Wow! Has it been a month since I last posted? That’s what happens when you are in the “flow”, I guess!
In that month, I have “completed” the Science of Well-being course I had been blogging about in the previous while. “Completed” is in brackets because I have done all the course work except the 4 weeks long final assignment to practice at least one of the various “rewirements” in the course so that it becomes a habit, then write about it, and give feedback on a fellow student’s assignment as one will give feedback on mine. The four weeks are almost through, and here is the gist of my report.
For Week 4 of the Science of Well-being course, the rewirement was to get more sleep, like maybe an extra half hour each night. More sleep, to some degree of sufficiency or a little excess, will boost your mood. Chronic lack of sleep also shortens your telomers, or ends of your DNA, that shortens lifespans, supposedly. It’s just not a good thing, let’s just say.
The content for Week 3 of the Science of Well-being course explained why we are generally so bad at predicting what we think what would make us happy. Professor Santos called them “Annoying Features” of our minds, and referred to the erroneous judgment for happiness outcomes of these Annoying Features as “miswantings”, a term coined by psychologists Tim Wilson and Dan Gilbert. It’s a term which I rather like and will use in discussion of happiness, or lack thereof, with others I know to whom I am humbled that some people turn to discuss rough spots in their lives. There was a lot of video content, which I will summarize and discuss below, with how I compensate for these Annoying Features to keep myself pretty happy generally, allowing for some sadness and other negative feelings to give the happiness more meaning through relativity. My compensation solutions aren’t discussed in the class but that’s my value add with this blog post. Professor Santos had an extensive list of reference articles of research to support her teachings, but I’ll leave them out since many probably won’t care for them. If you do to that level, I suggest signing up for the course on Coursera and taking it for free.