While the first five weeks of class served as a sort of introduction to the course and making sure we understood what was going on, the past five weeks have been much more interesting. We have started to really get into the science of being happy. While I noticed very few differences in the weekly topics, I saw a lot of similarities. Each week’s content was like a puzzle piece, and every week we learned more and more about what it takes to be happy. Just because you have good relationship skills, and self management, and social awareness, and all the other SEL skills doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to be happy in life. You might be stuck in a bad relationship, one where you are being controlled by your partner, where the bad side of the Michelangelo Phenomenon is coming out. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have the good team work and communication skills that we spoke of in SEL, if you are stuck in a bad relationship, it is going to stay bad. So lets say you have a great relationship with your partner and you are a master of all the SEL skills, you still might not be happy. Why? Because you might be letting other outside influences get to you. Like the boy that we talked about in Week 8 lecture, you might just be sitting on Instagram one day and see people you know having a way better life than you and you will start to get jealous and envious. Or you might be on your phone until 3am and get no sleep cause your mind is bouncing off the walls. Or maybe you are the person in that Instagram photo, would you be happy? Not necessarily, you may be having fun and living a life of excess but that doesn’t guarantee happiness. You may be struggling with an alcohol addiction trying to combat demons from your past, you may be so impulsive that you say yes to every dare and can’t say no to any drug. Instead of trying a better way to deal with the problem you end up resorting to self medication with drugs and alcohol. The point of that overly long narrative, is that no one thing will make you actually happy, you may have a fleeting sensation for a moment, but only one of those things will make you happy. You have to put all the puzzle pieces together and combine SEL skills and making sure you have a positive relationship, and even acknowledging yourself and knowing what your major tempters might be. As it was said in Good et al.’s article, doing these things and practicing mindfulness in the workplace helps people to be better workers and also showed actual, tangible results. People studying for an MBA had higher GPA’s if they practiced mindfulness. All of these things together stand a good chance of making you happy. Another thing that might add to your chances of being truly happy and something that I talked about in my last blog post is letting go of the past and just letting bygones be bygones and moving on. Like the creepy meditation recording says: “acknowledge those thoughts but let them pass”. By not letting the chains of what happened or what could have been hold us down, we become free of them and free to move on in pursuing happiness. Fittingly, that is the major lesson I have learned over these ten weeks. Just let go. Whether it be someone cutting you off on the interstate or your advisor seemingly trying to avoid you, its not gonna do you any good to focus on it. Just let it go. Once again, even more fittingly, this is the change I have tried to implement in my own life. Every day in class, for most if not all of the semester so far, we have done meditation at the beginning of class. I found it cleared my head so much and helped me to let go of my worries that now I do it every night before bed and try to do it every morning when I wake up. It helps me to approach the next day with a clear, unburdened mind. The image I selected relates to this because its literally just what I said, a person meditating at the beginning of their day. That person is just relaxing on a beach (I am assuming that that’s their happy place) and letting go, maybe they even have their own creepy meditation recording. But even if they don’t, they are still putting into practice what the overall theme of the class is, being mindful about yourself and what’s around you and just being happy in life.
Dunn, J. (2017, December 6). Everything you need to know about Meditation. Retrieved October 28, 2018, from http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1709450/images/o-MEDITATION-facebook.jpg