Yes, You Can Take a Class at Yale and Learn to Be Happier
I saw no less than three different media essays on happiness this weekend. Each one of these pieces implied or outrightly indicated that money cannot buy you this precious commodity. To illustrate this philosophy they showed a very funny cartoon of a man on his deathbed declaring, "Crap, I should have bought more stuff!".
While it's true, the last thing anyone many be thinking about when dying is; how much money they earned and how they may have spent it. It is also true, that people who work two jobs and yet have no idea where their rent, or next meal is coming from, or if their 20-year-old vehicle will run another day, would give anything to have more money.
I believe that would bring them happiness. I'm sure if it! Freedom from the mind-numbing stress, the soul-sucking fear of how you're going to keep a roof over your head and food on your table; most certainly would produce feelings of relief at the least and yes, euphoria at the most.
But let's suppose I'm wrong. Would taking a class on happiness at Yale lead to an epiphany about the unimportant role money plays in our lives? Now we can all find out, as anyone can register for this world-famous course on achieving happiness, or as Yale refers to it, "The Science of Well-Being".
Yale psychology professor, Laurie Santos, who started the class, simply wanted to help students navigate the maze of emotional and mental health issues they were experiencing. But it's not simply college kids who need this sort of help and word of the class spread. So now anyone can become a "Yalie", just by taking this course online.
Just in case you're not planning on that, but you'd still like a few pointers on boosting your happiness quotient, here are a few suggestions from Professor Santos:
- Spend time and energy in the right way - She says this means face-to-face interactions with people, not over-scheduling yourself and having free time too.
- Express gratitude - Think of 5 things you're grateful for, every day.
- Do something nice for someone else and talk to people - Connecting with people is a mood booster
- Meditate - No, she doesn't mean sitting cross-legged in a class with others while singing bowls ring in the air, (although you could if that's your thing). It simply means sitting quietly concentrating on your breathing. Or you could use one of many guided meditations.
- Rest and exercise - Exercise can relieve depression and sleep - -is just really good for you!
- Do these things everyday - Increasing your state of well-being is possible, but work-intensive.