This semester has been particularly grueling for me, which is probably the greatest reason I am so thankful for this class. After taking a year off, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The concepts in this class helped me transition back into a full workload routine, and also helped me with some of the guilt and pressure I felt for taking time off. Specifically, in relation to success: most people try to achieve success to become happy, but in reality success is more likely to happen when we are happy. This transition into positive psychology and mindfulness were probably the biggest concepts that I’ll be walking away from this class with because they have helped me so much in my daily life, but the lesson on forgiveness was also really helpful to me. This includes both the reading by Wade, Hoyt, Kidwell and Worthington that showed the outcomes of forgiveness, and also the amazing lecture from Everett Worthington. As we get older relationships get more complicated, and I am grateful for the understanding of how important forgiveness will be in many of my relationships for the rest of my life, but also how forgiveness as a choice truly affects me. I think that I give the act of forgiveness a lot more thought, both in my personal life, but at the current moment, mostly at work. It has made a great impact on my daily stress level to really just think about my frustrations at work, and then wash my hands of them and let them go—both a product of forgiveness and positive psychology interventions. I have really surprised myself with how well I have been able to keep up with them, as well as the use of the website calm.com. I’ve shared this website with several of my friends, and will continue to share this website in the future, with the only advice being to really give it a chance. A lot of these concepts take commitment, but are well worth the time and effort. The time that I have taken to work things like calm.com into my daily routine have saved me a lot of time worrying and stressing, and also have helped me stay more focused and not distract myself so easily.
We know that mindfulness is most likely the next big health initiative, and I feel very thankful to learn about it now and be able to explain it to others. The social media posts throughout the semester were a great way of introducing this to other people, I had a lot of people reach out to me wondering what the heck I was talking about, and everyone responded very positively to the concept. I have already recommended this course to several of peers in other classes, and am very sure that I will have positive things to share with people in regards to this course for a long time to come.
As corny as this may be, the image that I feel describes what I’ve learned this semester is the same image that is used in the blackboard header, the road sign that says happiness. I have seen this image more recently, probably just because I am aware of it now, but it immediately makes me think of this course and its products. But most importantly, it reminds me that happiness is not a destination, it is a constant mindset and a way of life.