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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Here’s How Top Universities Are Helping Students Cope with Unhappiness

‘Happiness’ courses are helping the students of today deal with psychological challenges in life.

A survey by the American College Health Association in 2009 reported that 47% of all students have anxiety and 84% are generally overwhelmed. The Yale College Council in 2013 reported that more than half of the undergraduates seek mental health services during their studies.

Chock full of academics and personal issues, student life at Yale is far from perfect.

More than a quarter of Yale’s undergraduates have signed up for a single course. What is this course, and why is it so popular? ‘Psychology and the Good Life’ is a twice-a-week class taught by psychology professor Laurie Santos, PhD.

The Happiness Course

Dr Santos is teaching undergraduates how to tackle psychological issues by changing their behavior and erasing cognitive bias. The course uses science-backed techniques to help prepare students for a better living.

Alannah Maynez, a freshman student, explains it perfectly:

"In reality, a lot of us are anxious, stressed, unhappy and numb. The fact that a class like this has such a large interest speaks to how tired students are of numbing their emotions — both positive and negative — so they can focus on their work, the next step, the next accomplishment."

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Behavioral Positivity

For this reason, Dr Santos does not check up on homework assignments. She instead sees to observe improvements in the behavior of students.

"Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus. With one in four students at Yale taking it, if we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture."

But Yale is not the only institution with psychological wellness courses. One in every six students at Stanford are enrolled in ‘Designing Your Life’, a course for developing meaningful careers. These undergraduates are learning to prioritize happiness over wealth and fame.

At McGill’s University, a course called ‘Lessons of Community and Compassion’ is breeding well-being and contentment.

This indicates that a revolution is at hand. Students across institutions are learning the timeless value of inner peace. Peter Salovey, the president of Yale, calls it “a search for meaning”.

Inner Peace for You and I

Dr Santos is teaching students to lead more satisfying lives. But her teachings don’t merely apply to Ivy League students. She explains that the ability to become mentally drained under pressure is “a human problem”.

In the modern world, we are told that by building successful careers and earning big bucks, we will be able to find peace. Dr Santos dismisses the idea as false.

The drive for success should be based on meaningful connections with friends and family. It should be built on the desire for a career of passion rather than power. Inner peace comes from stability and building the strength to deal with difficult situations. This is the crux of what Laurie Santos hopes to teach the world, and it is something we all could use.

via Well And Good

Friday, February 2, 2018

Karachi Ranked Second Among World's Most Cannabis-Consuming Cities

Karachi, where marijuana is illegal, has been ranked as the second-largest consumer of cannabis, also known as marijuana or weed, among 120 cities, according to a study by Seedo, an Israel-based company that sells devices to grow marijuana at home.

The next-door neighbour, India’s New Delhi and Mumbai are placed among the top 10 cities of the world with the highest rate of marijuana’s consumption per year, confirmed by Seedo’s 2018 Cannabis Price Index.

It is known that such South Asian cities manage to sell the cheapest marijuana in the world, approximately priced from Rs.100 to Rs.500 for a gramme of lower quality.

Seedo concentrated the consumption and pricing of marijuana by focusing at the most and least weed-consuming countries around the globe.

From there, it analysed nations with the legal, illegal and partial factor in recent times to complete the final list of 120 cities.

Prices from cities are based on the crowd-sourced city-level surveys adjusted to the World Drug Report 207 of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Conversations around legalising the consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes have been gaining ground in India. In 2015, a member of parliament pushed to legalise marijuana, citing the benefits of consuming weed.

This article originally appeared on the QZ

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