Sometimes it’s easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, oil spills in the oceans, wars heating up around the world, and the job market in a deep freeze, it’s tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But good things are all around us too. Ask a child what makes them happy and they’ll probably tell you something as simple as tying their shoes by themselves. Sound too basic for you? Well when was the last time you really stopped to consider the simple things in life? How much joy does it bring you to hit all green lights on your way home from a long day of work? Or how fun is it to know the correct answers on Jeopardy? What about putting on a fresh pair of jeans right out of the dryer or the smell of fresh baked bread?
Life is full of amazing, inspirational, feel-good things that are around us all the time. If you’d like to “up” your happiness quotient, here is a line-up of great new reads to help you do just that:
THE BOOK OF AWESOME by Neil Pasricha
In this adaptation of his blog www.1000awesomethings.com, Pasricha celebrates the simple pleasures of everyday living. Focusing on both tangible pleasures and simple experiences, Pasricha provides a contemporary take on everyday inspiration. (Publishers Weekly)
WELL BEING: THE FIVE ESSENTIAL ELEMNTS by Tom Rath and Jim Harter
This book will provide you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style by #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., this book is filled with fascinating research and novel ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas.
THE HAPPINESS PROJECT
by Gretchen Rubin
Rubin’s happiness project: spend one year achieving careful, measurable goals in different areas of life (marriage, work, parenting, self-fulfillment) and build on them cumulatively, using concrete steps (such as, in January, going to bed earlier, exercising better, getting organized, and “acting more energetic”). By December, she’s striving bemusedly to keep increasing happiness in every aspect of her life. (Publishers Weekly)
by Christine Carter
What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain. Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do’s and don’ts in action, Christine Carter boils the process down to 10 simple happiness-inducing steps.
STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS
by Daniel Todd Gilbert
In making his case, Gilbert walks us through a series of fascinating–and in some ways troubling–facts about the way our minds work. In particular, Gilbert is interested in delineating the shortcomings of imagination. We’re far too accepting of the conclusions of our imaginations. Our imaginations aren’t particularly imaginative. Our imaginations are really bad at telling us how we will think when the future finally comes. And our personal experiences aren’t nearly as good at correcting these errors as we might think. (Malcolm Gladwell)
The Feeling Good Handbook
by David D. Burns
With an up-to-date section on everything you need to know about commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs and anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, this remarkable guide can show you how to feel good about yourself and the people you care about. You will discover that life can be an exhilarating experience.
THE ART OF HAPPINESS
by Daili Lama Gyatso,
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. Gyatso talks about how to defeat depression, anxiety, anger, and jealousy through meditation. He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality and how to find inner peace while facing these struggles.