MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On a scale of one to 10, how happy are you?

Two women say they’ve come up with the secret on how to be happy all the time in any situation, good or bad. It’s called the “Happiness Practice” and it’s already being used in the workplaces of some well-known Minnesota companies.

“It is the best thing I’ve ever been able to do,” said Linda Saggau, co-founder of Experience Happiness.

Saggau’s job now is spread happiness here in Minnesota, but the inspiration came from her most unhappy years, working on Wall Street.

“There was just a tremendous amount of pain and people were placing their joy on what happened, it was very circumstantial, the right job, the right car, even those two martinis after work, it was all out there,” she said.

Saggau believes happiness comes from within. With Nancy O’Brien, her business partner, the two set out to find its true source.

“We really wanted to experience more authentic happiness. We really wanted to reclaim something that we thought we lost as kids,” she said.

After seven years of research, the women came up with a happiness plan, aimed at companies who want to improve the well-being of their employees. Among them was Carlson Companies. During the workshop, employees learned how to handle irritating situations, like an argument with their teenager.

“In that moment don’t give that teenager or that argument such power. It is what it is,” Saggau said. “Realize there will be an opportunity to deal with that, make your clean request to deal with that effectively later, bring the best version of yourself to this moment.”

They also learn about how to let go of situations out of their control.

“Once you make a request of somebody, you really need to release control,” Saggau said. “They’re on their own life path, you’re not in charge of their outcomes, so all that energy you try to manipulate or control other circumstances, you get that back.”

Managers at Carlson are already noticing employees’ spirits are lifted.

“Totally, much happier,” Molly Biwer, a Carlson Companies manager, said. “I have had several employees say their personal life has improved, but here at work we are more engaged.”

Deborah Bernstein, another Carlson Companies employee, said she’s never felt happier at work, but she most appreciates the difference at home.

“I think having a teenager, many mothers and fathers can identify with this, sometimes you have to let things go,” she said. “If a child is having issues, you can’t control what’s going to happen in their life. Sometimes you just have to walk away.”

The Happiness Practice is a five-point formula:

  1. Be Conscious
  2. Honor Feelings
  3. Release Control In Favor of Empowerment
  4. Co-Create What Works
  5. Learn Life Lessons

Right now, these principles are being taught in the emergency department of HCMC. Practitioners are learning how to deal with stress to avoid burnout.

Next, the women are hoping schools start implementing the concept, because they say happy children don’t bully other children.

Click here for more information on Experience Happiness.


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