Yale Opens Up Its Happiness Course For Free

By on June 7, 2020

Happiness comes to us naturally, isn’t that so? Well, that’s correct, theoretically. But none of us can say that we are truly happy. It seems as if happiness is an art as well as a skill. And nothing is showing us that more than the current pandemic. Our social life is shot – we are getting increasingly frustrated and anxiety is on the rise. It’s like we are in a prison, in our own home. A happiness course would probably be a great thing right now!

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Well, there is a happiness course. Yale University offers a course on happiness. And during this pandemic, Yale University is offering this happiness course for free online.

happiness course

A professor in the Psychology department at Yale University said that this pandemic will adversely affect the mental health of people all around the globe. If your mental health gets affected, it will only take a few days before your physical health starts showing signs of discomfort. As per the university, the happiness course was almost free and named ‘The Science of Well Being’. People could freely audit the course, but to submit assignments and get a degree, they had to place a fee of 49 dollars. 

The course was developed in view of the changing global scenario. Social interactions are seen as the best way to maintain happiness. But that is not all. You can also use other ways to ensure that you are happy. As per Laurie Santos, a Professor of Psychology, happiness can be defined as a series of happy practices. We may not have realized happiness to be like this, but it truly is so. And that’s being proven again and again during this lockdown – a long day of no-work or work from home can seem boring, but a productive happy day might seem like an achievement. Maybe this lockdown is the moment that we start thinking of newer ways of understanding how happiness works.

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Santos came across this idea of a happiness course when she was living with the students of Silliman College at Yale. The students had a lot of pressure on their mind, and their anxious faces showed it. They felt mentally drained and sad. It also indicated how mental pressure and problems are so widespread all around the nation. 

This observation motivated Santos to come up with a course ‘Psychology and the Good Life’. She understood the happiness concept as per the psychology books and biology books. Then, in the second half of that academic year, students were given specific tasks that encouraged behavioral changes.

The course became very popular at Yale, with around 1200 students getting enrolled in it.

Laurie Santos believes that we have been lied to. Achieving big goals does not make us happy. On the flip side, it can make us miserable. By setting our eyes on big achievements, we overlook the smaller things that need to be done. When we truly realize the fault, we regret it, and it becomes a source of immense agony. Hence, it is first necessary to change our outlook on life.

Practicing happiness is important. When you are always aiming high, you lose out your time in the present and stop practicing happiness. In the end, you lose out on this valuable emotion, and let go of your happy thoughts. A happiness course is a perfect way of paving the path to a happier life.

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