The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley is part of the burgeoning research in the emerging field of Positive Psychology. Since 2001, the GGSC has been a leader in the “scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior — the science of a meaningful life.” Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC’s focus is to use science-based practices to help people and organizations build more meaningful personal and professional lives.
Their new Greater Good in Action web site is a synthesis of hundreds of scientific studies, and a very practical and succinct summary of the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life. They’ve organized the site with a very easy to navigate layout. “Featured Practices” include Awe, Compassion, Connection, Empathy, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Happiness, Kindness, Mindfulness, Optimism, Resilience to Stress, and Self-Compassion.
Clicking on any of these topic areas leads to a variety of “casual, moderate, or intensive” applications to address that practice. Each practice provides this menu:
- Why you should do it
- How to do it
- Evidence that it works
- Why it works
- Comments and Reviews
The site declares, “the practices in Greater Good in Action are for anyone who wants to improve his or her social and emotional well-being, or the well-being of others…these practices can create lasting improvements in individuals, families, and communities. Over time, they can evolve into habits, and from habits become a new way of experiencing the world.”
I’ve started using some of the practices on the site and been reminded of others that I’ve let slide in my personal development. The combination of solid research providing compelling rationale and practical tips and tools is a powerful combination.