Oh happy day! Yale University has a class centered around inner peace and happiness, and surprise, it’s one of their most popular.
Psychology and the Good Life is taught by professor Laurie Santos and, over a short time, has become one of the most popular classes in the university’s history.
“Students report being more depressed than they have ever been in history at college,” Professor Santos explained. “Social science research has led to many new understandings of how people find happiness. They really want to learn those insights in an empirical, science-driven way.”
Santos described the mechanism that leads students to measure their joy by material things as “mis-wanting”, however, the course teaches students that true utopia can only come from within. “Very happy people spend time with others, they prioritize time with their friends, time with their family. We work really hard to get a great salary or to buy this huge house, those things are not going to make us as happy as we think.”
Professor Santos hopes that by teaching the scientific element, it will help students find peace amongst the chaos and adversity they deal with during college.
“What’s most pressing on our minds is grades, it’s the next job, it’s a potential salary after graduation,” said Yale University student Rebekah Siliezar, who says that Psychology and the Good Life has redirected her energy and encouraged her to “focus on the present moment and the people around me.”
The response to the course has been so successful that it’s now available for free online through Coursera.
h/t VOA News