When COVID-19 started back in March, I already had a lot on my plate and things were getting a bit overwhelming at times, so when a close friend invited me to enrol with her in this online course about happiness and well-being, I didn’t think it twice.

I had already heard about this course through another friend and some online information, so I had great references, that helped me to quickly commit even when I wasn’t that convinced about the 10 weeks duration (which by the way ended up being only 6).

This week I finished the course and I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be nice to leave some information here and spread the word.

The Course

First of all, for those of you who are not familiar with Coursera, this is an online learning platform that offers all type of courses and specialisations.  This is one of several other platforms that offer MOOCs (massive open online course) which can be accessed anywhere via internet.

This course in particular comes from an actual Yale’s class which was launched as the “Psychology and the Good Life” in 2018. It seems when it was offered for the first time, within a couple of days it attracted almost 1200 students, becoming the most popular class in the history of Yale (316-year-history at that time) which is quite impressive.

My take

If you have read my blog before, you have probably noticed that I also like psychology and personal development topics, so I was familiar with several of the concepts presented, however I still learned a lot. I don’t want to go into the details, but they discussed things like hedonic adaptation (which I have written before in this blog), social connections, mindfulness, kindness, forming healthy habits and so forth.

One of the things that I loved about this course was the scientific background, all the information is presented based on studies and I found most of them extremely interesting. The results were often unexpected and some really blew my mind.

Another great thing about the course is that is very practical, as I mentioned above the 10 weeks course is divided in 6 weeks of lectures and 4 weeks of practice, so the idea is not only to learn but use the information and recommendations provided.

Yale even developed a free App called ReWi, which you can use in conjunction with the course to help you develop new habits.

Even when 6 weeks might sound like a lot, it is actually not too bad, some weeks are longer than others but in average you’ll only need around 2-3 hours which you can do at your own pace. Often we spend the same amount of time (or more) doing things that won’t bring us any benefit, I believe this is time well invested.

Did I mention this course is free? unless you want a certificate, you don’t need to pay a cent!

This is a good time

As I write this post, we are still in the middle of COVID-19 and for many of us the impact this has had in our mental health/well-being has been significant. It is not a coincidence that this class has become even more popular lately. According to Today.com:

“Over the past two years, virtual enrollment has averaged around 10,000 to 20,000 people per month. But since the coronavirus crisis escalated, the class has seen a spike in popularity. Within the last two weeks, an astonishing 300,000 people have enrolled in the course.”

So, this is a great time to learn information about well-being, do some work on our behaviours and use these great tools to improve our mental health.

The environment

You may not agree with me, but I do believe that at its core our environment is suffering because we human beings stopped valuing what’s really important. In our modern and busy way of living, we have been more and more disconnected from nature, from other species, from other people and often even ourselves.

We keep chasing “the dream”, we have become obsessed with having more and more stuff, money, busyness, stress, distraction, competition but it is evident that our formula is not working that great, because we often feel unhappy.

It is not easy to navigate the modern busy life we have created for ourselves. Our “normal” is not that normal, even when everyone seems to follow similar path.

So, working on our well-being, revisiting our beliefs, our core values, being kind and grateful for what we already have, and in general aiming to live a healthier and happy life, can make us see the world differently, gain a new perspective and start paying attention to what really matters, including our beloved planet.

Ready to enrol?

If you are ready to enrol or even if you are curious and want to to learn more, please visit Coursera for all the details about The Science of Well-being course.

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”– Aldous Huxley

That’s it for today, let me know in the comments below, did you know about this course? would you be willing to give it a go? if you do, please let me know, I would like to hear your experience 😉

Thanks for reading,