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Self-isolation can get old pretty fast, and you’re not alone in feeling the wrath of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. While you may be finding it harder each day to find ways to keep yourself occupied, a “happiness” course developed by a Yale Professor just might do the trick to restore your sanity.
The free course is available online through Coursera and for $49, it allows users to complete assignment, submit them for a grade and earn a certificate of completion.
The course was created by Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos after observing the mental health issues among the students she interacted with daily. She also noted that it was a national trend that was getting worse.
It prompted Santos to create the course “Psychology and the Good Life,” which offered students insights from psychology and neuroscience about what drives happiness. The second half of the course challenges students in behavior change exercises to help rewire the brain.
After an overwhelming response in participation in the course, it became the most popular class in Yale’s history.
“Many people mistakenly believe happiness is just around the corner if we land a better job, find a more attractive mate, or buy a bigger house. But the neuroscience literature doesn’t back that up,” she says.
“Happiness and contentedness stem from repeatedly doing simple tasks, rather than herculean ones. I take the science of happiness as giving us a lot of good news,” Santos said.
Santos says in-person social connections matter, but the good news from science is that much of happiness stems from cultivating healthy practices and routines.
So while it’s suggested to stay inside and practice social distancing, it’s also important to be mindful of taking care of yourself mentally to avoid developing poor mental health habits. This time at home is the perfect opportunity to reinvent your self-care routine, and what better way to do that then through learning good mental health practices. Take advantage of what this online course has to offer, and know that once you’ve mastered true happiness, it’ll be something you always carry with you, no matter where you’re located physically.