The How of Happiness – new book

Today, I happened to catch an interview with the author of this book on the radio. It caught my attention because of her unique approach — definitely not your typical how-to-get-happy book.

The How of Happiness author is Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She and her colleagues researched thousands of men and women … which has got to be tough, when you think about the criteria they might have used. After all, most of us are happier at some times than others, etc.

“Lyubomirsky’s “happiness strategies” introduce readers to the concept of intentional activities, mindful actions that they can use to achieve a happier life. 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

Much of what you’ll see, you already know — but might need to learn again — like how living in gratitude is a big plus. Also doing kind deeds for others. And having good relationships. But there are some surprises in her findings too, one of which is that happy people work at being so. Also that people can definitely overcome abusive childhoods and become happy.

Another is that, yes, it’s true, people might be more happy when they get a large sum of money, but then the glory fades and they will only want more. Heck, don’t we know this by now?


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