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You Might Be Able to Teach Yourself Happiness

A woman standing with her arms outstretched on a flower-covered hill in the mountains.
Serhii Yurkiv/Shutterstock

Therapy might not be the only way to feel more joyful about your life. In Northern Italy, people actually took a course on happiness with impressive results.

Students who took The Art of Happiness class at the University of Trento were also participating in a study to measure its effects. Given that emotions are subjective, researchers used significant markers of wellness to measure the participants’ levels of happiness.

Amazingly, as the course progressed, students reported continual improvements in several key areas of well-being, including life satisfaction, self-awareness, emotional control, and perceived well-being. As these improvements occurred, negative thought patterns, like anxiety, anger, and stress, began to decrease.

The course taught both Eastern and Western wellness concepts. It focused on the idea that inner balance and satisfaction, coupled with a scientific understanding of how the mind works, is the best method for “teaching” happiness.

With the concept of happiness in mind, students completed lessons on philosophy, psychology, and Western thought. More scientific sections on neuroscience were also included, and the students also engaged in activities like journaling and different forms of meditation.

Again, while the true definition of happiness is subjective, it seems this inclusive approach might be the best approach to “teaching” it.

If you’d like more happiness in your life (who doesn’t?), these helpful habits can help you get started on your journey.

[Via Ladders]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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