The quarantine is going to take a toll on our socialization skills if you haven’t already guessed that. And we know that staying in, albeit compulsory, can feel like a house arrest. All these, along with the ever-increasing panic of Coronavirus, are going to exert themselves on our mental health. So, now Yale University’s massively popular ‘happiness’ course is available online- and it is free!
A professor of Psychology at Yale was reportedly seen telling a CNN reporter that the global pandemic is surely going to put a blip on everyone’s mental health scales, whilst also affecting their physical health. According to the University, this course was free under the banner ‘The Science of Well Being’. Everyone was encouraged to audit classes (which were free), and they simply had to pay $49 if they wanted to submit assignments and get a degree from the University.
The very basis of this course in this global scenario is simple- while it is undeniable that social interactions, especially physical social interactions, are extremely important to maintain happiness, there are other ways too. According to Professor of Psychology, Laurie Santos, happiness in itself is derived from a series of happy routines and practices. Interestingly, this quarantine can be used as a trial period where you throw out preconceived notions of what happiness is and acknowledge newer methods.
The idea came to Santos when she started living with the students at Yale’s Silliman College. The amount of pressure the students were going through was visible, which led the professor to worry about their mental health. And it goes without saying, mental health problems amongst students is a nationwide issue.
This led to her bringing out a course called ‘Psychology and the Good Life’, wherein she derived the concept of happiness through psychology and the many biological sciences. In the second half of the year, the students were given tasks on behavioral changes which would help rebrand their brain.
Needless to say, the course was one of the most sought after classes in the history of Yale, with 1200 students enrolling.
Santos believes that we have always been misguided and beguiled into thinking that it is the bigger things in life that end up making us miserable. We tend to overlook the smallest of things that are quite capable of doling out the most pain. So, if we were to change how we looked at our life, we would go back to being happy.
Repetition is the key. While we are so into the thoughts of a bigger house, more money, or a better job giving us the happiness we so desire, that would never be the case. We need to keep doing the simple tasks that we do and find our happiness therein.
There have been many individuals who took this course, despite charting quite a successful life for themselves. Maybe because they were simply satisfied and content, not happy. What they found out was that happiness wasn’t based on accomplishments. One couldn’t be eternally happy about getting a new job or buying a new car. It would certainly get them elated, but happiness isn’t a momentary spike in the adrenaline- it is a gradual patch of sunshine that keeps shining forever.
As we can very well see, auditing this class would not be a problem for anyone with a net connection, and in the time of coronavirus, maybe a happiness course is all we need!
IMAGE FEATURED: subbotina