The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want

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But when you need to recommend a book to a person who will read just one, I think this is it. The baker may choose to throw it in, but is not obligated to do so. So I grew up thinking that the pursuit of happiness was a silly goal. Sonja explains why taking action to be happier is not a silly goal, though construction of happiness is a better description than pursuit.

Happiness is not a silly goal for another reason. Sonja explains that happy people tend to be healthier, more effective at work, more energetic, and of greater benefit to the people around them.

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Part 2 contains 12 specific activities for raising happiness through intentional behavior:. None of these are brand new to people who have been working in positive psychology, but she puts them together into a cogent way that is very accessible to general readers. Some of the 12 activities have multiple variations that make them adaptable to individual circumstances.

Most come with brief descriptions of the research that shows they make a difference. She also addresses limitations of various approaches. Journaling may be effective for coping with difficulties, practicing optimism, and committing to goals, but it can get in the way when trying to savor more. The chapter includes her Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic adapted from work by Ken Sheldon to help a reader select four best-fitting activities. She mentions some empirical validation of the effectiveness of the diagnostic tool.

It seems somewhat less mature than some of the individual activities, but then, it is breaking new ground. Part 3 addresses the secrets to abiding happiness. Any of the 12 activities is good while it lasts, but how do we make it last? She discusses timing and variation, social support, and motivation, as well as the science behind turning happiness-inducing behaviors into habits.

To conclude, this book contains a very practical program for the general public to put many aspects of positive psychology in practice in their daily lives. For example, the importance of identifying and applying strengths is notably absent. But it cuts a wide swath with clear descriptions of research, practical suggestions, and engaging examples.

Last week a friend asked me what one book she should buy on the subject, and this is the one I suggested.

Sonja Lyubomirsky - Wikipedia

Lyubomirsky, S. The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want. New York: Penguin Press. Not seeing the pictures for the book links? Disable Adblocking for this site to view them. Kathryn Britton is a coach working with professionals to increase well-being, energy, and meaning. She teaches positive workplace concepts at the University of Maryland and blogs irregularly at Positive Psychology Reflections. Thanks Kathryn!!

K, A great point that Sonja L. Of course, people change. What fits now, eight Snickers bars later, no longer snaps around the waist. I think that is a neglected dimension of Fit.

Sonja Lyubomirsky

They work. So what changed, Jeff? Is it what made the difference? Which article was it that you described Fuzzy Logic? Using more than a dozen uniquely formulated happiness-increasing strategies, The How of Happiness offers a new and potentially life- changing way to understand our innate potential for joy and happiness as well as our ability to sustain it in our lives. Beginning with a short diagnostic quiz that helps readers to first quantify and then to understand what she describes as their "happiness set point," Lyubomirsky reveals that this set point determines just 50 percent of happiness while a mere 10 percent can be attributed to differences in life circumstances or situations.

This leaves a startling, and startlingly underdeveloped, 40 percent of our capacity for happiness within our power to change. Lyubomirsky's "happiness strategies" introduce readers to the concept of intentional activities, mindful actions that they can use to achieve a happier life. These include exercises in practicing optimism when imagining the future, instruction in how best to savor life's pleasures in the here and now, and a thoroughgoing explanation of the importance of staying active to being happy.

Helping readers find the right fit between the goals they set and the activities she suggests, Lyubomirsky also helps readers understand the many obstacles to happiness as well as how to harness individual strengths to overcome them. This is a great read for people who are interested in human behavior. It addresses why people have such a hard time at predicting what will make them happy in the future.

Some of the conclusions that the author makes are a bit questionable, but the information leading up to his thoughts is very interesting and definitely worth the read.

For people who have a background in psychology, this book will not present a lot of new information. This book addresses the issue of people naturally learning very quickly from bad experiences, yet slowly from good ones. People tend to absorb all of the negative things around them, and their negative feelings, while pushing any good feelings to the side.

In Hardwiring Happiness , Hanson presents a method to make this change. This might be the right book for you if you find that you are extremely stressed or anxious on an everyday basis, yet really have no reason to be. It reflects on how our ancestors always had to have a nervous response to possible predators, and how people still have that response to this day, even though there are no predators around. The one small criticism for this book also happens to be one of its greatest strengths.

Its scope is small, as it focuses on only a handful of messages. While this may seem repetitive, it is also a huge plus. With so many books trying to cover so much ground, sometimes it is difficult to remember anything that you read afterwards. That is not likely to happen with this book. This book works to heal that way of thinking by urging the reader to focus on the positive things that happen in their life rather than only the negative.

In this book, Graham guides the reader on a path to create resilience. This a well-researched and very technical book that even offers huge benefits just in the quotes and chapter summations. This book is very clearly written and engages the reader in the author's concern for humanity's well-being. The author brings together the wisdom of mindfulness, neuroscience, and psychotherapy into an innovative way to build strategies to cope with the upsets and traumas that have the potential to throw your life off track.

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  • The title of this book is a bit misleading, as people who are already resilient can still find a lot of great information in this book. It is more focused on the interworkings of Buddhism, psychology, and the reader, and how people can use information from different subjects to help create happiness in life. This light-hearted and easy read makes some great points and teaches positive lessons. While the author's thinking process is analytical, it is easy to follow and identify with. The author is open and honest about herself and her life, so the reader is able to feel comfortable and connected to the narrator.

    While this book isn't too different from others that preach to concentrate on the important things in life, it is refreshing to hear from an author that is very aware of her own shortcomings and willing to address them. There is great research presented in this book alongside personal anecdotes that make it even more interesting to read.

    Some people may find it to be difficult to relate to the author, as she has a seemingly lucky life with a healthy family and financial stability. However, it is important to remember that the principles that she presents are universal. It is just up to the reader to apply them to their own life. This book details research and ideas about how to be happy, but it doesn't fall short when coming to being humorous and fun to read. The positive psychology addressed in this book urges people to not procrastinate, and motivates the reader to be more productive.

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    The Happiness Advantage offers the reader tangible advice on how to change bad habits and behavior to lead a happier life. It then shows you how this advice can be applied to your everyday life, and how it will specifically impact your life both personally and professionally. This great thing about this book is that it is entertaining while still having a great deal of substance.

    There are a lot of positive lessons that can be taken away from the research presented. Learning ACT helps the reader clarify their values and learn how to live in the present moment, leading to satisfaction in life. This may be a good book for you if you have a lot of feelings of self-doubt and stress. It teaches the reader how to effectively handle negative feelings and emotions, and move forward in a healthy way.

    It also teaches how to overcome habits that may be self-destructive. This book presents ACT in an understandable and accessible way, so the reader is able to follow along and apply the concepts to their own life. This book lays out the groundwork for the reader to ultimately make changes to their own thought processes that will result in a happier life.

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    Frederickson teaches the power of positivity in this book to urge her readers to change their outlook on things to create sustainable happiness. She presents her own research as well as the research of others to show how positive thinking can change your life. Although this book feels a bit more like a "self-help" book than others, it is still really engaging to read and very accessible for anyone who is open to believing this concept.

    This is a great book for people who often have a negative attitude or are not able to look at the bright side of things.

    How of Happiness A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want

    One of the biggest takeaways from this book is that a ratio of positive thoughts to negative thoughts is the breaking point for flourishing. If you have fewer than three positive thoughts for every negative though, there is not a lot of progression. This is an overall serious and interesting book that offers specific exercises for the readers to do to help increase positivity and follow their passions.

    This book looks at the important relationship between love and health. Filled with scientific information that is rather accessible, this book also includes stories that bring the science that is talked about to life. It also offers practical ways to grow micro-moments of love in your life, which will result in happiness. Love 2. The reader is urged to change their attitude in order to make positive interactions with everyone they come into contact with, from neighbors to check-out clerks. It presents a good lesson on why people should be more trusting of the world and of their surroundings in order to appreciate the sincerity and kindness in other people. This book essentially teaches its readers that intentionally generating compassion and kindness for other people will lead to positive resonance and happiness.

    Written by a Zen master, this book presents simple and easily adaptable exercises for breathing, resting, thinking, and other everyday activities. Doing certain exercises during mundane daily activities can help people deal with irritation, anger, and stress. This guide to thinking is both concise and intelligent, with a lot of detail provided for the reader. It shows some small changes that can be made each day to result in a larger benefit of gaining happiness. The reader does not need to be familiar with Buddhism to learn valuable lessons from this book.