(cheerful music) – Few of us would doubt that happiness is an integral part of
well-being and wellness. But did you know that our
attitudes and our behaviors towards other people are
an integral part of our personal wellness as well? I’m Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton of the Department of
Psychology at UC Berkeley. I’m your host for today,
alongside Dree Kavoussi, ASUC senator and fourth
year undergraduate. Today, we’re going to be talking about happiness, gratitude, and compassion. And to talk about these
topics, I’m joined today by a distinguished panel of guests. They are: Dacher Keltner of the Department of
Psychology at UC Berkeley, my colleague, as well as
the founder and director of the Greater Good Science Center. Hooria Jazaieri, an expert
on compassion and also with the Greater Good Science Center. And Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas,
the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, and also at UC Berkeley. Welcome, everybody. I appreciate your time. – Thank you. – Thanks for having us.. – It’s a privilege. – So let’s get started right
into the topic of happiness. – Absolutely. So Dacher, can you
elaborate upon how happiness is viewed as a science? – So it’s a really young science. – Um-hmm. – And people have been
thinking about what happiness is really since people
have been thinking about who human beings are. And you can look at different philosophies like East Asian thinking and its emphasis on social harmony and duty and bringing out the good in others. The Greeks had a lot of speculation about how virtue is related to happiness. And what scientists have
done in the last 30 years or so, from different parts
of the world, is really arrived at a consensus that happiness, as complicated and multicultural as it is, can really boil down to a few things. One is how many positive emotions you feel on a regular basis: kindness, compassion, gratitude, awe, beauty, and the like. The second thing, very familiar today, is: how do you handle stress, right? How do you handle economic difficulties or difficulties raising kids or romantic relationships? So how do you handle tension? And the third, which I
actually think is probably one of the most important pieces to this is relationships. What’s the strength of
your ties to your family and your friends and acquaintances and work colleagues? So positive emotions, handling
stress, and relationships, kind of get us to a scientific
understanding of happiness. – That’s excellent. And did that all come out of the Greater Good Science Center? I know you’re the founder. Can you elaborate upon that? Yeah, so here at Berkeley, we have the Greater Good Science Center. And as the field, the scientific study
of happiness was really getting off the ground 15, 20 years ago, a couple of Cal alumni
decided that they wanted to help create a center at UC Berkeley that really studies happiness and promotes it. And Emiliana, for example,
is working full-time there and can sort of give a
sense of the programs. – Yeah, so at the Greater
Good Science Center, what we try to do is keep
track of the cutting-edge studies that are looking at happiness, that are looking at things like people’s social connections, how
kind people tend to be in the world, how well they are connected with their communities. And we write about it in
a way that’s accessible to the popular audience. We write about it in a way
that’s useful for teachers or people who are leaders
in their workplaces. We also have events, so people come and spend a day hearing
from a luminary in the field about sort of how a particular
aspect of connecting with others socially
or dealing with stress or handling difficulties
can actually boost their own happiness. We also support research,
both in fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students, and, on occasion, to
faculty around the nation to study these issues. And in particular, we recently did a program on gratitude. – That’s excellent. So what would you say are
the underlying mechanisms physiologically behind happiness? – Yeah. I think how you can think about it is that evolution has created
in the nervous system, and Emiliana has done
a lot of neuroscience on this, as well as others, which is, we have this big fight or
flight part to our brain and our neurophysiology, what lies below the brain stem. It’s all parts of the
brain, like the amygdala, communicating with what’s called the sympathetic autonomic nervous system. And that part of your
body really revs you up to fight or flee. And when it’s chronically active, you tend to have health
and happiness difficulties. What’s fascinating and really
new scientific terrain is we have whole other regions to the body that help us care and share and to get along with
others, and empathize. And so it’s parts of our frontal lobes. It’s an old part of the brain
that Emiliana and I studied, called the periaqueductal gray. It’s neurotransmitters like oxytocin. It’s the vagus nerve that
slows your heart rate and allows you to communicate with others. That is a bundle of nerves
that wanders all the way through your body. So what that tells us is not only is happiness kind of this important ethical concept, but it’s down there in our nervous system to understand with the tools of science. – Well, so how can an
average student activate all these underlying (Dacher laughs) mechanisms that we have? (Emiliana chuckles) – You know, it’s not too
different from the principle of physical exercise. – [Dree] Okay. – Really, our nervous system
is a trainable phenomenon. It’s like a sponge that absorbs repetition in the universe, and as
it sees relationships, it sort of holds on to them
and then makes predictions and behaves according to assumptions that are drawn from those relationships. So I guess, in short,
how we behave every day becomes our habit of behavior. And those habits of
behavior are a function of our nervous system. Our brain and our body and our behavior are all sort of integrated,
and so if we decide, “Well, I’m going to try to … “I’ve understood from
some kind of article, “something that Dacher said “or maybe something from Hooria, “that compassion is really important “for happiness, so what I’m going to do is “try to become more compassionate.” And there are scientists,
including Hooria, who have developed
programs and specific ways and behaviors in order
to be more compassionate. And as you do that, and you repeat that, you’re shifting your nervous system. You’re engaging the systems
that Dacher talked about. – But Hooria, wouldn’t
somebody worry that if they try to make themselves
happier, just as I might try to make myself more physically fit, that I might actually end
up becoming more unhappy? (Dacher laughs) – Yeah. There is some interesting
research that suggests that there is the paradoxical effects of pursuing happiness. And I think that there’s
a bit of a misnomer about what is happiness, and I think really defining happiness
in the way that Dacher has described, and
studying it in that way, I don’t know that there
are adverse consequences to engaging in behaviors
as Emiliana mentioned that are increasing your
health and well-being. It could be something as simple as choosing to eat your lunch outside rather than sitting in
front of your computer, or it could be something
as small as choosing to turn off your lights ten minutes earlier and to read a book that
you’ve been meaning to get through. We’re not talking about
taking a trip to Tahiti, although that’s fantastic
if you can do that. (everyone laughs) I wouldn’t discourage that by any means. But changing small things in your life that bring added value
and you see differences in positive affect and generally reductions in negative affect. So take your lunch
outside or read that book you’ve been meaning to get to, and if you can, plan a trip to Tahiti. (Dacher laughs) In other words, not
necessarily focusing on “Am I happy? “Am I happy? Am I happy?” But rather engaging in
behaviors that kind of as a positive side effect,
might lift your mood. – Exactly. – Interesting. – Yeah, coming out of
the science of happiness that we’ve just introduced,
a lot of scientists got interested in really
specific practices, right, almost like exercises, to
use Emiliana’s analogy. And so, it’s like, just to get outside and look at beautiful trees, a study in our lab found, makes people kind of feel less entitled, more modest, more kind to
other people, and happier. So there are all these
very specific habits you can integrate into your life to promote the happiness potion. – Yeah, some people think of
it as setting the priority rather than pursuing happiness, so organizing your life
around affording yourself those experiences and the
behaviors that science suggests to actually sort
of bestow happiness upon us rather than, again, sort of
trying in this meticulous way, “I’m going to measure my happiness today. (Dacher laughs) “And if it hasn’t gone
up this much by tomorrow, “then I’m a failure.” That’s definitely a losing prospect. – There’s a lot of
research that suggest that our behaviors contribute to our emotions, so what you choose to
engage in is influencing how you feel. So if I am engaging in
things that are meaningful and important to me, exercise or nature or social connection, then it’s likely that I’m going to feel
better and positive affect, but test it out yourself. – And is it okay to not
feel happy all the time? I know as undergrads and graduate students and even professors and faculty, we’re all under a ton of stress and there’s just some days that you can’t even force a smile. What do you have to say to that? – Absolutely, and one of
the things that you learn from the science of happiness and also the science of emotion is each one of these
emotions, even the really, what we would think of culturally as the problematic ones,
like anger or fear or stress, they have their purpose,
right, and they have their place in life. So anger, when used in the right way, as often has been done at Berkeley, leads to positive social change, right? So I think one of the themes
in the happiness literature that Emiliana has done a lot of work on is just being mindfully accepting of the tough stuff of life, right? So if you’re stressed out about a test or kind of the balance in your checkbook, if you can just sort of
mindfully take that in and not react to that condition, you end up doing a lot better, and it is, at its core,
accepting these more problematic times in life as a key to happiness. – Yeah, I mean there are
some fun data that Dacher and I have played around
with, looking at how people around the world use little
symbols that represent their emotional states. And it turns out that
in areas where people use a wide variety of emotions in a sort of systematic way rather than always saying they’re happy
or joyful or exuberant or always saying they’re angry, in fact, those who use the
full palette of emotions and use them in kind of a regular fashion are the ones or are the populations where people are doing the best, right? There’s the least sort of
early infant mortality. There is more generosity amongst people living in those places. So there’s real benefits
to having that array of emotional experience. But, again, as Dacher suggested, not necessarily letting them stick when they don’t need to. We don’t need to be angry
for days, weeks, months. We don’t need to be sad. In fact, it’s problematic when we are. But we do need to be
sad when we’ve suffered an irrevocable loss, and
we need to signal that to the people around us
when we want support. So negative feelings are
very important to happiness. – And I think in reality,
emotions aren’t binary. It’s not either that you’re
happy or that you’re sad, but it’s really this spectrum and these shades of gray. And some of the most interesting emotions in my opinion, such as compassion or awe, are actually this
interesting blend of both positive and negative emotion. And I think that’s really
what’s representative of our daily life, is that
we’re not happy, we’re not sad, but it’s some interesting
blend of all of these things, as Emiliana mentioned. – Hooria, I would love
to pick up on this idea of compassion being a blend
of positive and negative. And maybe we can talk about
this in the next segment. But let me just take a moment
to summarize a little bit of where we are. Dacher, you spoke about
the science of happiness as encompassing positive emotion, the amount of positive
emotion that one experiences, coping and dealing with stress, as well as social ties. You spoke about the very
popular fight or flight tendency that we have, but pointed
out that there’s much less attention to pay to the
care and share aspect of our physiology. And we spoke about some
ways in which we might be able to harness that,
or access, as you so ably asked about, access that
care and share tendency. And it’s not so much by
actively pursuing the happiness, but rather, I think as you said it, by setting the priorities,
those small changes that you can make in your
life that might create a little bit of a difference. I love this idea of picking up that book, like the one I have on my shelf for like two months at the moment. (everyone laughs) – I like the eating
your lunch outside one, (everyone laughs) especially in Northern California. It’s a luxury to be able to do that. – Absolutely. And I know you touched on gratitude. Can you elaborate? How does one practice gratitude? Are you thanking everyone
you pass on the street? (Dacher laughs) – Yes, I mean, gratitude
is this wonderful, also, somewhat young science. I mean, it is that simple. It is that simple. It could be, “Yes, I’m
just going to be much more “conscientious of what comes to me “that I didn’t necessarily work for.” So there are things that we do that we put all this energy into, and
then the right thing happens, and we feel great about it. But there’s all this stuff
that we have that we enjoy. There’s all these experiences around us that we didn’t have to
really do anything to get or to gain, and it’s
often and almost always at the consequences of
other people’s efforts. And so, sort of recognizing
that or considering that more frequently is this
really powerful experience that Bob Emmons sort of pioneered a whole science around,
showing that when people do that more, they’re
happier, they’re healthier, they’re more satisfied
in their relationships, they’re more connected
to their communities. There’s all these incredible advantages to just being a more grateful person. – Absolutely. – I mean, just thinking about
the very simple everyday practice of it, Amie Gordon
in our lab did a study where romantic partners,
to the extent that they just expressed appreciation to one another face to face, just said
thanks or patted them on the back, or even
like nodded their head when somebody was saying something, the partner was saying something, those couples were less likely to break up six months later, right? So it’s just these simple acts
of appreciation or gratitude or kindness that really
build up the things. – Can it be forced at first? Because I feel like sometime,
it can be really hard to say thank you and really — – There is a kind of “fake
it till you make it” — – Okay. – Possibility for some people. For most though, I think
gratitude kind of is familiar. I mean, it’s one of the reasons
I think it’s so interesting. It’s not a hard sell. Mindfulness can be a little bit tricky because some people feel
like it’s not really part of their tradition. But most traditions have celebrated and advocated gratitude
as a positive value. So we can think more
deeply about gratitude and appreciation for sort
of privilege or health or these sort of more
metaphysical constructs, or we can think about
gratitude towards people, and they’re a little bit different. And when you do want to get
a little bit more muscly about it, to go back
to my exercise analogy, gratitude towards people
is actually more powerful. And gratitude towards
people involves noting what the person did, “I want to tell you what
it is that you did,” noting, acknowledging the effort, “I appreciate that you put this much time “in your day into doing what you do,” and then also articulating how
it is that it benefited you. So when you do those three things, you’re sort of… That’s the full range, the
most powerful kind of gratitude that one can practice, and
it really is transformative. It really changes how you see other people and how you see yourself in the world. – And even though oftentimes
people will say that “I’m grateful for the leather
interior in my Ferrari,” or whatever it may be, (everyone laughs) there is actually
someone who took the time to hand-stitch that leather
interior in your Ferrari, for example, and so while we sometimes are grateful for things, there’s
generally many, many people, and this goes back to
the topic of compassion and our interrelatedness,
that there are many people who have made that latte or that car or the shirt possible, and we can express
gratitude to them, in a way. – So Hooria, that just makes me think of our current society where
so many of the things that used to be personal
are now impersonal. – Um-hmm. – The boxes that you get
at your door as opposed to the financial transaction
that you had to give, as an example. Is gratitude at risk? – I don’t think so,
because, you know what? There’s someone that drove that truck to my house, and there’s
someone that worked in that factory to make the product, and there is someone
that created the software that has the invoice
that gets in my package. And there are so many people
involved with getting… I ordered new highlighters this week that arrived at my door in two days, which is pretty remarkable. And there are so many people
that were behind that. And I could just pick them
up and just disregard the box and go on my merry way. But really, my life is possible
because of so many people whom I’ll never meet, and
who are supporting me. – I was just going to
say that along that lines of the question that you just asked, there’s this idea about entitlement, that entitlement is
something that our culture or our society is sort of suffering with, that people have this
sense of what they deserve and are they’re angry about
what they’re not getting. And there are many thinkers in the gratitude science field
who really have discovered that gratitude is kind of
an antidote to entitlement. So as Hooria’s story
revealed, you could get your highlighters and be like, “Oh, the corner of the box is dented. (Dree chuckles) ”Damn it, I deserve a perfect box.” Or, instead, when you open
it and you see everything that’s come and you consider
the kind of almost magic behind that experience of
having received this thing that you needed, that really,
you had so little to do with, in terms of its utility for yourself, that whole entitlement kind of instinct or reaction is not available. – And on the other side of
the spectrum of entitlement, I definitely see with gratitude,
there can be a lot of guilt that comes with practicing gratitude. What would you say to someone who has so much and
they’re so thankful for it, but they’re kind of enabled
by their own sense of guilt for having all these things? Is that something you all come across? – Well, I think that, I mean, guilt is an interesting emotion to cast within kind of in terms of the conversation we’ve been having. There are new studies coming out by a former Berkeley grad, Franklin Flin, showing that guilt actually,
for people in positions of leadership, is a good thing. It motivates kind of these
pro-social tendencies. They feel like, “Wow, I
have all this advantage, “and I have this privileged position. “Maybe I should do things
to kind of make sure “other people appreciate it.” I think that one of the things that we noticed in our research, which may be at the heart
of your question, Dree, is that we do find, regrettably,
that people who have a lot given to them in life, who were born into really well-to-do circumstances, and this is work I did with Rudy, too, aren’t as appreciative of their condition as you might imagine, right? – Entitlement. – Yeah. – Yeah. – And they don’t respond
to other people’s concerns as powerfully as people who have less. And I think that’s part of
the provocative question you’re posing, which is: Why is it that some people who have a lot may not be as appreciative or grateful or compassionate? And in that instance,
I think guilt would be a little bit of a good thing. – So does that mean that gratitude may be more important
for those with privilege than for those without privilege? – One of the things we’ve been working on with all of this sort of
privilege work we’ve done is: What are the benefits of
these positive emotions? You find that people with a lot of wealth aren’t as happy as you
would expect them to be. And one of the canonical findings in the happiness science
is the correlation between wealth and happiness is .12 small. After a middle class income, money gets you no happiness. And I think that’s because it takes away from these pro-social
emotions of gratitude. And so we gotta re-inject
gratitude and awe into their lives. – Right, regardless of who we are. So, again, to summarize,
we’ve covered how, it really stood out to me, how the small moments of gratitude, I think the phrase you used was for things that you are not
necessarily responsible for — – Um-hmm. – Are important. Small moments of gratitude towards others as opposed to the more
abstract things in life can lead you to better happiness fitness. Correct on that? – That’s right. – Absolutely. And then the idea of
faking it till you make it. In other words, as Dree pointed out, sometimes it can feel
weird to say thank you because you may not feel like you mean it, but the idea is that
over time, you can learn to mean and actually take
a moment of mindfulness to mean that thank you when you say it. – Well, you get reinforced. That’s the fun part of it. You say thank you to someone and someone responds to that, and our nervous systems like that. We like it when somebody
feels good and smiles at us and gives us that sort
of energetic connection. “Oh, maybe they touched us.” Any of that sort of socially
connecting experience is intrinsically reinforcing
at the level of the brain and the body, and so, yeah, we start doing it more
because it feels good. – So talking about gratitude,
the other pro-social emotion that we’ve wanted to touch
on today is compassion. – Absolutely. So why is it important
to practice compassion? – [Rodolfo] What is compassion? – Yeah, does that lead to happiness? – [Hooria] Well, I’ll let
Emiliana take this one. – [Emiliana] Sure. – There’s a really great side
bulletin article that Emiliana and Dacher wrote about
really looking at compassion through historical and
evolutionary perspectives. But what is compassion? – So, it’s a great question because a lot of people
think of compassion, sympathy, pity, empathy, and they don’t know how any of those are really different from one another. What we did, Dacher,
myself, and Jen Goetz, one of Dacher’s former
students, was really kind of break it all apart and figure out: when does it start,
what makes people begin to feel compassion, what
happens along the way, and then how does it actually
end up at compassion? And it turns out that when
you think about it that way, compassion is this feeling that you have when you’re in the presence
of someone else’s suffering or even if you’re thinking
deeply about suffering in the world, that is sort of
peppered with a strong desire to help, to alleviate that suffering. It’s a kind of interesting
blend of emotion. You’re feeling moved that
something is not right with another person’s well-being, and then you’re sort of using that to fuel some kind of inspiration or motivation to be of assistance in that moment. So that’s how we think about and try to define compassion. – Absolutely. So I know, being on Berkeley’s campus, there are a lot of protests, there is a lot of controversy. And as a student, I’ve felt myself moved by these protests, wanting to be involved. But at what expense? Sometimes, students get so invested in it. They, themselves, end up unhappy. What do you have to say? How do you practice
compassion while cultivating your own sense of self-compassion? – Well, it’s really interesting, because oftentimes, there is this misnomer that compassion requires a behavior. It requires doing something
pro-social or altruistic. It requires giving up something
that’s mine, a resource, whether it’s money or time or food. And in Emiliana’s definition,
there is actually no behavior that’s associated with compassion. It’s seeing suffering,
feeling moved by suffering, having a wish to have that person relieved of their suffering, and that motivation to do something without necessarily doing something. You could, but you don’t actually have to get out there and protest. You don’t have to give time or resources. While all those things are wonderful, compassion is really in some sense just looking at it from
our devices and recognizing that people are in pain and
are suffering in some way. And when we say “suffering,”
it doesn’t have to be a war in a foreign country. It could be someone
dealing with a test anxiety or someone who has a
difficult home environment, or someone who feels like they don’t have anyone to talk to. That is suffering that’s
constantly all around us. – One of the interesting things, I mean, that’s so important,
it’s great at Berkeley that we are engaged in
problems of the world. I think our university does it better than any in the country. But cultivating a compassionate
stance towards life doesn’t necessarily require
give up your savings or you quit school and save people. It really is about cultivating this mind, this mental state. And what we know scientifically is if you, as Hooria was saying, sort
of practice compassion, think about the suffering of others, that actually leads to
increases in activation of the vagus nerve, right,
which we talked about earlier. – [Dree] Absolutely. – Which is related to beneficial health. It changes certain patterns
of brain activation. It helps your social ties. So even just kind of
taking a moment each day to cultivate that mental state has these benefits out in your life. – But that can be really challenging when, for students in college, many of whom have deep problems, and it’s very difficult to
see beyond the next day, never mind the problems of others. I mean, people are so wrapped
up in their own suffering that it’s hard to see and recognize the suffering of others. – Yeah, although, I mean, I’ll be curious to see
what Emiliana and Hooria say about this, because
they work on interventions. But what we know
neurophysiologically is that kind of practicing compassion,
like Hooria described, is the antithesis of a depressive pattern of physiology, right? It gets you into the empathy
networks of your brain. It activates the vagus nerve,
which calms fight or flight or depressive physiology. – It activates care and share. – Yeah. – Um-hmm. – What do you guys think? – I would agree. I think it’s really
broadening your awareness and taking you outside of a lot of that self-referential negative talk and really recognizing
that common humanity piece that, “I’m actually not
alone in my suffering. “I’m here on a campus with
all these other students “who are experiencing some
level of pain and suffering.” And I think oftentimes,
when people are experiencing negative emotions and negative affect, it’s because we lose that
common humanity piece and we feel isolated. – I’d love to revisit the kind
of guilt and then the idea — – Absolutely. – About compassion perhaps adding another obligation to your stressful life. When I said earlier that
Jen and Dacher and I tried to sort of map out
the sequence of experiences that happen during compassion, there is this early
point when you are moved by suffering, where some people can feel really personally distressed by it. And this is work that comes
from Dan Batson years ago, showing that if you see
suffering and you kind of go, “Wow, this feeling
reminds me of my own anger “or my own fear and anxiety. “And actually, I feel anxious and afraid,” you’re going to run away
from that experience. You have like the opposite of compassion. And in order to not do that, we have to be more mindful. We have to be more resilient and capable of relating to that moved feeling in a way that leads to compassion,
instead of relating to it as threat to ourselves. And so in a funny way,
there’s a lot of overlap in these different ideas
that we’re talking about. And so becoming more compassionate means relating to your emotions in
a healthy and resilient way. And being guilty I think is important, but not if you’re going to think about it in this sort of enduring, stressful way, but rather feeling it, letting it motivate the right response, and moving on. – Absolutely. So just to wrap up, you mentioned empathy and compassion. Those are two different things? – I think of empathy as an early, less-directed emotional response. We can have an empathic amusement. If you started hysterically laughing, I would laugh too, not
because I feel sorry for your suffering, but
because I’m mirroring you. – Okay. – So empathy has this
like broad possibility in terms of emotions. And it also doesn’t necessarily have that desire to help. It’s, “I’m feeling something
as a result of you expressing, “and I understand what
that means in terms of “where you are in your life, “but not that I necessarily want to help.” And that’s what really
pulls compassion away. – So it’s so interesting that
a feeling like compassion that includes awareness of suffering can actually end up being related to a physiological profile that’s more related to share and care — – Um-hmm. – Rather than fight or flight,
so that, interestingly, and I think what the
underlying connection is, as Hooria was saying,
that connection to others. – Um-hmm. – In addition, of
course, to the connection to nature, the book that you want to read. (Dacher laughs) And I love the idea of
cultivating compassion. In other words, understanding
that it might be uncomfortable, that,
again, it takes practice, bringing back towards this idea of “fake it till you make it.” I want to conclude this section by asking you to talk about some of the resources on campus for cultivating compassion,
gratitude, happiness. And let me start with you, Dacher. You mentioned a study with trees. (everyone laughs) I happen to know that that’s a particular place on campus. I’m wondering if — – [Dacher] Yeah. – There are special places for you that you might recommend. – Yeah, that’s a great
piece of guidance, really. So for people who are at Berkeley, I honestly feel Berkeley is the most aesthetically beautiful
campus in the country, and that’s not boasting. It’s just, so nature. It’s almost what Hooria was saying, which is that, as you walk
through the campus, right, you stop by and look
at the eucalyptus trees under Oxford and Center, and then you wander by Strawberry Creek and listen to the creek. And then you get to the redwood trees by Strawberry Creek, and
you get up into the hills. We now know that five to
ten minutes of nature a day like that is very good
for the nervous system and the brain, and your
feelings of compassion. So that would be my first recommendation. – The Lawrence Hall of Science — – Yeah. – Is a wonderful place
to become awe-inspired. – Yeah, it’s pretty incredible. – What about specifically
more academic resources for the science of pro-social
emotion and happiness? – Well, so Dacher and
I, in the fall of 2014, launched a course, a
massive open online course called The Science of Happiness. It’s on the edX platform. It’s free. We sort of patched together
all of Dacher’s expertise and all of the 12 years of resources that the Greater Good Science
Center has amassed into a sort of meaningful,
ten-week experience where we really go through
each of these topics. And we tell you about it. We give you articles to read. And we suggest explicitly, “Here’s the practice
that studies have shown “makes you stronger in the space.” And the fun part, hot off the press, people’s happiness goes up. People’s satisfaction with life goes up. It goes up from before to after the class. It goes up during the class. And it stays up three months later. So that’s kind of the academic approach you could take if you
really want to learn more. – And there’s also a
class you teach, correct? – Yes, I teach the Science
of Happiness at UC Berkeley, which some people here are in. – I’m in. – Hopefully doing well. (everyone laughs) – Yeah, I am. It’s awesome. – And then, I think it would
really behoove students to look at the Greater Good
Science Center’s website. – Um-hmm. – It’s 12 years of curated
articles by absolutely the leaders in the
field and then students. – Um-hmm. – Dree has written for it. – Um-hmm. – Summarizing the science
in a really friendly way. – Um-hmm. What about compassion? What are some resources for compassion? Or is it really all within yourself? – I go back to Greater
Good Science Center. I think they have a lot of
really great events and articles on the topic of compassion. I’ve taught the Stanford
Compassion Cultivation Training course here at Berkeley. It’s a nine-week program. And hope to offer that again. And compassion doesn’t necessarily require a resource. It’s a practice somewhere
to gratitude where you can practice it right now. One resource on gratitude I’ll mention is a project that Emiliana has headed up at the Greater Good Science Center called Thnx4.org, and it’s an online platform where you can track your gratitude, and
I know it’s helped me, and I think it could be a
great resource for others. – I love this conversation because topics like happiness,
compassion, and gratitude seem so fleeting and yet there seems to be not only concrete science around it, but concrete ways that we can act to encourage our behaviors
along those lines. Such fascinating work. Dacher, thank you for being here. Hooria, Emiliana, your presence is so appreciated. Along with my host, Dree Kavoussi, we want to thank you for
watching the show today, and we look forward to
seeing you next time. (cheerful music)