Learning to be Happy

—School of thought in positive skills

You can learn to read and to write. To knit, play tennis, cook or even understand quantum physics.

But can you learn to be happy? Could the most sought after – and often elusive – of human emotions be merely another skill to master?

‘’Of course,’’ says Megan McDonough, chief executive and co-founder of Wholebeing Institute, a US-based educational organisation dedicated to helping people live life to its fullest.

To this warm Bostonian with a broad smile, it’s the most obvious question in the world.

“No one is born with an instruction on how to be happy, but it’s something we can consciously cultivate. And we can use science to do it,’’ she says.

Mrs McDonough visited Geelong Grammar’s Institute of Positive Education this week in preparation for the launch of an adult course in positive psychology, which will be taught from the school later this year.

Business leaders, parents, teachers, consultants and other from around the world are expected to take part. It’s the first international incarnation of the Certificate in Whole Person Positive Psychology, a year-long instruction in the factors that contribute living a full and meaningful life, which has been booked out for three years running in the US.

Developed by Harvard University lecturer Dr Tal Ben Shahar, it’s a science-based approach to self-help and clearing the dark clouds of a negative mindset. Participants combine online learning with two five-day ‘’immersion’’ sessions at Geelong Grammar, a world leader in incorporating positive education into its curriculum.

‘’But don’t be mistaken, there’s no gold standard of happiness,’’ Mrs McDonough warns.

“The question is how we can use the tools we have to keep orienting ourselves towards a better state of wellbeing.’’

Click here for additional information or to register for the Certificate in Whole Person Positive Psychology.

Publisher: Geelong Advertiser
Source: Pressreader (http://www.pressreader.com/australia/geelong-advertiser/20150302)