During a global pandemic, UNM psychology professor Bruce Smith published a free positivity workbook as a way to support individuals through tough times. Now, the workbook has become a springboard for a popular Benefits & Employee Wellness course taught by supervisor, Tracey L. Briggs

 “It’s not always about what’s wrong with life, but even more so 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 workbook to spread the wealth of positive psychology and help as many people as he could.”

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

“You could call it professional development but through personal growth. Individuals learn so much about themselves, how to take their strengths out into the world. They tap into determining their ‘North Star,’ setting a path to getting there, and how to use their strengths in achieving 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 interested.

“I think we all are just living a lesson, and that is called our lives.” Briggs said. “It’s not always about what’s wrong with life, but even more so what’s right with life. Why we are blessed, why we should be thankful, and why we can be thankful for all those gifts that we have and that 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 just the cost of printing.

Staff and faculty can sign up for the summer course here.