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The Better Self We Already Are

Positive Psychology: The Science of Well-Being

One thing we share with previous generations: we live in highly volatile, emotionally fraught times, and we're convinced the state of the world has never been this dire before. Bad news comes at us from all sides, no matter our views and beliefs, and keeping up with current events causes a fatigue that can sink through our muscles and into our brains.

"All you have to do is listen to the news or open social media to see how biased our society is toward the negative, toward human deficits," says Amy Gunty, a researcher in the College of Education and Human Development's Institute on Community Integration. "I want to change the conversation; I don't want to ignore the negative, but I want to say, 'Yes, and...' "

To begin to cope with it all, we have to practice self-care, and that entails anything from getting enough sleep and eating right to making time for positivity and resilience. "One of the things that has piqued my curiosity throughout my life," says Gunty, "is how different people can encounter the same situation and respond to it very differently. When people experience trauma, it crushes some of them, but others come away from it stronger and more connected than before. Why would that be the case? Why are some people resilient and others not?"

During the four-session course Positive Psychology: The Science of Well-Being, Gunty will survey the current thought on intentional positivity, the practice of looking at the other side of the coin when presented with disappointment or adversity. "The biggest misconception I run into is that people think positive psychology is just about 'thinking good thoughts' and ignoring the negative or difficult parts of life, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Through positive psychology, we aim to recognize those things that allow us to thrive, and to build skills to support that thriving throughout our lives."

Course Details

Positive Psychology: The Science of Well-Being

Tuesdays, July 10−August 7, 2018 2−4 p.m., $165

Amy Gunty, PhD candidate, and researcher, Institute on Community Integration, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, is interested in enhancing the strength and resilience inherent in all people. Her professional activities include the development of thinking styles and arenas for post-traumatic growth, and working with military families, prevention/intervention programs for children and families, and community integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Cancellations are subject to a 10 percent processing fee if received five or fewer working days before the program start. Refunds are not granted if you cancel on or after the first day of the program.

Published on July 10, 2018