Keys to Happiness

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How can we live happy when our brain is programmed to remember more negative things than positive things?

UMD Health Service is offering a study session to explore the topic.  From October 14 to November 18 the “Keys to Happiness” skills group will meet in Health Services Center every Tuesday from 4:30-6 pm. The session is free and open to students.

Michelle Stronach, a UMD student personnel worker said, “People don’t have to be depressed or anxious to want to expand their level of happiness.  This group teaches how to maximize happiness by using simple skills.”

According to Stronach, as a stress response, the brain wants to remember negative events because of the need for survival.  Since primitive times, humans have to remember what food was bad and where the dangerous animals were, in order to survive.  The concept of this UMD session is to help people remember to store positive references. All of the participants are going to learn scientifically proven skills to help rewire their brain toward positivity and optimism. Each week participants will learn several techniques such as savoring and gratitude.

“The time has come to learn to be happier. We shouldn’t postpone it. We need to be happy now,” said Stronach.


Story by Dayae Kim and Cheryl Reitan. October 2014.


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Contact Cheryl Reitan creitan@d.umn.edu


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