March 6, 2009

The challenge of being happier

Gretchen Rubin at Slate has this series of articles:
Gretchen is actually working on a book, THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, which will hit the shelves in late 2009. On her blog, she recounts some of her adventures and insights as she grapple with the challenge of being happier. According to the above link, her upcoming book is a "memoir about the year she spent test-driving every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study she could find, whether from Aristotle or St. Therese or Martin Seligman or Oprah. THE HAPPINESS PROJECT will gather these rules for living and report on what works and what doesn’t."

I only briefly perused through a book about happiness myself recently --  The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. This one is not by someone who test-drove theories herself but by a psychologist involved for many years in scientific studies of what factors contribute to human happiness. I found it quite useful though I did not read more than 40-50 pages and hope to get back to it sometime this year.

The book was one of 5 that was reviewed in the New York Review of Books last year.
  • The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky 
  • Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar 
  • Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert 
  • Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric G. Wilson 
  • What Is Emotion?: History, Measures, and Meanings by Jerome Kagan
Given the general state of the world, it is not surprising that there are so many books about happiness. Lots of people, like me, wonder about what it takes to be happy in life, I suppose!

Previous posts about happiness: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

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