Read a San Francisco Chronicle article on a highly popular Stanford University course on happiness.
The course was set up in response to 4 student suicides at the university in 2006. The course includes discussing research on what leads to happiness and what does not.
Their definition of happiness…?
Fred Luskin, instructor of the Stanford happiness class, said that the simplest definition of happiness is “wanting what you have.” Conversely, the simplest definition of stress is “wanting something to be different.”
The course includes also involve trialling practical strategies to increase happiness sand personal well being such as keeping a daily gratitude journal. The course also includes a basic meditation practice. It is proving extremely popular with Autumn class already being full.
One important message the instructors hope to convey is that racking up accomplishments won’t necessarily lead to fulfillment.
“Achieving the most for yourself doesn’t lead to the kind of happiness you think it will,” Luskin told a student who questioned how she could reconcile her desire for a balanced life with the expectations that, at Stanford, you need to be “the best.”
He added that people who are in the best position for happiness are the ones who have strong relationships, and “interconnected webs” of people on whom they can depend for fun and support.