I spent 10 weeks studying what is happiness, how it works in our body and what can help us be happier.
We covered biological facts, neurological facts, psychological facts, some philosophy and examples of practices to cultivate our happiness.
The themes per week:
Week 1: Introduction to the Science of Happiness – how to define and measure happiness
Week 2: Happiness & Human Connection – spoiler: being lonely is bad for our health and well-being
Week 3: Kindness & Compassion – from being kind to being helpful to being a hero
Week 4: Cooperation & Forgiveness – spoiler: we are built to cooperate, not compete, and forgiveness is good for our health
Week 5: Midterm Exam (and time to catch up on course material)
Week 6: Mindfulness, Attention, and Focus – being in the present moment fosters happiness, as long as we don’t nag at ourselves
Week 7: Mental Habits of Happiness: Self-Compassion, Flow, and Optimism – being kind to ourselves is good
Week 8: Gratitude – life is good and beautiful, even when it’s not
Week 9: Finding Your Happiness Fit and the New Frontiers – what practices work for you, and what science is now looking at
Week 10: catching up and final exam
Each week there are videos, articles, marked questions and at least one happiness practice to try out.
If you are intrigued by the themes, you want to know how happiness works and how you can cultivate it in your everyday life, then this course is worth checking out.
It’s available in a «at your own pace» style now, which makes it perfect for those of you wanting to casually learn about this.
To find out more about the course and sign-up if you want: edX UC Berkeley « The Science of Happiness »
I am not affiliated, I doubt edX and the Greater Good Science Centre even do affiliates… I just found this course really interesting and thought maybe you might too.
If you read French, I will be posting a series of articles presenting the themes in more detail – I’m just not sure when exactly as the holidays will be here soon…