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The Happiness Makeover July 19, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
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In The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to be Happy and Enjoy Every Day, M.J. Ryan shares what she has learned about how to find and really feel the joy in life.

Ryan’s own desire to be happier motivated her to explore the wealth of knowledge available in different cultures and fields on the subject of happiness.

Ryan includes a Bibliography which identifies forty of her sources ~ a helpful addition for readers who want to research further on the subject of happiness.

At the outset, she addresses basic concepts to demonstrate that you can be happier, as long as you are willing to train your mind, the way you would train a new puppy, by using positive reinforcement until your new happiness habits become automatic.

In the next section, what’s standing in your way, she addresses potential barriers to happiness: negative self-talk; hanging on to resentment; expecting life to be fair; living in the past, or worrying  about the future; being too attached to desires; struggling against the what is; having unreasonable expectations; striving for perfection; wanting to be right, more than you want to be happy; and biochemistry.

From there, she offers numerous tips on activating daily happiness: recognize that you are only responsible for your own happiness; make a list of what you really enjoy; find your tribe; keep frustrations in perspective; practice gratefulness; explore choices; find ways to enjoy your work; revel in simple pleasures; learn to think optimistically; be happy for everyone else’s sake; focus on what is going well; live according to your true priorities; accept the things you cannot change; stretch yourself; get out of your rut; make someone else happy; be true to yourself; and stop trying to fit yourself into someone else’s mold.

When asked, What is the meaning of life?, the Dalai Lama answered, “to be happy and to make others happy.”

If you agree, you owe it to yourself to spend some time exploring as many avenues as you can to increase the happiness in your own life, and in the lives of those around you.

The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to be Happy and Enjoy Every Day is an excellent place to start.

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Related post:  13 Books That Changed My Life