Blog Post 3

Blog Post 3

Based on all of the content taught in class and all of the content in the weekly readings, I’ve learned the importance of maintaining overall happiness and well- being and I’ve learned the complexity of happiness and well- being. First by reading about the study published by Keyes, I was introduced to this idea that well- being is complex. The take-away message from that study was “the absence of mental illness is not the presence of mental health”. As a result when I was introduced to mindfulness, I didn’t understand how mindfulness connects to happiness and well-being. However, I now understand that mindfulness has its place in everything that I do. Specifically, practicing mindful eating allows me to increase my overall well- being by making me more aware of what and why I am eating. Also, practicing mindfulness at work allows me and my co-workers to be able to communicate effectively with one another. Realizing the different ways that mindfulness can be incorporated into my life, I was able fully grasp the complexity of happiness and well- being and how they relate to one another. Happiness and well- being go hand- in- hand. The most meaningful topics for me were anxiety disorders and academic well- being because they are both topics that I have  a close relationship with. Anxiety is something that I struggle with and has history in my family. So learning about the different causes and perspectives regarding anxiety opened my mind to different ways to combat anxiety. Additionally, academic well- being was a very meaningful topic for me because most of my anxiety stems from worrying about my academic success. So learning the different skills that enhance academic well- being allowed me to be open minded about adopting some of those skills to make life a little easier for me.

Knowing the complexity of happiness and well- being, I have committed to dedicating time to myself to practice mindfulness frequently.  I have also committed to keeping an open mind about the different things that may impact my happiness and overall well- being. One of the exercises that encouraged me to open my mind to these possibilities was the  week 10 exercise that required us to ask 3-5 people what they value about us. This exercise opened my mind because I didn’t know just how much those compliments could impact my day. Those compliments are still fresh in my mind today and still impact the way I think about myself and my role in the lives of other people. Since taking this class, I have started working on tracking my feelings. This has been very beneficial especially for managing my responsibilities at school, at work and at home. I have also started to make a conscious decision to spread positivity to others to increase their happiness and well- being. One of the things that I could improve is the tendency to allow disappointments to overwhelm me which causes me to lose sight of the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that everyday is a new chance to be happy and make decisions that contribute to my overall well- being.

After this class is over, I plan to share thoughts that promote mindfulness on my social media. One of the most important things that I want to share on my social media stems from the very first lesson in this class and that is that happiness is complex. It is not just the opposite  of sadness. Happiness is based on a plethora of components and should be thought of as being part of a continuum. This is the most important message to spread, because it allows people to understand a little bit more the complexity of happiness and how that relates to their overall well- being. It also gives them a great preview into the other aspects of happiness that they will eventually learn throughout life. By spreading this information, I hope that other people are able to think of new ways to increase happiness, positivity and well- being across the world.

I chose this image to represent what I have learned this semester because it truly embodies the greatest lesson learned in this class. Often times we think of happiness as something to be “achieved” however, happiness is actually a by-product of multiple things and it is  different for each person.

Blog Post 2: Weeks 7-10

Blog Post 2: Weeks 7-10

In the past four weeks, we have covered a variety of information about different ways that we can implement ways to make ourselves happy in life. The most important things in our lives: intimate relationships, work, and overall health and well- being all have to do with the science of happiness. These topics are related in that they addressed ways to predict behavior based on emotional development. The only difference is that, when we were discussing mindfulness at work and the effects of positive emotions in positive psychology, we were focusing on adults. When discussing substance use, personality and romantic relationships, we were focusing on child development over a period of time.

The information covered in the entire class up until this point are  all related to being mindful and accepting/ dealing with problems to avoid allowing your problems to consume your life. These readings and lectures all come back to the same general concept: we all have problems and misfortunes, so to deal with them effectively, we must be mindful of them. Acknowledge them for what they are and take a second to be in the moment. Even the topics that focus on development, such as Romantic Relationships and the SURPS, show us that though we may be susceptible to things like romantic incompetence and addiction, we can counteract those issues by taking things one day at a time and acknowledging the things in our up- bringing and development that make us susceptible to these things. So, in order to understand the topics from week 7-10, it is important to understand the key concept of the entire class material: mindfulness.

I have learned that life is what you make it. Being a college student, pursuing a difficult career, I am sure to feel overwhelmed at some point. However, if I practice mindfulness in every situation, I can maintain a balance and ultimately manage my stress more effectively. I’ve also gained insight on why certain members of my family have anxiety disorders and other disorders that stem from a mismanagement of stress. Mindfulness isn’t emphasized as much as it should be at jobs, hospitals, schools etc. With a better understanding of what it means to be mindful, I believe members of my family and even myself, can lessen the likelihood that we will suffer from anxiety disorders and hypertension.

Since this class, I have started to meditate daily to be able to acknowledge my overwhelming course and work load so that I can be effective in tackling those to-dos. Meditating at least once a week clears my mind of clutter so that I can focus and make every action purposeful. I was inspired by the video about the veteran who lost his ability to walk and regained it by acknowledging his disability, practicing mindfulness, and being purposeful about the necessary actions he had to take to push past his disability. That video inspired me because not only did he gain his ability to walk again, he also gained a way to effectively manage his stress.

 

This image represents the different thoughts that run through our head during decision making that either impacts the impulsive decisions we make everyday.

Photo from: https://news.illinois.edu/blog/view/6367/205112

Blog Post #1

Blog Post #1

The topics covered so far in class all make an attempt to understand behavior and well- being. The most surprising topic thus far was the connection between genetics and behavior. Genetics is an uncontrollable influence to the way we behave and I find it interesting that behavior and thoughts can be somewhat uncontrollable to a certain extent.

Another surprising concept was the idea that just because a person lacks a mental illness does not mean that they are mentally healthy. My results to the Keyes Flourishing Scale indicated that I am moderately mentally healthy. This means that I am not necessarily flourishing but I am not mentally ill either. This exercise changed the degree to which I analyzed overall well- being. Before this exercise, I believed that well- being could only be measured as an either/ or type of concept. But, now I understand that there is a “grey area” to pretty much everything.

Also, I’ve come to believe that focusing on the positive aspects in life will allow me to increase my well- being because my thoughts will be consumed with positive energy. I am not naive to think that bad things will not happen but, thinking positive will change the way I perceive the bad things that happen to me. Instead of thinking that bad things just happen to me because the world is against me, I will be able to process and learn from bad situations.

 

Cite:

SpunOut. “Positive mental health”.  Picture Link