NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Most of us won’t have the chance to actually go to Yale University, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the school’s most popular class on campus is now free online.
So, why are people signing up for the class? Well, when it comes to happy countries, America is not near the top of the list. We are ranked as the 19th most happy country, according to last year’s World Happiness Report.
Maybe that is why Yale’s class, called The Science of Well-Being, has become the most popular class in the last 300 years.
Psychology Professor Laurie Santos wanted to create a course that had a positive effect both in and out of the classroom.
“What you are learning is all the scientific work that is relevant on how you can improve your own well-being,” said Santos.
There’s a lot of research suggesting that simple behaviors you engage in can promote your well-being.
The online class that is now offered for free on Coursera’s website covers the misconception about happiness, why our expectations are bad and understanding what really makes us happy.
“Research shows that happy people focus on others and this is something we can do really well in the current time,” Santos said.
She encourages us all to take time to breathe, to notice and to be more mindful. Building these little habits daily can lead to our true happiness.
“I think the final tip I would give people is to appreciate the good things in life and count your blessings which can be really hard when we are in the middle of a pandemic,” Santos said.
If signing up for a course online isn’t your thing, Santos has morphed her class into a podcast. “The Happiness Lab” can be downloaded on any streaming service.