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The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want Paperback – December 30, 2008
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"Finally we have a self-help book from a reputable scientist whose advice is based on the best experimental data... The How of Happiness is smart, fun, and interesting - and unlike almost every other book on the same shelf, it also happens to be true."
-Daniel Gilbert, Harvard University professor of psychology and author of Stumbling on Happiness
"A guide to sustaining your newfound contentment."
"Lyubomirsky's central point is clear: a significant portion of what is called happiness . . . is up for grabs. Taking some pages out of the positive psychology playbook, she coaches readers on how to snag it."
-The New York Review of Books
"Is lasting happiness attainable or a pipe dream? For the last eighteen years, University of California-Riverside professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky has studied this question, and what she reports might even sway pessimists."
-U.S. News & World Report
"The right place to look for science-based advice on how to become happier."
-Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism
About the Author
SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY is professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University. Lyubomirsky and her research have been the recipients of many honors, including the 2002 Templeton Positive Psychology Prize and a multiyear grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her family. Her next book, The Myths of Happiness, will be published by The Penguin Press in January 2013.
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Top Customer Reviews
I felt after reading this book (several times) that it was a less helpful, more commercialized version of a much better, more helpful and more specific book which was written several years ago, "The Emotional Toolkit" by Darlene Minnini (also a PhD from California, although from UCLA). The Emotional Toolkit cites the same studies that The How of Happiness cites and more, but is more focused on the reader and what he or she can do, not exclusively on selling the idea of what they should do. It gives specific suggestions, which How does not; such as listing questions to ask yourself while writing in a journal, for example, and questions to ask yourself to shift your thoughts from negative to neutral (instead of How's simply telling you to "stop" the negative thoughts because negative thoughts are bad for you).
So, if you really want to help yourself, I would not go for How of Happiness.
~ Sonja Lyubomirsky from The How of Happiness
People often ask me what ONE book I would recommend they read that I think best captures how to create an ideal life. I’ve never given an answer as nothing’s ever really met that standard. Now I can: The How of Happiness.
This is the 87th Note I’ve worked on and it’s been fascinating to see the same Big Ideas repeated by philosophers, mystics and modern-day self-help gurus. It’s even more exciting, in fact, EXHILARATING (!!!), to see so many of these Ideas SCIENTIFICALLY TESTED and *PROVEN* to be effective.
(Pardon the yelling. This book gets me a little excited. :)
And that’s what this book is all about. As a research psychologist and University of California professor of psychology, for the last 18+ years Sonja Lyubomirsky has been testing various ways we can increase our level of happiness as she’s played a leading role in the nascent positive psychology movement that’s creating a science of optimal living.
SUPER COOL stuff.
I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you get the book. It’s packed with happiness assessments and scientifically proven strategies for boosting your level of happiness that I think you’ll really dig.
Let’s explore some of the Big Ideas:
1. Why Be Happy? - Compelling reasons.
2. The 40% Solution - Focus here!
3. The Work of Happiness - It takes consistent effort.
4. 12 Happiness Activities - What’s your favorite?
5. Happiness Activity #1: - Expressing gratitude.
So bust out your journal and imagine your ideal self as we move to embody the hows of happiness, will ya?!? :)
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
Lyubomirsky has created a work which will be interesting, challenging, and useful to researchers, practitioners, and the general reader as well. Her book answers the questions about happiness by backing up her assertions with a fine review of the empircial literature. "Harumph", no more touchy-feely stuff for the "soft science of psychology"...Lyubomirsky has created a book that will appeal to both my neighbors as well as my colleagues. This book would be appropriate in a psychology graduate course or a local reading group....
Her tone is deliciously real and edgy, her presentation delightful and well-thought out, and her suggestions concrete, specific, realistic and engaging.
There is something for everyone in this book.
I hate goals, I rebel against goals, tell me I "should" and I certainly won't. Well, after reading this book, taking the tests, I have actually done some goal setting that I might find I can complete without gritting my teeth and gutting it out.
Thanks, Sonja, I will be thinking of you tomorrow at 6am as I head out to the gym.
Beth Waddel, PhD.