The Science and Practice of Joyful Living

Joy is not merely a fleeting sensation. It is the human capacity to feel uplifted by something that is, at its essence, “good.” Physiologically, joy provides energy and helps us recover from stress. Mentally, joy broadens our perspective and renews optimism. Socially, joy bonds us to others and strengthens relationships. People rank joy as the feeling they most want more of in life—and also the emotion least under their control. What if joy isn’t something we have to wait for but something we can choose? What if we could experience more joy every day and capitalize on the energy, hope, and meaning it provides? How do we train the mindset that makes joy possible? How do we increase our biological readiness for joy?Based on the latest research and insights from psychology and neuroscience, this course will combine weekly lectures with guided exercises, discussions, self-reflections, and the option to perform real-world experiments that unveil a variety of practical strategies designed to amplify joy's influence in our daily existence. Through captivating insights and actionable wisdom, this course will empower you to expand your capacity to feel joy, show joy, and share joy with others. Imagine a life where joy is not an elusive dream but a deliberate choice that fuels your aspirations, forges bonds, and ignites your journey toward greater fulfillment. Experience the profound impact of choosing joy, both as a resource for when life is hard, and as a way to increase what is good in the world.

Kelly McGonigal
Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

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Online, instructor-led
Jan 17 - Feb 14, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies