As this class comes to an end, I can honestly say that I have seen growth with myself. My first day in the Science to Happiness course, I walked in with little “expectations”. The expectation I did have, I was hoping to learn the fundamentals behind happiness. Fortunately, I received more than just fundamentals behind happiness, but also how to receive it, keep it and pass it on. In the course, there were many major lessons (fundamentals) on happiness. The major lessons that were taught were forgiveness, substance abuse, well-being, positive identity, regulating emotions, acts of kindness, mindfulness, awareness, relationships, nutrition & dieting, and sleeping improvements. Out of these major lesson, there were smaller topics that grew out of them.
Smaller topics such as social, career and academic (wellbeing) are to name a few. I choose theses smaller topics to discuss because I was unware that they existed. Social well-being describes an individual’s ability to integrate acceptance, contribute actualization and coherence. Social well-being, to me, means that I can recognize what type and how much energy I give to people or certain activities in my life. Career well-being is being able to find joy and passion in your future profession. Career well-being, to me, mean whatever profession you chose to pursuit, make sure that it is something that you love to do for the rest of your time on earth. Academic well-being is the achievement and success that is received during your academic path. Academic well-being, to me, means that I have developed positive success through my academic ability.
Out of all the major lesson and small topics, there are two that were the most meaningful to me. Those topics are forgiveness and relationships. The term forgiveness is one of my most meaningful topics because I have struggled with forgiving those that have mistreated me in the past. When our speaker spoke about forgiveness, he brought up a horrible event that included his mother being murdered by a man in their home. He spoke on how me and his siblings had a tough time forgiving a man for taking their mother way. He also spoke on his recovery to forgive the man. He informed us that he did not forgive the man to make the man feel better, but to allow himself to heal from the hurt. I thought that was amazing because I do not think I would be strong enough to forgive someone in that type of situation.
Another forgiveness aspect I learned was when I volunteered at an event called Fear 2 Freedom. This event was created to bookbags filled with needed supplies for individuals who have gone through or experienced sexual abuse (violence), domestic (relationship) violence and child abuse (sexual and violence). Though I learned so much from this event, I was very inspired that many victims, who received support, where able to forgive the person that took their joy and happiness from them. Learning that, it motivates my heart to find encouragement to forgive. Forgiveness is to allow yourself to heal properly so you can find that happiness and joy you once had before.
The term relationship takes many forms for me. I found relationships the second most meaningful topics because I notorious for allowing my negative experiences in past relationships (mostly partner relationships) to define my future relationships. The Well conducted a class called Relationship Skills Class. In this class, we were taught strategies on how to build a relationship (no matter what kind) that has structure and commitment from both parties. Out of all the strategies, I found that having and establishing expectations and boundaries within a relationship very interesting. I found these interesting because many of my past relationships consisted of miscommunication and disrespect from me and my partner. Expectation and boundaries, to me go hand in hand. For both, I learned that for a relationship to be healthy, each person needs to discuss what are the do’s and don’ts. Building these expectations and boundaries can allow each person to avoid crossing a line that are a “no, no”. This way, if miscommunication is presented, it will be easier to solve then to give up the relationship.
Since I have received positive knowledge from the topics taught, I do plan on incorporating some in to my life. The topics I do plan on incorporating are practicing mindfulness, improving my sleeping pattern and nutrients, practicing acts of kindness and self-awareness. I have, however, made changes mid-way of the semester. The changes I have made so far is implementing sufficient ways of communication in relationships, looking a negative situation in a positive way and practicing forgiving. I made these changes because I felt that my life needed improvement in those areas. It only made sense to start the process early, while class was still in session. During this process, I noticed that I still need to work in forgiveness and communication . . . only time will tell. I plan on spreading the knowledge of what I learn in this course by uplifting people in a time of need and becoming a listener and not a speaker in a situation.
The image I have chosen for this blog represents the feeling of finally finding your freedom in your own *use to be* negative world. This image also summarizes not only what I have learned, but also the positive impact it has made in my life. I would not be able to find motivation to improve my life and myself without this course.
Cite for Image: http://em-powernutrition.com/21-day-detox-challenge/