I feel like most of the topics covered in Weeks 5-10 relate to the way our external environment and internal behaviors contribute to our overall wellbeing. Romantic relationships, positive identity and relationships, yoga, and eat, move and sleep all relate to external factors. Mindfulness and getting to know yourself relate to internal factors. However – I feel like in a way all of the topics do with your internal behaviors and thought processes. The way you perceive things and how you behave is greatly influenced by the way you think.
I feel as if the biggest insight I’ve gotten from these topics is to really re-examine the way I handle situations. It’s also helped me to identify the toxic relationships and non-toxic ones, and helped me to figure out how to cut those ties. Another thing I’ve realized is how much eating, moving and sleeping affects you. I always felt that it was common sense that you need to eat, move and sleep, but it’s strange actually seeing the results and how much better I felt if I ate healthier, went on walks, and slept for the right amount of time.
One of the biggest changes that I’ve made is actually going on walks. It was so fascinating to me to learn that it’s proven that going on three 20 minute walks a week is proven to be more effective than anti-depressants. I’ve found motivational podcasts or storyline podcasts to listen to, or just uplifting music and just walk through neighborhoods. It’s honestly so amazing how much better I feel after? I also feel more energized, and it’s just so nice.
Signing up for the Science of Happiness was one of the best decisions I ever made. The most meaningful topics to me were positive psychology, the negativity bias, and forgiveness. I feel as if all of these topics are connected – at least in my interpretation of them. I feel like they all had to do with the way you view things and your internal thinking, which has a huge effect on your overall happiness. I think that positive psychology is so interesting – the fact that there is an entire concept dedicated to helping people find and cultivate their strengths is so great. I never knew about the negativity bias before this class, and I thought it was one of the most interesting things we learned about. I know that it was a smaller topic, but it was something that really stuck with me. It’s amazing that something as simple as the way you think can make you perceive an event completely differently. Forgiveness was another really meaningful topic for me, first of all because our guest speaker Mr. Worthington was amazing – his story was so incredibly powerful and moving. I don’t know how he had the strength to forgive. I think that forgiveness is such an interesting topic. I myself have trouble forgiving, and I loved that we got to go in depth with the topic.
I have tried very hard to implement the things we’ve practiced in class – and they’ve worked more or less. I find myself trying to practice self-compassion and be kinder to myself. I’ve noticed that my thoughts have such a huge effect on my day to day life. Instead of being cruel and harsh to myself when I make a mistake, I try to think kindly about myself. Even when things happen outwardly and events happen that are out of my control, I try to think of the good that’s come out of it. I try to practice the Three Good Things exercise – well, a variation of it where I just try to think of everything good that’s happened every week when I’m having a bad one. I need to work on the self-compassion, but I’m getting there. Something I very much would like to work on is acknowledging my strengths and weaknesses and working to develop them. Another thing I would love to do is to learn how to forgive and let go. I think about Mr. Worthington’s story a lot, and I hope that one day I’ll have the courage to let go and forgive those who have wronged me. I hope I can forgive myself for the numerous mistakes I’ve made. Another part of the self-compassion thing that I think ties into positive psychology and the negativity bias is reminding myself that I’m only human.
I’ve actually utilized a lot of the practices on my friends (I find it more effective then trying to do them on myself!). When I catch them talking about their weaknesses, I try to remind them of their strengths. I’ve actually sent the VIA Strengths survey to many of my friends. I tell my peers the small facts that we learn during class – like how going for a 20 minute walk three times a week has been proven to be more effective than anti-depressants, and because of the class I can tell them about all of the resources the university has to offer, like the Well and University Counseling Services. I actually deleted most of my social media – as I realized it put me into a negative mindset and I was only posting about negative things. Hopefully, once I’ve fully detoxed from social media, I’ll be able to go back and spread what we’ve learned in this class.
I thank you for having this class – I truly have learned so much. It was such a joy attending class and gave me such a nice break from the hectic craziness of every day life. It was so amazing to have such a positive community full of people that truly wanted to learn about the science of happiness.
When I first joined the “Science of Happiness” I was really excited. I had no idea what to expect, but my friend had taken it the previous semester and said that she loved it. I’ve learned so much in such a short time about the concepts we cover. I’m a PR major, so I never get to learn about or discuss concepts like mental health and illnesses. It’s so interesting being able to learn about things from a scientific perspective.
I feel like all of the topics that we’ve covered have been building up on one another. We started learning about the Keyes Flourishing Scale, and how not being mentally ill isn’t the same as having mental health. We also learned about positive psychology. Then we delved into genetics and the nature vs. nurture argument, and how those topics influence mental health. Then we learned about mental illnesses and how to deal with them. All of these contribute to learned about how to develop and continue mental health.
The topic of positive psychology was so interesting to me. I found myself catching all my negative thoughts and trying to spin them in a positive way, which is something I don’t normally do. The class encouraged me to give it a try, and it was honestly remarkable how different the changes were. I felt like I was appreciating things more instead of being negative about everything.
I love having all the guest speakers come to class. It’s cool to feel more connected to the different programs on campus, especially because without the class I don’t think I would have ever interacted with the Well.
I’ve been trying to think more positively, because I’ve noticed how it impacts my mood and how the way I reflect on my day has changed from before I took the class. I’ve started to try to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty, and it’s amazing that one simple lecture could do that.