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Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy Audio CD – Bargain Price, November 25, 2008
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“Many self-help books are wildly unrealistic and not grounded in any kind of scientific evidence about how the mind actually works. Not so with Richard O'Connor's book. The author provides a clear roadmap through the opportunities, obstacles and complexities of happiness, drawing on the latest scientific research as well as his long and compassionate experience as a therapist. This is a book that leaves you wiser and better equipped to face the future.” - Daniel Nettle, Newcastle University; author of Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile
"Richard O'Connor, having already helped us to undo depression and chronic stress, now helps us to do happiness. Filled with humor and humanity, this book gives an up-to-date summary of the best of what research and clinical experience has to tell us about being happy. O'Connor is an engaging writer who holds the reader's attention while providing real substance." - Bill O'Hanlon, author of Change 101
About the Author
Richard O'Connor, MSW, Ph.D. is the author of Undoing Depression and Undoing Perpetual Stress. For fourteen years he was executive director of the Northwest Center for Family Service and Mental Health, a private, nonprofit mental health clinic serving Litchfield County, Connecticut, overseeing the work of twenty mental health professionals in treating almost a thousand patients per year. He is currently a practicing psychotherapist with offices in Connecticut and New York.
Top Customer Reviews
Some Interesting Things I Learned:
* A big cause of unhappiness is comparing ourselves to other people, we always want to be better and have more than the other guy but even if we get that, it won't make us happy.
* People like things more if they end on a high note.
* People regret not doing things more than they regret the things they did, even if what they did wasn't all that great.
* Losing something hurts more than gaining something gives us pleasure.
* There's twice the chance a kid of divorced parents will need mental health services than one from an intact family.
* In the last 10 years, types of Pop-Tarts has grown from 3 to 29 and Lay's Chips from 10 to 78.
* The more television you watch, the less happy you become.
* People who watch less than two hours of television a day enjoy it more than those who four or more hours.Read more ›
To be fair, Dr. O'Connor does not offer to transform moaning Eeyores into bouncy Tiggers. What he does do is draw on current neurological research, as well as contemporary trends in psychology, steeps the mix in common sense, throws in a bit of wisdom, and comes up with this message: lack of happiness is something one can most definitely do something about.
The book is a bit of a shotgun blast, incorporating the work of some contemporary psychologists, some relatively recent information about how our brains respond to training by becoming physically altered, making some demands that we agree to WORK at being happy, challenging the reader to drop old habits and make some new ones, meanwhile taking some serious and effective swipes at the psychological and physical toxicity of the American consumerist social addictions. Throw in a bit of Buddhism, a demand that you become socially involved in your community, a plea to pay more attention to one's family members and one's friends, an exhortation to pick up new skills such as music, arts, or literary skills, and a suggestion that one search for opportunities to do good deeds, and one ends up feeling a bit like O'Connor is talking about each of us becoming a Renaissance Man or a devout monk (or both!) in order to be happier. For good measure, O'Connor spends not a little time lambasting capitalism and it's exploitation of the human spirit. I kind of enjoyed that last part, though it will earn O'Connor no points with the captains of industry.Read more ›
But before long at all, it gets really good, with real practical advice and exercises and scientific information about learning and happiness.
The part about how we "learn" happiness is really good and helpful. The examples are meaningful, and I am glad there are real life examples since some of these books on happiness and meditation are all pie in the sky with no reality based descriptions.
One great thing about this book is it describes mindfulness and meditation in a way anyone can understand, appreciate and practice. And it works!
I am not quite done, but I can already say this is a really good and beneficial book. You should read it.
My suggestions for reading this book (and really any book like this) is to only read a chapter every day or two days no matter how much you want to read faster. In fact reading a chapter a week (although it might be difficult) I have found is much more impactful because it allows me to reflect on what I've read for the entire week.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Recommended by therapist...this Depressive Realist is getting a lot out of the information.Published 18 months ago by B. J.
I checked out this book at my library and will have to recheck it out so many times I'm just going ahead and buy it. Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by SmartShopper
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Straight to the point, to the heart and adds humor to boot. Everyone should read this book so they can help themselves while positively impacting... Read morePublished on January 6, 2012 by Ski Dog
I ran across this book by mistake in the library, when I was looking for a another book. It just caught my eye and so I checked it out. Read morePublished on June 22, 2011 by PMac
Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy did for me mentally what P90X did for me physically. Read morePublished on March 1, 2011 by S. Pearson
I've read lots and lots of positive psychology books, and this is definitely one of the best. Very easy to read. Read morePublished on October 1, 2010 by desert rose