Tags: happiness | class | university of bristol | gratitude | exercise | meditating | journaling

You Can Learn to Be Happy

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By    |   Tuesday, 16 April 2024 05:24 PM EDT

A new study reveals that happiness can be learned, but if you want it to last, you have to keep working at it.

In 2018, the University of Bristol in England began to offer a “Science of Happiness” course to students. The class involved learning about current peer-reviewed studies in the areas of psychology and neuroscience, and what the research determined makes people happy.    

Students who took the course reported a 10 to 15% improvement in well-being. However, when surveryed again two years later, only those who continued to implement the strategies learned in the class maintained that feeling, according to ScienceDaily.

“It’s like going to the gym,” explained senior author Bruce Hood, a professor of developmental psychology. “We can’t expect to do one class and be fit forever. Just as with physical healthy, we have to continuously work on mental health, otherwise the improvements are temporary.”

The students who continued practicing the habits proven to promote happiness in their research, such as gratitude, exercise, meditation or journaling, maintained their happiness.

“The study shows that just doing a course — be that at the gym, a meditation retreat or an evidence-based happiness course like ours — is just the start: you must commit to using what you learn on a regular basis,” said Hood. The professor added that the course teaches positive psychological interventions such as diverting attention away from yourself by helping others, being with friends, and practicing gratitude or meditation.

“This is the opposite of the current ‘self-care’ doctrine,” Hood said. “But countless studies have shown that getting out of our own heads helps get us away from negative ruminations which can be the basis of so many mental health problems.”

According to The Conversation, Hood maintains that becoming a happier person in the long run has less to do with focusing on ourselves, and much more to do with focusing on others. Hood has written a book called The Science of Happiness: Seven Lessons for Living Well that reveals the science-based roadmap for better well-being.

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A new study reveals that happiness can be learned if you work at it. Like most things in life, practice makes - almost - perfect. The team behind the University of Bristol's "Science of Happiness" course had already found that teaching students the research on happiness...
happiness, class, university of bristol, gratitude, exercise, meditating, journaling
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 05:24 PM
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