Blog Post #3

Blog Post #3

The most important thing I have learned after sixteen weeks in this course is that I am able to live a successful life as long as I make to the effort to do so. Many of the topics we covered in class centered around cultivating our own happiness in order to achieve a healthy, happy, and successful life. One of the topics that really allowed me to become more aware of myself was when we discussed cultivating character strengths. Taking the VIA Character Strengths survey had an immense affect on my perception of strengths and weaknesses. After taking the survey, it was interesting to see that fairness was my top character strength because fairness never seemed like a strength in my eyes, but through the research done by Karris and Craighead where they had 759 college students take the VIA-IS, I was able to understand my strengths and weaknesses More importantly, taking the VIA Character Strengths survey really showed me where my strengths and weaknesses were and how I could and will continue to cultivate my strengths and improve my weaknesses.

There were definitely many more things we discussed in class, but another topic that stood out was mindfulness. Mindfulness was a common theme we, as class, always seemed to refer back to a lot during discussions and for good reason. I was never introduced to mindfulness before this class, so I was, in manner of speaking, a mindfulness virgin; however, I instantly fell in love with it. Mindfulness has really helped me become more in tune with my surroundings and myself. I have learned to try to be more in the present in everything that I do. Furthermore, many of the mindfulness meditations we did in class have really helped, especially when I had so many things going on. Overall, mindfulness has been a silent savior for my hectic life.

From here on out, I am going to try to make sure meditating becomes a part of my daily routine. I really did notice a difference with my mental state of mind when we did a few meditations in class, and I hope to incorporate it into my daily routine so that one day I will start noticing the differences in my mental and physical health. I am also going to try to live a more active lifestyle. After dancing for almost fourteen years, I haven’t been able to find the right kind of workout that fits for me just yet. Hopefully as I continue to explore, I will be able to live more actively.

Lastly, I plan to continue to spread awareness of the positive psychology through social media. I really loved the idea of the the weekly social media posts, and although I don’t think I will be posting information on positive psychology every week, I want to try and inform as many people as I can about the benefits of positive psychology on a regular basis. I will definitely make sure to share posts from VCU COBE, because they have so many fascinating events and information on their social media pages. I will also make sure to do random acts of kindness more often, because it felt good to see other people happy, even if it was as small as giving them a compliment. I will also talk to my family about how learning about positive psychology has helped me strive to become a more successful and happy individual, and how they can use what I have learned in their lives as well. Overall, I will try play a more active role on social media to inform the millions of people on the internet how directly positive psychology can affect our happiness.

I think this picture really summarizes the class, because it shows that happiness is determined by genetics, circumstances, and your own thoughts and behaviors. Many of the topics we discussed have touched on all three of these aspects of happiness, so I felt that it was an appropriate representation for this class.                                       


Picture Citation:

Blog Post #2

Blog Post #2

We started off week 7 talking about romantic relationships, discussing the impacts of a good relationship and a bad relationship, and how that might affect someone’s life. Then we moved onto personality traits, where we talked about how certain personalities might be more predisposed to substance abuse than other personalities. Next came positive psychology interventions, where we discussed the impacts these interventions could have on people who might be depressed or regular people who might be having a bad day. Lastly, we ended with social-emotional learning, where we talked about the positive implications these programs could have on children and adults in their educational careers and social lives. These past few weeks, we have learned about a variety of different topics. Each topic was different, but they all had one main thing in common. All of the topics seemed to have a common theme that involved fostering success in ourselves and our lives, whether that might be social or educational. There were many opportunities these past few weeks to learn about myself and the field of psychology.

The greatest lesson I have learned would have to be self-awareness. Many of the topics for weeks 7-10 were very heavily focused on self-awareness and what we could do as individuals to become more aware of who we are. I have started to become more aware of my relationships with family and friends as a result of the one of the exercises we did that involved us asking people close to us what they valued and appreciated about us. I realized through that exercise that I have people who care about me and that once in awhile it doesn’t hurt to show some of my appreciation towards them, even if it is a little embarrassing. I have become more aware of the people I associate myself with as well. If I don’t feel like they are good influences on me or my life, I try to distance myself from them. It occurred to me that negative influences only hurt me in the end and if I don’t fix the problem I won’t be happy. Overall, my biggest takeaway would be that self-awareness is an important aspect for one’s happiness and success in life.

I chose this quote because it states that the only person that can change my life is myself, not anyone else. It represents the changes I made and am currently trying to make in my life as I continue to grow as an individual.

Blog Post 1

Blog Post 1

We have learned so much these past few weeks in Science of Happiness. We have learned about Keyes Flourishing model, genetic influences on behavior, depression and anxiety, and cultivating our character strengths. Furthermore, all of these topics we covered in class were very interesting and new to me. More importantly, all of the topics seemed to have one common theme in that the main goal was for people to lead a more happy and healthy lifestyle.

There were many new things we learned, but the most new and most surprising would definitely have be when we talked about the Keyes Flourishing Model. I was surprised to learn that even though someone has a mental illness they could be flourishing, while someone who might be completely normal could be languishing. It was fascinating to see that mental illness did not necessarily play a part in determining whether a person is flourishing or languishing.

There were also exercises that we did that applied to my daily life as well, one of them being the VIA survey. The VIA survey was interesting because it was a comprehensive list of certain types of strengths put in order from greater strengths to weaker strengths. When I saw my results, I was kind of surprised by the first one on the list, fairness. I never really thought about it much but I guess I could see that I was a pretty fair person most of the time. I would try to be fair in all aspects of my life, whether it be something as simple as food or something as big as a group project. I also always strive to be fair and objective when making important decisions. All in all, it was interesting to see how involved my character strengths were in my daily life.

Overall, the past few weeks of Science of Happiness have been an amazing adventure of knowledge and self awareness that has been changing my way of perceiving life. Hopefully, I can continue to learn and grow throughout the semester.