Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Happy Are You? Would You Like to Be as Happy as Pollyanna?

Photo by markhillary

Happiness. We all want happiness. We take jobs and marry and buy homes and have children, all in hopes of being happy.

Nevertheless, studies show that we are not very happy.

A few years ago, I decided to focus on happiness.  I decided to read about happiness and to put into practice the ideas about happiness I learned.

Are you curious about what secrets I learned?

Here they are, the twelve hows from Sonja Lyubomirsky's book, The How of Happiness:

1. Expressing gratitude
2. Cultivating optimism
3. Avoiding overthinking and social comparison
4. Practicing acts of kindness
5. Nurturing social relationships
6. Developing strategies for coping
7. Forgiving
8. Increasing flow experiences
9. Savoring life’s joys
10. Committing to your goals
11. Practicing religion and spirituality
12. Taking care of your body

I just finished a book where the main character lives all these ideas. It's Pollyanna. She's not the goody-two-shoes I thought she would be. No, she is a person who lives all these ideas, especially expressing gratitude and cultivating optimism, practicing acts of kindness and nurturing social relationships.

I've read a lot of books about happiness in the last few years and I've become happier. If you want to be happier, you could read these books, too.  Or you could read Pollyanna.

What are you reading today?

Other books on happiness that I've read in the past few years:




  1. I love the idea that we can somehow control our own happiness by practicing certain attitudes and principles. I've heard the one about taking on the "attitude of gratitude," and it seems to have brought forth good things for many addicts with whom I've worked over the years.

    I loved The Happiness Project!

    Sometimes it's hard to remember the principles during our everyday lives...but I think that even if we practice only some of these, we'll be better off.


  2. Wow. I hadn't realised you'd read quite so many happiness books! Pollyanna made me think about happiness too. She does have some lessons for our modern lives.

  3. I started reading The Happiness Project and quit because it seemed like common sense, but some of the other titles intrigue me

  4. So may I express my gratitude (and perhaps spread a little happiness around)?
    I want to thank you for stopping by my blog today and reminding me that I have control of how I cultivate my happiness, even if I don't have control over others' behaviors or the cycles of nature.
    You've reminded me of some of my favorite books about happiness (loved The Geography of Bliss especially), and offered a useful list of practices as well.
    Many thanks! (y me gusta leer tambien)

  5. Thank you, Laurie. I wish I had a little buzzer in my head that would remind me of all of these happiness builders when I forget....

  6. Happiness needs to sometimes be practiced. And reminded of. We live in a gray world. That's why there are bumper stickers that read "Practice Random Acts of Kindness", etc. We have to have regular tune-ups, even on the bright side of things.

  7. There's a new book out called "Spontaneous Happiness" that my partner is reading. It looks interesting. You may want to check it out.

  8. Thank you for the suggested reading. I'm off to add Spontaneous Happiness to my Amazon wishlist!

  9. I really enjoyed The Happiness Project. Did you know the author has a new book coming out next year? Have a great week.

    Deb, can you email me your mailing address? I want to send you a holiday card.

  10. Maybe I should read Pollyanna. I've read so many thoughtful but downbeat books lately. It would be nice to cultivate some happiness instead.

  11. This is such an interesting reading project. You should host an official "Happiness Challenge.." *hint, hint* :)

  12. Awesome list of things to do to be happy! I've been intrigued by The Happiness Project book... maybe I'll get a hold of that one some day. Happy Sunday!

  13. One thing that I find that I sometimes I have to force myself to have myself feel a little bit of happiness, even if its just wishing my bus driver a good day when I leave, even if I don't feel that great.

  14. It's crazy, Melissa, but one of the best ways to make yourself happy is by making others happy!

  15. it is very beautiful and nice site.This is a great article to remind all bloggers .this is a very great and nice article. What is happiness? Asking someone to define happiness is like asking him/her to define success. Happiness can mean a lot of different things, and the definition may vary from one person to another. To one person, happiness may mean having lots of possessions. To another person, happiness may mean being very successful in his or her chosen career. To still another person, happiness may simply mean having a healthy and happy family. Ask yourself: What is happiness for you?


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