My experience this semester has been very growing. I completely believe that this course has changed me- irrevocably. It has made me exam my attitudes and behaviors. The course has encouraged me to take a deep, honest, holistic look at my intentions and myself. During this process, I have found certain actions or behaviors that don’t match my goals or authentic purpose. Such behaviors include: being down on myself; judging myself or others; bringing negativity into situations; acting on feelings of negativity or making decisions based on negative emotions; complaining when things are challenging; generally just not looking at situations in positive light.
Now whenever I feel the urge to take one of those actions, I think about a why I am feeling that negativity, and try to fix that instead of acting with a negative behavior. Sometimes it doesn’t work! Sometimes I still get grumpy. Sometimes my partner or friends have to remind me not to be down on myself. But more and more often, I am catching myself before I have that negative reaction. I am beginning to be able to change the tone of the narrative in my head to one of acceptance and gratitude- one of love and non-judgment. I attribute this to both the tremendous amount of work I have put into myself, and the teachings from this course that have helped steer me in the right direction, that have been my road map showing me where to put my energy into.
I also have now truly come to believe that simply studying happiness and thinking about happiness makes me happier. It makes sense- we are all shaped by our experiences. Because of this course, the pathways in my brain that are about happiness have gotten a lot more firmly established. The energy that I used to put into thinking about how to fix my negativity, or reflecting on why I felt negative, now go to instead, focusing on how to be happy. This course introduced positive psychology into my life, and made me realize that I BELIEVE! IT WORKS!
I was in a pretty rough spot at the end of last semester. Coming into this semester, I knew I had to change my attitude if I wanted to change my life. I knew I had to actively try to be more positive and happy. Which is why I literally checked for an open seat in this class everyday for about two weeks. I’m pretty sure it was something like a day or two before add-drop that I actually got in. Thank goodness I did. I knew that I needed this course- I needed help achieving my goal of a positive mindset. I knew it would be hard, and I knew I couldn’t do it alone. And while I still have much growth ahead of me, I can firmly say that this class has positively impacted me so much, and helped me get closer to living my authentic life. I will carry the teachings and lessons for the rest of my happy days.