The how and why of gratitude...just in time for Thanksgiving.
In The News
Yea, verily, there is much to inspire gratitude on this holiday centered on a gallinaceous bird with alarmingly hypertrophied breasts. At no time in the course of human history have so many had so much, and our overextended credit accounts prove it. Seriously, though: The great majority of us have enough to eat, roofs over our heads, clothes on our backs, even a surfeit of non-essential goods such as iPhones, electric toothbrushes and flat-screen TVs.
GGSC"s Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the connection between compassion and better health care.
The holiday season is here… and while it is filled with gift-giving, it’s also a good time to talk about opportunities to make the world a better place. The podcast begins with our brains and discovers with Emiliana Simon-Thomas how we are hard-wired to be caring. Barbara Shaiman will talk about her book, Live Your Legacy Now, and give you a plan to inspire your family to identify a project and create a living legacy of good works. Later, hear about Philly Do-Gooder and how to maximize volunteerism.
As Thanksgiving approaches, what are you grateful for? Why? Evidence that “an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.” Since then, the link between gratitude and happiness has been studied by many more.
Greater Good Education Editor Vicki Zakrezewski talks to the Sacramento Bee about the benefits of social emotional learning at school.
Can you honestly say you’re happy? If you can’t, then there’s no better program to turn your life around than Science of Happiness.
Find out more about a new Gratitude Toolkit for students and families -- which includes the Thnx4 platform developed by the Greater Good Science Center
The role of caregiver is an emotionally, physically and mentally taxing job that usually goes unpaid and on top of other, full-time employment. New research suggests that mindfulness practices can help both caregivers and their loved ones maintain their emotional well-being. Mindfulness techniques are simple, extremely inexpensive, and easily done together. Here are four that may work well for both caregivers and their sick or disabled loved ones.
As the month of November ushers in the holiday season, there’s a sharpened focus on gratitude (though we were and always will be grateful for Halloween candy). People make an extra effort to give thanks for their good fortune, be it their health, a job they love, friends and family they can count on, a personal race record, and/or uninterrupted Netflix time — it can really be anything; gratitude knows no bounds. This often inspires others to give back to those who are less fortunate. And if you didn’t already know, it makes for greater physical and psychological health.
To what extent is happiness related to where you live? Which countries have the most—and least—happy students? Are students from wealthier countries happier? As part of an online course called “The Science of Happiness,” launched by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center this Fall, approximately 40,000 students from around the world took a Qualtrics survey where they reported their happiness levels. Forbes used this data to address the questions above, among others.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – this interactive map of world happiness is worth a thousand smiley faces. Produced by The Greater Good Science Center, the graphic was compiled using data collected from students in the online course, The Science of Happiness.
There’s more to philanthropy than just doing good and more to gratitude than just saying, “Thanks.” Grateful and generous people are happier, healthier and more positive than people who aren’t, according to emerging data.
Of Facebook’s 7,185 employees, Arturo Bejar may have the most difficult job: teaching the site’s 1.3 billion users, especially its tens of millions of teenagers, how to be nice and respectful to one another.
In an era of lawsuits, it can sometimes seem like forgiveness is a concept from biblical times. But a wealth of research suggests we should apply the act to our daily lives because it may hold a myriad of health benefits.
Can psychologists chart what happens when nature blows your mind? The Sierra Club's Jake Abrahamson outlines Dacher Keltner's research on how awe inspires people to act more generously and ethically and feel a deeper connection to others and the world in general.
With October 3 being World Smile Day, CNN took to Twitter and discovered what tips happiness experts were giving to get us all smiling. So if you're looking for the secret to happiness, and a reason to show those pearly white teeth, then take a look at the these tweets.
Emiliana Simon-Thomas chats with the Daily Cal about the ins and outs of happiness, if it can be learned, and why so many Millennials — including at least 2,500 from UC Berkeley — signed up for the course.
Our friends at the University of California at Berkeley are here to debunk some of the most common happiness myths and provide guidance on finding joy that are based on research findings in psychology and neuroscience.
On September 9, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center is launching a free eight-week Science of Happiness course that will offer practical, research-backed tips on living a happy and meaningful life.
We all want to be happy, and there are countless ideas about what happiness is and how we can get some. But not many of those ideas are based on science. That’s where this course comes in.
What is the secret to happiness? It’s a question people have been asking for ages. Scholars at UC Berkeley are launching a massive open online course to help answer that question. It's called "The Science of Happiness," and it's starting on Sept. 9. 82,000 students have already signed up. Lead instructor Emiliana Simon-Thomas joins Vicky Nguyen in studio to discuss the course.
How can writing a list of things for which you are grateful lead to a healthier immune system and better sleep? Why is spending money on someone else better for your sense of well-being than buying something for yourself? And ultimately, what's the best way to spread the word about these scientific findings regarding happiness to tens of thousands of students across the globe? Those kinds of questions lie at the heart of the Science of Happiness online course offered by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, starting Sept. 9.
September marks the inaugural run of The Science of Happiness, a free online class for happiness seekers worldwide.
Happiness is a powerful magnet, judging by the number of people who have signed up to take UC Berkeley’s new Science of Happiness Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): More than 76,000, with more than two weeks to go before the class goes live.
In the early 2000s, instead of obsessing on human failings and flaws as psychologists had previously done (think Freud), a new group of professionals suggested a shift in emphasis to what makes humans strong, gritty, resilient … happy. Thanks to pioneers like Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a new field of psychology was born with its best-selling books, national summits and contentment gurus. Developments in the field have only accelerated since then. In fact, science has discovered that we humans can actually be taught many (sometimes unexpected) things about happiness
New studies suggest you should hold out for a relationship that makes you truly happy.
See how the happiness levels of students in our online course vary depending on where they live.
Christine Carter explains how "doing nothing" could be a key to happiness... and productivity.
Greater Good Events
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
December 4, 2014
New York Times op-ed columnist Kristof and reporter Sheryl WuDunn talk about their new book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. Presented by the Greater Good Science Center and Berkeley Arts & Letters
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Take a Greater Good Quiz!
How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!» TAKE A QUIZ
Watch Greater Good Videos
Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.Watch
Greater Good Resources
- "Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior"
Finds that feeling gratitude produces kind and helpful behavior, even when that behavior is costly to the individual actor.
- "Compassion: An Evolutionary Analysis and Empirical Review"
Compassion evolved as a distinct affective experience whose function is to enable cooperation and protection of those who...
- "From Jerusalem to Jericho"
This article on bystander intervention in emergency situations suggests that we are likely to help a “shabbily dressed”...
- Center for Investigating Healthy Minds
The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, runs a state-of-the-art neuroscience...
- Northeast Foundation for Children
Northeast Foundation for Children is a non-profit educational organization that offers educators the Responsive Classroom...
- Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship
Based at the University of Michigan Business School, this is a networking community for researchers and practitioners...
Book of the Week
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SponsorsSpecial thanks to
The Quality of Life Foundation for its support of the Greater Good Science Center
Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program