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Happiness is not a reward for hard work.
Sometimes stress ambushes your peace of mind while you are walking home from a tough day at the office. But the good news is that your lost sense of joy can find its way back home with a few tweaks to the mental GPS all of us carry around.
In his well-regarded book The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Anchor talks about the Third Path. It is the shot of grit that can take you from helplessness to happiness with the help of small steps.
Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it is the realization that we can.
Here’s a practical thought: when everyone around you is stressed, happiness could be your competitive advantage. It can help you do better work, make you feel motivated, and open your mind to creative ideas.
But we need to re-train ourselves to spot islands of happiness and use them to get unstuck from negative thoughts. This is where five courses from Udemy can help. Think of them as the toolbox for your mind.
Discover: How the mind-body connection can help heal your body and maximize your intuition.
Imagine walking through greenery. The feel of fresh air through your lungs. Just taking a few minutes to walk in nature can change your brain. A study at Stanford University by Gregory Bratman is just one of the research projects that considered the effects of environment on our mental health.
The benefits of walking in nature is one of simplest self-care exercises you can do every day. Prove the mind-body connect to yourself by using those minutes to focus on your joy. Then sit down to start this course.
Dr. Keith Holden is a physician who is board-certified in Internal Medicine and a Functional Medicine specialist. That training has gone into this bestselling informative course on Udemy. The focus of the 79 lectures are on mindfulness, meditation, and the power of the placebo effect to beat reduce stress and improve health.
Explore the mind-body connect with tips on how mindfulness can help you eat healthy. Or, how meditation can diffuse stress before it claws into your brain.
Each of the six modules includes a guided meditation track to psyche you up. Dr. Holden advises that you take a week to practice the methods in each module before you advance to the next.
Discover: The strategies to feel good about yourself and liberate your confidence
As an introvert, I always thought that extroverts have it better. Research does hint that extroverts are more high-spirited. My introversion could have stemmed from my low confidence or genetics. Maybe not.
But research also says that introverts can be happier by acting like extroverts. One of the tools introverts need is confidence to dispel myths like “introverts are no fun!” And as we will see, confidence can be practiced.
The key takeaway from this course is the difference between self-esteem and confidence. As the course unravels across 39 lectures, you can learn about the tools that go into your own “confidence toolbox.” For instance, I learnt a bit about the Gremlin Technique to shut down my inner critic.
You can take confidence in the fact that Mary Jaksch is a psychotherapist and authorized “Zen Master”. Also, take a walk through her website if you’re searching for reading material on how to lead a happy life.
Discover: Happiness through mindfulness.
The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not only the absence of disease or infirmity. The Dalai Lama believes that every kind of happiness and suffering can be divided into two main categories: mental and physical. The mind is always greater than the body. Compassion is one of the best kept secrets of feeding your happiness. Allow mindfulness to be your door.
Spend just two hours on mindfulness. It’s no big deal when you start using the practice daily to live in the present moment. You are going to spend the two hours with the renowned Buddhist monk and peace activist Thích Nhat Hanh who was once nominated for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King.
This is a wonderful introduction to the literature on the subject. The esteemed spiritual teacher has authored more than 40 books. Recommended!
Discover: How to heal your emotional, mental, and physical health through art.
If music can give you immense joy, then art is not far behind. The American Art Therapy Association says that the goal is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being with the help of art media and the creative process.
The last couple of years have also seen the explosive rise of adult coloring books and printables like Mandala coloring pages. In the US alone, 12 million coloring books were sold in 2015 compared to just 1 million in 2014. I guess the advantages of art for battling stress caught on!
This Udemy course does not ask you to become an artist. But it wants you to explore the way you feel through the medium of art. Of course, it helps if you enjoy art or any creative process. The 78 lessons take you through the therapeutic benefits of Zentangles, Mandala coloring pages, doodle art, vision boards, and art journaling.
There are plenty of exercises for the individual and the family. Family bonding through art is a persistent focus of the course. Apart from the self-healing benefits you might just re-discover your hidden creative side lost in the slag of childhood.
Continue your healing with: Art Therapy: Drawing, Painting, and Self-Exploration (Part 2)
Discover: Your focus, success, and happiness in 30 days with 30 exercises.
Wake up and take give just five minutes to each lesson every day.
This is a self-paced Udemy course. But asks you to set a 30-day goal for the self-improvement exercises. Exercise one removes distractions from your everyday life. Each day is for one exercise.
This is a great course to take right at the beginning of the year because you can design your own blueprint for long term goals. Carry the lesson on Day 23 with you like a car sticker — all problems in the world can be solved (and prevented) by education.
Inspire Us With Your Happiness Success Story
I underlined an important rule in Shawn’s book on happiness:
Without action, knowledge is often meaningless.
This is so true and the greatest mental block that is the blank check for the personal development industry. We fail to put into practice the theory. You may have done the same as I have. But every day is a chance to reach for routines and habits that improve our happiness. So which Udemy drawing course would you pick from the above options?
Try any one of these five courses. Remember, every paid course on Udemy comes with:
- Lifetime access.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Certificate of completion.
What makes you happy? Have you tried your own happiness project? We would love to hear about your story below.