By Melissa Dalgleish - Inside Higher ED
I was wasting time on the internet, as one does, when I discovered an intriguing course at Yale University called PSYC 157: Psychology and the Good Life. Laurie Santos, a professor in the psychology department, teaches smart, motivated, high-achieving students who are living the dream of many as Yale students. But instead of being happy, they were stressed, anxious, grade-grubbing wrecks. And they needed help.
Santos realized that positive psychology research -- the study of positive human functioning and flourishing -- could help her students become happier, more productive and better equipped to make big career, life and financial decisions. PSYC 157 was born. And through the magic of the internet, anyone can take her class online: via Coursera, as The Science of Well-Being.
I also work with high-achieving students and postdocs trying to figure out what to do with their lives, many of whom are facing big decisions about their futures and nearly all of whom are some level of stressed and anxious. I also have a minor personal obsession with figuring out what science can tell us about how to live a happy, productive life. So, of course, I signed up for Santos’s course.
Positive psychology researchers focus on exactly that obsession of mine: what makes a good life. They aim to understand how the brain works, using a combination of psychology and neuroscience research methods, to give people tools to build better habits, make better decisions and make the world a better place.
And did I mention that positive psychologists believe we can do all that while making our lives richer in meaning and money? Sign me up.
Santos’s course leverages research by positive psychologists like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “Me-high Cheek-SENT-me-high,” in case you’re wondering), Daniel Gilbert, Martin Seligman and Sonja Lyubomirsky. She culls the best of their studies to help her students learn to make decisions and build habits that have the potential make them happier, more productive and better contributors to their families, communities, courses and careers.
www.insidehighered.com/advice/2018/08/13/using-science-well-being-transform-your-career-exploration-opinion - Full Article