Happiness can seem elusive. In challenging times, the light through the trees can appear non-existent and like it will never return. But there are reasons to be hopeful, as happiness doesn't have to elude you. There are actions you can take to foster your own sense of satisfaction that are scientifically proven to work. A course at Yale called “The Science of Well Being” helps you to do just that—and it’s available for free through Coursera.
Taught by Dr. Laurie Santos, the class features a series of challenges that are designed to “increase your happiness and build more productive habits.” To prepare you for the assignments, Dr. Santos breaks down our misconceptions about happiness and how our mind can trick us into thinking a certain way. She then introduces the research that will help you make positive changes in your life.
One of the biggest takeaways from the course is that happiness isn't a far-off destination. It’s achieved in the present by performing simple tasks that are practiced on a regular basis. By doing things like meditating, exercising gratitude, and making social connections can foster happiness in a sustainable and long-lasting way.
Head to Coursera to enroll in “The Science of Well Being.” You can audit the course for free, or you can pay $49 to work on the assignments. And to hear more from Dr. Santos about happiness, subscribe to her podcast on the subject called The Happiness Lab.