Throughout this semester Science of Happiness has opened up my eyes up to how important it is to focus on the positive in life. An example was learning about our strengths through the VIA survey. Finding out that my top strength was perspective allows me now to focus on that and try to use it to my advantage in all areas of life. I also learned that forgiveness is an important part to staying positive because it allows one to move on from past incidents. Another important lesson I learned, and the topic that ended up meaning the most to me was learning about how to take care of ourselves, including our body and our mind. Learning about mindfulness was an example of this self-care that is very interesting to me and something I am still trying to figure out, as well as the days we learned about sleeping, eating, and physical activity. Both the article we had to read and the lecturers that came in both discussed how important these things were to one’s well-being, both physically and mentally. This topic is the most meaningful to me because it is something I have been wanting to focus on a lot lately, because it allows me to control how I feel throughout the day.
I have been trying to get better sleep each night by reading before bed and trying to get to bed earlier to improve my mood for the next day. I have also been trying to eat healthier and go to the gym each day if possible to stay motivated and happy. As for things I need to focus on, I need to focus on looking towards the positive and focusing on my own strengths. I am always stressed and that causes me to go straight to the negative, but if I work on it, I can always change that. Not only would focusing on the good things help me now, but they may help me when I start to get into my career, as I will be able to use these strengths in my everyday tasks.
I plan to share my insights and information by talking to my friends around campus and mentioning the topics we have learned about in class. I will also mention these things to my family to help form better relationships with them. As for social media, every time I post anything I will think about everything I have learned about In Science of Happiness and try to apply what I can. For example, this means making sure my posts are positive before I post them.
I feel like this image definitely captures what Science of Happiness is about. I believe everything we have learned somewhat focuses on positivity. Whether it is forgiveness or our strengths, we should always focus on the good parts of it. Even if we are looking at meditation or exercise, a positive outlook can help someone exceed in either activity.
Looking back onto the first six weeks of class, we learned mostly about the basics of positive psychology, our strengths, and some mental disorders. In the weeks after those initial classes I noticed that a lot of what we learned in the beginning is being incorporated into the new topics in more complex ways. In ways that show how they can work in romantic relationships, in classrooms from a young age, and even how we can apply them to ourselves in multiple ways. Not only have the topics we have learned about in the recent weeks relate to older topics, but they relate to each other. For example, the personality traits that we learned about week 9 that may lead to certain risk behaviors may also affect romantic relationships that we talked about on week 7. Another relationship between two is the mindfulness meditation we participated in on week 8 can be an example of positive intervention in someone’s life like the ones we learned about in week 10.
Throughout my first semester here at VCU this class has helped me learn how I can make something of my time here besides just getting a degree. I am able to use skills that this class has taught me to help me become a happier person on the inside. I am able to calm myself in times of stress by practicing mindfulness techniques and focusing on my strengths. I am also able to look at what traits I’m exhibiting now that could lead to risky behavior and work on changing them before I might introduce that behavior into my life. I also now see the importance of social emotional intelligence in everyone’s life and how it can create better bonds with oneself and with others. I have already started to try to do small things like journal the positives of my day and do activities like yoga or hiking that help calm my mind and bring me into a good mood before doing homework. Seeing how things like this can affect peoples’ moods and outcomes in their day helped me to implement them in my life because not only can I see the proof in myself but also the science that proves them as well.
The image I have chosen represents the relaxation I have learned to accomplish in these past weeks by learning things like mindfulness and positive interventions.
Dedda71 . “Neopagan meditation in Rocca di Cerere .” Wikimedia, 24 Aug. 2014, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pagan_meditation.jpg.
I believe that pretty much all of the topics that we have learned about in the first six weeks have all intertwined perfectly. For example, learning about how genetics influence things like behavior relates to our strengths from the VIA strengths survey, which are partly affected by genes. It also relates to depression, anxiety, and mood states since genetics can be a reason for them. But with all of these similarities do come some differences. Not all of the topics are exactly the same. The Keyes scale dealt with flourishing and languishing while the PERMA survey dealt with a larger spectrum of elements. Overall, everything we have learned so far circles around positive psychology and making life more pleasant for all of us.
There were many things I have already learned about in my life through experience and school such as the psychology of many of the subjects talked about in this class. As for things that I have learned and were new to me, I did not know that the lack of mental illness does not mean someone is flourishing and that someone can still be flourishing with a mental illness. This idea was very inspiring to me as it breaks natural stigmas on the topic.
The topics and activities that helped me relate class to my own life were mainly the practices I could do myself. These include meditation, yoga, and other aspects of mindfulness that help me live a more full life. They are easy to do on my own and make my happiness higher overall. Another topic was the idea of positive psychology. I did not realize how important that pushing to work on one’s strengths was very important and it is not just about fixing one’s weaknesses.
Öste, Heidi Forbes. “Mind Full v. Mindful.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 28 Oct. 2014, www.flickr.com/photos/forbesoste/15655214702. Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.