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Customer Review

149 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, February 6, 2008
This review is from: The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Hardcover)
About: Science-based ways of how to increase happiness

Review: Right off the bat, Lyubomirsky points out that we can only control 40% of our happiness (with half being genetic and 10% being environmental) but she suggest a bunch of techniques that have the backing of studies (which she cites) that have been shown to increase happiness. She notes that all techniques aren't for everyone so she encourages readers to choose the ones that fit their lifestyles. These techniques include practicing gratitude, forgiveness, goal setting, spirituality, exercise and living in the present (among other things). Ideas of of how to put these things to use are clearly spelled out. I really enjoyed this book, sources cited, great topic, well written, engaging, actually applicable to life.

Some random things I learned:

Marriage increases happiness for 2 years, then it returns to normal levels

Happiness also tends to eventually return to set point levels after both catastrophes and successes

People get happier with age

No one thing brings happiness

Overthinking (i.e. in times of anxiety, stress or insecurity) isn't good for you and just makes things worse

Helping others makes people happy

Hugging is good for happiness

The happier the person, the less he or she pays attention to what others around are doing
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