Yale Professor Julia Santos teaches the most popular class in Yale University history on how to reduce stress through routine real, physical social interaction. Social Media give today’s students the impression of interaction but it is so cursory as to only cause increase angst because students end up unnecessarily comparing them selves to others.
What students (and everyone else) needs is routine social interactions like a coffee at Starbucks every morning where they talk to the staff or retail jobs in which they are required to have physical interactions.
If you liked this, you will hopefully find our article VIDEO: Sex Lies & Loneliness – Dating in the Modern World to be interesting.
We just completed an analysis of Canadian University Tuition compared to minimum wage and found that the cost of Tuition has NOT increased in the last 20 years. University and College students simply need to work about 75 days (3/4ths) of their summer to pay for Tuition. We thought this excellent interview would:
- help some people struggling with daily stress
- prove the point that students, like most adults, need to jobs
Below is a MACHINE generated transcription of the interview we thought you may find useful (for searches).
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[00:00:10] This past January a brand new class on the Yale University syllabus immediately became the most popular class ever in the history of the school. Of course as official title is like 1 5 some psychology and the good life everybody calls it.
[00:00:27] The happiness scores if good. More than 1200 students according to the news those so students the class up to the hotel in the concert hall. Its popularity didn’t end at Yale because it became a viral sensation. It was featured in The New York Times the morphin Bosio magazine The Times of India. France’s Le Figaro and many more. Demand was so high there’s no version of the course available for free on the web.
[00:00:53] What is all the fuss. Well let’s find out from the source. Professor Laurie subdistricts we know they seem to have a phobia in the Psychology Department at Yale. Why did you decide to teach this class.
[00:01:06] So the class came out of a different role I had to Yeah because I became one of yells heads of college. So yes of like Hogwarts for has its grief indoor and sledder and I’m head of Silliman College and that means I live on campus with the students I knew with them in the dining hall and hang out in their coffee shop. I saw them in the trenches in terms of what they were really going through and as a faculty member I’m shocked at the kind of mental health issues that we’re seeing frankly and this is the kind of thing that folks report not just at Yale it is just a national trend that’s getting worse. So recent National College Health Survey showed us that about 30 percent of students report being so depressed it’s difficult to function. Over 50 percent of college students report anxious a lot of the time. And over 80 percent said that they feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. And you know this is not my college experience. It’s not the kind of spots were going to be educating students.
[00:01:56] Well if they’re this depressed and the anxious day those suggested over the years people have been asking for more and more mental health at colleges. Why do you think this is happening.
[00:02:06] I don’t know. I think there are a number of different things at work. I mean my sense is that colleges are often prioritizing the kinds of things that science suggests aren’t very good for wellbeing. Students are overfocused on grades. They’re really future focused about what kind of job they’re going to get later even in a place like Geelong where most of them are going to get good jobs and that and those are not the kinds of things that promote well-being well-being comes from being in the moment it comes from social connection and it comes from counting your blessings and worrying about the things in the future.
[00:02:36] So when you talk about the social connections and social interaction role of research suggests actual physical social interaction is very useful in giving people a sense of well-being.
[00:02:48] It seems to me that particularly the younger generation they live in a world of social media interactions more than social interactions. Do you think that plays a role.
[00:02:58] Yeah I think it’s no it’s no coincidence that these kinds of mental health issues are coming up in this age where technology is pulling away the kind of normal social interaction we have. And that’s true on social media where I think people think they’re getting some social connection out of scrolling Instagram feed that they haven’t talked to a lot personally haven’t made a real social connection. But it’s not just social media it’s also all kinds of other tech. Right. And we talked to our cabdriver explain where we’re going because we punched it into ruber. We don’t talk to the checkout clerk because we don’t want anymore we just kind of scan it on our own and research really suggest that it’s a simple social connections. You’re talking to the barista at a coffee shop or the person on the street. I can Bumba will be much more so than we forecast.
[00:03:40] I think it might be expensive dating we used to be you go to a bar or you know you meet someone you and now you couldn’t have the value somebody on a superficial credit when you get evaluated and that can be good for your sense of self-worth.
[00:03:57] Yeah it’s also activating another thing we know from the research that can be problematic which is our social comparison right. Our mind is really good at picking out a reference point of who we should compare selves you wish salary how good you be. Well we find someone else out there we can harus often in a bad way. And I think social media allows us so much more kinds of comparisons that just make us feel bad about ourselves on all these different dimensions are attractiveness are what levels are polished it’s a great thing I get a nobody brags about getting a bad grade. But they talk about these talking about getting good grades. And so I worry a lot that the kind of tech we have are just increasing the number of socialism Harrison’s happen on a daily basis and that’s not good for well being in the course.
[00:04:39] Do you try to give give. What is the message you’ve tried to give above. What does it mean to be good life. What goes into happiness.
[00:04:45] Yes so the first part of the message is that a sad thing that the science tells us is that our minds lie to us all the time we missed want things. And that’s a hard thing to take. But we think we need to change our life circumstances to become happier. I think we need a new job we need a bigger salary to move. But what the research suggests is that our life circumstances play a really little role it’s not we forecasts what the science shows or plays a much bigger role. Our simple practice is like a blank like making a social connection or taking time for granted or taking time to be in the present moment. HaveI sometimes that’s on schedule.
[00:05:19] What’s interesting about what you’re describing actually is it simpler than what we think. We think that will make us happy is making a lot more money or moving to a different place and having a different apartment apartment or whatever. But what you’re saying is really every day you know maybe follow some routines where you make sure that you you know meet with some friends have a social interaction maybe you do exercise or whatever whatever your dignity routine is that can make you much happier. And that’s easy to do compared to.
[00:05:52] Exactly I think I take the signs that happiness is giving us a lot of good news. Right. It’s not the hard things that you need to change. It’s just the simple things. The problem is that we are a psychologist even changing the simple things can be really hard. You know that where only a few months from January 1st and everyone has forgotten about their new year’s resolutions. And that’s why the second half of the class really focuses on a different part of psychology and that’s the psychology of behavior change as scientists we learned a lot about how habits work how you can make habits take better. How can you shape your situation to pursue the goals that you really want to have in your life.
[00:06:26] And so is there a simple rule is there a simple answer.
[00:06:30] I mean as you might guess since behavior change is hard it’s not super simple. One of the easy things to do is just do it. Find a way to force yourself into it. Over time we know that habits build up by just simply doing them over and over again. Another thing we know from the science is that your social situation matters. You want to be around people who are supporting you. We’ll give you some health in forming these habits and that was one of the wonderful things about the course that we had twelve hundred students on Yale’s campus almost one out of every four students at Yale was doing this and that provided a tremendous amount of social support you know people were asking other students like you know what did you write for your gratitude list today or what did you do for time afterwards. And I think that was really powerful knowing the whole community was doing this at the same time scientists plus. Thank you so much.