Image by Flickr user rabanito
Everyone wants to be happy – though it means different things to different people. And various religions, therapists, media outlets and streams of psychology have various theories on how to achieve true happiness. But what does science have to say? According to the cutting-edge field of positive psychology, it all comes down to two things: strong social ties, and contributing to something bigger than yourself – the greater good.
To teach these cheerful concepts to the masses, UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center has developed a free, eight-week online course, aptly dubbed “The Science of Happiness, ” which explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life. The course teaches students to integrate research findings into their own lives, and also helps them develop habits and activities which nurture their own happiness. To keep things interesting, it includes videos, articles, weekly “happiness practices, ” along with interactive tests, polls and quizzes. Students can take the course at their own pace through May 2015.
Embodying the value of social ties, online forums allow students to share ideas and submit questions to the teachers. And for extra smiles, some university students studying psychology, social work, therapy and nursing can get credits for taking the course.
For happy chappies into online education who’d like to broaden their horizons, the Greater Good Science Center runs a variety of other courses and events, based around their core themes of gratitude, altruism, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, mindfulness – and of course happiness.
Anyone else feeling buzzed already?
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