The First Four Weeks

So far, this course has truly taught me how to become more mindful and aware of the steps I can take to improve my happiness. We began the semester by finding where we each fall on the Keyes flourishing scale. This scale helps one determine the state of their mental health. Keyes uses the word “flourishing” to describe mentally healthy adults and the word “languishing” to describe no presence of a mental illness. I think it was a great way to begin the semester because this allowed us to know where we stand before learning content that can help us improve.


It was surprising to me to learn that genetics play a big role when it comes to happiness (50%). This surprised me because I have always heard different things due to the nature vs. nurture argument. It was also surprising to learn how common disorders such as anxiety and depression are. Both anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability and can vary in severity. There are different forms of anxiety such as OCD and certain phobias.


A way people can improve their mental health is through positive psychology. Positive psychology uses understanding and appropriate aid to achieve a satisfactory life. Some way people can practice positive psychology is through an act of kindness, practicing optimism, and meditating on positive feelings.


The exercise I have found the most beneficial in my life is the three good things assignment. By completing this assignment, I realized that I spend a good majority of my time focusing on the negative things that happen each day rather than the positives. I also noticed that by physically writing down all of the good things, I am much more happy! This is an exercise I will continue to use and encourage others to use because I believe if we simply focused on the positives, the world would be a much better place. Another practice I have enjoyed in mindfulness. I have found myself stopping, breathing, and taking in that moment. I have found that afterwards, I have a much more peaceful feeling. I have recommended mindfulness practices to struggling peers and have heard positive feedback!

Overall, I have learned so much in this course. The topics we have covered all connect because they contain information that helps us to understand as well as improve our mental health. They also differ because some are specific to certain types of mental health.