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Dr. Ben-Shahar Lectures on Wellness

Dr. Ben-Shahar Lectures on Wellness

Dr. Ben-Shahar Lectures on Wellness


Dr. Ben-Shahar shared research-backed tips for wellness & stress reduction.

News Editor

September 28, 2023

Rebekah Oppenheimer '24

On the evening of Monday, September 18, Hotchkiss welcomed Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar as the first all-school speaker of the 2023-24 school year. 

Dr. Ben-Shahar is internationally renowned as a leading expert in the field of positive psychology, and is also known for creating and teaching the first and third most popular courses in the history of Harvard University—“Positive Psychology 1504” and “The Psychology of Leadership.” Each week at Harvard, over 900 students attend his lectures. 

Dr. Ben-Shahar’s books, including Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment and The Pursuit of Perfect: To Stop Chasing and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life, among others, have also earned him global recognition. Dr. Ben-Shahar spoke first to the faculty in a special morning meeting and then addressed the entire community at All School Meeting. He shared research that shows that it is not stress that leads to depression and unhappiness, but rather, lack of recovery time from stress. 

To promote wellness, he suggested taking short breaks through throughout the day, deep breathing, keeping a gratitude journal, and getting regular exercise, all techniques proven to increase happiness. 

Mrs. Carrie Smith, human development coordinator, spearheaded the effort to bring Dr. Ben-Shahar to campus. She said, “The field of positive psychology has a lot to offer our entire community as far as how we view wellness and how we can implement fairly simple, actionable steps to positively impact our well being and happiness. My hope was that Dr. Ben-Shahar would set the stage for our programming throughout the year and that his talk would inform and inspire, making people curious to learn more.” 

Ada King ’24, a member of the Student Wellness Committee, introduced Dr. Ben-Shahar at the All School Meeting. She said, “I feel as though at times, there has been a rift between administration and students as far as wellness is concerned, so we were very grateful to have Dr. Ben-Shahar contribute his perspective. Afterwards, I heard from several faculty members who said it was very helpful for them and their own wellness.” 

Mrs. Smith added, “Happiness can seem like a bit of an indulgent topic or goal, but when you learn the research, happiness is actually what makes us perform better and what can create better relationships between us.”

Rebekah Oppenheimer is a news editor for The Record

November 16th

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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