There is a rise in happiness-focused courses at universities across the country — think Stanford, Yale and Harvard. Shauna Tominey, parenting education specialist and assistant professor of practice, thinks the concept can be taken a step further.
In her course offered each spring, Life Hacks for Emotional Intelligence and Well-Being, Shauna helps students explore happiness, but also the value of other emotions.
“Students do learn and practice strategies that boost happiness,” Shauna says. “But they also learn real-world skills and tools that help them manage all of the emotions they might experience in a typical day, including stress, frustration, anxiety, sadness, disappointment, excitement and more.
“All emotions serve a purpose. They tell us something about ourselves and the situations we are in.”
Shauna, PhD ’10, launched the course in spring 2019. “The goal is to provide students with hands-on learning to give them tools to more effectively manage their emotions to promote positive social, emotional and mental health,” she says.
So how do you learn happiness, well-being and emotional intelligence?
Shauna creates a welcoming and inclusive environment that gives students the permission to explore the value of their emotions.
Class discussions and activities — such as well-being breaks — are evidence-based and supplemented by books, videos, podcasts and more.
This course is offered every spring term. Search for HDFS 299 to register.