RSU Professor Publishes Books on Importance of Positivity

girl smiling and books stacked

Rogers State University Assistant Professor Dr. Chrissy Whiting-Madison recently published her second book on the topic of happiness. Even Happier is the sequel to Choosing Happiness, both which focus on the importance of positivity in one’s daily life.

“There are so many little changes an individual can make to adjust their mindset. Appreciation and gratitude are two key ingredients that cultivate a positive mindset,” Whiting-Madison said. “Most of us also suffer from a horrendous inner monologue full of hate and criticism. If we cannot learn to love ourselves, true happiness will always remain elusive.”

Choosing Happiness teaches simple techniques to adjust the reader’s outlook to allow better control of life’s outcomes.

“Society is constantly inundating us with negativity and self-doubt. Thankfully, a light exists within each of us to change our mindset to positivity,” Whiting-Madison said. 

Even Happier helps the reader determine what will bring joy to their lives, even if it looks different from everyone else’s definition of happiness. The reader will discover their unique skillset and how to put in the work in a meaningful way. Tools and resources of empowerment encourage the reader to be the best positive version of themselves every day.

“This book will make you even happier than you already are,” Whiting-Madison said.

Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. Whiting-Madison’s concepts also translate to the classroom, bringing joy to all her students.

“Chrissy is the ideal classroom teacher. She integrates her professional work and research into her curriculum in interesting ways, providing students with real-world examples of the principles she teaches. She is an incredibly engaging teacher, and her students absolutely love her classes,” Dr. Brian Andrews, psychology and sociology department head, said.

Dr. Whiting-Madison and fellow RSU colleague Dr. Kevin Woller, psychology and sociology professor, published an article last year in the Journal of Mental Health and Social Behavior titled “Humor in the Classroom: Learning Through Laughter.”

Thirteen students were selected to be interviewed at depth regarding professors’ use of humor in the college classroom. The research team found that the use of humor in the college classroom lightened the mood, provided a welcome space for a mental break, promoted social cohesion and served to increase the retention of information.

“Students learn better in a positive environment,” Whiting-Madison said. “Dr. Woller’s and my research on humor and joy in the classroom corroborate these findings.  Not only do students learn better, they retain more information and form better relationships with their professors and peers.”

RSU student Megan Boughman, from Oologah, never wants to miss a Dr. Whiting-Madison class.

“Dr. Whiting exudes positivity, happiness and humor into everything she does. The first thing she says before even getting started teaching is, ‘good morning psychologists.’ I love that because she acknowledges us as more than just students. That shows me she is invested in my future,” Boughman said.

Whiting-Madison received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saint Vincent College, a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Langston University-Tulsa, and a doctorate in rehabilitation from the University of Arkansas.

Happiness is a choice, and there is always room to be even happier. Choosing Happiness and Even Happier are available for checkout at RSU’s Stratton Taylor Library.

For more information about RSU’s department of psychology and sociology, visit