Happiness Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

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

November 22nd, 2014
Perhaps 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 ...

The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation

BOOK REVIEW.
Would you like to change the world in 28 days? How about something more manageable, like becoming a more relaxed, gracious, and loving person? Sean Meshorer’s The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation is designed to guide the reader through 28 bliss-enhancing practices. While the book, and especially its tone, did not earn my ...

Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose & Passion

BOOK REVIEW.
“There I was, on a Broadway stage. Naked with the rest of the cast of Oh! Calcutta! The drugs and alcohol must not have been working because I was literally crawling out of my skin.” So begins the preface of Marcia Ullett’s book Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose and Passion. This sets the tone ...

Meet the Parents: Navigating the Holiday Dinner without the Stress

Meet the Parents: Navigating Holiday Dinner without the StressWith holidays approaching, my son-in-law reminisced about the first time he came for a holiday meal. He and my daughter had only been dating for awhile. They each weren’t sure if they had met “The One” but were ...

Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life

BOOK REVIEW.
What a wonderful book this is! The topic is a universal concern, in varying degrees, for all of us. It is written in an easy-to-read style that is almost conversational. It provides common sense advice. This book is laid out very simply. Each chapter discusses one of the author’s 10 ways that we suffer unhappiness. ...