• Kate

Rewiring for Good Habits

When this pandemic all started I signed up for this class on Coursera called "The Science of Well-Being" taught by Laurie Santos at Yale. This class covers the misconceptions around what we think may make us happy and what is scientifically proven to actually make you happy. Along with these different studies that suggest the things we should value in our life there are weekly assignments to begin to implement practices to better your well-being.

Our final challenge is to select one or two of these rewirements to commit to for 4 weeks, in hopes to create a new healthy habit that may up you happiness. Our options were:

  1. Signature Strengths- everyone has core strengths and the idea is if you use them daily you will feel better fulfilled. The challenge is to use your strengths in different/new ways over the 4 weeks.

  2. Savoring- Being in the moment and savoring something you enjoy everyday.

  3. Gratitude- Listing things you are grateful for each day in a journal

  4. Kindness- Increase your random acts of kindness

  5. Social Connection- Connecting with strangers and acquaintances along with scheduling time for the people in your life

  6. Exercise

  7. Sleep- getting at least 7hrs nightly

  8. Meditation- for 5-10 minutes daily.

I picked Meditation and Gratitude. Recently I have had an issue remembering the value of the little things, experiences, and relationships in the day to day since my day to day has changed drastically. I have been furloughed from work for 2 months now and I live by myself in a different state from any family. It seems like an important time to value the things/relationships I have and be comfortable with being in the now.

To help keep me committed I organized a journal where every evening I create a space to list 4 things I am grateful for and a space to describe my meditation for the following day. I leave this journal on the table I sit at most in hopes it will encourage me to pick it up daily by being easily accessible. My grandmother gave me this journal when I got that job and it is ironically titled "The Good Life". We shall see.

I will say that since I am trying to list things I am grateful for each day I am going out of my way to create things to be grateful for. Video chatting with my parents, calling my aunts, having a virtual wine night with friends. I am notoriously bad at keeping in touch so this experience is driving me to tend to the relationships I do have and be grateful for those who show me love.

Who wants to take the challenge with me?

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