Welcome to the Happiness Club! This group discussion thread will revolve around content from the Coursera course, The Science of Well-Being and the associated podcast The Happiness Lab --both of which were created by Dr. Laurie Santos of Yale.
Throughout the next 10 weeks we will be posting our commentary, ideas and behavior as it relates to the science of happiness and how we can take these ideas and apply them to our own lives and in our classrooms. Anyone is welcome to join in on the fun!
Below you find notes on week one of the course and the podcast. I am sharing these as cliff notes for anyone who is interested in joining the discussion but doesn’t have time to fully participate in the course. Each week I intend on sharing a similar note set. The notes do not have much commentary, I will reserve that for the discussion below.
Science of Well-Being Week 1 Notes
Science of Wellbeing Course
Week 1 Learning Objectives
- Assess your current level of well-being and produce a baseline measurement of well-being
- Discover your signature strengths and apply them in your life for at least one week
Intro - Why this course exists
According to Dr. Laurie Santos, taken from her lecture:
The first of those three reasons is that this is the time that is ripe for thinking about applying the science of psychology, in part because, we are learning a ton about how to apply like these kind of concepts about how we can make ourselves happier.
Second reason though is that we kind of really need these insights pretty badly, because the fact is that we’re not as happy or as kind of increased in our well-being as we sort of need to be.
But the third reason is actually the most personal one of why I wanted to teach this, which is that it’s not just Yale students that need these insights, I actually need these insights too. So I’m kind of like below average on my own happiness.
GI Joe Fallacy - Knowing is half the battle…or is it? !
From her lecture:
It’s this mistaken idea that knowing is half the battle. G.I. Joe used to think that when you learn look both ways when you cross the street, then you’re kind of done. Now you know how to do it. And G.I. Joe even has this kind of awesome like graphic if you Google it on the Internet. But the claim is that this actually isn’t true. Merely knowing something is not enough to put into practice. Merely knowing something is not enough to actually change your behavior.
Dr. Laurie Santos' Amended GI Joe Motto
Week 1 Rewirement:
Complete a ‘happiness’ assessment (or at least give your self a rating from 1-5 on personal happiness). Write this score down somewhere.
Find your top strengths through VIA and try to deliberately engage in one of them each day.
– VIA Strength Finder
Happiness Lab Episode 1 Notes
Happiness Lab: Episode 1 - You Can Change
Episode Description: There are things you can do today to make yourself happier. Your life circumstances and personality aren’t nearly as important as you think in deciding how happy you can be. Dr Laurie Santos explains how understanding the latest science will point you in the right direction to making you more satisfied with your life.
The episode described the results of a 75 year longitudinal study on men’s health which gave some insight into what makes us happy, from a New York Times article on the findings, “the researchers looked at the factors throughout the years that strongly influenced health and well-being, they found that relationships with friends, and especially spouses, were a major one. The people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory decline – even if those relationships had many ups and downs.”
So to kick us off, why don’t we share one thing we already knew and one place we grew (something we learned) while listening to the podcast or taking the course. I am also curious to hear how people plan on following through with ‘rewirements’