Being happy has officially become a part of the curriculum!
Famous singer Pharell may have been on to something when he penned the ultra-catchy and incredibly upbeat tune "Happy". It's no surprise that people have spent a lifetime traveling in the pursuit of happiness. Did you know that one of the most proven ways to lift your mood is to start your day with a smile?
In a study by Psychological Science titled "Grin and Bear It", researchers asked participants to simulate smiles through the use of chopsticks in order to measure whether any changes in mood could be noted; this was based on the different types of smiles that exist such as "standard smiles, which use the muscles surrounding the mouth, and genuine or Duchenne smiles, which engage the muscles surrounding both the mouth and eyes".
Simply smiling (or even faking one) greatly impacted/reduced heart rate and stress levels of most of the participants who were instructed to have a genuine smile on. The hidden perk about this is that you now have the perfect excuse to take a personal day and relax!
That being said, these four classes prove why we should all strive towards being happy.
1. The Science Of Happiness
This is one of the first massive open (and free) online classes (MOOC, for short) to teach positive psychology, which essentially centers on the science behind improving the quality of life. Co-founded by psychology professor Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, the Science of Happiness course will focus on ways to incorporate positive psychology, human behavior and overall well-being, into our everyday lives. While registration for this free course is currently open, classes will begin in the fall.
2. The Happy Class Emails
Still not convinced? This next option just may change your mind! Through a series of spaced out emails, author David Leonhardt (known as 'The Happy Guy') will teach you efficient ways to be happy (with both your loved ones and yourself) and stay healthy. It will also show you effective ways to achieve 'authentic happiness'. If you're searching for ways to brighten that smile on your face without spending the cash, look no further.
3. Sustainable Happiness
This free online seminar revolves around the idea of "sustainable happiness". This concept deals with the importance behind creating close friendships with the people around you and how said bonds can influence your own happiness. The next seminar is scheduled for May 22nd, 2014. What could be better than learning different methods of joy and elation at no cost?
4. Happiness On Autopilot
While this class isn't free, trust us when we say that it is definitely worth the splurge. Christine Carter, Ph.D. offers five videos that feature surefire ways to get happier with your family. From tips on teaching your kids to be humble and show gratitude to uncovering the many benefits of exercising and getting a good night's rest, the "Happiness on Autopilot" videos have got you covered.