I recently enrolled in a course offered by Yale University called The Science of Well-Being. If you’re thinking, “girl, you’re crazy. I would NEVER go back to school” I would tell you that I felt the same way until I saw the article about it on The Penny Hoarder that said it was FREE!
Anyway, in the first week, I read, took a small survey, and did a few tests that measure my happiness and my strengths. It turns out, my biggest strength was kindness. You can let me know in the comments below if that surprises you or not.
My “assignment” for the week was to mindfully practice using my biggest strength and let me tell you, I failed. I tried to think of things I could do to be kind but I didn’t come up with very many besides buying food for the people in line behind me. I knew spending money on someone else was a random act of kindness but I wanted to try and do something else outside the box. I am going to try and add using kindness to this week’s assignments.
I just finished week 2 and my assignments this week are to practice Savoring and Gratitude.
Savoring: the act of stepping outside of an experience to review and appreciate it. For the next seven days, I will savor one activity each day and record that here.
- I read to the 4 year olds at Berne Preschool. Listening to them giggle as I made animal noises made my whole day. We read about a cow that loves cookies and I seriously laughed out loud when I got to the end and it said, “but the duck loves quackers”. Get it!? I love puns and apparently they did too. I don’t think I stopped smiling for 2 hours even though it was cold outside and work was hectic!
Gratitude: a positive emotional state in which one recognizes and appreciates what one has received in life. For the next seven days, I will take time to reflect and make a list of the things I’m grateful for (big or small) and record them here.
- I am grateful that my job allows me to interact with the community. – Today I had the chance to read to 4 year olds as a part of Reading Rotarians. The kids all giggled and were very well behaved while I read. I also got the chance to eat lunch at home, pick up the house, and play with my dog.
- I am grateful that my friends are willing to help my sister (my Maid of Honor) plan my party. She is taking on a big job as someone who isn’t even old enough to get into a bar yet and I can’t wait to have her stand by my side as I get married.
- I am grateful for my coworkers. I wanted to ride on Saturday with Jason but had to work my part-time job at the hotel. I was able to switch with one of the other ladies, even though she isn’t feeling well, and am so lucky!
- I am grateful to be going to Switzerland a week from today!
- I am grateful for technology. I was able to call and talk to my grandma today and I can’t imagine not having a phone and being able to speak to my family when I’m in Indiana and they’re all in Iowa.
The course is offered through Coursera. You can enroll for yourself here.