Happiness Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

5 Habits of Happy Families

December 14th, 2014
When asked what they want most of their children, most parents reply that they just want them to be happy. It seems like a modest enough wish. But we all know that for some people, happiness is hard to find. One way to ...

How to Be Alone

BOOK REVIEW.
I often spend at least twelve hours a day being very much in the presence of others. Caring for patients, discussing cases with attending doctors, interacting with nurses and social workers, and then going back to talk with patients again, my day is spent in a series of often intense human interactions. Add to the human ...

Are We Touching Each Other Enough?

Are We Touching Each Other Enough?Are you touching each other enough? No, not during sex. I'm talking about touching when we feel lonely, long to connect, and want to open. Yet, afraid of rejection, we hold back. Over 30 years, and hundreds of couples, I see that words ...

Therapists Spill: What I’m Grateful For

Therapists Spill: What I’m Grateful ForIn our regular monthly series therapists spill all sorts of secrets, including how they deal with difficult times, their biggest mistakes and key lessons they’ve learned from their clients. This month, in the spirit of the holiday season, we asked clinicians to share ...

Self-Acceptance is the Key to a Healthier Self-Image

Stress Management Practices: Right and WrongPerhaps no issue is more important to emotional well-being than our sense of self. This is especially true in Western cultures that emphasize autonomy and independence. Much of the field of mental health seems intent on understanding self-image problems in terms of ...

Being Grateful Despite Challenges

recognizing-dealing-with-stressThere are times when we may feel like we cannot be grateful about anything in our lives. Losing a job or feeling burned out can contribute to one’s negative attitude. Experiencing financial losses or not being able to make ends meet can hurt deeply. Enduring physical ...

The Compass of Now

BOOK REVIEW.
Many books on the healing power of meditation belabor the importance of breathing and focused practice. In her new book, DDnard — the popular name of a spiritual guru in Thailand — concentrates instead on Buddhist parables. As DDnard explains in The Compass of Now: How One Woman Became Financially Free, Healed Wounds, and Inspired Millions of ...

Cognitive Distortions: The Lies Depression Tells

Cognitive Distortions: The Lies Depression TellsDepression is a master manipulator. It spins negative stories and makes you think these tall tales are cold, hard facts. But they’re really cognitive distortions. “[N]ot only does the illness make our thoughts more negative, but it tends to make us see negative events ...

5 Myths about Parenting

10 Fantasies to Examine before Deciding on ParenthoodParenting tips are aplenty. It can seem like there’s a new trend every week boasting about the best way to raise your kids or warning about the worst. With so many prescriptions for good parenting, naturally, it can quickly ...

Change How You Feel: Change How You Breathe

MeditationEmotions add flavor to life. Joy, love and contentment make living a pleasure. Anger and fear act as warning signals telling us when to protect ourselves. Most of all, emotions are the glue that binds us to family and friends. But those same emotions can be so ...

The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Surrendering to a simpler life can be frightening or stressful — even inconceivable.  Consider an average day. Multitasking and over-performing are more a requisite than an ideal, as is maintaining competitive advantages just so you can pay your rent. Competition is everywhere we look, in fact, making it seem almost reckless, at least counter-intuitive, to stop ...

You Can Worry and Be Happy

anxious_worrySome time ago, there was a popular song by Bobby McFerrin that urged us “Don’t worry. Be happy.” The lyrics suggest that worrying and being happy are contradictory feelings. They’re not.

When

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Rethink How You Think: How to Create Lasting Change Today

BOOK REVIEW.
For a science-informed book on self-improvement, Rethink How You Think can be both illuminating and confounding. The primary reason is its splicing of science and religion: two camps perennially at odds. However, this is not the kind of book that has been somewhat in vogue the past few years, a pop-science look at religiosity versus ...

Book Review: Emotional Life

BOOK REVIEW.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions, I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” That quote from Oscar Wilde is how psychologist Doreen Davy kicks off Emotional Life: Managing Your Feelings to Make the Most of Your Precious Time on Earth. Whether an experience is good or bad ...

Feeling Loved: Finding Happiness in an Overstressed World

BOOK REVIEW.
We have been writing about love for millennia. From the earliest surviving love poem dating from around 2030 BCE to the work of philosophers like Lao Tzu to the sonnets of Shakespeare, countless tomes have been written about seeking love, finding love, feeling love, and all the possible variations on the theme. In the modern ...

15-Minute Vacations

  <small><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Cardiovascular system photo by shutterstock</a>.</small>For those of us who have a 9-to-5 indoor job, it can sometimes feel like summer is passing us by. If we already took a vacation, it can seem like a distant memory. If a vacation week is a month ...

Being You, Changing the World

BOOK REVIEW.
So you’re having a bad time of it. Well, perhaps you should “demand of the Universe: Either my life completely changes or I am out of here.” If you are truly serious, then plan for your ousting. “I even set a date, 6 months in the future. I gave the Universe a deadline,” writes Dain Heer. ...

Laughter Is Serious Business!

Laugh! It's Serious Business! Knock, knock! Who's there? Theodore! Theodore who? Theodore is stuck and it won't open! Q: Why do bicycles fall over? A: Because they are two-tired! Q: What did one snowman say to the other snowman? A: Do you smell carrots? But seriously, folks -- laughing is no laughing matter. If you want ...

Therapists Spill: The Keys to Creating Positive Change

Therapists Spill: The Keys to Creating Positive ChangeCreating positive changes in your life is tough. It can be scary. “We fear the unknown, fear failure, even fear success,” said Christina G. Hibbert, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and expert in postpartum mental health. Clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D, also ...

Optimal Living 360: Smart Decision Making for a Balanced Life

BOOK REVIEW.
With an M.B.A. as well as an M.D., Sanjay Jain has written the type of book that you’d imagine coming from a physician who thinks in business terms. Optimal Living 360 is smart at times, if short on science and substance, and intends to help readers make sound decisions across a wide range of everyday areas, ...

Mastering the Art of Quitting: Why It Matters in Life, Love & Work

BOOK REVIEW.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of me at three years old sitting on my mother’s lap while she read from the The Little Engine That Could. Originally published in 1930, the story is meant to inculcate children with the values of persistence. Hence the repetition: I think I can, I think I can. It is precisely ...

Therapists Spill: The Books I Turn to on a Difficult Day

Therapists Spill: The Books I Turn to on a Difficult DaySometimes, just reading a few words of wisdom or support can help to soothe us and give us clarity. Reading certain books can move us into a kinder space. It can inspire and empower us. Or it ...

One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Regardless of whether you believe in positive thinking or view of it as a hokey concept, you almost cannot go a day without seeing or hearing some example of it. In One Simple Idea, Mitch Horowitz takes us into the history of the movement, exploring the science of it (while noting that researchers have never ...