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The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want Hardcover – December 27, 2007
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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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 --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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I am an avid reader of psychology and self-help books, with a background in counseling and science. I am planning to become a therapist, and recently became interested in the new field of positive psychology.
While I had absorbed many useful insights from excellent books dealing with conquering negative emotions and depression, such as David Burns' "Feeling Good" and Harriet Braiker's "Getting Up When You're Feeling Down," I had always felt there must be more to psychology than that.
The new field of positive psychology -- moving beyond dealing with negative emotions into building one's positive emotions and strengths -- has been very exciting to me.
Professor Lyubomirsky's book is one of the best books in the field that I have read so far.
She synthesizes the results of dozens of scientific studies to create useful, practical, simple, common sense tactics for people to use who want more happiness and general positive emotions in their lives, and who also want to build up their positive strengths.
A reader does not have to have a science background or a counseling background to implement the strategies she extracts from scientific research done on happiness.
I am now on my third re-reading of her book. It is written in a clear, easy-to-read style, but it is soundly based on complex scientific studies.
If you are looking for a book that tells you the basics of how to be happy this might be a good choice. Sonja Lyubomirsky is a research psychologist who studied what makes people happy. Along the way she gained some insights into the psychology of becoming a more joyful person. Basically this deals with gratitude, writing in a journal and doing acts of kindness. There is also some good advice on forgiveness. Who can be happy when totally consumed with anger and revenge? I also thought Sonja had some surprising things to say about goals.
One of my thoughts during reading this was: "Money can make you happy if you give a lot of it away."
So this has a lot of practical ideas and focuses on 12 happiness activities that you can start doing right away to feel better. At the end of the book there is a section on depression.
By reading this book I found out I'm about as happy as the next person. There are tests to take to determine various things. Things I should do more include thanking people more and writing in a gratitude journal.
~The Rebecca Review