lewis says. as it turns out, the workshop gave her
the keys to unlock her own happiness.
“I learned so much, partly because this
opportunity came at the best possible time: when
I was feeling so sad,” lewis says. “I learned it’s all
up to me, this happiness thing. I can choose to feel
how I want to feel.”
Working with about 15 others, she learned 13
skills that can be used daily to increase positive
experiences in life. these include simple activities
such as making dates with friends, writing in
a journal to reflect on good times, sending
thank-you letters and setting goals. all increase
opportunities for being with others, finding
meaning and recognizing achievements in life.
one skill—visualizing your best possible self—has
Shifting health care
raised the bar for lewis. “It helps me feel more
confident, open and good about myself,” she
says, with a warm, engaging smile. She is also
developing her curiosity, a known happiness
booster, getting more involved in the community
and volunteering. “I’m putting myself out there
and I truly feel I can move on with
my life and do so successfully.”
Brice Willis, a happiness Basics leader and a
Foothills pCn behavioural health consultant,
believes the workshop is “a paradigm shift in
health care.” It takes deliberate effort to develop
new habits and overcome natural biases, but this
course gives participants the tools to be more
proactive. “the thing that has struck me the
most about the workshop is how big a difference
investing time in applying the course concepts can
have on people’s lives,” he says.
a number of pCns in the Calgary area offer
happiness Basics workshops. participation is
free and open to anyone 18 or older. For more
information or to register, please contact a
Calgary and area pCn.
Photo: Neil Zeller Photography Elaine Lewis of Cochrane recently travelled a path to greater happiness by taking the Happiness Basics workshop.