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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Top 4 Positive Psychology Courses You Can Acssess Online

Taking an online course

ow can I be happier in my daily life, and bring a sense of authentic joy to those around me? What steps can I take to build connection, compassion and gratitude in my life? These questions and many others are addressed in the online courses listed below - without ever having to leave the comfort of your own desk.

1. Barbara Fredrickson

Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., a psychology professor at North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Director of the PEP (Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology) Lab and one of the founders of positive psychology, is an expert in the area of love and connection. You can get a taste of her research from her books, Positivity and Love 2.0, and her articles, and now by taking her six-week MOOC (massive open online course) “Positive Psychology” on Coursera. The course includes discussion of concepts such as loving kindness and “positivity resonance,” as well as “practical applications of this science that you can put to use immediately to help you live a full and meaningful life.”

2. Greater Good Science Center

The Greater Good Science Center is a nonprofit research institute that provides information and cutting-edge research on the psychology of well-being through its website, newsletter and books. The center also offers a free online course called “The Science of Happiness” taught by University of California, Berkeley’s psychology professor Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., the center’s science director. These two experts lead students through the fundamentals of positive psychology, such as why social ties are so important to well-being, the benefits of daily happiness practices and the new science of awe. You must register for the course, and it begins on a specific date (September 6, 2016), but you can take it at your leisure - as long as you finish within six months. The course (also a MOOC), taught on the EdX platform, is open to everyone, but for undergraduates there is a midterm, final exam and class credits. Everyone else gets quizzes, polls and “emotional check-ins.”

3. Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan

Happiness expert, best-selling author and Live Happy columnist Shawn Achor has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to create two 21-day courses on happiness. The first is called “21 Days to a Happier Life,” and the second is “21 Days to Inspire Happiness Around You.” The first class includes a happiness assessment, a discussion of daily happiness habits and creating a personal happiness formula. In the second class, students expand their happiness reach by learning about acts of kindness, increasing social bonds, inspiring positive change in others and sharing that happiness to the wider world. Michelle Gielan, Shawn’s wife, business partner at GoodThink Inc. and the author of Broadcasting Happiness, teaches a quick and inexpensive online course to help you improve positive communication and leadership called “Broadcasting Happiness.”

4. Wholebeing Institute

Run by happiness scholar and expert Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., the Wholebeing Institute is devoted to educating the public about positive psychology, mindfulness, spirituality and the happiness movement. Taking a page from Martin Seligman's PERMA model for well-being, Tal has developed the acronym SPIRE to describe the mission of the Wholebeing Institute: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational and Emotional. The Institute offers a certificate program at two-day in-person retreats with a changing roster of locations, as well as a variety of courses that you can access online. Self-directed courses are taught over five weeks and include video lectures from Tal. Subjects range from “Introduction to Positive Psychology” to “Mind-Body Connection,” “Relationships” and “Positive Psychology in Coaching.”



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