Yale University Professor Rory Santos’ ‘The Science of Well-Being’ is a lecture that has become more popular as self-isolation began due to COVID-19 and can be taken at Coursera. Although the course consists of a total of 10 weeks, one week introduces the course, and 7-10 weeks is the practice of one of the lessons learned for 4 weeks. The actual class is 5 weeks (2-6 weeks).
About The Science of Well-Being
It’s a coursera free course or class, but there are also homework assignments every week.
- Week 1: Signature Strengths
- Week 2: Savoring & Gratitude
- Week 3: Kindness & social connection
- Week 4: Exercise & Sleep
- Week 5: Meditation
- Week 6: None
- Weeks 7-10: Decide on a habit that makes you happy and practice it
Many people think that having a good job, money, an enviable luxury item, love, a perfect body (face), and high grades will make you happy. However, Professor Laurie Santos begins his lecture by explaining why the human mind makes such an illusion.
Scientific reasons for the illusion:
- Human instincts sometimes go wrong for no apparent reason.
- People think of it as relative reference points.
- The human mind gets used to it easily.
- People don’t notice that they get used to something easily.
The examples that Professor Santos gave were salary and car purchases.
“At first, you are happy when you get a high salary, but after a few months you get used to it and you are not happy until you get a higher salary.”
Interestingly, the factors determining happiness were 50% genetic factors, 40% personal will and thoughts, and 10% environment. In other words, there are people who are naturally happier.
In this context, Professor Santos says, you have to make a series of actions and choices along with a deliberate effort to be happy. One of them is investing in experiences like travel rather than buying things. The lecture also provides specific examples of how it is better to spend money on experiences that are difficult to evaluate in relative terms and do not give people time to get used to, rather than buying expensive luxury items to feel happy.
2. Here’s what you need to want to be scientifically happy, even if your mind deceives me.
- Average of 7 hours or more of sleep
- Mind Control Through Meditation:
- Abundant time
- Social relationship
- A mindset that seeks growth rather than results
- A job where you can use your signature strengths (job): A good job that makes me happy is not a place that pays a lot of money, but a place where I can use my signature strengths.
- Immersion: A good job (job) is one where you can experience immersion rather than money.
According to the model proposed by Csikszentmihai, immersion is a balance between one’s ability and the level of work to be performed, neither lower nor higher.
The default state of the brain is “mind-wandering”, and the sum of the time spent wandering the mind is said to be half of a person’s lifetime. The more a person’s mind wanders, the farther away from immersion, the more logical it is that people are not happy because they do not feel immersion. The brain is also a muscle after all, so we recommend meditation training to focus on the present. In fact, there was a study that showed a big change in just 8 weeks of 30 minutes a day on average.
However, in my current situation, if I can only do one thing inevitably, I recommend that you exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week.
Strategies to create good habits:
1. Create an easy-to-follow environment: If you want to go on a diet, remove all snacks, such as sweets, from visible places.
2. Communicate Your Plans: If you’re having a hard time getting people to know you, a personal social media account or blog is fine.
Learner Career outcomes:
The Science of Well-Being Instructor
Laurie Santos Top Instructor in coursera online courses platform.
The Science of Well-Being Learners Reviews and feedback
This is of course the best course I have ever done. Living a good life makes you feel happy and full every day. This course has changed my definition a lot. Initially I thought wellness was about your own life, not about others. But social connections are very important, connecting with others, even talking to strangers will make you happy. On the other hand, I didn’t realize that exercise and sleep would be magic pills that make you look younger, more beautiful, slimmer and without any side effects. I was so busy exercising and thinking that only adults need more sleep, but I was wrong, after two weeks of practice, exercise and more sleep raised my level of happiness much higher. I am very grateful that I chose to study this course. Highly recommended for everyone who wants to be happy in life.
I find it very difficult to listen to these speeches because he spoke (ending each sentence on a high reflection note) which is very confusing. He also employs vocal fry, another confusing practice that he would do well to eliminate. Also, he is credited with being the first to recognize that you not only need to know something but also practice it, be good at it and name it GI Joe Fallasi. Certainly not a real (or even deeper) insight, as most people already know trying to solve a machine, a game, a math problem.
The course was interesting in terms of the statistics presented but it was very basic in terms of concepts. Most of the examples given were made towards millennials and college students. I found the class to be quite boring at times and liked to present him more complex ideas and information. I expected a lot more from Yale and this class was a bit disappointing. You can learn the whole week’s lecture from a CNN or NYT article.