94-101.

4. Fritz, C., & Sonnentag, S. (2006). Recovery, well-being, and performance-related outcomes: The role of workload and vacation experiences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 936.

5. Westman, M., & Eden, D. (1997). Effects of a respite from work on burnout: vacation relief and fade-out. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 516.

6. Westman, M., & Etzion, D. (2001). The impact of vacation and job stress on burnout and absenteeism. Psychology & Health, 16, 595-606.

7. Gump, B. B., & Matthews, K. A. (2000). Are vacations good for your health? The 9-year mortality experience after the multiple risk factor intervention trial. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 608-612.

8. Pearce, P. L. (2012). Relationships and the tourism experience: challenges for quality-of-life assessments. In Handbook of Tourism and Quality-of-Life Research (pp. 9-29). Springer Netherlands.

9. Durko, A. M., & Petrick, J. F. (2013). Family and Relationship Benefits of Travel Experiences A Literature Review.  Journal of Travel Research, 52, 720-730.

10. Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical psychology review, 30, 890-905.

11. Zimmermann, J., & Neyer, F. J. (2013). Do we become a different person when hitting the road? Personality development of sojourners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 515.

12. de Bloom, J., Nawijn, J., Geurts, S., Kinnunen, U., & Korpela, K. (2016). Holiday travel, staycations, and subjective well-being. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-16.

What’s the big deal about gratitude?

What’s the big deal about gratitude?


Gratitude refers to being grateful, thankful and appreciative. In the last few years, there has been more and more attention in the media about the benefits of gratitude. Recently, a couple of my clients wanted to know what all the hype surrounding gratitude was, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a little with you about the many benefits associated with gratitude and a bit about how to cultivate your own gratitude practice.

In the last ten years or so, there has been a fair amount of research on gratitude. Studies have clearly demonstrated that gratitude is beneficial on a number of levels and that it can have a positive impact on one’s quality of life. It has been proven to have a positive effect on general well-being and other aspects of mental health and, more recently, an attitude of gratitude has also been found to have a positive effect on physical health. Practicing gratitude is something we can all do; it is simple, doesn’t require any sort of equipment or involve any expense and one can incorporate an attitude of gratitude into their life in little time.  Great! What are we waiting for and how do we get started?

Let’s start by examining the benefits of developing an attitude of gratitude. How does gratitude really help? 

Physical benefits

Recent studies have demonstrated that individuals who are more grateful tend to be in better physical health. More specifically, those who are more grateful are less likely to experience pain, and they are more likely to take better care of their health by exercising regularly and scheduling regular medical check-ups (1, 2). It has also been suggested that a simple gratitude practice such as noting what they are grateful for before bed can help to improve duration and quality of sleep (3, 4) increase energy levels and reduce blood pressure.

Benefits on Mental Health

Gratitude has also been found to have a positive impact on our general well-being and mental health. Robert Emmons, PhD (recognized as the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude and a psychology professor at the University of California) has done a lot of research in this area and his studies have confirmed that gratitude decreases depression (5) and increases overall happiness (6). Studies have also demonstrated that gratitude can help to improve self-esteem (7, 8) and promote resilience and reduce the chances of developing PSTD after experiencing trauma (9). 

How can we incorporate an attitude of gratitude into our lives?

There are many ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  A popular strategy is to keep a gratitude journal and either start or finish the day by taking note of a few things that you feel grateful for. When people do this systematically, it creates a shift towards a greater awareness and appreciation of the positive things around them. There are also a number of popular gratitude apps such as Gratitude Diary App, Gratitude!, Attitude of gratitude, and Happify, which make keeping a gratitude journal easy and practical. A couple of months ago, my husband and I began using the “5 minute Journal” (10) which is a little more elaborate than a simple gratitude journal, but it includes a daily gratitude list as well as other daily entries that help create more awareness of positives in our lives (and we are both really enjoying using it!).

Other ways to express gratitude might be by sending a thank you note or an email to express thanks to someone who you haven’t had a chance to express thanks to, such as a crossing guard or a bus driver. Studies have shown that this sort of exercise will help increase levels of happiness in the person delivering the thanks and also increases happiness in the person receiving the thanks (11).


Gratitude and children

For those of you with children, you will be interested to learn that there has been some research on gratitude and children. In fact, studies have found that children who are grateful tend to be happier and express greater life satisfaction (12). Gratitude has also been found to related to greater well-being and less negative affect in early adolescents(13). Among older youth (14-19 years) research has demonstrated that grateful teenagers report greater life satisfaction, are more engaged (both at school and in their extracurricular activities) and perform better at school. They also report less depression and are less materialistic (14).

As a parent of young children, I have found myself feeling frustrated at times thinking that they take things for granted or lack appreciation. I did some reading on fostering gratitude in children and began to try taking a few minutes at the end of the day to ask them what they are grateful for. I usually do this either at dinner as a family or at bedtime when tucking them into bed. I tend to opt for asking this at bedtime because I find that it’s a nice way to connect and share one-on-one with each of my little ones.  Doing this encourages us to pause and reflect on our days together and appreciate moments from our day. I’m often really touched by what they come up with, and this has become a precious part of my day, and often something I find myself adding to my own gratitude list. You can also try asking your child to draw something they are grateful for, or to make a gratefulness collage. These are nice options for ways to encourage your child to slow down and take the time to reflect on things they are thankful for. Such practices also offer the opportunity as a parent to model gratefulness by sharing with them what you are grateful for, and it can allow you to learn something from your child.

A nice book to share with young children to help introduce the idea of gratitude is How Full is Your Bucket (15).

I invite you to take a couple of minutes now to think about what you have to be grateful for in your life. I know for myself these days, it’s often something related to my family and friends or the weather that has helped the trees and flowers start to bloom. What are YOU grateful for today? Please share pictures of whatever you are feeling grateful for today on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and don’t forget to tag us at #connetepsychology. We will be grateful to you for sharing!

Andrea Martin is a clinical psychologist in Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, at Connecte Montreal Psychology Group. The team at Connecte loves writing about ways to boost our mental health and bring psychology into our everyday lives. For more helpful tips, check out Connecte’s blogspodcast, follow @connectepsychology on Instagram or @ConnecteMTL on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.


1. Hill, P. L., Allemand, M., & Roberts, B. W. (2013). Examining the pathways between gratitude and self-rated physical health. Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 92-96.

2. Emmons, Robert A.; McCullough, Michael E. (2003).  Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2): 377-389.

3. Digdon, N., Koble, A. (2011). Effects of Constructive Worry, Imagery Distraction, and Gratitude Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Pilot Trial. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3(2): 193-206.

4. Wood, A.M., Jospeh, S., Lloyd, J., Atkins, S. (2009). Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 66(1): 43-48.

5. Wood, A. (2010). Gratitude and Well Being: A review and theoretical Integration. Clinical Psychology Review. Wood, A. M., et al., Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration, Clinical Psychology Review 30(7): 890-905.

6. Emmons,  Robert. A. (2007). Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Books.

7. Lin, C.C. (2015). The relationships among gratitude, self-esteem, depression, and suicidal ideation among undergraduate students. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 56(6): 700-707.

8. Chen, L.H., Wu, C-H. (2014). Gratitude Enhances Change in Athletes’ Self-Esteem: The Moderating Role of Trust in Coach. Journal of Applied Sports Psychology, (3): 349-362.

9. Fredrickson, B., Tugade, M.M., Waugh, C.E., Larkin, G.R. (2003). What Good Are Positive Emotions in Crises? A Prospective Study of Resilience and Emotions Following the Terrorist Attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2): 365–376.

10. Ikkon, A., Ramdas, U.J. (2013).  The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day.  Intelligent Change Inc.

11. Seligman ME1, Steen TA, Park N, Peterson C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. American Psychology, 60(5): 410-421.

12. Park. N., Peterson., C. (2006). Character Strengths and Happiness among Young Children: Content Analysis of Parental Descriptions. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(3): 323-341.

13. Froh, J.J., Sefick, W.J., Emmons, J.A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology, 46: 213–233.

14. Froh, J. J.,Fan, J., Emmons, R. A., Bono, G., Huebner, E. S., & Watkins, P. (2011). Measuring gratitude in youth: Assessing the psychometric properties of adult gratitude scales in children and adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 23(2): 311-324.

15. Rath, T., Reckmeyer, M. How full is your bucket? For Kids.  Gallup Press.

Want to maximize your potential? Get happier!

Want to maximize your potential? Get happier!

A common misconception in our society is that success leads to happiness. It's not uncommon to hear people make comments such as: “If I was able to get that promotion, things would be perfect”, or “Things will be great when I finish school and get that job”, “If I could just lose 10 pounds, I’d be happy” or a line I heard a lot in grad school “I’ll be happy when I finally finish this thesis and get it defended” (OK, I admit, I was guilty of this one a few years back!). The problem with making our happiness conditional on achieving these types of goals is that once we reach the goal, we replace is with something else so it becomes a vicious chase (not to mention we are unlikely to enjoy the process!).

In his book, the Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor (2010) does an amazing job of summarizing years of research in the area of positive psychology that proves that this idea that success leads to happiness is just not true. In fact, the research demonstrates the contrary: happiness and a more positive attitude actually breed success (Lyubormirsky, King, Diener, 2005)! “When we are happy - when our mindset and mood are positive - we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful” (Achor, p.37) Seven principles are outlined in the book on how to increase our happiness, satisfaction and ultimately our performance and success. So, what can we do to be happier and more positive in our day-to-day lives? Research has demonstrated that we have more control over our emotional well being than it was believed in the past (Lyubormirsky, Sheldon & Schade, 2005), so here are some ideas taken from Achor’s Happiness Advantage -- a few things to try!


We are hearing more and more about the benefits of mediation in the media and it is becoming more and more popular. Achor suggests that just 5 minutes a day of mindful breathing can be helpful and that it is one of the best tools to increase our happiness. Studies have shown that a regular mediation practice increases happiness and lowers stress (Shapiro, Schwartz & Santerre, 2005). If the idea of starting a meditation practice sounds intimidating, there are many great apps (ex. Headspace) that can help, so why not give it a try?!


We’ve all heard that exercise releases endorphins which are feel good chemicals, but Achor points out that exercise can also help us feel more motivated and decrease levels of stress. Try to get moving doing something you enjoy, and why not invite a friend to join you? (Achor also stresses the benefits of strong social relationships on our mood).

Plan ahead

Sometimes the anticipation of an event is often a source of great pleasure. Achor suggests making a conscious effort to plan things we enjoy in advance and then reminding ourselves about the upcoming event for a quick mood boost. Studies have found that just thinking about something you’re looking forward to can increase levels of endorphins; also know as “feel good” hormones. A great excuse to book a vacation in advance!

Create a positive environment

Our physical environment has a big impact on our mood. Try getting out during your day for a short walk and a breath of fresh air, place a photo from a family vacation you enjoyed in your office, or bring some fresh flowers from your garden to work.

Acts of kindness

Research has demonstrated that people who engage in acts of kindness report feeling happier (Post, 2005; Lyubomirsky, 2007). Achor suggests trying to make a conscious effort to engage in random acts of kindness for a quick mood boost. Why not do something thoughtful for a colleague or a friend today (send a kind email to a colleague or friend, treat someone to coffee)? A cute example taken from author Jane McGonigal’s book “Superbetter”: Text a friend asking them how their day is going on a scale of 1-10. Then ask them how you can bring their day up a few notches, for example from a 3 to a 5 or a 7 to a 9.

Mind your spending

Studies have shown that spending money on experiences, particularly those shared in the company of others has a more positive effect on our mood than buying objects or things (Frank, 2000). Spending on others (ex. treating a friend to coffee) also has a more positive impact on our mood.  

Find your strength

Achor points out that we all have something we’re good at. What we might not know is that whenever we perform that task, we get a mood boost. The same is true when we use one of our character strengths. Achor shares that he loves to learn, so he tries to incorporate learning into tasks that he finds less interesting. Such a great way to change your mindset!

Practice Gratitude

Try to be mindful about moments you’re grateful for. Make a conscious effort to note five things at the end of the day that you are grateful for, anything from your morning cup of coffee, to the sound of birds chirping, to the restful sleep you had.

I hope you enjoy trying to bring more happiness into your daily lives with these “Happiness Advantage” tips. The fun doesn’t end here though! Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post with more ideas from the book. You can also check out Achor’s TedTalk here:

Andrea Martin is a clinical psychologist in Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, at Connecte Montreal Psychology Group. The team at Connecte loves writing about ways to boost our mental health and bring psychology into our everyday lives. For more helpful tips, check out Connecte’s blogspodcast, follow @connectepsychology on Instagram or @ConnecteMTL on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.


Achor, Shawn. (2010). The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. Crown Business: New York.

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 803–855.

Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9, 111–131.

Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The how of happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. New York, NY: Penguin Group Inc.

McGonical, Jane. (2015). SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games. London: Harper Collins.

Post, Stephen. G. (2005). Altruism, happiness, and health: it’s good to be good. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.

Shapiro, S. L., Schwartz, G. E., & Santerre, C. (2005). Meditation and positive psychology. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 632-645). New York: Oxford USA Trade.