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"Did you wake up this morning and rise and shine, or rise and whine?"

Friday 22 March 2019

"Did you wake up this morning and rise and shine, or rise and whine?"

Dr Andy Cope, a world-renowned 'happiness-expert', has spent some time in Guernsey this week, speaking to Investec, school children, parents and teachers about how small attitude changes can make a big difference in your life.

A best-selling author and positive minded physchologist, Dr Cope was sponsored by Investec to visit the island, but they let him loose on the community to spread his happiness top tips.

He gave a talk at primary schools on Wednesday morning, a presentation in the afternoon and a big talk in the evening to parents and teachers. He was also working with Guernsey Mind on a series of Investec-sponsored videos exploring the topic of happiness and mental wellbeing.

Dr Cope said he had tried to take a new, more positive, outlook toward psychology when he was studying the subject: "Very briefly I studied psychology at university and it was all about ill people, what made them ill and how they could get better. If you think about it psychology has never studied people who are happy, because they are not ill. So what I decide to do was to take on an entirely different angle to it.

"In everyone's life you will be able to think about one or two people who are stand out happy and upbeat, and I call that flourishing. It is those people who psychology has never studied before - I wanted to know who are those people are why are they so happy. I wanted to learn from those people so we can know how to be happy too."

In the talks he was giving, Dr Cope said he was distilling the academia he had worked on for years down into 'really plain, simple, obvious top tips'.

"With the kids we are talking about happiness hacks - how can we maintain our happiness and wellbeing in a world that that is just not conducive too. The world is very good at knocking happiness out of you. It is a real genuine problem, so I am teaching about choosing to be positive. You can actually chose to have a positive and happy attitude. I have been talking about how they can chose to do those things. Gratitude is one of them, I spoke about waking up and being happy that you do not have tooth ache, it is obvious and sounds small, but it starts to shift your overall attitude.

"With the adults I asked did you rise and shine this morning or did you rise and whine. I am saying get out of bed, you have got no tooth ache, your kidneys are working, you are working. that slight incision of attitude will give you the energy of two people."

Dr Cope's thesis was based on the question: could you be happier even if nothing in the world around you has changed? He argued you certainly could, and was trying to encourage people to be so. 

Gordon Irish, a Business Developer in the Private Clients Division of Invested Guernsey, said when they decided to bring Dr Cope to the island, they did not just want to keep him to their clients, but open him up to the whole community.

"We have brought Andy across to the island because as a business we treat wellbeing health and happiness very seriously but we are starting to notice that that subject manner extends far beyond the work place. We wanted to take it beyond our staff and go out to the island to help people flourish. I think it was on that premise that we thought 'lets get Andy over', and as it is World Happiness Day it couldn't really be more appropriate."

"We want to help nurture happiness in our lives, with our friends, and at home with our loved ones and hopefully make a difference for generations to come."

Pictured top: Dr Andy Cope. 

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