Always stay humble and kind

Over the course of this past semester I have learned some major lessons, not only about myself but those around me. Some of the major lessons I have learned this semester is how important it is to recognize unhealthy behavior that is going on in your life. Recognizing why you aren’t happy, or what is getting in the way of making you a happier person. This was probably the most meaningful thing I learned because I was constantly blaming myself, while a majority of it was not being mindful of what was going on around me. I learned that I need to start being present in the moment in order to pinpoint what obstacles in my life are causing the stress, anxiety, and anger. Since enrolling in The Science of Happiness, I began taking the time out of my day to be present in the moment and practice taking deep breaths. Just three minutes, twice a day has helped me feel less anxious throughout the day. Another major lesson that I learned this semester is about forgiveness aka the hardest thing to do. Forgiveness has always been one of my biggest struggles, after listening to Dr. Worthingon speak about his forgiveness of others inspired me to really try and face those people who I’ve  had a hard time forgiving, I know that there is a lot of work that needs to be done because one lecture alone isn’t going to be enough to make me forgive those who have hurt me in my past. However, I have leaned that being able to take the steps to forgive someone is a starting point. I plan to share this information on social media by re-blogging, sharing, and posting about what I am doing in my life that helps maintain happiness i.e spreading random acts of kindness and challenging those to do the same.

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Happiness is beautiful

Over the last few weeks, we have covered a range of topics that relate to our everyday lives. Dr. Salvatore spoke about romantic relationships and how the relationships we develop in early childhood can affect the way we make and act in relationships when we are older. I found the studies that she spoke about interesting, because, I believe that as a child it is important to make healthy relationships in order to carry out healthier relationships as adults. Romantic relationships tie into positive identity that Dr. Neale talked about. In order to be committed into a romantic relationship, you need to be able to distinguish your emotions and know how to communicate with your partner your thoughts and feelings.

These concepts lead to Mindfulness, being presents in the moment and being able to connect with your inner-self and what is going on around you. The week when we focused on Mindfulness, I really enjoyed the activity where we completed the seven days of calm. Since enrolling in this course I have found most helpful and useful is being able to take time out of my day to just breathe. Focusing on your breathing and trying different techniques has helped me when I experience stressful situations through out the day whether I am at school or work. Breathing is a main focus when practicing yoga, in the past I would frequently attend yoga classes at the gym. Dr. King lead a insightful lecture when speaking about yoga and how it help her manage stress and depression. As a full time student and working twenty hours a week, I find each week getting more and more stressful. I have made a few changes based on the previous class lectures, I am now completing at least two breathing sessions every day as well as taking 15 minutes (usually before bed) to complete a yoga exercise.

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Four weeks in, where we are now.

What is happiness? Happiness to me is probably different than what happiness is to you. How we perceive happiness is through pre-disposed genes, environmental factors, and life circumstances. During Dr. Dicks lecture I learned that the largest influence on what makes us happy or unhappy is genetics, around 50% to be exact. So what about the other 50%? Well mostly that is up to you! According to Corey-Keye, individuals fall into unique categories based on their mental health status. Keye’s Mental Health Model emphasizes the need to increase individual’s mental health and strive to become more flourishing.

Positive psychology is founded on people who want to live a meaningful life filled with love, work, and play. Unfortunately, we all know someone, or we are that someone who just can’t seem to reach that happiness due to a mental illness. No matter how hard some people try they can’t seem to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses with 1 in 5 teens being diagnosed. Depression and anxiety are at an all time high, and the number of individuals being diagnosed keeps climbing. So what can we do to lower these numbers? Recognize the signs and symptoms at an early age; encourage people to talk about their feelings instead of bottling them up inside.

            Every week in class I enjoy starting off with a short meditation, it helps me to be able to breathe in a way that I can relax. I am often running from a previous class in order to get to SOH on time. Being able to take just three short minutes to collect my thoughts and not have my brain spinning in circles really helps me become present. On Fridays in class it is nice to have small group conversation and get to know your peers. Learning different experiences, thought processes, and advice from others can help you implement the way you handle life circumstances.

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