The Science of Health and Happiness

The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI) is currently running a free 10 week online Public Course called The Science of Health and Happiness.    This is a practical course, consisting of 10 pre-recorded online lectures, presented at a rate of one per week. No fees are required and the course is open to anyone who is interested in improving their health and happiness.  You can register your interest by following this link: register 

Registration will remain open for the duration of the course. Once registered, you will receive an email with further details and the link to access the course content.

During this 10-week course, we will explore how the principles of positive psychology and lifestyle medicine can be used to improve our health and optimise our well-being. We will cover a range of topics including whole person health, strengths, mindfulness and meditation, and obstacles and paths to happiness.

An overview of the topics covered each week are summarised below.

  1. Getting started: About this course; Diseases of lifestyle and the challenge of being healthy and happy in the modern world.
  2. Biology: mind-body connections in health and disease: How are our minds, our brains and our bodies interlinked? What are the roots of positive health?
  3. Whole person health: How to be healthy – lessons from biology and psychology; Major strategies for optimising your health.
  4. What are the routes to happiness I?: Misconceptions about happiness; Can we study happiness scientifically; the science of positive psychology; why mindset matters; what won’t make you happy?
  5. What are the routes to happiness II?:Strategies for finding happiness; PERMA, gratitude; savouring; love and positive relationships; empathy, compassion and kindness
  6. Meditation for health: Mindfulness and meditation
  7. Your emotions and you: What is emotional intelligence? How do you cultivate positive emotions? How do positive emotions broaden and build our resources? What is flow?
  8. Your strongest self: Resilience trauma and growth; How do you find and use your core strengths? How do you develop optimism?
  9. Happiness through the life-cycle: Fostering happiness, health and well-being in childhood and adolescence; ageing well
  10. Putting it all together: Key takeaways; key strategies for happiness and health; your life’s meaning

The course content will be delivered by:

  • Professor Ciaran O’Boyle, Director of the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health
  • Dr Trudy Meehan, Senior Clinical Psychologist, specialising in child and adolescent mental health, and lecturer at the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health
  • Dr Pádraic Dunne, Immunologist, practicing psychotherapist and meditation teacher and lecturer at the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health

More information on the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health here.

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