Newsletters

Every couple of weeks, I share short and sweet tips and insights from my work as a leadership & career coach and a student of positive and coaching psychology, as well as exclusive special offers on my products.

If you’d like to subscribe to receive all future newsletters, please click here and you’ll receive a gift from me5 Simple Ways to Integrate Positivity into your Work Day. Otherwise here are previous newsletters for you to enjoy and benefit from!

 

 

March 2019

Productivity, focus and authentic happiness

February 2019

Spotlight on positive emotions

January 2019

Highlights, boosting strengths and positive futures

December 2018

My best self, more optimism and finishing 2018 on a very positive note

November 2018

Your best self, optimism and doing more of what you love at work

Successes, more strengths and a positive psychology exercise for you

October 2018

Innovation, engagement and gratitude

Kindness, excitement and a special offer

September 2018

More habits, more strengths, a celebration and a gift

R U OK, bad habits and 3 good things

August 2018

Positive Psychology, personal branding and nap pods

July 2018

Values, good deeds and celebrations

June 2018

Strengths, intuition and little brothers

Positively thriving at work

 

My experience with 2 positive psychology interventions

As my coaching is based on positive psychology, I often assign positive psychology interventions (PPIs) to my clients. They are science-based exercises that I use to support my clients to use their positive emotions and strengths to improve their wellbeing.

I’ve just finalised my uni module – Perspectives on Wellbeing – and my task for the assessment was to measure aspects of my wellbeing, try 2 different PPIs to see for myself how they work, then when appropriate, measure the aspects again afterwards to see if there has been any impact after the intervention.

So, to help you better understand how it is to actually do a PPI, I thought to share with you the experiences that I had.

‘Best Possible Self’ (BPS) PPI

The intervention
Simply plan some quiet time and think about your life over the next 5 years. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realisation of all of your life dreams. 
 
Now spend 15-20 minutes writing about what you imagined, for 4 days in a row.

My experiences
I have already experienced visualising my preferred future, and therefore found this intervention pretty straightforward. I did however find it challenging to do the exercise without any clear structure or detailed instructions, so I found that I had to set my own structure – I set my visualisation to be for in 5 year’s time and main themes of content did emerge eg. work, family, study, etc. 
 
After completing the intervention, the aspects of my life which are most important to me were very obvious and a natural prioritisation of actions I can take to meet my goals also became clear. I noticed that my mood was much more positive, which lasted a couple of weeks! And I felt overall much happier. I also started to see my challenges with a more positive and hopeful perspective and as a result have felt an increase in my optimism. 
 
To prove the positive impact, I had measured my optimism levels before and after the intervention on a research-based scale, and my score had more than doubled after the 4thday!
 
So because of these really positive results, that only require a relatively small time investment, this is definitely an intervention that I’ll repeat when I feel that my optimism levels are getting a little low.

‘Boost a Lower Strength’ PPI

The intervention
Start with doing the VIA Character Strengths assessment, choose one of your lower strengths that you feel you’d enjoy to work on, think about 7 different activities you can do over a week to boost it (the VIA website has some good tips to get you started), and get going! I’d advise you to journal about the effects to capture the positive changes. 

My experiences
 If you’ve been reading my newsletters or you are one of clients you’ll know how important I believe it is to be working with our strengths! Actually using the VIA Character Strengths assessment and developing specific strategies to utilise strengths is what I recommend for all of my clients because it can result in: increased happiness; improved physical health; reduced depression; reduced stress levels; goal attainment and academic accomplishment; increased productivity and engagement at work; etc…. So many wonderful and scientifically proven benefits of working with our strengths. 
 
For this assessment I chose the character strength of zest, which is defined by Niemiec as “vitality, energy, vigor, enthusiasm for life” and is “a dynamic strength that is directly related to physical and psychological wellness. This strength has the strongest ties to overall life satisfaction and a life of engagement.” (VIA website)
 
The PPI is simply to apply a lower strength in a different way each day for a week. This intervention challenged me to consider what zest meant to me, and how I can best apply it in a way that benefits me and suits my lifestyle. I therefore planned a few days of exercise activities that I hadn’t tried before (yoga, longer and more complicated HIIT sessions) as well as attending an Oktoberfest party, cooking, and taking a midday nap (yes, a nap has been shown to increase vitality!).
 
I found this PPI attractive as it is simple, requires creativity to select the actions to be completed and can be applied to any of the lower strengths. This simplicity and flexibility also makes it attractive to use with clients, which I propose when it’s appropriate for the individual. 
 
I very much enjoyed this PPI, and I appreciated the accountability it gave me to persist in doing something with zest each day, as I have observed in winter that I can experience a low mood and tend to avoid doing activities that increase my energy. After the week, I noticed that I had much more energy, felt more vital and I even wore coloured clothes more often. I also felt I could concentrate better, I was more positive and capable of handling my challenges. In terms of relationships, I felt more appreciated, connected to others and more willing to be social. I also felt my self-esteem improved. Sounds pretty good, right?! These boosts to my wellbeing are reflected in research that has already been conducted.
 
A very positive side effect of this week-long PPI is that it has now evolved into a consistent exercise programme. I still exercise most days of the week with high levels of motivation and I feel awful when I haven’t worked out! Which motivates me to be consistent. 

Overall impact of the PPIs

The combination of increasing my optimism from the first PPI and developing a lesser strength, has resulted in me feeling more positive, energetic and engaged in working towards my goals. In general, I feel like much more is possible in my life than just a few weeks ago.
 
Would you like to try these for yourself?

I’d love to hear about your experiences if you decide to do these PPIs, please don’t hesitate to share them with me!
 

 

What are positive psychology interventions, and how do I use them with my clients?

According to my lecturers from the University of East London, Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) are ‘theoretically-grounded and empirically-validated instructions, activities, and recommendations that are designed to enhance well-being’. So, they are essentially science-based exercises that practitioners, such as coaches or therapist, use with clients to support them to use their positive emotions and strengths to improve their wellbeing. They are usually simple to do and can be continued long after the coaching relationship has ended, as a kind of self-coaching practice.

Many wonderful benefits

Implementing PPIs has been shown by studies to improve:

  • wellbeing
  • happiness
  • performance
  • relationships
  • work outcomes
  • health

PPIs in practice

As I particularly focus on wellbeing with my clients and I apply evidence-based practices in my work, PPIs are an essential part of my coaching practice.

When starting to work with a new client, I always tell them that the more they put into their coaching, the more they will get out of it. And that I will therefore almost always give them ‘homework’ exercises to do between sessions to cement any new awareness they’ve gained, as well as to accelerate their progress towards their goals. Which I’ve found (until now, as long as I don’t use the word ’homework’!) that it’s very well accepted!

I choose the PPIs based on what my clients want to change – is it their optimism levels, overall mood or perhaps they want to improve an aspect of their performance at work. I’ll also consider their individual goals and preferred learning style and discuss my proposed PPI with them. After they’ve done the PPI exercise, we’ll debrief and they’ll share their learnings with me.

Try for yourself…

If you’re curious about trying out a PPI for yourself, why not try the ‘Best Possible Self’ exercise…

Simply plan some quiet time and think about your life over the next 5 years. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realisation of all of your life dreams.
Now spend 15-20 minutes writing about what you imagined, for 4 days in a row.

Or of course please get in touch at hello@kellycampino.com and we can have a chat about it in a complimentary consultation.

PPI: How do you express deep gratitude to others?

Would you like to try a positive psychology intervention that is an act of kindness towards another and that can improve your wellbeing for months after you’ve completed it?
 
Writing a letter in which you express your gratitude and appreciation towards a family member, friend or colleague has been shown to improve wellbeing and reduce depressive symptoms. 
 
In this exercise, write a letter that expresses your gratitude for what someone has contributed to your life. Be specific about what exactly you are grateful for and tell them how it has made you feel. You may decide not to give the person the letter, and that is absolutely ok, but if you do decide to share it with them, if possible deliver it in person.
 
Afterwards, reflect on the following questions:
 
How did this exercise make you feel?
What reaction did the other person have?
How did you feel a week after writing the letter?

And… who is the next person you’d like to write a gratitude letter to?

PPI: What’s the best possible life you can imagine?

Here’s a positive psychology intervention you can try that besides helping you to feel happier, being sick less often and bringing about sustained improvements in your wellbeing after you’ve tried the intervention, it will support you in clarifying what you’d like to achieve, and prompt you to develop an action and prioritisation plan in order to meet your goals.

 Simply plan some quiet time and think about your life over the next 5 years. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realisation of all of your life dreams.

 Now spend 15-20 minutes writing about what you imagined, for 4 days in a row.

 And after the 4 days, reflect on the following questions:

What exactly have you achieved?
How did you feel once you achieved your goals?
How did you do it?
Who was supporting you?
What strengths did you use?
What do you need to do in order to meet your goals?
What else did you notice?

 How did you find this intervention? And what do you notice about your levels of happiness and positivity after repeating it for 4 days?