Recommended: Happiness resourcesResources for Well-Being

Here are (mostly free) resources that you can use right away to experience more well-being.

Summary

Here are (mostly free) resources that you can use right away to experience more well-being.

Podcast (FREE)

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley recently announced that their acclaimed podcast, “The Science of Happiness,” won a 2019 bronze medal in the Health Podcast category from New York Festivals Radio Awards.

I loved Episode #43:  How to Keep Love Alive … for the practical tips, the science, as well as the personal story.

Videos (FREE)

Positive Psychology

The University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center recommends these Videos by Leading Scholars.

The Center is led by Martin E. P. Seligman, the father of positive psychology, the best teacher I’ve ever had. He is worth a listen. In his recent video, Dr. Seligman explains his ideas for how to create well-being – he calls PERMA.

Mindfulness

One of the first skills to acquire to improve well-being, is ‘mindfulness’ … watch videos to learn how to do it.

Questionnaires (FREE)

You can assess your top Signature Strengths (VIA Survey of Character Strengths) among other numerous other free assessments at U Penn’s ‘Authentic Happiness’ site.  For more about strengths, see my post.

Online Courses (FREE)

UC Berkeley:  The Science of Happiness

This course is the first MOOC to teach the roots of – as well as the practical exercises for – a happy and meaningful life.

The course’s co-instructors, Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, are not only leading authorities on positive psychology but also gifted UC Berkeley teachers skilled at making science fun and personal. They’ll be joined by world-renowned experts discussing themes like empathy, mindfulness, and gratitude—experts including Barbara Fredrickson, Paul Ekman, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Yale:  The Science of Well-Being

I binged this course … but it’s better to take it weekly to do the practice! Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

Online Course (fee-based)

Rick Hanson: The Foundations of Well-Being

I’ve taken this course – Foundations of Well-Being.  It’s for anyone who’d like to improve their well-being … not just reduce anxiety or depression. The Foundations of Well-Being: A year of Growing Good in Your Brain and In Your Life. Go here to learn more about this terrific online course.

For free, get a sense of Rick from watching his YouTube channel videos.

Published Aug. 12, 2014 By Rick Hanson

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Change your job!Change your job!

For anyone who doesn’t like their job (90% of us!) … please listen and take note of the 5 important concepts shared by Dr. Lopez, a leading positive psychology researcher.

Summary

For anyone who doesn’t like their job (90% of us!) … please listen and take note of the 5 important concepts shared by Dr. Lopez, a leading positive psychology researcher.

How to change your job

The best things you can do to make your life better is to … change your job … here’s how …

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The Best of Positive PsychologyThe Best of Positive Psychology

Learn more about the science (and myths) of well-being, resilience, gratitude, love, happiness, compassion, hope, grit, growth mindset, wisdom, flow, self-control, creativity & aging by the leading positive psychologists.

Summary

Learn more about the science (and myths) of well-being, resilience, gratitude, love, happiness, compassion, hope, grit, growth mindset, wisdom, flow, self-control, creativity & aging by the leading positive psychologists.

What is Neuroplasticity; Why it matters!

If you only watch one video … try this one by premiere scientist, Dr. Richie Davidson!

 

Video Lectures by Scholars

Watch videos spanning the gamut of positive psychology:

  • Christopher Peterson
  • Martin E.P. Seligman
  • Angela Duckworth
  • Tal Ben-Shahar
  • Barry Schwartz
  • Ed Diener
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Barbara Fredrickson
  • Roy Baumeister
  • Robert Emmons
  • Shane Lopez
  • Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Carol Dweck
  • Dacher Keltner
  • George Vaillant
  • Amy Wrzesniewski

Online Assessments (free)

Take free questionnaires at Dr. Seligman’s website to assess your:

  • Top Character Strengths (VIA Survey of Character Strengths Questionnaire)
  • Optimism
  • Gratitude
  • Grit
  • Meaning in Life
  • Close Relationships
  • Depressions (CES-D)
    and many more

 

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Making more loveMaking more love

Dr. Frederickson explains what she means by Love 2.0 … and how to make love happen more in your life.

Summary

Dr. Frederickson explains what she means by Love 2.0 … and how to make love happen more in your life.

Love 2.0

Visit Dr. Fredrickson’s PEP Lab here, for more recent findings.

 

You may want to watch her recent Stanford seminar and try out the loving-kindness meditation that she used in her research.

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Learning Resilience SkillsLearning Resilience Skills

Most people want to be happier, not just less depressed or anxious. I’ve studied with the founding scientist of Positive Psychology (and 'learned optimism'), Dr. Marty Seligman.

Overview

Anyone is eligible to take 1 or a series of courses online taught by Dr. Seligman and others. These courses translate the best of research on how to be more resilient, including the components of the U Penn resilience program:

Learning Resilience Skills 1

Downloaded at
https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/resilience-programs/resilience-skill-set

Video Lectures by Scholars

Watch videos spanning the gamut of positive psychology (e.g., the science – and myths – of well-being, resilience, gratitude, love, happiness, compassion, hope, grit, growth mindset, wisdom, flow, self-control, creativity & aging) by the following thought leaders:

  • Christopher Peterson
  • Martin E.P. Seligman
  • Angela Duckworth
  • Tal Ben-Shahar
  • Barry Schwartz
  • Ed Diener
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Barbara Fredrickson
  • Roy Baumeister
  • Robert Emmons
  • Shane Lopez
  • Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Carol Dweck
  • Dacher Keltner
  • George Vaillant
  • Amy Wrzesniewski

Online Assessments (free)

Take free questionnaires at Dr. Seligman’s website to assess your:

  • Top Character Strengths (VIA Survey of Character Strengths Questionnaire)
  • Optimism
  • Gratitude
  • Grit
  • Meaning in Life
  • Close Relationships
  • Depressions (CES-D)
    and many more

 

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Can You Learn Hope and Optimism?Can You Learn Hope and Optimism?

Research clearly indicates that even the most die-hard pessimist can learn, using CBT, to use an optimistic explanatory style … and reap the benefits of a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life.

Summary

Research clearly indicates that even the most die-hard pessimist can learn, using CBT, to use an optimistic explanatory style … and reap the benefits of a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life.

The 3 P’s of Learned Optimism

An intersection between CBT and Positive Therapy is translating Seligman’s research in learned optimism. In therapy, we work on how to manage the  3 P’s of a pessimistic explanatory style. How do you explain setbacks to yourself?

Permanence:  An optimist will explain a negative event as temporary; a pessimist will see it as permanent.

Pervasiveness:  An optimist will specify that a failure is specific to particular conditions; a pessimist will see a failure in life as being a total failure in all of life.

Personal:  An optimist will take responsibility for a failure, in context to all the other contributors to it; a pessimist will blame himself without that other context.

For more details about the research behind ‘Learned Optimism’ check out Dr. Seligman’s book.

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How we change our brain - in minutesCBT changes your brain

Watch Anderson Cooper demonstrate neuroplasticity in action – how you can use your mind to change your brain – at the cellular level!

Summary

Watch Anderson Cooper demonstrate neuroplasticity in action – how you can use your mind to change your brain – at the cellular level!

A mindfulness practice changes your brain

 

Even healthy people repeat undesirable behavior. Many of us go through life on autopilot – just doing what comes naturally, despite the fact we keep hurting ourselves and others.

Neuroscientists tell us that the best way to ‘manage autopilot’ – the automatic parts of our brain – is to use our ‘wise’ minds. That is, we can apply a set of scientifically proven self-care strategies and skills to improve our lives.

One such self-care skill is mindfulness. Skills-based psychotherapy teaches you how to initiate and sustain this process over the long term. Watch how it works to change your brain – from autopilot to calm.

CBT changes your brain

If we have diabetes, we go to a specialist to learn how to ‘manage’ it – so it doesn’t manage us.

Just like physical illnesses, with the right kind of help, we can learn how to ‘manage our brains’ … for you-name-it brain chemistry problem.  Mental health is brain chemistry, which can be managed with our minds, using cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  There is plenty of evidence that CBT actually changes our brain chemistry:

Toward smarter selection of therapy for psychiatric disorders

Does cognitive behavioral therapy change the brain? A systematic review of neuroimaging in anxiety disorders.

How psychotherapy changes the brain – the contribution of functional neuroimaging

(Below are scans of brains with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, ADHD, as well as problems with Smoking, Alcohol, Obesity, & Cocaine.)  … 

OCD

“Current research into obsessive compulsive disorder focuses on a feedback loop involving three brain areas: the frontal lobe (prefrontal and frontal cortices), striatum and thalamus. The loop involves multiple circuits and signals that can stimulate or inhibit brain activity.”   See more about The OCD Loop: What may go wrong by Amy Ellis Nutt at the Washington Post.

 

How we change our brain - in minutes 4

 

How we change our brain - in minutes 3

In children with OCD, the brain’s arousal center, the anterior cingulate cortex, is ‘hijacked.’ This causes critical brain networks to stop working properly. Image adapted from Diwadkar VA, Burgess A, Hong E, Rix C, Arnold PD, Hanna GL, Rosenberg DR. Dysfunctional activation and brain network profiles in youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A focus on the dorsal anterior cingulate during working memory. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2015; 9: 1-11., CC BY-SA

How we change our brain - in minutes 2

 

More about recent treatments for OCD

Depression

How we change our brain - in minutes 5

 

ADHD

How we change our brain - in minutes 6

 

Pain

How we change our brain - in minutes 7

 

Behavior

How we change our brain - in minutes 8

 

 

 

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What is Flourishing?What is Flourishing?

In 2003, Dr. Marty Seligman rolled out his groundbreaking ‘Positive’ movement with a virtual 26 week course, Authentic Happiness Coaching.

Summary

In 2003, Dr. Marty Seligman rolled out his groundbreaking ‘Positive’ movement with a virtual 26 week course, Authentic Happiness Coaching.

Videos

Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology

Published on Sep 27, 2013  By Authentic Happiness

See in this 3-minute video how my favorite teacher explains his vision of 51% Flourishing.

Martin Seligman ‘Flourishing

“a new understanding of wellbeing’ at Happiness & Its Causes 2012”
Published Aug. 25, 2012 by Happy & Well

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A Cool Tool for Finding MeaningEncore.org: Retirees Find Meaning

Many of us wish for more meaning in our lives. And increasingly, millions of retirees are exploring new ways to combine a sense of purpose (with and without a paycheck).

Summary

Many of us wish for more meaning in our lives. And increasingly, millions of retirees are exploring new ways to combine a sense of purpose (with and without a paycheck).

Gen2Gen Encore Prize

Encore now offers the Gen2Gen Encore Prize – $100,000 in cash prizes, coaching and a year of ongoing support, to innovative programs, products and services to tap the talent of 50+ adults to help young people thrive.

What’s the Prize?
The Gen2Gen Encore Prize is for individuals of any age or organizations with innovative solutions that utilize experienced talent to serve youth, in conjunction with our Generation to Generation campaign to mobilize adults 50+ to help young people thrive.

Who should apply?
The Gen2Gen Encore Prize is open to ventures from all sectors (nonprofit, government, for profit). Individuals with a creative idea are encouraged to apply. The Prize is open to people of all ages and backgrounds. We hope to get as many creative ideas as possible.

Generation to Generation Campaign

Find out about the entire Gen2Gen campaign to find ways to volunteer in your community.

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