There have been a number of excellent books on happiness published in the past few years, and I have been consuming them avidly. Not only do I use their principles to help my students and hypnotherapy clients lead happier lives, but I also enjoy applying the principles to my own life. The books are also fun to read, with accounts of quirky psych experiments and fun, touching anecdotes.
One of the best of the happiness batch is "The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want" by UC Riverside Professor of Psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky. Amongst all the happiness texts I've read (and there have been about eight), this one I found to be the most practical in its ability to increase real happiness in your life.
This is because of Prof Lyubomirsky's judicious use of questionnaires and the Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic, which figures out which activities end up creating the most happiness for you. The results for me were somewhat surprising and allowed me to focus more of my time and energy on the activities that, unbeknownst to myself, meant the most to me.
Prof Lyubomirsky, a Santa Monica neighbor and fellow Harvard grad, was kind enough to let me into her home for a very informative interview which you can watch below. I recommend everyone, young and old, to get a copy of "The How of Happiness" for yourself and someone you love. There is no greater gift than enabling "the experience of joy, contentment or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one's life is good, meaningful and worthwhile." So go forth and be a happiness enabler.
In Part 1, we talk about how the book can help you custom-design your own happiness program. We also discuss savoring, flow and two of the three happiness myths.
WATCH Part 1:
In Part 2, we finish up the happiness myths, get into hedonic adaptation and the infamous story of Markus and Roland.
WATCH Part 2: