Misery Loves Happiness

California State University, Fullerton class critiques ‘The Art of Happiness’ and how to live your best life

Fullerton, California, UNITED STATES

Fullerton, California, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- “If I just lose weight, I’ll be happy.”

“When I have a lot of money, I’ll be happy.”

“If I could get a promotion, I would be happy.”

Wrong, says Jessica Kamrath, assistant professor of human communication studies at Cal State Fullerton. Achieving happiness involves a lot more than reaching a certain milestone or goal. 

The concept of happiness and what it takes to obtain it has been studied for years in psychology, but Kamrath sees a place for it in communications as well. Her spring semester course “The Art of Happiness” offers much-needed insight because, let’s be honest, finding happiness requires some effort in pandemic-marred 2021.

Happiness is rooted not only in human behaviors, but in interactions, intentions and communicative acts, says Kamrath. In the class, students examine and practice how communication behaviors intersect with constructing happiness and well-being. They intentionally practice gratitude, optimism or resilience, and then critically reflect through a weekly journal, connecting those to current communication research findings.

“Happiness is not a destination or something tangible that you can grab a hold of and then you are happy,” she explains. “However, it is something within our control. Research has found that happiness is 50% heritable, 10% circumstantial and 40% intentional.” The World Happiness Report, which pulled data from the Gallup World Poll, shows the United States recently dropped to 19th in how the country’s residents rank their life satisfaction.

Read more about the CSUF course “The Art of Happiness,” which will be offered again in the fall. Contact Cerise Valenzuela Metzger, cmetzger@fullerton.edu to schedule an interview with Kamrath.

About Cal State Fullerton: The largest university in the CSU and the only campus in Orange County, Cal State Fullerton offers 110 degree programs, and Division 1 athletics. Recognized as a national model for supporting student success, CSUF excels with innovative, high-impact educational practices, including faculty-student collaborative research, study abroad and competitive internships. Our vibrant and diverse campus is a primary driver of workforce and economic development in the region. CSUF is a top public university known for its success in supporting first-generation and underrepresented students, and preparing all students to become leaders in the global marketplace. Our It Takes a Titan campaign, a five-year $200 million comprehensive fundraising initiative, prioritizes investments in academic innovation, student empowerment, campus transformation and community enrichment. Visit fullerton.edu.

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Media Contacts:

Cerise Valenzuela Metzger, Associate Director of Media Services, 657-278-4856, cmetzger@fullerton.edu.

Chi-Chung Keung, Director of Media Services, 657-278-8487, ckeung@fullerton.edu



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