Happiness can be learned.
Last week I completed The Science of Well-Being course. Today I conclude my 3-part “self exploration” series. Santos designs this course to “increase your own happiness and build more productive habits”. I am glad to be one of the over two and a half million people around the world to complete the course. The course provides insight in how we can be more mindful of the difference between what we think makes us happy and what actually does make us happy.
Part 1: Santos discusses how gratitude can enhance and expand well-being by taking time to savor and think about (realize) why you are thankful.
Part 2: Santos discusses how interacting with others, kindness, taking time for self, exploring mindfulness, and thankfulness are the key concepts to well-being.
The course structure was typical for online courses. Lectures, videos, quizzes, and readings. The lessons, presentations, and readings were research based with assignments geared toward clarifying personal expectations, misconceptions, and direct application to life. Santos development the assignments (rewirements) as a set of “practices aimed at rewiring habits”. In the first half of the course the rewirements were designed to learn about self. Topics included an assessment of signature strengths, savoring, kindness, social connection, self-care, and gratitude. The final rewirement, during the second half of the course, focused on putting the pieces together with the outcome being a personal plan to change a self-selected behavior(s).
I appreciated the quantitative measures at the beginning of the course. I value data from reliable and valid sources while understanding that these measures are a snapshot of life. My learning in the course was certainly supported by Santos’ presentations and materials. The research foundation along with her conversational communication style and examples enhanced the learning of the key concepts. I found the discussion forums the most interesting. The discussion forums were, to me, a group of scholars and practitioners. I engaged with others from around the world (many US states, Germany, Finland, Bahrain, Philippines, India, Egypt, Nepal, South Africa, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Austria) ranging in age from 20-74 years old. The peer learning environment was the most beneficial to me because of the variety of perspectives…knowing and understanding other interpretations of the concepts and associated experiences was valuable to me.
I am more focused on improving habits that will lead to a better/happier life for me and for those around me. The areas I chose to focus on to continue to live a better life are: savoring, kindness, and gratitude.
I chose these aspects from the course because I see these as characteristics that would not only improve my life but help me contribute to the betterment of others.