Want to contribute to research in the Middle East?
Take our GCC-specific Values in Action quiz to determine what your top strengths are. You will receive a report of your top 5 character strengths and help build a database of strengths in the Middle East.
Registration is free - you will not be contacted for any reason thereafter.
Some of our ‘easy’ reading!
Dr. Lambert's Positive Psychology Intervention Study, the first to be conducted, evaluated, and published in the UAE, was accepted for publication in the Journal of Happiness Studies! The program, delivered over several semesters to Psychology university students from over 39 nations studying in Dubai, showed sustainable improvements to the students' hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing over a 3-month period relative to a control group. It was also able to show significant decreases in the fear of happiness and the belief that happiness is fragile, both culturally relevant variables to examine.
Wellbeing is not 'just' about smiley faces; it's about meaning and purpose, social connection and feeling as though our values and life projects are in sync with those around us - businesses included. An introduction to the “Commercial Life” framework, informed by the science and research of positive psychology. This model targets the wellbeing of: (1) employees, (2) customers and (3) product/service design.
The #iBringGCC movement works to raise awareness among young adults of the character strengths they bring to life but more importantly to the workplace, such as integrity, persistence, and self-regulation. The #iBringGCC campaign has developed a number of program modules which support the development of work-related character strengths which overlap with recognized 21st century skills.
Separating the pop-psych from the real science can be tricky. Here are 52 evidence-based interventions - without the big academic words - to help you increase your happiness.
For those of you who can’t sleep. Our gift of ‘heavier’ reading!
A copy of our Commercial Wellbeing theoretical model.
A copy of our National Wellbeing Policy Development chapter.
A copy of our Positive Education for Universities chapter.
So much advice, so many opinions, but how do you know whom to trust to become lastingly happier? Science.
This easy-to-understand, practical workbook is designed for you, the serious happiness achiever who wants to learn what science has to say about the means to achieve greater happiness. It contains clear actionable strategies to boost your happiness as a lifestyle and keep it there over time. Strategies include the well-known gratitude letter and savouring, as well as lesser known strategies like satisficing, dealing with psychological adaptation, self-compassion, capitalization, giving, and taking a social media retreat. More importantly, this book explains why these work and how you can adapt them to suit you best. Each strategy is simple, to the point, and can be done right in this book. All are referenced straight from the research literature, so you can be sure you are getting the best from the science of happiness and successfully achieve a better version of you!
This volume looks at positive psychology from a culturally-responsive, empirically-driven perspective to avoid a descent into pseudoscience. Through evidence-based, regionally relevant topics in the field of well-being, this volume shows how increasing levels of excellence in the GCC region enhance upon business, education, research, and social innovations. Grounded in the empirical research literature, each chapter applies psychological concepts to locally relevant considerations, such as culture, religion, and socio-political contexts, making this book an essential tool for understanding positive psychology and well-being in the GCC nations and beyond.
This easy to understand, pocket-sized practical workbook is designed for you, the serious happiness achiever who wants to learn what science has to say about the means to achieve greater happiness. No gimmicks, no positive thinking or self-fulfilling prophecies; this is the lifestyle book you’ve been looking for. Developed by a positive psychologist and professor, A New Year, A New You: 52 Strategies for a Happier Life! includes activities like the well-known gratitude letter and savouring, but lesser known strategies like satisficing, dealing with psychological adaptation, self-compassion, capitalization, giving, and taking a social media retreat. Each strategy is simple, to the point, and involves concrete actions or ideas to reflect upon and write about. All of the strategies are referenced straight from the research literature, so you can be sure you are getting the best from the science of happiness and can successfully achieve a greater you!
For nerds only. We’ve got much more, so shout out if want extra.
Wellbeing is predictive of improved learning outcomes, better mental health, prosocial and civic behaviour, higher work productivity, and enhanced life satisfaction. In collaboration with Alnowair, a non-profit organization committed to increasing wellbeing in Kuwait, a semester-long positive psychology program, called Bareec, was designed to generate positive emotions and increase levels of flourishing in university and secondary school students. The Bareec program consisted of 15-min weekly instructions in positive psychology and positive psychology interventions. To test the program’s efficacy, Bareec was implemented in the national public university and in 10 secondary schools (total N = 977). Relative to control groups, Bareec university participants showed greater levels of flourishing (eudaimonic wellbeing; d = .32), while secondary school participants showed enhanced positive affect (hedonic wellbeing; d = .27) in addition to a small improvement in flourishing (d = .15).
While developing excellence in knowledge and skills, academic institutions have often overlooked their obligation to instill wellbeing. To address this, we introduced a 14-week positive psychology intervention (PPI) program (Happiness 101) to university students from 39 different nations studying in the United Arab Emirates (N=159). Students were exposed to 18 different PPIs. Pre, post, and 3-month-post measures were taken assessing hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, and beliefs regarding the fear and fragility of happiness. At the end of the semester, relative to a control group (N=108), participants exposed to the Happiness 101 program reported higher levels of both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, and lower levels of fear of happiness and the belief that happiness is fragile. Boosts in life satisfaction and net-positive affect, and reduction of fear of happiness and the belief that happiness is fragile were maintained in the Happiness 101 group 3 months post-intervention.
The treatment of depression has primarily been tackled through pharmaceuticals and cognitive interventions designed to reduce negative emotional states. This traditional psychology approach has had some success in reducing depressive symptoms but does not offer clients any understanding of how to explicitly achieve a state of wellbeing. In contrast, positive psychology promotes interventions that teach people how to build positive emotional states, as well as decrease negative ones. In this paper, we advocate for physical activity to be included as a positive psychology intervention both to treat and prevent depression as its effectiveness has been documented. We further encourage practitioners to include physical activity in their treatment plan recommendations as it targets many aspects of mental and physical wellbeing and conclude with recommendations for practitioners and policy makers in the United Arab Emirates.
The scientific study of wellbeing has been influenced by many fields, theories and traditions - resulting in a variety of conceptualizations and underlying components. These have then resulted in a plethora of categories and terms referring to similar, yet distinct, concepts such as: wellbeing, happiness, optimal or positive experiences, life satisfaction, and flourishing. This article aims to provide clarity by delineating the major orientations in positive psychology. We provide a “road-map” to theories and models of well-being found within positive psychology, thereby providing a starting a point from which an integrative framework of theories and models of well-being can be developed. Also included in this review is a selection of well-being models that lie beyond the traditional frameworks. We conclude with a consideration of several criticisms that have been directed at positive psychology, and provide recommendations for future directions.
How happiness is defined depends on who is asked. The prevailing views of happiness currently found in the literature tend to be Western and individualistic and shape what is viewed as normative. In this descriptive exploratory study, based in the United Arab Emirates, Emirati and other Arab expatriate students were asked to define happiness and describe how it is viewed by their cultures. Both groups defined happiness as a collective state generated through relationships with family and social groups, rather than through the self. It was also defined as an emotion and approach to life and involved religion and goal setting. Emiratis noted the presence of good governance as a contributor to happiness while other Arabs noted its absence. The findings enrich the current understanding of happiness and provide a preliminary view of what other cultures may consider to be happiness.
In a six-week pilot program, we invited patients in a primary health care setting with symptoms of depression to participate in groups designed to increase levels of happiness. The program involved interventions such as engaging in good deeds, writing gratitude letters, and introducing empirical research. Patients completed the SF12v2® at the beginning and end of the program and at three- and six-month follow-up. Measures included physical functioning, bodily pain, mental health, social functioning, and vitality. Patients also participated in focus groups to discuss their experiences. Findings: Among the participants who remained for all follow-up assessments, scores improved from baseline to 6-month follow-up for health, vitality, mental health, and the effects of mental and physical health on daily activities. This subset of patients reported greater energy and more daily accomplishments, along with reductions in functional limitations. Improvements in mental and physical health and functioning were shown over a six-month period.
Happiness Resources and other good stuff
We like to read these, maybe you will too.