What does it mean to be happy?
While these 7 words have aroused philosophers for centuries—like so many things in life—there’s an ancient aspect to this question, but a modern scientific answer.
And what science says in response to “what does it mean to be happy” is rooted in decades of psychological research—all of which you can now learn about for free through the online “Science of Happiness” course available through the UC Berkeley website ad gratis.
Written and led by UC Berkeley professors of psychology Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the course explores the fundamentals of a happy and meaningful life through established and avant-garde research into the nature of happiness.
Launched in 2014, “The Science of Happiness” features compelling video lectures, distinguished guests, actionable happiness exercises, and reading materials in one happy package along with a week-by-week emotional “check in” which can help participants to observe their progress.
According to the Greater Good Science Center, the organizers and producers of the course, previous participants have reported their positive feelings went up the longer they stayed with the course.
“… [120,000] students from around the world—representing 208 countries in total—watched a carefully crafted series of videos of myself and Dacher Keltner covering the science of connection, compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and more,” writes Simon-Thomas on the GGSC website.
“Key insights that arise from this work, taking multiple methods and perspectives into account, is that happiness hinges upon the strength and authenticity of a person’s social connections, their aptitude for human kindness, and their constructive role in meaningful community,” she adds.
“Spreading this message is key to the mission of the Greater Good Science Center.”
Similar to “The Science of Happiness”, Yale is also offering their most popular course, “Psych 157: Psychology and the Good Life”, for free through the online college platform Coursera.
Psychology and cognitive science professor Laurie Santos teaches the modified 6-week course which starts by revealing “misconceptions we have about happiness and the annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do.”
The second half of the course focuses on activities that have been proven to increase happiness along with strategies to build better habits.
Sign Me Up
Since “The Science of Happiness” is hosted on an edX.com platform, you must first make an account with them before registering for the course. After that, the UC Berkeley website says: “Please note this course can be taken for free; simply choose “Audit This Course” to register at no charge. You will have 10 weeks from date of registration to complete the course. After that time, course materials will no longer be available for you. In addition, Audit learners do not see sections of the course that allow learners to earn credit (e.g. Problem Sets or Exams).”
Similarly, participants must make an account with Coursera in order to access Psychology and the Good Life.
Lasting 11 weeks, and spanning about 4-5 hours of coursework for per week, the content will be posted every Tuesday on which participants will receive emails regarding what is available and when.
For those who work in counseling, or are simply an enterprising homeschooling parent, Dacher and Emiliana also offer a facilitator’s guide to transform the course into one fit for a classroom, study group, or any size gathering.
The guide offers help on the most common student questions, how to address topics in a group setting, as well as group happiness and mindfulness exercises.
(WATCH the Science of Happiness teaser video below)
Be Sure And Share This Handy Tool For Happiness With Your Friends On Social Media…