The Conclusion

The Conclusion

I have learned many different lessons throughout the duration of this course. The major lessons I learned from the content this semester is the importance of practicing mindfulness, the significant impact positive psychology has on one’s behavior and mental/emotional well-being, the importance of focusing on one’s strengths instead of dwelling on weaknesses,  and even the influence one’s personality may have one them possibly possessing addictive qualities. Of the many major lessons I’ve learned in this course,  the topics that were most meaningful to me was learning the importance of practicing mindfulness as well as the different ways in which one can be mindful, the advantages of focusing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses, and as well as tracking and managing automatic negative thoughts.

Growing up, I was often known was the sensitive friend/ loved one, who was often stressed, anxious, and sometimes negative. Although it bothered me to be perceived in such a way, I had great difficulty attempting to change it. My thoughts were often negative, which in turn influenced my behavior and interactions with others, how I viewed myself, and even my academic performance. This class forced me to focus on the good qualities that I have, and ones that others seem to admire about me.  Keeping in my my god qualities makes it easier to forgive myself when making mistakes, makes it easier to bond with others due to the desire to share with others qualities  that may positively influence them, etc. I have found that I am more aware of my thoughts and how much I allow them to influence me. When negative thoughts enter my mind, I’m happy to say that I quickly replace them with more optimistic, positive thoughts. Doing so has resulted in me being less anxious and stressed, and has even allowed for me to rekindle friendships that I may have severed due to the negative tendencies I used to have. I also contribute this change to the start of practicing mindfulness. Every day I take alt least 30 minutes to sit, relax, and enjoy the moment. For example, for the past few weeks I have been taking walks just to enjoy nature and all of the beauty it has to offer. I take the time to admire the sky, the birds chirping, and even the graceful movement of the lakes and ponds. I even take a moment to watch people and admire that similarities and differences we all possess whether it be the way we walk, dress, and even talk. These are the moments where I am the least stressed, anxious, and I am the most happy and grateful. Through these moments I am able to enjoy the day  regardless of the negative situations that may occur.

Another aspect about this class that I enjoyed the most and learned a lot from are the opportunities it provided to attend different programs. While I genuinely enjoyed our class yoga session, I believe my favorite program that I attended during this semester was the  Wellness Friday program hosted by OSMA. During this program students gave a presentation about the importance of mindfulness and even allowed the students in the audience to share their thoughts on mindfulness. To my surprise, I was able to freely express myself and share my thoughts during this session. We even had a mini yoga session.

I plan on sharing the information that I have learned through this course while having everyday conversations and even through sharing nice videos and info graphics I may see online. I also plan on sharing this information with my family by telling them about the science of happiness course. I have a little cousin that will be attending VCU this upcoming academic year, I have already started taking to her about this course and how imperative it is that she takes it, so that receives all of the resources that she needs to be be academically successful, and physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy.

I believe this image best summarizes what I learned this semester, because I have come to realize insightful it is. When a speaker first introduced this quote I didn’t quite agree with it. I felt it wasn’t that easy to be happy, simply because you wanted to. I also felt that there are many others factors that influences whether one could be happy or not. I have now come to the understanding that although there are many factors that influences one’s happiness, it is up to that individual how much they allow those factors to influence them. It is possible to be happy even in the face of adversity simply because you are  fully in control with how you allow outside factors to influence you.

Image result for if you want to be happy, be

Know Yourself <3

Know Yourself <3

So far, I’ve come to the conclusion that this course structured to educating about improving one’s overall mental and emotional health. The first few weeks of this course catered to educating about depression and anxiety, mindfulness, genetic and happiness , and focusing on strengths. The last few weeks of this course catered to emotional resilience particularly in the digital age,getting to know yourself via personality traits and substance use risk profile, and social emotional learning.

The emotional resilience lecture provided research proving that their is a positive correlation between the amount of technology usage and mental health trends. heavy social media usage has been proven to result in increased risk of depression, anxiety, stress, and even suicide.  Next, Doctor Vassileva explained the Five factor Model during the “Getting to know yourself'” lecture. The Five Factor Model identifies five basic traits, such as neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientious, that are fundamental for determining one’s personality. She also explained the use of the substance use risk profile scale,SURPs, which is a questionnaire that measures one’s susceptibility to substance misuse and what substances they are more susceptible to misusing, based on 4 personality traits. These traits include impulsivity, sensation seeking, anxiety sensitivity, and negative thinking/ hopelessness. Third and final, the social and emotional learning lecture emphasized the importance recognizing one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how to properly express and cope with them. SEL programs are gradually being created to help improve such skills in school aged kids and beyond.

All content provided in the past 10 weeks has helped me to really learn more about myself both emotional, mentally, and socially. I am now a lot more cognizant of how often I engage in social media, as well as my emotions and how I allow them to impact my behavior. Instead of constantly being on social media, I have found a novel series that is just as entertaining. Also, throughout the day, I take time to acknowledge my emotions and process them in a way that will be more beneficial and productive to myself as well as the relationships I have with others.

 

 I chose this image, because I believe it is very true to life. The key to your happiness, building healthy relationships, and even having a healthy work life is all through knowing yourself. Knowing what makes you happy or sad, how to process your emotions, knowing your strengths and areas of improvements, etc, are all essential in living a beautiful life filled with peace, love, and wisdom. <3

“Most importantly, You’ll get to know yourself”

SOH ’18 Reflection Blog #1

SOH ’18 Reflection Blog #1

The first four weeks of this course has been quite rewarding. After reading about the science of happiness course, I was very excited to learn about what it mean to have good mental health, as well as how to obtain and maintain it.  In such a short span of time I have already become aware of many  mental health related topics that I was not previously aware of and quite contrary to what I believed good mental health to be. Prior to receiving information from this course I believed that good mental health consisted of the absence  of mental illness and mainly described individuals who predominantly experienced happiness. I’ve now come to the understanding that good mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness, but rather how positive one feels about themselves, their relationships, and how they deal with the difficulties that may arise in their lives. This course has also given me very useful information in regards to the detection and treatment of depression and anxiety for myself and even my love ones.

Along with helpful information, this course has provided me with resources and activities, such as the keyes’ model and VIA assessment, to allow me to further learn about myself and my mental health. It was fairly refreshing to see the long list of strengths and qualities that I possess, considering how easy it is for me to focus on weaknesses. Lastly, of the many topics and activities covered in this course thus far, my favorite would have to be the significant impact that positive psychology has on improving mental health. Throughout my life, my mother has always stressed to me how my thoughts will eventually result in my actions. Being that I am not the most optimistic person, this presented a big problem for me, even though I did not pay much attention to it. However, after watching the “happy secret to better work” TED talk by Shawn Achor, and hearing his scientific observations , I’ve come to realize how true that concept is and accurate my mother has been. Furthermore, this video has inspired me to improve my way of thinking by completing his suggested to-do-list for positive thinking, such as acts of kindness, meditating, etc.

So far I am very content with the content that is being provided through this course and I look forward to learning much more!