Workshop helps students bust stress before finals
Women Empowered For Success, an organization dedicated to uplifting, motivating and empowering young women in society, hosted a happiness workshop on Dec. 3.
The seats were arranged in small circular groups in order to encourage interaction and networking among participants. Before the event kicked off, participants were asked to think about various subjects related to happiness, asking each person to share their own personal definition of what makes them happy.
The current director of the SEEK academic advisement program, Dr. Angela Anselmo, led the workshop and created a friendly and interactive environment. The beginning portion of the workshop focused on defining happiness according to individuals and what activities inspire pleasure. Popular choices were food, music and reading.
“Many of us know what makes us happy, but we don’t do it,” said Anselmo, who encouraged every participant to create time in their busy schedules to actively pursue activities that make them feel happiness. Shortly after, Anselmo spoke about positive psychology. She said that positive psychology focuses on three pillars.
The first pillar, “pleasant life,” focuses on material or temporary happiness. The second pillar, “engaged life,” focuses on the enjoyment of an activity that would lead the individual to lose track of time. The third pillar, “meaningful life,” focuses on the reasoning for performing the activity of enjoyment.
Within the world of positive psychology, Anselmo elaborated on two theories that define true happiness. The first theory, by Dr. Martin Seligman, author of Authentic, focuses on the positive feelings and activities that lead to happiness. Seligman split happiness into three categories: past happiness, future happiness and present happiness.
Another theory Anselmo presented was by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, author of self-help book Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. The theory addressed happiness in four separate categories. The first category, called the “Rat Racer,” is about individuals who think about their future happiness, and consistently make new goals after achieving their previous goal. The second category, called “The Hedonist,” is about individuals who mainly focus on their present happiness. The third category, “The Nihilist,” characterize those who are stuck in the past, individuals who have given up on happiness, and focus on their past mistakes or even past happiness. The final category is called “Happiness,” also known as a moderate hedonist. The individual finds true happiness in both the present and the future.
Anselmo closed the workshop by summarizing what she had taught to the audience and by giving strategies on how to be happier.
Faculty and members of SEEK, as well as members of the Women Empowered for Success, surprised Anselmo with a video presentation afterward to thank her for her impact and dedication after more than 40 years of working at Baruch College.