The Happiness Course: Here What’s Some Learned

Yale pleasure class, formally known Psych 157: Psychology and the Good Life, Is one of the most popular classes offered in the university’s 320-year history.

A person was taught only once in class, During spring 2018 semester, As the 1,200-person lecture course in the largest space on campus.

That March, a free 10-week edition made Available to the public through Kaursera, The title “Science of Well-Being” also became instantly popular, attracting hundreds of thousands of online learners. But when the lockdown began last March, two full years later, enrollment numbers skyrocketed. According to the website, more than 3.3 million people have signed up to date.

“We reduced the number of people taking classes,” said Lodi Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale and head of the university’s Silliman College, about its epidemic-era popularity.

“Everyone knows what they should do to protect their physical health: washing their hands, and social distance, and wearing a mask,” she said. “People were struggling with what they are doing to protect their mental health.”

Cortera course, a Dr. taught at Yale. Adapted from Santos, which asks students to, among other things, track their sleep patterns, keep a gratitude journal, perform random acts of kindness, and note, over time, that these behaviors are positive in their general mood Correlate with change.

The 34-year-old Gretchen McIntire, a home health aide in Massachusetts, is studying for a bachelor’s degree in psychology through an online program at the University of Southern New Hampshire. In her spare time during the lockdown in August, Ms. McIntire took the class. He called it “life-changing”.

The practical aspect of the Coursera curriculum appealed to Ms. McIntire, who learned that she had Asperger’s syndrome at 23. A night owl, he struggled with sleep and enforced his deadline.

“Sometimes it’s hard to set those boundaries with myself and say, ‘I know this book is really exciting, but it can wait until tomorrow, sleep is more important,” he said. said. “It’s discipline, isn’t it?” But I’ve never done it that way, where it’s like, ‘This is gonna make you happy. This is not just good for you; It’s really legitimately gonna make you happy. ”

She said that she found it helpful in a daily meditation practice, and stayed with it even after finishing class. Meditation also helped him get away from social media.

“I looked inside myself. It helped me introspect more, ”she said. “Honestly, it was the best thing I’ve done.” (She later re-downloaded her social app, including Facebook Messenger, and was immediately overwhelmed.)

Tracy Morgan, a programming supervisor at the Bob Snodgrass Recreation Complex in High River in Alberta, Canada, signed up for the class last June as she was in lockdown with her children and husband.

“There’s no reason I shouldn’t be happy,” he said. “I have had a wonderful wedding. I have two children. I have a good job and a good house. And I never found happiness. “

Since taking the course, Ms. Morgan, 52, has committed to doing three things every day: practice yoga for an hour, take a walk outside in nature no matter how cold it is in Alberta, and three Write five entries. In his gratitude magazine before bed.

“When you start writing those things at the end of the day, you only think about it at the end of the day, but once you make it a routine, you start thinking about it throughout the day Are, “she said.

Anything else studies show Finding reasons to be grateful can increase your general knowledge.

Eva Sajipula, 37, a lecturer in French studies at the University of Nottingham in the UK, said she has been interested in self-improvement techniques since her PhD studies. several years ago. “With the second or third year, you feel something burned out, and you need strategies to deal with it,” she said.

A little study Dr. From Santos’ course who were stuck with telling 632 Americans associated with him how happy they would be if they were being given $ 5 to spend $ 5 on themselves and being told that they would get it Have to spend on someone else. In the study, people predicted that they would be happier if they were allowed to keep the money. But participants consistently reported later that they had actually received more satisfaction from spending money on someone.

Dr. Szipula had the opportunity to combine his new knowledge in a practical experiment on his sister’s birthday. Instead of keeping the expensive dress she had bought, she gave it to her sister.

“I still feel that joy months later,” she said.

Not every student in the class has felt the change. Yale senior 21-year-old Matt Nadal was among the 1,200 students taking classes on campus in 2018. He said that Yale’s rigor was a major adjustment when he started at the university in the fall of 2017.

“I was under stress, and I didn’t know how to manage it,” he said.

Mr. Nadell said he was disappointed that the class was a review of the kind of obvious good advice you could get from a grandmother: get enough sleep, drink enough water, just do your best.

“I knew I had a good sleep. I knew that my grades did not matter for happiness in the long run, because I could not be a better, better person by having good grades. “Did the class affect my life in a long-term, tangible way? The answer is no. “

While the class was not life-changing for him, Mr. Nadel said he is now more expressive when he feels gratitude. “Which is great,” he said. “But it’s all about it.”

22-year-old KG Nechuchuvu also took a class at Yale. It was not revolutionary, either, he said, but managed to find some lasting value in the curriculum.

Mr. Yayachukwu, who identifies as a Christian, said the most important thing he learned was about the belief in happiness and the importance of community.

“I think I was struggling to reconcile, and to inquire intellectually, my religion,” he said. “Also acknowledging that I really like to hang out with the kind of community that I think made me who I am.”

life changing? No, but definitely life-affirming, he said.

“The class helped make me more safe and comfortable with the pre-existing religious beliefs,” Mr. Nechukavu said.

Another lesson that stuck with him was the value of the negative scene. It thinks of a good thing in your life (like your lavish, reasonably affordable apartment) and then imagining the worst situation (suddenly yourself homeless and without a safety net). If gratitude is something that does not come naturally, a negative view can help you get there.

“That’s something I really keep in mind, especially when I feel like my mind is stuck thinking about future obstacles,” Mr. Nechukwu said. “I should be very grateful for what I have. Because you are not made to notice these things. “

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