Okanagan local aims to transform science of happiness into new calendar

A happier calendar on offer

An Okanagan local and former UBCO student is hoping to garner support for her Kickstarter campaign, to fund a 365 day 'A Happier Year' calendar, filled with daily actions to improve happiness.

Trina Kushnerik, who earned her honours in psychology and hosts a happiness podcast, hopes to make the science of happiness more accessible by packaging evidence-based research into bite-sized action points.

The illustrated calendar format allows individuals to focus on one small action per day, and doesn't need to be absorbed all at once, she says. 

“I realized thousands of researchers were figuring out what made us happy, but this information was often stuck in boring academic papers. I wanted to find a fun way to seamlessly slip research-based activities into your day," she says. 

"All of this knowledge has been a culmination of what I learned in university and over the years of reading."

Most of the suggested daily activities take only a few minutes to complete, and include topics like resilience, gratitude and emotional intelligence. 

"I’ve also included activities that help us recognize and change how we think about our negative emotions. It’s unhealthy to expect anyone to be happy 100% of the time. I want to help everyone be happier, but in a realistic and reliable way that is grounded in evidence.”

Kushnerik says 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, posing more challenges than normal, and hopes her project can bring a little more joy into the world.

In fact, she's had interest and support from all around the globe. 

"It's been so cool to be able to try to self-publish your book and have people from Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Monaco, buy your book."

The Kickstarter campaign is just over 80 per cent of the way to its $10,000 goal, and pledges to help fund manufacturing and publication can be made until Nov. 13.

Individuals who pledge $35 will receive a copy of the calendar, and Kushnerik has put a special shipping offer in place for Okanagan residents. 

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