Positive University

VCU is implicating many of the ideals that were explained in this article, on a small scale. For example, in Rhoads Hall on the 16th and 17th floor many residences are a part of Thrive, a living learning community on campus. Thrive is sponsored by COBE, implicating many things like social well-being and different de-stressing programs. These programs include going on a pick nick at belle isle and yoga every Wednesday in the Brandt Community Room. The reason many of us took Science of Happiness is because we are in Thrive. Along with Thrive, our class is another thing the university has provided to start on the road to a positive university. I never thought however that a university could have the power to become a “positive university”. I feel like it would be a lot of work to establish it through a whole university.

Do you think VCU would one day be considered a “positive university”? Also do these small programs now, are a good stepping stone for the spread of positivity throughout?

Social Interactions and Well-Being

I know that interactions we have with people, both familiar and unfamiliar, have an effect on our emotional well-being. However, this reading went very in depth on how much these interactions affect us on any given day. They depended on who we engaged with and how frequently they occurred. I do think this research is very evident in everyone’s life. I love interacting people or seeing people I know on the streets. Even if it is just a passing hello or a conversation, it defiantly brightens my mood. I really never took into consideration the type of people I might encounter, whether they are friends or acquaintances, they can still have an effect on your emotional well-being.

The article only really talks about positive interactions with people, but not negative. Do you all think that the positive interactions have more effect on our overall happiness to be able to outweigh the negative ones?


I am naturally a very forgiving person. This was evident when forgiveness was in my top 5 for character traits. I know forgiving is a good thing, because hold things in can have negative effects on your life. However, being too forgiving can also have negative effects. It could be perceived that you are push over and you will always forgive someone that does wrong to you. I’d like to think I haven’t hit that point yet. In the article, it says people that do end up forgiving, no matter the severity of the situation, they tend to show less depression and more hope. This was more than the person had before going through the forgiveness process. What I thought was interesting was the stages of forgiveness. They were uncovering, decision, work, and discovery. It was informative to see the breakdown of what someone may go through when trying to forgive another person. I overall really enjoyed this article as a whole.

What my question is do you think forgiveness is always necessary no matter what the person did? Or should you forgive but not forget and will that make a huge effect on your happiness?

Differences in Character

We have learned about positive psychology many times before, but I really enjoyed the research this article was on. I liked how it broke down the different characteristics people have. Now I know that some characteristics are prone to certain ages or genders than others. I thought it was very interesting that women scored higher in love while men scored higher in bravery. But what was most interesting part to me has the people in relationships versus the people not in relationships. Those in a relationship scored higher in love, gratitude and hope. Then they raise the question if you are higher in those characteristics then are you more likely to find yourself in a romantic relationship.

What do you guys think? Do you think it makes a difference?

Substance Use Disorders

Before reading this article I did know that drug and alcohol abuse/addiction had something to do with the environment you are brought up in. But this article definitely taught me a lot more than I knew could be associated with drug and alcohol addiction. It is more than just environment but also individual factors and mental factors. I do believe the research is correct that all of these have something to do with leading people to engage in these bad habits. I also thought it was interesting that what you are struggling with depends on what bad habit you lean towards. Such as in the article it says people with psychosis risk are more likely to engage in cannabis use. Also mood disorders use substances like drugs/alcohol.

Do you believe these finding are true or do you think it doesn’t matter what they are going through and people will just turn to any type of drugs or alcohol abuse?

Close Relationships

I really enjoyed this article. It is my favorite one out of the articles we have read so far. I always thought that the way we are raised does have an effect on the out relationships when we are older. But after reading I have a deeper understand on the topic of relationships and our past. Now I know that even though you had a secure upbringing does not necessarily mean you will have a perfect relationship, it all depends on the past and current situations. That is also true for people with an insecure upbringing. Additionally, between infancy and adulthood, many other interruptions can occur that affect our ability to have a functioning relationship. I can definitely relate to this. I believe that I have had a connection with my parents, was very friendly when I was younger, and still have genuine friendships now. However, I don’t think I have had the best romantic relationships. Granted, I am still friends with all the guys I have dated but the relationships never lasted too long. Those were only adolescent relationships, so I am not going to let that effect my future relationships.

What was new to me was the different kinds of relationships we have as we get older. Such as the people we connect with the most as babies is out parents, then with our peers and teachers in elementary school. Moving on we make deeper connections in high school and find our best friends. Lastly our relationships are seen with significant others. How do other people feel they fall under this study? And do we really have the deep connections with others that we think we do? In other words are all our relationships really as genuine as we perceive them?

Contemplating Mindfulness at Work

With what we have learned so far in the class, I already knew that mindfulness was a good thing to have and practice. I understood that mindfulness affects us and how we interact with the environment around us. However, after reading this article I now understand a deeper level of mindfulness. I thought it was very interesting that mindfulness affected our memory. I think that I have a pretty good memory but every once and a while I do forget things, like any human does. I think if I practiced mindfulness more regularly it would improve my memory. I overall interpreted from this article that to live a better life you should practice mindfulness, especially in the work place.
In a work environment, there are a lot of different personalities trying to all work together. Also not everyone gets along. I think if more work places practiced mindfulness with their employees it would result in a better work environment. People would be happier and that would result in more productivity. Along with mindfulness helping at work it would also improve their lives as a whole. In one of the discussions we had in class I remember someone saying people don’t quit their jobs because they don’t like their job, they quit because they don’t like their bosses or people they work with. What do you guys think of this and do you believe that mindfulness would diminish these odds.

Positive Emotions in Positive Psycology

I had a vague understanding of the topic. I knew that positive emotions evoke positive decisions in your life. But I learned more than that in the article and the science behind it. Now I know why exactly we react in different ways depending on our emotions. I have experienced these phenomena’s in the article on many occasions. A negative effect is whenever I have to speak in public. In high school I would have to speak in front of a bunch of people every couple of months. I was get so scared and anxious that I would be shaking in my seat. I would want to run away and never come back. Eventually I would have to do it and all the bad feeling I had would go away. This example also goes along with feelings like that being short and not lasting a very long time. So then I would have feelings of joy and accomplishment afterwards to replace the bad feelings I had earlier. Why do you think we often overact to certain stressful situations like this?

Habits and GPA

I think I am not the only one to say I have always heard that a decent amount of sleep and a balanced breakfast results in better success in school and in life. I know so many people that stay up all night or only get a couple of hours of sleep a night. But those are the same people that are doing that to study for test and do other semi productive activities. Also these are the people that are bad at managing time so they wouldn’t have to stay up all night. I think other factors contribute to this, some people just don’t need that much sleep or like to do everything at night and just sleep in still getting 7-8 hours a night.

I am nothing like those people. I enjoy my sleep more than anything. It sounds bad but I will drop all of my work and go to sleep early just to get 7-8 hours than continue to study for a test. In high school I always did this because I felt that my sleep was more important than my work both for my body and my sanity. Even though I know eating breakfast is important I rarely ever do it during the week before going to class. I know it’s not good for you but I never have the time nor the effort to do it. I like to think I have or will have a high GPA regardless of my habits because I know what works for me, so that I can work to the best of my ability. I sleep well, eat kind of well, exercise once in a while, have a good social life, and manage my time decently. With those attributes I think I will be able to keep my GPA up. One thing I would like to look into or talk about is how our consumption of caffeine, coffee or soda, affects or academic performance to if it has anything to do with out performance. I bring this up because the article said something about coffee intake.

Silver Linings

I had seen the concept of “affluenza” before reading this article. During the Brock Turner trails, they tried to say he suffered from this to get him a lesser sentence. When I looked it up it seems that a lot of people use this “disease” to excuse stupidity of upper class young adults. However, in this article they talk about affluenza as combining with unrealistic aspirations, overall contributing to a more depressed society. It seems that affluenza can also be seen as the lack of influence they have I their lives and society

I do agree with the article that we shouldn’t just throw a bunch of drugs at people to help depression. There should be a combination of both talking about their issues, and taking the right amount of medication for how serious their condition is. But it is horrible that the people that need the most help are the ones not getting it. How could we change this issue? Or what could we do if we someone that needs help but is not getting it?

Positive Psychology Blog 3

I knew that we should put more focus on promoting mental health, not just preventing mental illness. I feel that this article hit a lot of points that I have always thought to be true. Such as that the argument from Democritus in the article “it’s not what happens to people that determines how happy they are, but how they interpret what happens”. The way that I live my life greatly demonstrates this observation. I never get too worked up when tragedies happen or things don’t go the wat I want them to. I work through these obstacles and I keep going with my life. One topic that was very interesting was the fact that the environment we currently live in is different from ancestral environments to which our bodies and minds have been adapted to. I never really thought about that fact, and I do believe it is very true. It’s weird to think about the environment our ancestors lived in and that they may affect the way we react to our very different environment. They went over so many different topics in this article. Maybe we should go into more depth about each one and reflect on how we relate to the topics. Another aspect that made me think was “Camus wrote that the foremost question of philosophy is why one should not commit suicide. One cannot answer that question just by curing depression; there must be positive reasons for living as well.” What does everyone think of what Camus said?

Blog 2

I believe in the philosophy that you shouldn’t let how you were brought up or your misfortunes shape your life. Everyone has the opportunity to make a better life for themselves if they go out and try, even though it may be harder for some people than others. Now this article has taught me that some problems as an adult can be linked to actions and events as an adolescent. I like that some of the studies involved twins, because they are so similar it is easier to see how different life choices come about. I have many friends that are twins, but my very best friend and her sister are a great example of how outside forces can change their courses as they mature. They are fraternal twins, Haley has dark brown hair and eyes, while Schyler has blonde hair, blue eyes. The differences don’t stop there, in elementary school they were about the same intelligence level, but when middle school came around and they took different paths. Haley at about a C average, with not so positively influential friends, contrary Schyler kept an A average, always on principals list and has friends they never get in trouble. However, they were both brought up the same, given the same opportunities. I think this is a very real life example of what I believe the article is trying to explain. Basically that what we do as young adults, like drinking and other delinquent things, shapes our adulthood and the problems we may face.

It was very shocking to me that they were able to take these different patterns and bring them down to an observable science, even though it isn’t perfect. I think this investigation is a gateway to even more, specific experiments and trials to pinpoint where we pick up certain things, like alcohol abuse. I would want to talk about what more studying twins could do to help this research. Also what things could we be aware of now that may affect our ability to prosper in the future. There should be more awareness of how underage drinking really affects people in the future, and how we can take precautions now to not be binge drinkers in the future.

One without the Other

Before reading this article I believed that true mental health was only achieved when there is an absence of mental illness, but also are living a fulfilled life. Now that I have read and comprehended Keyes’ research, I understand that is not necessarily true. I have never experienced having a mental illness, that I am aware of, but I feel that I am in the flourishing category of his research. I am happy with the life I have, I have goals and aspirations, and I am rarely ever sick or have ever had serious maladies. Reading this article of research has opened my eyes to so many things. I never considered that someone could have a mental illness and still be considered flourishing. Keyes is trying to convey that the world is changing and the medical field should be modified with those changes. America should be more focused on promoting mental healthiness, instead of trying to decrease mental illness. Public health believes that we are at a good place in mental health with 51% with moderate health, in actuality we should have more people at around 66% flourishing instead of the 16% we have now. People will stay in languish with or without a mental illness because they don’t know how to get out of the situation they are in. However; if we emphasize mental health and how to attain it people will be able to get out of the rut they are in, both with or without mental illness. I am still confused about the demographics and how the data collected explains how certain situations bring up or have a lack of mental illness. How did it occur that there is a pretty consistent gap between black men and women in regards to mental health? This information definitely opened my eyes to all the misconceptions of mental health and illness.