UNM staff member builds wellness course from positivity workbook: UNM Newsroom


During a global pandemic, UNM psychology professor Bruce Smith released a free positivity handbook as a way to support individuals through difficult times. Now, the manual has become a springboard for a popular employee benefits and wellness course taught by the supervisor, Tracey L. Briggs.

“It’s not always about what’s wrong with life, but even more about what’s right with life.” – Tracey L. Briggs, UNM Benefits & Employee Wellness

Shortly after hearing about Smith’s workbook, Briggs said she was inspired to develop a course based on the material. After contacting Smith with her idea, Briggs began teaching the pilot course titled, Working with Positivity, in the fall of 2021.

“He felt people needed a toolkit,” Briggs said. “Dr. Smith created the manual to spread the wealth of positive psychology and help as many people as possible.

Briggs said the 12-week course is a facilitation of Smith’s workbook; rather than covering every aspect of the book, the course helps guide employee-students through their self-paced work.

“You could call it professional development, but through personal growth. Individuals learn so much about themselves, how to put their strengths to work in the world. They tap into the determination of their ‘North Star’, plot a path to get there, and how to use their strengths to achieve their best life,” she said.

While Briggs’ course is only available to staff and faculty, UNM students can take Smith’s course in positive psychology if they are interested.

“I think we all live a lesson, and it’s called our lives.” Briggs said. “It’s not always about what’s wrong with life, but even more about what’s right with life. Why we are blessed, why we should be grateful, and why we can be grateful for all the gifts we have and are given every day.

Those interested in positive psychology can download a free pdf of the workbook or can purchase a physical copy of the book. It is available on Amazon for the cost of printing alone.

Staff and faculty can enroll in the summer course here.


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