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Stanford class teaches students how to live a happier, healthier life

Article / Review by on November 29, 2011 – 7:31 pmNo Comments

Stanford class teaches students how to live a happier, healthier life

Stanford class teaches students how to live a happier, healthier life

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle offers a look at a Stanford course aimed at teaching life skills and boosting students’ happiness and health. In the article, Fred Luskin, PhD, one of the course instructors, discusses some of the core principles of the class and how it’s helping students balance their busy college schedules:

One important message the instructors hope to convey is that racking up accomplishments won’t necessarily lead to fulfillment.

“Achieving the most for yourself doesn’t lead to the kind of happiness you think it will,” Luskin told a student who questioned how she could reconcile her desire for a balanced life with the expectations that, at Stanford, you need to be “the best.”

He added that people who are in the best position for happiness are the ones who have strong relationships, and “interconnected webs” of people on whom they can depend for fun and support.

Later on in the story, Luskin provides five simple practices for reducing stress and increasing happiness, such as a few minutes of deep breathing and quiet reflection. It’s worth taking a moment to review and test out the techniques. I think you’ll find them useful, regardless of how long it’s been since you sat in a classroom.

By Lia Steakley
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo by wellofcreations

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About

Dr. Frederic Luskin In the Forgive for Good workshop and class series Dr. Frederic Luskin presents the forgiveness training methodology that has been validated through six successful research studies conducted through the Stanford Forgiveness Projects.

Prior to the current surge in research interest the importance of practicing forgiveness was extolled in both religious and psychological traditions.  Recently, Dr. Luskin’s and other’s research has confirmed its virtues in the promotion of psychological, relationship and physical health.  Forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression and stress and lead to greater feelings of optimism, hope, compassion and self confidence.

Dr. Luskin’s work combines lecture with a hands-on approach to the ancient tradition of forgiveness.  Participants explore forgiveness with the goal of reducing hurt and helplessness, letting go of anger and increasing confidence and hope as they learn how to release unwanted hurts and grudges. His presentations explore the HEAL process of forgiveness that, when learned, can lead to enhanced well-being through self-care. In class practice may include guided imagery, journal writing and discussion all presented in a safe and nurturing environment. Dr. Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Health Psychology from Stanford University.

Dr. Luskin continues to serve as Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, an ongoing series of workshops and research projects that investigate the effectiveness of his forgiveness methods on a variety of populations. The forgiveness project has successfully explored forgiveness therapy with people who suffered from the violence in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone as well as the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. In addition his work has been successfully applied and researched in corporate, medical, legal and religious settings. He currently serves as a Senior Consultant in Health Promotion at Stanford University and is a Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He presents lectures, workshops, seminars and trainings on the importance, health benefits and training of forgiveness, stress management and emotional competence throughout the United States. He offers presentations and classes that range from one hour to ongoing weekly trainings.

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* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine

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