Blog Post #2

Blog Post #2

Image Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/facts-balance-joseph-keller ( Jospeh Keller)

The two topics during the weeks 7-10 that related to each other were anxiety and depression. These two topics linked together because they stem from the same biological vulnerability. In the slides that were shown we were informed that depression could make anxiety worse. I also saw some connections from the Big 5 in the personality traits slide show and the things that cause depression. The Big 5 is Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. In Extraversion there is attention seeking and this can cause depression if you are feeling lonely with nobody to talk to. I did not see anything that differed for these weeks only because I was focused on how it linked that way I could understand these topics better. The bigger picture is that positive psychology is the study of a wide variety of components that contribute to our overall satisfaction with our lives. This means positive psychology is aiming to make our mood states better and lessen our chances of depression anxiety disorder. I noticed that twin studies were used a lot through this semester. We looked at how a twin study shows us what causes behavior and we also looked at how twin studies show heritability for panic disorders. Also, we talked about certain techniques that help with forgiveness. Those techniques that we discussed included writing it down and throwing it away or keeping a journal. These techniques reoccurred when we looked at how to challenge negative thoughts. The larger lessons I’ve learned are how important it is to take care of you and never be afraid to ask for help or assistance because everything we do contributes to our overall happiness. I have received insight on what could possibly be an alternative to anger and how I can channel my anger. I do plan on letting how I feel out more often and not hold things in. My mind, body and soul overlap. The picture I chose symbolizes the balance that I need to have in my life. I need to develop good coping strategies for my emotions, communicate with family and friends more often and also get a healthy amount of sleep in order to take care of my mind, body and soul.

 

Blog Post 1

The first few weeks of class were very informational for me when it comes to the topics that we discussed. I like how each week is a different topic that is still related to the previous topic and I like how we get a different professor for each topic as they are specialists in these respective fields. It also brings a different element to the classroom every time since we get someone new as we never know what that class will be like so that is rather exciting.

The activities we have done so far have been good for my knowledge about myself as well as each topic as well. Before I took the Flourishing survey, I thought I would be on the flourishing side but after I took it I was REALLY on the flourishing side which got me thinking deeply. Learning about Positive Psychology was something that was completely new to me and it surprised me how complex it was when I thought that it would be a very simple topic. So again that came to me as a huge surprise. Also, I absolutely loved the Liam Neesan “Taken” monologue, that really brightened up my day.

It was also really great that I took the strengths and weaknesses survey because it really made me think about whether I thought the results were accurate and really made me do some more self reflecting and resulted in more self realization.

The topic of about depression was by far my favorite and the one that I am most passionate about because I have gone through my own battles of depression and have educated myself before, during and after those battles and I have been passionate about spreading that knowledge about this issue to others so it was really nice for me to see that knowledge ive learned and re learn it as well as just seeing it in a classroom setting.

To really sum things up about these first few weeks, basically every topic has taught me something new and has made me think about myself and has even taught me more about myself than I knew before.

Blog Post #1 Don’t Worry Be Happy

Blog Post #1 Don’t Worry Be Happy

In the first four weeks of this course I thoroughly enjoyed the material that was presented to us and how we had different people who specialized in each section of what we learned , and they taught us about that specific topic.  I really loved how all of the material in the first four weeks correlated with each other , it was like building blocks each piece of information that we learned helped build upon what we had already learned about.

For example the flourishing or languishing survey showed us what our current mental state  was and whether were flourishing or languishing, while nature v. nurture showed us how are behaviors and mental states are influenced by both genetics and our environment. The section on depression and anxiety showed us the types of mental states and how it can affect our happiness , while the VIA survey showed us what personality traits and behaviors we were strong in. Positive psychology shined a light on how to deal with all of these things and to stay positive and be happy.

With me taking three psychology classes in past a lot of this information was more intriguing than surprising , but what did surprise me was that since last year I had taken a personality test and a VIA survey and this year my results were  somewhat different. That really surprised me because I have felt the same since my first time taking those surveys. The most meaningful part of this course so far was positive psychology and anxiety and depression. They really meant a lot to me because with some of the experiences I had to go through in life it was hard to stay positive and happy, for the most part I was either very nervous or depressed, but with each bit of information learned or the activities we did for those two topics it helped me tremendously. I have learned my strengths and virtues , how to stay positive and many new strategies to release that anxiety and to help with depression.

Science of Happiness Blog Post #1

Science of Happiness Blog Post #1

The recent topics we have learned within Science of Happiness, it seems can all be connected in some way or the other due to the fact that the way we think, act, our addictions, mental health, and how positive we are in life are reflected by our either our genes or environment. Some new and surprising information that I have learned was of how many people are affected with mental health issues in their lifetime. The cultivation of our strengths really allowed me to understand where there are developmental opportunities in my life, and how I can use my strengths to strengthen those weaknesses, to create a good balance of all aspects in life.

Citation :

Treating Depression & Substance Abuse

Blog Post #1

Blog Post #1

The first six weeks of positive psychology has taught me a lot how psychology can be used in order to maintain mental health and not just treat mental disease. Positive Psychology puts back the mission of helping people maintain a healthy and happy life through mindfulness and mediation. Many models and topics have been discussed and are intertwined.I have also learned different ways to have great mental health such as forgiveness or improving our Strengths instead of dwelling on the negative. The Keyes model of Mental Health demonstrates that you do not have to have a mental illness to demonstrate poor mental health. Rather you show signs of apathy and boredom. What I learned and surprised me in this class is how genetic factors can impacts someone’s personality. It’s not really nature vs nurture,it’s just a combination of both.  One piece information that reflected and had me thinking was the PERMA test. My results kind of surprised me because the results for achievement(A) were high. It had me thinking of how high I hold in accomplishing my goals and would like to maintain it so.  

Reflection over 6 weeks of Science of Happiness

Reflection over 6 weeks of Science of Happiness

       I have learned a lot within the past 6 weeks during the Science of Happiness class. Along with physical ways to relieve stress,balance mental and physical struggles and signs of depression, I have also learned my strengths and weakness. I didn’t realize what my strongest strength was which is Love, and the weakest being Love of learning. I was surprised by the result but than being to think about it more in depth and looking back on y actions, I could see why the results where what they are. Throughout the last couple weeks I also have been reflecting on behaviors that have run through my family, seeing if any of it related to depression or anxiety, and definitely mood states. Once I understood what caused the mood swings, I was able to associate it with my family.  Science of Happiness is helping me understand what goes into our moods and how our mind processes happiness and our feelings. I enjoy learning about the processes in which our mind takes emotion and relays it back to our actions. I hope to continue broadening my knowledge in science of happiness with how to be successful and use mindfulness in a time of stress and when I have emotions constantly building up.

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/369787819376902226/       (picture citation)

 

A Month in the Science of Happiness

A Month in the Science of Happiness

I am a very blunt and honest person. Some of the things you read may sound slightly offensive or may make me out to be an inconsiderate asshole. While that may be true just know that I will only speak the truth as I see it, and I’m working on the asshole part.

I haven’t ever been one that puts a lot of thought in to mental and emotional health. I don’t have depression, or anxiety issues, and despite admitting that I can be a little emotionally dumb I do consider myself to be mentally healthy. Because none of these things have ever troubled me, I haven’t ever cared what other people have to do or say to think the same of themselves. This is probably a huge indicator of why social intelligence is the second lowest item on my via strengths survey. This was never a problem for me until I started dating my girlfriend a while back. She has a degree in psychology, deals with chronic anxiety of her own and to top things off she is an oh so very sensitive soul. To put it plainly she is the exact opposite of me, and she is the main  reason I am in this class. Before her I pretty much had my mind made up that people who had chronic anxiety or depression were mentally weak, and were choosing to wallow in their own self pity. Gloomily looking at everything in life because they can’t let themselves go for a little bit and just enjoy it. If I’m being completely honest there is a small part of me that does still believe it. I’ve had deaths of close relatives and friends, been treated like the absolute lowest scum on the face of the planet for an extended period of time, had an ex wife leave me, and lived through a war where I saw some absolutely terrible things. Yet, I have never once experienced depression or anxiety, and sometimes just can’t entertain the idea that people do.

So when I needed another slot filled in my schedule, and my advisor mentioned this class it was met with skeptical excitement. On one hand I may not buy in to all of it, but at the very least I would get an opportunity to learn about some things that I don’t think I would have researched on my own, and just maybe I would learn a couple ways to be a better partner.

Throughout the first month of this course we have covered a lot of information from what exactly constitutes mental health, depression, and anxiety to positive psychology and how cultivating our own strengths can help with all of those things.

Week one we covered Keyes model of mental health and what it means to be flourishing or languishing. In that we also learned that the absence of mental illness does not equal mental health. A few weeks later we took a similar test in the PERMA survey I feel that the questions were a little better written and that it was a better indicator. Week two we learned that about half our mental makeup comes from our genetics and most of the other half comes from intentional activity. Which means that even if you inherited some depression or anxiety from your family you can most definitely still overcome those through the things you choose to do. Three was over positive psychology, as well as forgiveness and how hard that can be. Week four was over our strengths and virtues. Last but not least depression and anxiety disorders was covered in week five.

I have learned that people who deal with anxiety or depression are not just mentally weak individuals. They actually have a chemical imbalance that will help contribute to their problems. In addition, a lot of people don’t have the ability to overcome these problems without professional help. When they do actually go to see a professional one thing that they may utilize for their treatment is positive psychology. Which is getting individuals to live meaningful virtuous lives and hoping that that leads to lasting happiness. In order to do that they would first need to identify what strengths the patient has, as well as what strengths they value using a tool like the VIA strengths and virtues surveys we took. Once those have been identified the patient and counselor will begin to cultivate and focus on those strengths to hopefully help them live more meaningful lives.

The part that stuck out the most to me was the portion on positive psychology and the strengths and virtues. I think the reason that it did is because as we were learning about these things I realised that I have always been very aware of my strengths and used my them to help live a virtuous life that I have found a lot of meaning in. In turn I believe that this has greatly benefitted me in keeping me from ever having to personally deal with anxiety or depression issues. In short I was using these methods before I ever learned about them, and i believe they work.

Before this assignment I did not really try to connect the individual weeks together but after I started I had a lot of fun trying to connect them together, and very much look forward learning more in the coming weeks and seeing the ways they all tie together.

this photo was pulled from pixabay

https://pixabay.com/en/mental-health-self-love-health-1971107/

SOH-Fall17 – Science of Happiness 2017-10-01 18:14:20

SOH-Fall17 – Science of Happiness 2017-10-01 18:14:20

http://wallstreetinsanity.com/the-science-of-happiness-and-using-it-to-your-advantage-infographic/

Science is  the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Happiness is the state of being happy. This title explicitly states what I learned whilst taking this course. Throughout these six weeks I’ve learned about flourishing, influences on behavior, positive psychology, depression, anxiety, different mood states, and cultivating our strengths. The class tends to focus on the positive aspects of things that other people would view as negative. Although, it’s presented differently in each topic, they still have the same core goal, which is for one to reach happiness.

The flourishing unit taught me that “the absence of mental illness isn’t the presence of mental health”.  I also learned  that there isn’t a set equation to be happy, but there are factors that can help you achieve happiness. Other things I learned would include behavior being 50% genetics and 40% intentional activity.  To find this information scientists used twin studies which explained that genetics can cause some mental illnesses.  I was taught psychology’s mission before and after world war 2.  Before the war psychologists strived to cure mental illness, identify and nurture high talent, and help people live fulfilling and productive lives. Although, this mission changed after the war to psychologists only wanting to cure mental illness, which was due to soldiers having  post traumatic stress disorder. Lastly, I learned that everyone has strengths, some are  less prevalent than others.

Positive psychology taught me how to deal with things. More importantly it taught me how to truly forgive someone which was something I needed to work on. I had an argument with a friend last week, which ended with us having to forgive each other. Its easy to tell someone you forgive them and not actually mean it. Positive psychology helped me reach emotional forgiveness so that I don’t hold a grudge,  remain happy in life, and in my friendship.

First weeks of Science of Happiness

First weeks of Science of Happiness

 

Image result for learning

These first few weeks in science of happiness I learned a lot of new things. I learned about anxiety disorders, positive psychology, my strengths and I learned about about what influence my genetics have on me. The positive psychology lesson and the lesson about my strengths went hand-and-hand. Positive psychology was talking about how we should forgive and forget and move on with our lives and the strength lesson told us 22 of our greatest strengths and ranked them from highest to lowest. After that lesson I believe that after that lesson forgiveness went up in the list to being on of my top 5. That lesson as taught me to  forgiven people more because I used to hold things over people’s heads and I noticed that I do it less. This class also gave a lesson on genetics and on depression, anxiety, and mood states and I now realize that those states of mind can be influenced by genetics or by the environment around me. We also used the Keyes’ model of complete mental health/flourishing and in this model I found out I was flourishing.

Citation: http://www.innovativelearning.com/

Blog Post #1

Blog Post #1

Hope and Happiness

Last class when Dr. Aziz talked about the different types of anxiety and symptoms of depression, it immediately made me connect the dots of Dr.Dick’s lecture about genetic influences. As Dr.Dick said, genetic influences account for 50% of our behavior and 40% is affected by our environment. It was interesting to think that half of our behavior is effect by something that is entirely out of our control, and if you are predisposed to depression and anxiety does that mean you are SOL? I think the answer to that is no. Mental illness isn’t a death sentence in my mind, and one shouldn’t treat it like as such. I remember Dr.Aziz talking about how we need to start treating mental illness as a physical illness, and therefore a sort of taboo comes with treating as mental illness. So, the first thing to do is get help. If you have those predisposed genes and you start exhibiting depressive and anxiety tendencies, one should get help. Medicine and therapy are a beautiful thing. Bouncing off of treatment, what we learned about our strength and weakness and the negativity cycle by Ms.Walsh and Dr. Worthington plays a role in how we can get out of those depressive states. If one focuses on only their weaknesses, they are more likely to project those deficiencies. It is all about the self-fulling prophecy theory in psychology- if you think you are going to do badly on a test, you will do worse than if you thought positively. I remember Dr.Aziz talking about a therapy based treatment used where they reteach you a way to think where you focus on strengths and the positive versus the negative. I think over the course of my life I have unconsciously adopted that coping mechanism.

I am unfortunately one of the people who have anxiety, depression, and ADHD in their genes, but throughout my life, with the help of modern medicine, I have been flourishing. Like in Keyes’ model of complete mental health/flourishing, you can have a mental illness and still be flourishing. That was something that I found surprising with the Keye’s model is that you can be defined as not flourishing but also not have a mental illness, and vice versa. However, it wasn’t until when I took the VIA test that I realized medicine wasn’t the only thing that contributed to me being happy. I had always been pretty optimistic and positive; my slogan is “it is what it is,” but when I took the VIA strength survey I was pleasantly surprised when hope was ranked number one. Until I took that survey I never really realized how much hope I had. I realized that having hope for the future and being optimistic got me through most things in life. Easy or hard, that drive for the future and looking through things with a positive perspective helped make me the flourished person I am today.

Image source:

Reporter, Microsoft. Hope. Digital image. Microsoft News Centre Europe. Microsoft, 20 June 2017. Web. 1 Oct. 2017. <https://news.microsoft.com/europe/features/syria-to-sweden/hope/>.
Blog Post 1

Blog Post 1

We have learned so much these past few weeks in Science of Happiness. We have learned about Keyes Flourishing model, genetic influences on behavior, depression and anxiety, and cultivating our character strengths. Furthermore, all of these topics we covered in class were very interesting and new to me. More importantly, all of the topics seemed to have one common theme in that the main goal was for people to lead a more happy and healthy lifestyle.

There were many new things we learned, but the most new and most surprising would definitely have be when we talked about the Keyes Flourishing Model. I was surprised to learn that even though someone has a mental illness they could be flourishing, while someone who might be completely normal could be languishing. It was fascinating to see that mental illness did not necessarily play a part in determining whether a person is flourishing or languishing.

There were also exercises that we did that applied to my daily life as well, one of them being the VIA survey. The VIA survey was interesting because it was a comprehensive list of certain types of strengths put in order from greater strengths to weaker strengths. When I saw my results, I was kind of surprised by the first one on the list, fairness. I never really thought about it much but I guess I could see that I was a pretty fair person most of the time. I would try to be fair in all aspects of my life, whether it be something as simple as food or something as big as a group project. I also always strive to be fair and objective when making important decisions. All in all, it was interesting to see how involved my character strengths were in my daily life.

Overall, the past few weeks of Science of Happiness have been an amazing adventure of knowledge and self awareness that has been changing my way of perceiving life. Hopefully, I can continue to learn and grow throughout the semester.

Citation:

https://mappalicious.com/tag/corey-keyes/

My first 6 weeks relating to the roller coaster of my life. Enjoy.

My first 6 weeks relating to the roller coaster of my life. Enjoy.

I am going to start this post off with a favorite quote of mine by Samuel Smiles. Read it and think, but not too hard or you will miss the point.

 

Now to start you off down the whirl winds of my life these past few years and still to this day. . . 

 

 

I’m not going to lie, when I first saw the title of this class I was very intrigued! All I could think about was what lessons I could learn and show to everyone how to “be happy”. I even hoped there was a textbook so I could share it with my family, because these last couple years have been, for lack of a better word, shitty. Every corner in life ended with our family burying someone we loved, whether it was a pet or my beloved grandmother.

When we had to complete the Keyes’ Model of Complete Mental Health activity, I wasn’t very surprised that I scored as moderately mentally healthy. I am happy with my relationship with my loving family and boyfriend. Aside from my happy life on the outside and in my heart, I still feel like I am stuck in the middle. I am stuck in the middle between the past and my future. Being told many times that I dwell on the past, but how can you fully look towards the future after dealing with so much death. Then bad thoughts being stuck in your head. But these first six weeks have taught me something very important, that I wish my family could understand. That through the hard times comes a light at the end of the tunnel with something good. An interesting twin study, using identical twins, helped tie loose ends together when entwining all the lessons. The first six weeks have been helpful in ways beyond imaginable.

As we went on through the course we read an interesting article about promoting and protecting mental health. A very shocking statement in this article said, “the search for and discovery of a cure for mental illness. . . could further bankrupt the US”. Over all this activity showed that in the with the absence of a mental illness doesn’t mean that I am mentally healthy.

Many things help me with coping with the blues or feeling out of place. A few of them are meditation, reading as an escape, and working to the point where I forget why I was feeling this way. I also have an amazing boyfriend, family and friends who love me and are there when I need them. My mom and boyfriend in particular pick up on the little things when I am not acting like myself. It is hard for me to be open with people after it seemed like death was on my doorstep awaiting another soul to take, I became very depressed. I stayed in my room for days on end and sometimes without eating. Missed days of work and many classes, did not pay attention to anything around me. I was stuck in my head with bad thoughts flying around.

“Why did this happen to me?” “Would it be a better place if my parents didn’t have the burden of dealing with my issues after we just lost so much?”

To this day, these thoughts still come back to haunt me, but I found someone who will listen without a hesitation, come to my rescue when needed and be there through thick and thin. Every day, I ask myself “how did I get so lucky to call this handsome man mine”.

Positive psychology is just what you think it is, positive thinking and feeling. Not only does positive psychology help with your inner self but also on the outside too. Inside it will help with your concentration, boots in alertness and motivation, overall just being MINDFUL! On the outside people will see a change in the way you carry yourself. There are many things that you can do to increase you positive thinking in life like meditation, writing down your feelings, and scheduling ‘ME’ time.

Towards the end of our first six weeks we took another survey to calculate our strengths and weaknesses. My top strength, appreciation of beauty and excellence, didn’t surprise me. I tend to catch myself starring off into the sky or towards nature when I am outside, seeing how peaceful it is. It reminds me of an assignment I had to do during middle school; the instructions for the assignment were to sit outside and write down what you feel and what you hear. As I sat outside at my picnic table with my three dogs running around the yard I focused in on what I hear, the wind tickling the trees as it passed by and my dogs playfully barking at each other. What shocked me as I sat there for a long period of time, I was content and happy as I sat there admiring the beauty of nature. As I tuned in on how I felt other than my contentment, I was happy. I had everything I could ever wish for and not material riches, I’m talking about a loving supportive family and animals who look up to me for food and shelter and unforgiving love (even when Snoopy stole my peanut butter crackers out of a drawer). You could call this practicing meditation; but to this day I find myself thinking about who I am and what I will become one day.

 

 

Cited sources for photos:

Meditation
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/399835273143901558/?lp=true
Science of Happiness Blog Post 1

Science of Happiness Blog Post 1

Science of Happiness is my first class Monday morning and my last class on Fridays (thank god). It begins and ends my week with the suggestion that I should be happy. This is something I still find mildly confusing. No class has ever asked me to evaluate my own well being in further depth than a teacher asking how my day has gone. As someone who loves taking personality quizzes anyway, I was not surprised that the joy of this class was in the self reflective nature of the assignments and the ease with which I can apply the subject matter to my own life.

The first topic we addressed in class provided a brief history of the drives behind psychology as a field and confronted the way America views happiness. The Keyes Flourishing scale and accompanying article provided a wonderful intro into the field of positive psychology. The biggest and most relevant take away for me was in the multi dimensional approach to flourishing and mental health. I greatly appreciate the notion that someone struggling with a mental illness can still control their own wellbeing and learn to flourish. As someone that has struggled with anxiety and BDD, it is heartening to know that, according to science, my holistic wellbeing is largely in my own hands.

My family on my mother’s side is riddled with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My family on my father’s side tends toward addiction and depression with a few bouts of dementia thrown in the mix. It does not at all surprise me that, much like I have my mother’s hair and my father’s nose, I am a commingling of both flawed and wonderful mental characteristics from each side of my genes (as well as my own unique experiences). I appreciated the lesson on genetics most for the debate between nature and nurture. I, personally, always favor the nurture side of the debate. It seems more optimistic. Because even though the family tree assignment showed that I have a fairly high likelihood of an addictive personality I know that I am not an addict and that I will work very hard my whole life to never be one.  

When we discussed depression and anxiety in class however, I found it jarringly relatable. In my hometown, Charlottesville, I had a wonderful therapist I saw each Monday at 4 to help me stay happy and functional, to flourish in the face of hardship. Now, I have Biology each monday at four and no therapist whatsoever. I will eventually get a therapist here in Richmond, but until then what I’ve learned in this class has actually helped me quite a bit. When I get caught in my own head and breathing becomes a struggle, I often do the simple mindfulness exercise where I focus intently on how one thing looks, and sounds, and feels. It brings me back to reality. I think this exercise relates to my greatest strength shown on the VIA survey: appreciation of beauty and excellence. Noticing and appreciating my surroundings allows me to feel grounded and proud of the beauty around me and I would love to learn more about how individual strengths help overcome individual issues and mental problems in this way.

The information about positive psychology as a field was mostly a review for me after having taken psychology and AP Psych in high school, however the application of it to ourselves was something new to me. Though I would like to study abnormal psychology primarily, it seems more and more evident to me that in any field of study positive psych can and should be applied to take into account one’s own strengths and well being and the strengths and well being of others. I will certainly try to apply what I learn in this class to my own happiness for years to come.

The picture I chose is from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419131801.htm. I liked this picture because the person is holding a mind in their hand and I would like to think this class is teaching me to hold my own mind (well being) in my hands.

Blog Post #1

The first few weeks of SOH we learned about Keyes Model of complete mental health/flourishing and how we can fall into the flourishing or languishing categories. We also learned about the debate between nature v. nurture and how genetics can influence our behavior and make up 50% of our happiness according to twin studies. We also talked about positive psychology and how knowing our strengths and virtues can help us focus on the positive in our lives instead of the negative. I think that positive psychology and cultivating our strengths relate together because they both have to do with being good and having virtue for yourself and others by practicing it until it becomes a habit. Also, I think that positive psychology and genetics differ because positive psychology focuses on how practices and concepts can contribute to our overall happiness and satisfaction with life while genetics basically already make up 50% of our happiness. So they kind of contradict each other because one is saying how you can be more happy by having virtues and the other is saying how 50% of our genetics already causes happiness. Something new I learned is how genetics is a disposition and not destiny which means that through environmental changes you can change the likelihood that something will happen. The information that has helped me relate what we’ve learned to my own life is the via survey because my top 5 character strengths fall into four different core virtues which was really interesting to see. It was meaningful for me because my strengths were different than from what I originally thought my strengths were prior to taking the survey. Another thing we learned that was meaningful is forgiveness because it’s one of the hardest things a person could do but it comes with benefits for your mental health, relationships and spiritual well-being. It opened my eyes to how important it is to forgive another and to forgive myself. I chose this image because before taking the class I didn’t know much about positive psychology as I do know so I feel in a sense more free and open to improve my mental health through what i’m learning.

“Freedom in Christ.” WordPress.com, thepreachersword.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/freedom-in-christ.jpg.

 

Blog 1

Blog 1

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.
Blog Post #1

Blog Post #1

The topics covered so far in class all make an attempt to understand behavior and well- being. The most surprising topic thus far was the connection between genetics and behavior. Genetics is an uncontrollable influence to the way we behave and I find it interesting that behavior and thoughts can be somewhat uncontrollable to a certain extent.

Another surprising concept was the idea that just because a person lacks a mental illness does not mean that they are mentally healthy. My results to the Keyes Flourishing Scale indicated that I am moderately mentally healthy. This means that I am not necessarily flourishing but I am not mentally ill either. This exercise changed the degree to which I analyzed overall well- being. Before this exercise, I believed that well- being could only be measured as an either/ or type of concept. But, now I understand that there is a “grey area” to pretty much everything.

Also, I’ve come to believe that focusing on the positive aspects in life will allow me to increase my well- being because my thoughts will be consumed with positive energy. I am not naive to think that bad things will not happen but, thinking positive will change the way I perceive the bad things that happen to me. Instead of thinking that bad things just happen to me because the world is against me, I will be able to process and learn from bad situations.

 

Cite:

SpunOut. “Positive mental health”.  Picture Link

blog post 1

blog post 1

“You can have a mental illness and still be flourishing”. As soon as I heard that sentence I realized I knew a lot less about happiness than I thought. From the very first week of this course my idea of what happiness and mental health truly are was challenged, starting with the Keyes Flourishing Scale. Through this I learned that mental illness and mental health are too different things and that by focusing just on helping mentally ill patients become less ill, we are not necessarily making them mentally healthy. In fact, the whole notion of being mentally healthy and happy stems from a separate branch of psychology called Positive Psychology. Positive psychology looks at focusing on building ones virtues and strengths to help them feel more successful. I really enjoyed the VIA strengths survey because it allowed me to relate to the study of positive psychology personally. After learning about what complete mental health looks like, we got into mental illnesses and how they effect our society. Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are not always easy to talk about, but I think everyone deserves to be educated on them. What really brought all these different topics together, in my opinion, was looking at how genetics and wellbeing are related. Genetics make up half of the reason why some are happier than others or some are more prone to developing an addiction than others. I was familiar with the “nature vs nurture” debate, but this was the first time I got a complete break down of how much genetics/our environment played a part in shaping who we are as people. I’m excited to continue this course and use the knowledge I’m gaining to live a healthier and happier life. 

Blog Post #1: Ram Happy

Blog Post #1: Ram Happy

These weeks of class have really made me understand  what “Science of Happiness” is truly about. The Mental Health Model and whether you’re flourishing I believe relates greatly to the Depression and Mood State aspects because they connect by having the same reasoning. You can’t be flourishing if you’re depressed, it just doesn’t make sense. In order for you to protect and promote your mental health, you should be somewhat in a stage of being happy with life. Positive Psychology also is in the same agenda as the Mental Health and Depression and Mood State qualities because Positive Psychology is about your happiness and well-being. It deals with things such as forgiveness and letting go of what you can’t control, which can eventually help lead to a better mental health.

Something that definitely was new to me would be the topic of discovering our strengths and virtues. The VIA Character Strengths Survey told me something new about myself because my highest strength was honesty, not that I don’t think I tell the truth, but being that there is so many other strengths to have, mine happen to be honesty. I came to understand more of why this was my strength because when I think about how I am, I tend to be a very blunt person. So this is why honesty is my biggest strength because I don’t sugar coat for anything, and now I can truly tell that honesty would make complete sense for being my highest strength.

The Genetic Influences on Behavior topic is something that has helped relate my life to class because it was all about how you are what you are, simply because of genetics and where you come from. The family tree activity was something quick and easy to help understand traits that flow throughout your family. This activity was very significant because it allowed me to find something so simple, and be able to connect it to many members of my family and let me know ways that we are so similar to one another, and why we are a family.

Image result for being positive

Picture source: https://hubpages.com/technology/Quotes-About-Being-Positive

Science of Happiness: A Month in Review

Science of Happiness: A Month in Review

During the first real week (technically it was the second week, but syllabus week doesn’t count in this blog post) of our Science of Happiness course we were introduced to the topic of mental health so were assigned to read a scientific journal about the stigmas and misconceptions about mental illness and mental well-being; the article explained the differences between the absence of mental illness and the existence of mental health/well-being. Corey Keyes of Emory University went on the emphasize (more than enough times I might add) that the absence of mental illness does not indicate the presence of mental health; this statement conveys the idea that somebody can be living their day to day life with one or more mental illnesses and still have a fairly flourishing mental health and well-being, just as somebody without any present mental illnesses can be languishing as they live their lives. Our exercise for that week required us to take Keyes’ model of complete mental and record the results for ourselves and I thought it was quite enlightening. I was slightly surprised that the results of my survey suggested that I have a flourishing mental health, but I now know that whatever I have been doing is keeping me on the right path to well-being.

The second week of class focused on genetic factors that influence our behavior, which in turn, influence our quality of life. Our weekly reading authored by Dr. Danielle Dick, Dr. Amy Adkins, and Dr. Sally I-Chun Kuo discussed their twin studies which found that about 50 percent of our overall happiness is determined by genetic factors while 40 percent is influenced by intentional activity and 10 percent is influenced by context or environment; I wasn’t particularly surprised by these results since I had learned about this topic last year in AP Psychology. For our weekly exercise, we drew family trees to reinforce our understanding of how specific characteristics are often predetermined by your family’s phenotypes. Although I chose a very basic, physical characteristic (brown hair) to map out in my family tree, it still helped me understand that something very common in my family has a very good chance of determining my own features and characteristics, whether they be physical or mental; it is also up to me to choose how I play the cards I’m dealt to live a flourishing life. The activities of this particular week relate to Keyes’ mental health scale because it provides context and explanations for why somebody may be flourishing or languishing.

Our third week of instruction introduced the concept of positive psychology; the beginning of the week was centered around the fundamentals of forgiveness. Dr. Everett Worthington spoke to us on Monday morning about the power of forgiveness and strength it sometimes requires—his article that was assigned as our weekly reading breaks down to the steps to forgiveness more in depth. The rest of the week focused on explaining what positive psychology is and strives to do. Our second reading of the week summarized how positive psychology has evolved into a field of psychology that reinforces positive aspects of people instead of focusing on diminishing negative aspects. We took the PERMA Authentic Happiness survey provided by the University of Pennsylvania as our weekly exercise which breaks down one’s overall happiness into five main categories (I will also share my scores in each category for the sake of the blog): Positive emotion (7.33), Engagement (5.33), Relationships (5.67), Meaning (6.67), and Accomplishment (7). I was not surprised that my second lowest was relationships because I do consider myself more of an introvert, however, I was surprised by my lowest being engagement. I do not think this week’s activities relate to the previous weeks very much, but they do relate to the following weeks because it provides a foundation that will be built upon in the coming weeks.

The week dedicated to discovering our strongest and weakest character traits was my favorite week of Science of Happiness thus far. By taking the VIA Character Institute survey, I was able to acquire a list of all of my twenty-four character traits ranked from strongest to weakest. My top three strongest characteristics ranked from first to third were humor, love, and perspective, while my three weakest characteristics ranked from 22nd to 24th were forgiveness (I guess the previous week didn’t change my mindset too much), social intelligence (probably why I hated every second of having to discuss my character traits with people I didn’t know), and spirituality. Now I will be able to harvest my strengths on a more regular basis to help ensure that I continue to have a flourishing life, and continue to push myself to make my weaker characteristics stronger.

Citation:

https://pixabay.com/en/mental-health-mental-health-cloud-1389919/

being mindful

being mindful

The first four weeks of this course have all taught something inherently different, all interesting and relatable. I feel the most apparent thread I can connect through these introductory weeks would be the second, which was the genetics of psychology and what makes us, us. This can firstly be connected (and debated) to week one. Personally, I can connect these by the genetics of flourishing and languishing in my family. Also, with the VIA test, after forcing most of my family to take it (ha) I can see where our top traits stack up to each other.

The most interesting week thus far to me was week 4, in which I took the VIA survey. These results felt most applicable to my daily life. I find myself thinking about what strengths I used that day, and also I have been more mindful in how to work on my lower strengths. This has been new information that has been more than useful in my real life. Being self-aware is so important, and I feel like being mindful goes hand in hand with that.

In all, these first four weeks have taught me new information that I can carry out of the classroom and into my life.

 

 

Blog Post 1

Relation of topics in class.                                                                                                    In Keyes’ Model of Complete Mental Health, Keyes measured and saw that mental health is not dualistic and a continuum. It’s dualistic in the way that just because a mental illness may be present in someone, it does not mean their mental health will be healthy. You could be either or or. If someone were to be languishing, they could be completely healthy yet have lack of interest in some of the things in their everyday life. This can be tied to genetic influences on human behavior since sometimes, these factors of mental health, like depression, or illness can be genetic! Even though it is partially shared between your genetics it can still play a major factor in your life. In the case of having depression or anxiety in one’s health, people begin to try and look for different ways in which they can help improve their mental state to a more positive one; to alleviate problems from negative emotions. Some ways people choose to do this is by surrounding themselves with quality friendships, to be highly involved in school or activities and even the involvement of good relationships. What this does is introduce science of happiness to those who want help and those who try and give it. What science of happiness does is bring awareness to depression, anxiety, nervousness and to be able to understand it. It’s not a problem that is overlooked, it’s a progressive one to help one’s well being from a negative one to a more positive one. Another way people can help their well being is by taking time to just look at their own strengths and weaknesses, to see any specific area they may want to improve on. After all, knowing your strengths can help bring fulfillment into your own life, it’s valuable.

What surprised me and helped me!                                                                                   A factor that had surprised me in the past couple classes is that when I took the strengths and virtues survey, my results were not what I had expected. My love learning was at the bottom of it and that kind of scared me. No matter how hard school can get, my love for learning is still there. I mean, after all, that is why I am here at college! It just opened my eyes to see that I need to take some breaks every now and then to just refocus myself on the bigger prize which is to hopefully graduate in the next couple years for the career I want. Some of the activities that have helped me get ride of some stress and help me remember that I like school are just either taking a step back from work for an hour to go to the gym or to watch an episode of a show and honestly, it really does make a difference.

 

Citation: Tomroberts101. “Free Vectors.” Acid Smiley Face Free, 123 Free Vectors, 2008, www.123freevectors.com/acid-smiley-face-vector-free/. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.

Science of Happiness Blog Post #1

Science of Happiness Blog Post #1

1.  The first few weeks of class, we had a basic introduction of what the science of happiness is. We learned that it is also known as positive psychology and that this is a newly labeled area of psychology. However, everyone seems to have their own definition of what positive psychology is and what goes into it, but in the end it is to reach the same goal. The topics covered relate to each other in the way that with them all, we will be more knowledgeable of what makes our life truly meaningful and what we need to do in order to live a life of fulfillment and happiness. But, they differed in the way that you may approach positive psychology. Some people approach the science of happiness as the study of a wide variety of components, practices, and concepts that contribute to our overall happiness and satisfaction. Others say it is the way your character and virtues play into your overall happiness and fulfillment in life.

2. Flourishing and languishing are terms I had never heard before in this context. Flourishing is how good we feel about ourselves. Languishing is the lack of mental illness but a life characterized by a lack of interest, apathy, listlessness. I also have never heard of PERMA, and how all of the aspects of the concept make a huge impact on one’s happiness in life, but looking back at it now it makes a lot of sense.

3. All of the content in this class seems to apply to my life in some way. Living in the present moment is something I have been trying to work on a lot; mediating for a few minutes really helps this.  It seems as though I live in the past and the future much more than the present. It is amazing how much time is spent worrying about what is to come or dwelling on what happened in the past. The lecture by Everette Worthington really opened my eyes about life in general. His lecture made me feel as though I am making the little things in my life turn into big things for no reason, and it is affecting my overall happiness. Also, cultivating my strengths is something I haven’t thought of doing before; I’ve only thought of improving my weaknesses. But if my strengths are what set me apart from the rest, maybe strengthening those can do more for me than I would have thought. Overall I’ve learned that achieving mental health involves quite a bit of work in a few areas, and it is not just about the absence of mental illness and having a smile on your face like one may think. In the first reading in class, Promoting and Protecting Mental Health as Flourishing by Corey Keyes, complete mental health is described as the state where one is free from mental illness and is flourishing. It is about living a life full of meaning and satisfaction, and it is something that one cannot just go through the motions each day to find. Working on your strengths and finding what makes you happy are huge parts of it.

4. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&biw=654&bih=760&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=happiness&oq=happiness&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i67k1l2j0l2.153106.153106.0.153328.1.1.0.0.0.0.169.169.0j1.1.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..0.1.165….0.iTT9PbiyM28#imgrc=5QEJ6AuF954R8M:

–  Kelly Graves

SOH-Fall17 Blog Post 1

SOH-Fall17 Blog Post 1

For the past few weeks in science of happiness we talked about Flourishing and discussing our Keyes model it was very surprising to me because i like to take surveys about myself on how to 

find happiness in my own life. When i was reading the article on Genetic Influences it was really new

 to me because it really surprised me with different topics on Genetic influences to learn more about Genetic’s in behavior’s in every day life situation’s. The next topic that we learned in class was about depression and anxiety and mood states when i was reading

 

the article on depression’s the article really Surprised me because sometimes hollywood Star’s and singer’s can struggle and develop or suffer from disorders from depression that they have issues with in life. If you want to be happy or not there are other ways to deal with your problems with mood swings or mood states everybody gets down in life even celebrities to if your having trouble with depression you can see a counselor. The next area of topic that we talked about is Positive psychology i understood how positive psychology relate to each other because they talked about positive individual traits about positive qualities and civic virtue in life. Positive psychology is about our way of thinking about being positive in our own life. The next topic we talked about is about discovering our character strengths everyone has different strengths and weakness that makes us unique because everyone has different aspects of their own strengths and weakness about ourselves. If we combine our strengths and weakness to our personality’s we could learn from college students about differences in our character’s strengths and weakness about ourselves so we can find happiness in our own personal life.    image source https://www.tracomcorp.com/social-intelligence

#1- First 6 weeks

In the first 6 weeks of class in SOH, we covered various topics that were very new to me. WE talked about positive psychology and how genetics plays a role in our behavior. We also touched on Keyes model and our mood states. The two topics that I thought related to each other were Keyes Model of complete mental health/flourishing and genetics. The model talks about how your mental health correlates to how well you flourish.  The Keyes Model also relates to depression, anxiety and mood states.  Some symptoms of mental illness according to Keyes, is major depression. This also goes along with your mood and high anxiety rates. I thought that positive psychology differed greatly with genetics. Positive psychology is more on the nurture side where as genetics is more on the nature side.  Positive Psychology says that we have to acquire virtue and in order to do that we have to practice until it becomes a habit of the heart. Through these 6 weeks of class so far, I was able to learn more about forgiveness and that its way more than just saying I forgive you.  Forgiveness is a hard virtue but you feel better at the end. This was the most important thing I learned. I was able to apply to my life because it taught to not seek revenge because that means I have not truly forgave them and this made me think about relationships in my life right now and what I can do to truly reach forgiveness.

 

IMAGE SOURCE: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/forgiveness-virtue   (“FORGIVENESS IS A VIRTUE”- KOURTNEY YOUNG)