How of Happiness: A
Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
Unknown, January 2009
You can change your personal capacity for happiness. Research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky's pioneering concept of the 40% solution shows you how
Sonja Lyubomirsky has earned her credentials as a leading expert on happiness-increasing strategies and she generously shares with her readers the secrets she has learned from rigorously conducted scientific studies. Drawing on her own groundbreaking research with thousands of men and women, research psychologist and University of California professor of psychology Lyubomirsky has pioneered a detailed yet easy-to-follow plan to increase happiness in our day-to-day lives-in the short term and over the long term.
The How of Happiness is a different kind of happiness book, one that offers a comprehensive guide to understanding what happiness is, and isn't, and what can be done to bring us all closer to the happy life we envision for ourselves.
Using more than a dozen uniquely formulated happiness-increasing strategies, The How of Happiness offers a new and potentially life- changing way to understand our innate potential for joy and happiness as well as our ability to sustain it in our lives. These include exercises in practicing optimism when imagining the future, instruction in how best to savor life's pleasures in the here and now, and a thoroughgoing explanation of the importance of staying active to being happy. Helping readers find the right fit between the goals they set and the activities she suggests, Lyubomirsky also helps readers understand the many obstacles to happiness as well as how to harness individual strengths to overcome them.
Always emphasizing how much of our happiness is within our control, Lyubomirsky addresses the "scientific how" of her happiness research, demystifying the many myths that unnecessarily complicate its pursuit. Unlike those of many self-help books, all her recommendations are supported by scientific research. From expressing gratitude to taking care of one's body, she pours out the evidence for twelve happiness-enhancing strategies, offering persuasive rationales and practical suggestions for their implementation. The final chapter deals with the reality of depression, a topic often ignored in Pollyannish popular accounts of the happy life.
You may want to start the activities before you finish reading the book, but do both and those all around you will be grateful that you did.
Beginning with a short diagnostic quiz that helps readers to first quantify and then to understand what she describes as their "happiness set point," Lyubomirsky reveals that this set point determines just 50 percent of happiness while a mere 10 percent can be attributed to differences in life circumstances or situations. This leaves a startling, and startlingly underdeveloped, 40 percent of our capacity for happiness within our power to change.
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.
The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to all those who have questioned their own well- being and sought to take their happiness into their own hands.
This book can be