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Cardiff barrister becomes global bestseller with ‘The Lazy Guide to Happy’

“Science tells us, we have a massive 40% influence on how we feel - no matter what our genetics and what the world has given us so, let’s pursue happiness…”

Bev Cripps. Credit: Brian Deveny

Barrister of 35 years Beverly Cripps, 58, originally from Barry, is celebrating becoming a global best-selling author, as her debut book ‘The Lazy Guide to Happy: Effortless Joy for the Time-Crunched and Nearly Burned Out’ stormed the Amazon charts, to become a No.1 in three categories, knocking famous hypnotist and behavioural scientist, Paul McKenna off the top spot.

Celebrating Bev’s 35th year since being ‘called to the bar’, the book launch marked this significant anniversary and is dedicated to her late parents, who always encouraged her to thrive and pursue happiness, as she grew up in Barry.

Alongside her career as a Barrister, Bev has built a business as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Evidence-Based Positive Psychology and Resilience Coach, working with people to share her knowledge and techniques on how to manage the intricacies of stress and relentless schedules – something she has been immersed in for several decades. She offers this guide as ‘a lifeline to happiness’.  Bev said:“My book provides some low effort tools that fit seamlessly into your busy life to help you feel well…. and happier.”

With Health and Safety Executive Statistics – here showing that almost 1 million people are currently suffering with work related stress, depression or anxiety, Bev is on a mission to help people to be happy and let them know that whatever their backgrounds or whatever their circumstances have been, there is an opportunity for them to learn the tools that will help them to thrive and be happy.

Bev’s career as a barrister ran alongside her former partner serving as a soldier in the Afghan conflict. Bev experienced a pivotal winter when she felt surrounded by death – after she had prosecuted three murder trials in succession, and her partner was away in Afghanistan. It was her desire to do something positive during this dark time and that led her on the path to her new skill set and hope for a new side-hustle and career.

During covid, Bev lost her mum and had to remain in Wales after spending time there with her during her mum’s dying days. Isolated and unsure of the future, Bev started to re-evaluate her life and reflect on the impact she wanted to make. During this time she connected with the fact she wanted to help more people who are struggling through life.

She said: “Over the years during my work in the courts as a Barrister, I‘ve pondered how through no fault of their own, people have had to live with significant trauma and how their lives have been blighted by it. I have also seen how people self destruct their perfectly good lives, through pushing themselves to the peak of stress. In my lonely evenings in Wales, when I was awake all hours, I started scrolling to explore what was out there. As a Barrister I was looking for evidence based modalities and this led me to the science of Positive Psychology and resilience.”

Having always been interested in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming ), which Bev had used in her coaching and mentoring, she went on to explore Hypnosis – both for herself, then undertaking training in it so she could also help others. She went on to become a qualified Positive Psychology Coach and a Licentiate Resilience Trainer for the Complementary Medical Association. She explains: “Science tells us we have a massive 40% influence on how we feel – no matter what your genetics and what the world has given you. We have a huge amount of power over our own happiness and can take control of lifting up our positive emotions – but, so many of us don’t take this control. By adding small, almost effortless, practices into our daily routines, however busy we are, we can bring in more happiness, and balance to our lives. This is something that has made a huge difference in my life and this is what I am here to share in my book”.

“Since Covid, I’ve felt that collectively we’ve become more anxious and have lost any sense of security we may once have had. It seems compounded by what has happened since with the war in Ukraine and the Middle East. I investigated modalities that would help us to “ground ourselves when the ground around us is moving“ to give us a sense of inner confidence and enhance our levels of happiness  – and by doing so have a positive effect on those around us.”

“I come from a profession which demands a great deal of time and effort often to the detriment of ourselves and our relationships and I have also supported many others through coaching from across; the armed forces, police, fire service, nurses, carers and medics… Time is precious for all of us. I know that many of us feel that happiness is aspirational – a sense of calm and ‘inner peace’ is a ‘ nice to have’ but out of reach of reality, as who has time to meditate and do all the things that we know are good for us?…..”

“In this book I have trialled and curated low effort, zero cost highly effective tools that come from positive psychology that will fit into the busiest of days. The aim is to establish a baseline which elevates the mood and leads to a desire to do more –  and it needn’t take hours.”

The book explores first how we can engage the subconscious mind to work for us and is based on Bev’s trademarked Positive Psychology coaching programme Reset, Rewire Resilient ®, which follows the Positive Psychology PERMAH pillars, which are said to be the foundation of a happy life and good wellbeing – positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment and health. Each chapter is an explanation of why they are useful and provides low effort tools that can be used to increase wellbeing in those areas.

At the beginning of the book there is an opportunity to take the PERMAH survey which has been called the equivalent of a psychological FIT BIT, to show you where you are and help then measure at the end how far you’ve come. With complementary audios linked to the chapters, Bev’s mission is to support the reader every step of the way.

Bev, who is keen to make Positive Psychology more mainstream said: “I want these tools and those like them, to be as much a part of our consciousness as the idea of 10,000 steps per day. Like many others, I think Positive Psychology should be taught in schools, to embed these ways of thinking, and understanding ourselves from an early age.  I grew up with my family assuring me I could be or do anything I wanted, just as long as I was happy – but I know this isn’t everyone’s reality. My dad had suffered from heart disease for his adult life, but despite heart attacks and major heart surgeries, it never stopped him living life to the fullest. His energetic zest for life and resilience has always been a source of inspiration to me. He always used to say that ‘this is not a rehearsal and you have to make it count’ – he certainly lived by that and I intend to too. I certainly had a “sliding doors” moment in my career, where I met lots of care leavers and young people from highly disadvantaged backgrounds both exploited as victims of crime and also as defendants. I realised but for sheer luck I could have been one of those. As I progress in my new direction and side-hustle, it is my intention to set up a foundation for care leavers in memory of my mum and dad, to give and pass on at least a little of the support that I received.”.