For years, you’ve been extolling the “glass half-full” viewpoint to your clients as the optimal life path. Now, a study in the November Psychological Bulletin (2005; 131(6), 803-855) adds credence to your Pollyanna approach. Researchers came to this conclusion after reviewing 225 papers on happiness. The exploration covered 293 samples and 275,000 people. The findings: happy people–those who frequently experience positive emotions–tend to be more successful and accomplished in many aspects of their lives. Here are some take-away points from the study you can share with clients that deal mainly with happiness on the job, an area of chronic stress and unhappiness for many:

  • Happy people are more likely to secure job interviews and be evaluated more positively by supervisors.
  • Positive thinkers are less likely to show signs of burnout and more likely to have jobs with autonomy, variety and meaning.
  • Happier workers enjoy higher incomes.
  • Happy people report having more close friends and being more satisfied with those friendships.

Create Your Intent

  • Encourage clients to lighten their mental loads and think of ways to help them reframe negative thinking.
  • Model a positive attitude yourself.
  • Help clients be fully present during a session or class. This focus will support their personal wellness efforts and help them leave stressful thoughts at home or the office.
  • Be prepared to refer a client to a therapeutic counseling professional if necessary.
  • Reinforce the progress a client makes with simple acknowledgement, gratitude and congratulations.