Some Interesting Reads on Happiness

Posted on 2014/03/19

Too many of us rely on self-help books to make our lives happier. We don’t try to look within for the explanation to the problems we encounter, instead we want a readymade solution found somewhere in those books. Scientists believe that we can do with 40% to make our lives happier but there is always a need to develop positive emotions and hit the books to become happier. We have to set meaningful goals and prefer experiences over stuff. We feel happier when we reflect on experiences as compared to things. If the human quest to understand the underpinnings of happiness attracts you, but you end up in hives at the mere list of self-help books, you’re in luck. We’re not here to introduce you to nap-inducing books, but here’s a short list of really good reads on happiness that will keep you motivated and inspired.

1. The Happiness Project

This book is written by Gretchen Rubin and it consists of 336 pages. It was published in 2012. In one line, this book describes how to change your life without actually changing it. Reading this book enables you to take control of your happiness to the extent you can. The book is filled with some practicable ideas and tips since the author is an optimist. She believes that she is actually happy but there are certain things she can do to improve her life and make things simple. It is an echo to honor your time and craft your own pleasures. The author chronicles her experiences over a twelve months period and reveals how she tried her best to attain happiness by doing simple things. You'll enjoy her style of writing the book because she doesn't sound preachy at any moment. She has presented a perfect balance of statistics and her personal experiences and tries to create humor through self-deprecating. She doesn't ask her readers directly to be less judgmental, instead she gives them reasons why doing these little things can fuel their happiness and she suggests them how they can achieve it.






2. The Happiness Hypothesis

The Happiness Hypothesis is written by Jonathan Haidt and it describes ten great ideas to live a happier life. Each chapter defines one idea and these ideas are not the author’s personal opinions but these have been explored by several civilizations of the world. The author not only explains it in the light of scientific research but also tries to extract lessons from that idea and the way we can implement it in our modern life style.  All the ten ideas are described like theories of happiness in an attempt to find modern truth in ancient wisdom. The author has compiled a list of common pleasures as viewed by ancient philosophers from Plato to Shakespeare to Buddha. For example, according to Shakespeare, ‘there is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so’. Haidt examines these golden words through the prism of modern psychological thoughts and extracts some facts to optimize the condition of human beings. In a nutshell, this book describes the ideas to construct a quality life full of happiness, virtues, self-actualization, and meaning.   












3. Stumbling on Happiness

Daniel Gilbert has written Stumbling on Happiness and this book consists of 263 pages. It was published in 2007. This book questions its readers do they know what makes them happier? This is a fantastic book highlighting the most deeply held convictions of human beings about the functioning of their minds. Most of us love to plan for the future and spend our lives to get the best of all possible futures. But unfortunately, tomorrow rarely turns out as we've expected. The author explains when we fantasize what our future will hold, we make some consistent mistakes. Memory plays tricks on us when we look into the past. The same thing happens when we look forward into the future. The purpose of the author is to persuade its readers that happiness is not found where we suppose it to be. The tone of the book is fun, smart, tricky, assertive, and above all, everything is said with reference to cutting edge research.















4. The How of Happiness

In this book, the author Sonja Lyubomirsky describes different ways in which a person can change his capacity for happiness. The author has been a renowned researcher in the field of Psychology and in her quest for happiness for several years; she has explored somewhat 40% of the solutions to our day to day problems. She gives an easy to follow plan in her book describing what happiness is, and what cannot be named happiness. How we can achieve this through happiness increasing strategies. She has given the plan of a possibly life changing way to live to our innate joys and sustain through challenging problems.  She starts with a diagnostic quiz and the readers are able to perceive their ‘happiness set point’. The author believes that this ‘set point’ accounts for only 50% of happiness while just a 10% can be attributed to unpredictable situations, one may encounter in his lifetime. This leaves 40% share to our own capacity to change our lives. All things considered, this is a worth reading book on the subject of happiness as well as a nice contribution to the field of positive psychology. 





5. The Gifts of Imperfection

Brene Brown is a famous sociologist and the author of this book. The author likes to call herself a researcher storyteller and this is quite accurate too since the author gives a beautiful amalgamation of science and storytelling in this book to make it an inspiring read. The author’s major research areas have been shame, empathy, authenticity, and vulnerability and this book is mainly about ‘wholeheartedness’ what she thinks is an intricate dimension of human genuineness.  The author encourages her readers to accept who they are and leave the idea to become what they want to be. She also highlights the concept of love saying that love is not given or taken, instead it is earned and grown. The book starts with the tools one needs to begin his journey of a wholehearted life and first three chapters describe these tools. Most part of this book consists of ten directions to enable the readers to live a fuller life. This is a worth reading book you’ll keep coming back to for inspiration.









We hope you’ll find some time to read at least one of these books and we’re sure you’ll improve your pleasure seeking habits, strengths, and find yourself more compelling to live a better and happier life.