The How Of Happiness

On Sunday a friend of mine lent me a book called ‘The How Of Happiness‘, which has been, for me at least, an enjoyable and interesting read. Yes, it’s a self-help book, but it’s one that doesn’t make me want to go: “Oh for fuck’s sake, will you just shut the fuck up you condescending asshat?!” – which is the effect most self-help books have on me.

I guess the reason I like this book so much is because it isn’t one of those ‘touchy-feely-if-you-want-it-you-will-get-it’ type books, it’s practical and empowering and as my friend put it: “it’s based on actual scientific research instead of the usual self-help bullshit”. Word 

It also has a bunch of quizzes, and so far I have learnt that I am unhappier than the ‘average‘ person, as well as what ‘happiness activities‘ will most probably be the most rewarding for me. These are:

  • Gratitude lists: I have set aside a separate moleskine to use as my ‘gratitude journal‘, and have been writing everything that has either made me smile, made my heart leap, or has amused the shit out of me – no matter how little it seems.
  • Acts of kindness: As annoying as people are, I guess I’m not really a misanthrope… People just need to stop annoying the shit out of me so I can do nice things for them.
  • Nurturing relationships: Two relationships that are definitely worth the time and energy are the ones I have with my mum and my youngest sister (who needs to hurry up and get the hell back home – because I miss her).
  • Learning to forgive: This is definitely a biggie, and will probably be the hardest activity of the lot, but as Erykah Badu said: let it go, let it go, let it go…
People annoy the crap out of me, so I was quite surprised that ‘acts of kindness’ ranked as high as it did, but I guess I do get a kick out of making people smile. This is definitely going to be a month of self-discovery, but I reckon it will be worth it, and I’m also real glad that I’m reading this book – scientific research FTW!

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