So, what's the difference between being happy and really thriving?
This week, learn about the science of thriving from Dan Lerner, Professor of NYU’s most popular elective, “Science of Happiness”, and a keynote speaker at EXPLO at Yale's CORE Day — a day dedicated to teaching students how to lead a life of meaning and purpose.
The science of thriving is about recognizing that well-being is more than just a state-of-mind — it’s a bio-psychosocial underpinning of exploration. Lerner teaches (through hilarious and relatable anecdotes) that in order to thrive, we must explore our own emotions, engagements, passions, character strengths, and relationships. That way, we can find our individualized equation for how to reach our highest potential.
The PERMA model doesn't force just one definition of thriving on anybody.... it's like a mixing board. It's figuring out how to add a little bit of jazz, or classical music... it's an adjustment for each person.
At EXPLO, we encourage the pursuit of lifelong learning — which means we are constantly doing our own studying up, reading on, or relearning the concepts that we teach throughout the summer. Here are some really interesting (and some just really really fun) links that we've been recently reading on the science of thriving.
“All You Need is Love”? Check out this article by Johns Hopkins Public Health on where The Beatles got it wrong.
- In a TEDx Talk, Dr. Lara Boyd describes how neuroplasticity gives you the power to shape the brain you want, both by what what choose to do and choose not do on any given day
CEO + Parent: "Here's how I taught my daughter, from a young age, to thrive as a professional"
- How to apply the PERMA model into your daily life
A secret flour recipe? A machine that makes torus-shaped dough? Flipping? Frying? Glazing?! We think donuts might be a universal, and scientific (okay, maybe not totally scientific) means of happiness. Check out how they’re made.
- Children's book author Dallas Clayton on adjusting your personal "thrive equation" accordingly
- What if we told you (or rather, the Smithsonian told you) that a part of keeping a plant thriving is getting them to actually explode? We kid you not — and it looks incredible.
- Getting immersed in your work and finding flow is all about finding the balance between “way too easy” and “breaking a sweat.”
Want to play a game that's hyper-interactive, hyper-fluctuating, hard-to-parse and gets you completely in-the-zone? Head of EXPLO at Wellesley, Elliot Targum, recommends Magic Maze Board Game.
At EXPLO, thriving takes many shapes, forms, exercises, and events. Just a few EXPLO experiences that encourage finding a personal approach to meaning, purpose, and happiness include:
- CORE Day: On CORE Day (the middle Wednesday), spend time reflecting on how who you are can influence what you do with the world around you through keynote addresses — including Dan Lerner and Yale "Psychology and the Good Life" Professor Laurie Santos — seminars, workshop series, and college trips and admission insight (grades 10-12)
- Activities, Clubs + Leagues: Get in the zone and find your state of flow by participating in some of our most popular athletics: Wall Ball, GaGa, and Four Square (grades 4-7, 8+9, 10-12)
- Workshop: Want to know how psychology governs your behavior with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and romantic involvements? Improve your understanding of how to relate to others in Psychology of Relationships. (grades 10-12)
- Course: Take the mixing music metaphor a little more literally in DJing + Turntable Instruction, where you'll explore the various interpretations of scratch-heavy production and the multi-textured layers of beat composers (grades 4-7, 8+9)
- Student Life: Build a mentor relationship with your Residential Advisor — someone who is there to support you from the moment your feet hit the floor until lights out each day (there's a reason our faculty, including Heads of Programs, live on campus) (grades 4-7, 8+9, 10-12)
- EXPLO Advisor: Take a course whose curriculum has been guided by insight from EXPLO advisor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi — the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology and the pioneer of Flow theory (grades 10-12)
- Workshop: Learn to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, build a fire, use a compass, tell a joke, give a speech, make a budget, or even negotiate with your parents in Real Life Skills (grades 4-7)
Stephanie LaMont + Adam French