Recently, Yale University introduced a course on happiness that quickly rose to fame on its campus earlier this year called “Psychology and the Good Life”. It quickly became the most popular in Yale’s history and attracted approximately 1,200 students. While initially only open to students, the historic university has decided to allow members of the general public to partake in this online course as well, free of charge!
The first of its kind, “Psychology and the Good Life” teaches on how to live a purposeful, satisfying, and enjoyable life. This is the latest in a recent growing trend of making wellness practices more accessible by bringing well-backed research practices to the forefront of public knowledge.
Yale’s featuring of this course is well-timed – university life is known to be quite stressful and is often compounded by the growing uncertainty of securing gainful employment upon graduation. Beyond that, working life has its distinct challenges as well. Teaching people how navigate these waters in a holistic manner can do much to improve their quality of life, boosting their physical and mental health.
If time’s a scarce resource and you find yourself being unable to commit to this programme, here are a few tips that can help you along the path to achieving happiness:
- Spend time and energy positively
We tend to strive for tangible things that we think will make us happy, and it's usually in the form of a job with a high-paying salary or getting perfect grades in your exams. Unfortunately, while material possessions and achievements can give us happiness, the experience is almost always short-lived. Invest time in collecting positive experiences that contribute to your physical and emotional growth instead, and the effects will be long-lasting.
- Take time to express gratitude
It's important to take a breather after a hectic day. Getting up and pausing for 10 minutes a day to reflect about five things you’re grateful for can increase your appreciation of what matters and improve your well-being. Meditation also helps to put things into perspective and can help you to re-evaluate where you are in life. Sometimes, we wind up becoming so fixated on the smaller things that we forget about the journey.
- Do something nice for somebody else and talk with others
People who interact and engage in random acts of kindness boost their well-being and emotional health. Any acts of kindness, regardless if it's small gestures and bigger ones, will become a feel-good factor for you. If interacting with strangers sounds too uncomfortable, practice this with your loved ones instead. It can be as simple as cooking a meal for your family or helping your friend out with a dilemma. Anything that shows them that you’re glad to have them in your life!
Becoming a happier person isn’t an exact science, yet there are tried-and-true methods that one can follow in order to improve their daily well-being. Taking one’s bliss for granted has become increasingly common these days, and many end up regretting it only when it has become far too late. Don’t make the same mistake!