In the midst of so many challenges, during Mental Health Month, just when leaders’ and employees’ resilience is critical, we invited Silvia Garcia, to share how to boost our energy, resilience and mobilize our resources to emerge from the crisis.

Silvia Garcia is the former global director of the Institute of Happiness at work, at Coca-Cola- She founded Happiest Places to Work, to help individuals and organisations drive further well-being, happiness and success, using science-based interventions that often go against “common sense”.

We started our conversation by making it clear that those who praise optimism as a way to live better are not right. Silvia explained to us that to build resilience and experience joy, we need to allow ourselves to feel negative emotions. They arouse to warn you that there is something that needs your action, your compassion, your energy so that you mobilize your resources to find a solution. Even if feeling bad is truly painful, as doctors have found, turning away from emotional pain will just make it stronger.

The first step to be emotionally healthy is to feel ok not to be ok right now, given the circumstances.

Alongside with consulting on organisations’ well-being, Silvia coaches managers around the world helping them build resilience and attaining higher wellness and success whatever their situation right now.

Silvia showed us through an entertaining story how a slight change in how we perceive negative emotions is a solid step towards feeling better with a significant impact in our health and chances to succeed.

Moving into the next step, Silvia explained how taking our wellness and happiness as a priority could gave us 75% more chances to succeed in our business. Our creativity, decision-making, capacity to collaborate, and productivity, all grow two digits when we take care of our emotional well-being.


A jaw-dropping moment was when participants made a real-life test to discover the power of their mind in mobilizing untapped resources to attain unsuspected results.

Finally, participants were given a set of eight tips to increase well-being and happiness, backed by science.

Stress: Silvia prompted participants to use it as a booster of their capacities. She compared stress with the accelerator of a racing car, that can be wisely used as long as we take some quick stops for maintenance! Even one deep breath a day helped Wall Street traders recover their energy and cope better with stress.

Autonomy and control: Silvia remind us of our capacity to solve challenges.

Savor life like a “connoisseur” would. For most people, there are small moments worthy to be appreciated. People who savor and are grateful likely feel higher wellbeing.

Purpose: remind yourself of the higher purpose behind your struggles and stress. Having a positive image of the goal that we pursue helps making sense of the challenges.

Recognition: to ourselves and to those helping us.

Experiences: scientists establish that a ratio of three positive experiences for every negative experience is, on average, necessary to be emotionally healthy. However, more important than the ratio itself, is to finish every day with a positive experience, Nobel Prize, Daniel Kahneman, found.

Social network: if there is one thing that contributes to happiness, found Harvard University in the longest study on this subject, is the quality of our connections with other. Having in your life people who understand you, who care for you, and that you can count on, is the key.

Growth: Silvia showed how our well-being and happiness are not entirely determined by our genes (which account for about 40% of it), nor by the external circumstances (10%), but more and over, by the decisions we make, which account for about 50% of our emotional wellbeing.

She personally advises organisations of all sizes on how to increase each of the components of wellbeing. If you need more information, contact her at

The recording of the session is available for ALTO members until 24th May 2021, contact Reka for more details.