I just finished an amazing free online course called the Science-of-Well-Being. Since it’s free and focused on mindfulness, I had to give it a try. Dr. Laurie Santos of Yale University overviews what psychological science says about happiness in order to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying lives. The course also gives learners tips to apply wellness activities into their lives.
This class does not treat serious mental health issues like anxiety or depression. However, Dr. Santos’ class does provide space to have much needed conversations about mental health and happiness. And who couldn’t doesn’t want a free lesson on how to live a happier life?
So many of us are suffering from issues, such as relationship problems, substance misuse, physical health problems, job or financial problems, and recent crises. Why not spend a little of your time to focus on well- being?
The class starts out by going over what you think makes you happy (but really doesn’t) and then in the later weeks, she reveals what actually makes us happy, based on scientific research. Spoiler alert: Dr. Santos gives simple assignments that focus on such things as meditation and gratitude practice. One week my assignment was to write down 3 things I was grateful for that day. This simple assignment helped to focus my mind on the positive. I was, also, so impressed with the questions the students from Yale.. Their insights and questions made me want to be back on a collage campus.
The multipart seminar-style series - filmed last year in Dr. Santos’ home - is available for free on Coursera.
The no-charge option for the course doesn’t include all the assignments and class materials — there’s a $49 tuition fee if you’d like all the available materials. I just took the free course and it gives you complete access to all the lectures.
So, 6 weeks later, am I a happier person for taking the Science of Well-Being? Yes, I think it was time well spent for me. I learned how to focus my mind and body with the simple tools that Dr. Santos shares in her course. Thanks to Dr. Santo's and Yale for making this course available to the public for free. I am grateful to be a student of the Science of Well-Being.