I Took a Happiness Class and Here's How it Went

 

Last year I took a happiness class after hearing so much hype about a similar course offered at major universities like Harvard. It was a very interesting and informative class, and I definitely took away some new strategies to improve my happiness not just in the moment, but long term. 

 

During the class we read Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book “The How of Happiness.” In her book she offers a FIT test which helps you determine what areas in your life could improve their levels of happiness. My three highest scores were practicing gratitude and positive thinking, living in the present, and taking care of your body and soul.   

 

From there Lyubomirsky gives you a list of activities and strategies you can use to improve your levels of happiness in those areas. Based on those categories, some of the strategies I chose to perform were keeping a gratitude journal to write down my favorite moment of the day for practicing gratitude and positive thinking, replaying happy moments in detail every day for living in the present and meditating every day for taking care of my body and soul. 

 

I chose these three strategies for several reasons, with the main one being that each seemed to stick out to me the most when I was reading about all the different strategies I could try. Also, each activity seemed like the best activities that fit easily into my lifestyle. I also chose these activities to increase my happiness because they seemed simple enough for me to accomplish and not forget about doing.  

 

Looking back on the course there were several things that I learned about myself and my happiness. In addition, I did notice a change in my overall happiness throughout this entire course. When I started this course I really didn’t analyze my happiness levels as much as I do now. Before this class, I would have considered myself a pretty happy person despite all the straining and traumatic events I have experienced. 

woman doing a yoga pose during golden hour Photo by Eternal Happiness from Pexels

Although, after some reflection, I realized that I was not as happy as I could have been, especially regarding the things I have gone through in my life. Despite all the traumatic hardships I have been through, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel. I also learned that I am very much a reflective person and that is probably why I have kept a diary since middle school and I love looking back over it to see how much I have grown and changed. 

 

After taking more time to meditate and “clear my head” I realized just how much my mind can race at times and how much I can enjoy the moments of stillness. Meditating has been especially important for me during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when the world seems anything less than chaotic.

 

I also believe that my happiness did improve from the beginning to the end of this course. For instance, like I mentioned before this class, I did not really analyze my happiness levels. I also thought that I was generally a happy person, which is true, but during and after this class I realized I was not as happy as I could have been. 

 

After taking this class and implementing the three happiness strategies, I did notice an increase in my overall happiness levels. Specifically, I noticed an improvement in my day to day mood and how I looked at the world and my life.  

Smiley face on the street Photo by Jacqueline Munguia from Unsplash

Since taking that class, I have continued to sustain my happiness by trying to continue the three activities I initially implemented into my life. I found that implementing those activities into my daily life and making them a habit really helped me stick to them and maintain and or increase my levels of happiness, even in times as trying as we are in. 

 

Overall, this class helped improve my happiness because it provided me with actual strategies I could easily incorporate into my life to increase my happiness levels. I was also able to learn about myself better, learning about happiness in general, and look into other ways I could improve my happiness levels outside the strategies I have already chosen and tried. 

 

So if you are looking to improve your happiness or just want to take a super interesting and laid back class, then I highly recommend taking CHHS 210 - Creating Happiness and Well-Being!