(America-165) December 21, 2019 – What is happiness? Taking a class to learn it?

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Personal Note: What is happening to educated fools in the world, especially students at Yale University? That you have to take a class to learn to be happy? Something is truly fucked up with the modern youth or with anyone who has to take a class to learn to be happy? The Creator has endowed all of us with certain instincts…but somehow the world has screwed us up badly, now incapable of using our instincts to be happy? Watch the birds…they know what to do to attract the females? their happy to be happy! There is that instinct in all of us, but we are so fucked up by what we are doing to ourselves, that we have lost it? Talk to the birds and maybe you can learn a thing or two about how to be happy! What is the matter with us, the educated fools in this world? Having to enrol in a class in Yale University to learn to be happy? Truly fucked up generation! I watched my cats, they never take any classes, yet they are always happy…because the Creator has given them the instinct to be happy…playing with one another, licking each other…just be themselves! We are so screwed up in our lives and thinking that we have to take classes in Yale to learn to be happy? Peace, steve, usa December 21, 2019 stephenehling@hotmail.com   blog – https://getting2knowyou-china.com

Will shopping or social media make you happy? No, but sleep will, Yale professor doing happiness podcast and free online course says
• Laurie Santos launched a happiness course at Yale University, designed to help learners lead happier, more satisfying lives. It was such a hit she made it free
• For busy people she started a podcast, The Happiness Lab, to share practical takeaways people can use. She offers advice to Hongkongers affected by protests

Gigi Choy
, 21 Dec, 2019 scmp hong kong

When psychologist Laurie Santos discovered that one-quarter of all undergraduates at Yale University had enrolled in her “happiness” course in its first year, she decided to publish it online as a free class on online learning platform Coursera.

Global enrolment soared, reaching 460,000 by December 1, and the demand inspired Santos to create a podcast – The Happiness Lab.

Last year, “Psychology and the Good Life”, often called the happiness class on campus, became the most popular course ever taught in the prestigious US university’s 300-year history, indicating a widespread need by students for more contentment in their lives.

“I think it speaks to the fact that students are really feeling more unhappy than they’ve ever felt,” says Santos, 44, a psychology professor and head of one of Yale’s residential colleges. “I think they don’t like this culture of feeling depressed and anxious and overwhelmed, and they really want to take action on it.”

The feelings are universal – particularly in difficult times.
Hong Kong’s happiness levels, in a climate of social unrest, have fallen. About four in 10 Hongkongers showed symptoms of depression according to this year’s
HK.WeCare General Happiness Index poll
of 1,077 participants. Satisfaction scores for quality of life also declined.

“It’s all the more reason that folks in Hong Kong who are going through this incredibly tough time need to pay attention to the real ways to become happier, not just the things you expect are going to work, but the things that science really suggests,” Santos says.

She recommends Hongkongers avoid discussing the unrest while spending quality time with family and friends, and also to take time off t

“Happy people spend more time with others, and they spend more time with the people they care about. And I think this is really powerful, this means that other people in some ways might really be the key to our happiness.”

Many of us are drawn to shopping, or “retail therapy”, to make us feel better, but that impulse should be resisted, Santos adds.

“Research shows that the stuff we buy isn’t as connected to happiness as we think,” she says. “In fact, there are some hints that materialism … is actually connected to happiness in the opposite direction. So the more materialistic you are, the less happy you are.”

People will benefit more by spending money and time on
experiences
– such as going to concerts or watching movies – to boost happiness, she adds.

According to Santos, happier people tend to be more social, but
technological advances
that allow us to interact with anyone in the world have eroded real connectedness.
Technology is not being used in a way that promotes true social connection, she explains, and
overuse
can lead to increasing loneliness, especially among young people.

“I think we can get caught up in this sort of fake social that we have on social media … these things that are negatively affecting our happiness,” she says. “We don’t end up spending time with real people and enjoying real time with one another.”

According to Santos, technology is not being used in a way that promotes true social connection. Photo: Yale University

Santos expounds on these ideas in her free online course. Filmed in Santos’ on-campus home in New Haven, Connecticut, “The Science of Well-Being” Coursera class is a 10-week, seminar-style series designed to help learners lead happier and more satisfying lives. Although the Coursera class is shorter than the Yale course, Santos says the way it is taught is largely the same.

“Students who take the Coursera class are learning the scientific facts about the sorts of things that improve well-being, but they’re also taking part in the practice of it. And this is critical,” she adds.

Homework includes engaging in meaningful social connection,
meditating
and even
getting more sleep
.
Santos taught ‘Psychology and the Good Life’, which made headlines as the most popular class in Yale’s history. Photo: Yale University

“We do that because we know that doing these practices can really improve well-being and already we’re starting to see some hints,” she says. “Our earliest results suggest that people who take the online class really do improve their well-being over time, even sometimes as high as one point on a 10-point happiness scale.”

Asia accounted for 13.61 per cent of learners enrolled in the Coursera class. More than 2,300 learners were enrolled in Hong Kong, while India topped enrolment numbers in the region with more than 18,500 students.

For those who are too busy to take the online course, Santos launched The Happiness Lab, a podcast that delves deeper into the studies of science-backed happiness and shares practical takeaways people can use to bring more joy into their lives.

The podcast, which began in September and has had more than 4 million downloads, is expected to run for two seasons, each with 10 episodes of between 45 minutes and an hour.

 

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