Hope you’re doing well!
Throughout my life as a student I have had to read many books and novels. However, the book that has had the greatest positive impact in my everyday life is The How of Happiness by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. This was an assigned reading for one of my psychology courses and it was definitely a worthwhile read that I would highly recommend to everyone!
The How of Happiness is a self-help book that teaches you how to work towards becoming a happier person. However, what separates this book from the hundreds of other similar books is that this particular book is based on real scientific research that has been conducted on this topic.
Basically, this self-help book is very accurate and reliable because at its core it is based on scientific research. The author herself is a University Lecturer and researcher at the University of California Riverside.
The key idea of this book is that happiness is something that can be attained by actively working towards achieving it. The author points out her research that shows 50 percent of our happiness is based on our genetics, 10 percent of our happiness is based on our life situations (such as whether we are rich or poor; healthy or unhealthy etc.) and most importantly 40 percent of our happiness is based on our own thoughts and behaviors (which we can change).
The purpose of this book is to help you take advantage of this 40 percent that is within our control. The author presents and describes 12 different happiness enhancing strategies. however, not every strategy will work for every individual. This is why the author provides the reader with a (very simple) diagnostic self-test to determine which two or three strategies will work best for him or her.
After determining which strategies will work best for you, you can go to the chapters on those strategies in order to start implementing them in your life. Or you can read about all 12 strategies and see if you would benefit from them. The strategies include:
- Expressing Gratitude
- Cultivating Optimism
- Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison
- Practicing Acts of Kindness
- Nurturing Social Relationships
- Developing Strategies for Coping
- Learning to Forgive
- Increasing Flow
- Savoring Life’s Joys
- Committing to your Goals
- Practicing Religion and Spirituality
- Taking Care of Your Body
Some of these strategies may sound too easy or too cheesy however, in the last part of the book the author explains how and why these strategies work. This book also contains a special section with tips for those that may be feeling depressed.
Overall, this book is written in a manner that is very easy to read and understand. I have learned so much from this book and from the bottom of my heart I hope that each person that reads this post will also read this great book and hopefully go on their own personal journey to living a happier and more fulfilling life.