“Completed” Science of Well-being Course

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.

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Using My Signature Strengths (Science of Well-being Course Week 1 Optional Rewirements)

The Science of Well-being course had an optional rewirement assignment of using one’s Signature Strengths each day for the week. From my identification and analysis of MY Signature Strengths, along with notes on how to boost these strengths, and a little time to think about how I’d go about it, here’s my report on what I did.

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VIA Free Character Strengths Test (Science of Well-being Week 1 Optional Rewirements)

The next optional rewirement in Week 1 of the Science of Well-being course is the free Character Strengths test on the VIA website. The test comprises of 120 questions and takes 15 minutes or so to complete. There are no right/wrong answers, and there are no better/worse answers. The key is to be authentic, so that you can derive the most from the experience.

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PERMA Flourishing Inventory (Science of Well-being Week 1 Optional Rewirements)

The Science of Well-being course’s Week 1 Rewirements also recommended, but not required, other tests in the greater Authentic Happiness Inventory. The course especially recommended the PERMA™ (an acronym for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment— the basic dimensions of psychological flourishing). Since they asked those who take it to keep score, I took it to get the most out of the course.

But first, I had to find out what psychological flourishing was. From Wikipedia, flourishing is described as “a state where people experience positive emotions, positive psychological functioning and positive social functioning, most of the time,” living “within an optimal range of human functioning.” If I were to describe it in plain language, it’s how positive someone is in a general lifestyle range (rather than in distress or euphoria moments or spans of time). Further from Wikipedia, flourising is a descriptor and measure of positive mental health and overall life well-being, and includes multiple components and concepts, such as cultivating strengths, subjective well-being, “goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience.” Flourishing is the opposite of both pathology and languishing, which are described as living a life that feels hollow and empty. It is a central concept in positive psychology, developed by Corey Keyes and Barabara Fredrickson.

If you want to know more about the dimensions, which I will cover with my PERMA results, I found a more comprehensive description on the Positive Psychology Program site.

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