Interview with Happyologist Susanna Halonen

1. What is a Happyologist?

As the 
Happyologist I offer happiness coaching to help people to become happier, more confident and more successful. I combined a life coaching accreditation with a Masters of Science in positive psychology, the science of happiness and human performance, to become the Happyologist.

2. It seems like you’ve managed to trademark the term, what does that mean?

It means that no one else can use the Happyologist term in the coaching, training or consulting industries. I started to get a few cheeky people loving it a bit too much and trying to create copycat businesses, and hence I acquired a trademark to protect my brand.

3. How do you help people explore their happiness?

I help people to kill their self doubt, eliminate their bad habits and embrace positive thinking. I help my clients to get confident and clear on what they want, and to build a life they love. I do this through one-to-one coaching, group workshops, inspirational talks and writing. I’m also about to launch online courses too!

4. Have you always worked in the happiness industry?

No. I was originally in the corporate marketing world. As I was there, I realised it wasn’t the world for me and that I wanted to do something more meaningful. I discovered positive psychology through Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage and after discovering it I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. I started to explore the field alongside my corporate world for just over a year before taking the full leap into it in August 2012. I’ve never looked back.

5. What is your best way to stay/get happy?

For me it all comes down to gratitude. Whenever I feel a bit frustrated or negative, I go back to the first (and most powerful) gratitude exercise I did when I discovered positive psychology. I finish the day by writing down the three specific things I was most grateful for in that day. I do it everyday at the end of the day for as long as I need to in order to feel like I’m in a positive place again. The first time I did it I did it for a month. They say it takes about 21 days to build a habit so if you want to make gratitude the norm, do it for at least 21 days. Once you start doing it, you’ll realise you start looking for things to be grateful for. You’re in a natural state of positivity bias because you’re thinking, Could I add this to my gratitude list tonight? Or that? As you do that, you’re more positive and as a result you’re activating more of the learning centres in your brain. This also means you’re more productive, creative and open to new opportunities. Whenever in doubt, return to this gratitude exercise to get your happiness mojo on.

6. What seems to be the biggest issue people struggle with in life?

Lack of self-belief! People forget they are beautiful exactly the way they are. Every single human being on this planet is completely unique. There has never been anyone on this planet exactly like you and there never will be. Believe in your natural abilities, connect with your values and be proud of exactly who you are. When you do this, you can focus all your energy on living the life of your dreams and inspiring the people around you whilst doing it.

7. How do you go about helping people?

It all starts with a positive mindset – and the desire to change your mindset to a positive one. Without that, it’s hard to work on anything. I used to be a natural pessimist so I had to work really hard to become a trained optimist. I still have my moments where pessimism kicks in but I’m much quicker than I used to be to get out of it and to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


8. What do you do to stay on top of your game and away from your ego?

Where do I start?! I eat well, sleep loads and get plenty of exercise. I love walkings dogs in the park (I’ve just started using this amazing Borrow My Doggy app to do that!) and of course training my dressage horse. I used to say it’s easy to fit my horse around my business because I make my own hours, but really it’s the business that I fit around my horse! He is my number one priority. Training him is my oxygen and gives me fuel, energy, passion and drive. There’s nothing else in the world than the feeling of being one with my horse.
When it comes to my work routine, I’ve learned to only say yes to work that is a hell yes! I’ve learned to manage my to-do lists by setting a maximum of 3 priorities a day and scheduling them in. I’ve learned to be kind to myself when I’m feeling tired or stressed, and allow myself to work longer and harder when my inspiration is there. Basically, I’ve learned to listen to my body, mind and being, and what they need – and for the first time in my life I feel like I’m confident enough to give it what it needs when it needs it.

9. You’ve recently launched an online course for happiness, 30 Days of Happiness, can you guarantee any results? 

My ’30 Days of Happiness’ online course is made up of the thirty most impactful happiness lessons I learned to change my life. They are based on the science of positive psychology and the practice of life coaching. These learnings turned me from a natural pessimist into a trained optimist so I hope they do the same for you. You are meant to live a happy and fulfilling life, and that is what this course enables you to do.

10. What’s your best way of helping:

a) yourself?

By taking care of myself. Especially as an entrepreneur, things can get overwhelming sometimes and the to-do list never ends. It took me the longest time to realise I’ve got to take care of myself, first and foremost, if I want to be able to take care of others. I’m proud to say I now call in sick rather than crawling in sick like I used to.

b) others?

Giving them unconditional love. Regardless of where they are in life, what their challenge is or how grumpy they are, unconditional love is the way to go.  It doesn’t mean I don’t challenge them or push them out of their comfort zone, but I do all of that from a place of love.
For more information, please visit: Happyologist.co.uk

Stephanie is the founder of Helpings and the creator of all content on the platform. Watch her TEDx talk, 'Holy Shit', about digestion on YouTube, organized at King's Collage London in 2016. Stephanie is currently building her second business, a chocolate brand called kAAKAO, and she shares her experience by means of inspiring other entrepreneurs to excel in business and in life.

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