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.
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