The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the



10 thoughts on “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want

  1. Doc Opp Doc Opp says:

    I got this free from a publisher who wanted me to use it in my class I applaud the attempt to use actual science in the oversaturated self help happiness market Its nice to see somebody with qualifications who actually does research on the topic writing this sort of thing And as that genre of books go, its probably well above its peers But I do empirical psychology for a living, and so I couldn t read it without getting into reviewer mode And let me tell you, there are a lot of things in I got this free from a publisher who wanted me to use it in my class I applaud the attempt to use actual science in the oversaturated self help happiness market Its nice to see somebody with qualifications who actually does research on the topic writing this sort of thing And as that genre of books go, its probably well above its peers But I do empirical psychology for a living, and so I couldn t read it without getting into reviewer mode And let me tell you, there are a lot of things in this book that I think need revise and resubmitFor example, the author notes the fact that only 10% of variance in happiness ratings is due to a person s situation as opposed to behaviors or genetics Sadly, she then conflates that with the notion that only 10% of a person s subjective happiness is due to a person s situation The first is a population heritability estimate, the latter looks at individuals This fundamental mischaracterization of the statistic undermines her entire point She also neglects the possibility of interaction terms between situation and behaviors Yes, its true that interacting with friends is a behavioral variable so gets counted under behavior in her model, but its harder for people living alone in a research station in siberia to interact with friends than folks living in the town they grew up in, so situation location needs to be counted in this All in all, a sloppy book from a scientific perspective I stopped reading around chapter 3 because it was pissing me off


  2. Anna Anna says:

    As someone who has been on a bit of a quest for several years now, I can say that this book illuminated a whole new corner of the tent under which all things happiness related are kept Sonja is a scientist in the field of positive psychology studying what makes people happy to begin with as opposed to unraveling problems after they have manifested themselves with a scoff proof academic pedigree hello, Harvard and Stanford For anyone who has a hard time buying into things like The Secret As someone who has been on a bit of a quest for several years now, I can say that this book illuminated a whole new corner of the tent under which all things happiness related are kept Sonja is a scientist in the field of positive psychology studying what makes people happy to begin with as opposed to unraveling problems after they have manifested themselves with a scoff proof academic pedigree hello, Harvard and Stanford For anyone who has a hard time buying into things like The Secret because they lack a concrete scientific underpinning, THE HOW OF HAPPINESS presents a specific, hands on approach that s chock full of controlled, documented research and data And if that sounds a little dry, fear not because Sonja s a natural teacher professor, actually and she presents the material in her own down to earth, conversational and entertaining style A must read for anyone who s serious about being, well, happy


  3. Megan Megan says:

    Excellent book on tangible ways to increase happiness in your life Basic theory We have a genetic happiness set point that accounts for 50% of our happiness, 10% of our happiness comes from our life s circumstances, like where we live, what car we drive, how much money we make, etc And the remaining 40% rests in how we choose to be happy everyday i.e our daily activities The book focuses on refining that 40% All based on empirical evidence A must read.


  4. Lisa Sipe Lisa Sipe says:

    Lyubomirsky asserts that up to 40% of your happiness is within your power to change She then makes available a number of assessment instruments that measure your happiness level and help you select from 12 happiness activities that best match your personality, resources, goals and needs Each of the activities is presented with empirical evidence of its efficacy and suggestions for related activities that might also fit These activities represent habits rather than goals, and as such, are some Lyubomirsky asserts that up to 40% of your happiness is within your power to change She then makes available a number of assessment instruments that measure your happiness level and help you select from 12 happiness activities that best match your personality, resources, goals and needs Each of the activities is presented with empirical evidence of its efficacy and suggestions for related activities that might also fit These activities represent habits rather than goals, and as such, are something one could practice most days.The final section of the book is dedicated to enhancing one s likelihood of success with the happiness activities It provides the rationale for how and why all these approaches work And, how to increase the odds of success through 1 Positive emotion,2 Optimal timing and variety,3 Social support,4 Motivation, effort and commitment,and5 HabitWhile both my personal experience and the scientific evidence presented support the notion that engaging in these happiness activities does increase one s enjoyment of life, I think the approach gives short shrift to the importance of significance in life Certainly, when one savors, takes care of one s body or expresses gratitude, one s mode is lifted But, where is the gratification or flow in thoseraw emotional pleasures The book is really good, as far as it goes, but if you are looking for something about how to live a full life, you ll need to find another book


  5. Lucia Gannon Lucia Gannon says:

    I am about half way through this book and it is beginning to annoy me a little If you have read anything in the positive psychology vein, Seligman, Peterson or Csiksentmihalyi, this will not be new.I know there is research behind what she is saying so I don t need to be reminded every second sentence.I also find her very repetitive I know it is writen for the non expert but I really do not think there is any need to keep repeating everthing ad nauseum.The hows are interesting and applicable I am about half way through this book and it is beginning to annoy me a little If you have read anything in the positive psychology vein, Seligman, Peterson or Csiksentmihalyi, this will not be new.I know there is research behind what she is saying so I don t need to be reminded every second sentence.I also find her very repetitive I know it is writen for the non expert but I really do not think there is any need to keep repeating everthing ad nauseum.The hows are interesting and applicable and I was trying to reflect on how I would feel if I had never read anything on positive psychology I think it would definitely have stimulated my interest but I also think I would have felt very over whelmed by all her suggestions.It is useful to be able to skip from one section to the next so I like the structure.It is a very easy read and would be a very useful guide to the whole area of positive psychology but I prefer something a bitbackground and less instructions in books like these


  6. Wilmington Wilmington says:

    I bought this book out of curiosity not because I felt particularly unhappy, but because I wondered how I could be even happier After reading the introduction I was hooked and expected the book to be truly interesting as it was written by an academic researcher specialised in positive psychology.As someone with a scientific background myself, I was pleased to read in the introduction that The How of Happiness is different from many self help books as it represents a distillation of what rese I bought this book out of curiosity not because I felt particularly unhappy, but because I wondered how I could be even happier After reading the introduction I was hooked and expected the book to be truly interesting as it was written by an academic researcher specialised in positive psychology.As someone with a scientific background myself, I was pleased to read in the introduction that The How of Happiness is different from many self help books as it represents a distillation of what researchers of the science of happiness, including myself, have uncovered in their empirical investigations Every suggestion that I offer is supported by scientific research if evidence is mixed or lacking on a particular subject, I plainly say so p.3 The author then goes on to explain that only double blind experiments with participants chosen at random can determine whether a claim is true, which are often missing in other books and magazines providing advice on how to become happier Unfortunately, the book didn t live up to these expectations Mrs Lyubomirsky often resorts to unscientific anecdotes and personal stories isolated cases to illustrate her methods There is hardly anything scientific past the introduction It s just another book of advice like any other one It may be based on serious research, but unless you decide to check all the references in the notes section, very little is explained You just have to trust her That s not a very convincing approach.Overall I found the book annoyingly repetitive, with lots of empty sentences stating the obvious or things that are common sense.The book was also clearly written for an American audience, starting from the premises that the readers are inordinately materialistic and obsessed with work, money and keeping up with the Joneses It almost feels like the author had the Desperate Housewives in mind when she wrote the book.I will go as far as to question the reliability of the content of the book itself When I read on page 45 46 that the weather and personal safety are not important to achieve happiness, one could wonder why so many Northern Europeans suffer from depression in winter, or why bullied children and harassed workers ever commit suicide Mrs Lyubomirsky claims that studies comparing the happiness levels of Californians and Midwesterners didn t show that Californians were happier in average, and therefore that weather is not a factor influencing happiness It doesn t take a genius to understand what a gross simplification that is If people could live as happily in the Arctic regions, then why is there so few people moving to the Canadian North, Greenland or Lapland Mrs Lyubomirsky completely disregards Maslow s hierarchy of needs, which states that people can only be happy once they fulfil life s needs by order of importance At the bottom of the pyramid are the most fundamental needs, like food, water, sleep and sex Then comes personal safety, then only friendships and love Without all these, people cannot move to the next level, which is self esteem, confidence, and achievements And only when these needs have been fulfilled can an individual truly reach the level of self actualization and happiness How can she, as a psychologist, believe one second that personal safety is not an essential step to achieve happiness I think that the main problem with this book is that the author doesn t understand the essential distinction between being un happy about a temporary situation and life in general She claims from the first page of chapter one that being in a relationship, having a baby, getting a better job, a bigger house, and so on will only make us happy for a short time, until we get accustomed to the novelty and wantHowever, some of these cravings arethan mere whims It is true that some people can be perfectly happy staying single and not having children But that s a personal choice, emanating from one s character and physiological needs There are people who simply cannot live a happy life without being in a relationship or without having children The author s approach is to compare statistics of the happiness level between two groups of people, then wildly claim that because both groups have similar levels of happiness, one factor like being in a relationship does not significantly influence happiness That is very poor science indeed.What s , her suggestions to improve our long term happiness do not differ much from the small highs one get by buying a new car or getting a promotion at work She advocates doing a series of small things on a daily basis, like being kind to others, showing one s gratitude, or savour one s food Each of them will only provide a small boost, but doing them frequently and regularly will improve long term happiness, she explains I fail to see the difference with enjoying one s life by eating out with friends, watching a good movie, or redecorating the house It s as if Mrs Lyubomirsky had a moral issue with achieving happiness through material ways and wanted us to do it only through mental or spiritual ways Perhaps that is a reaction to living in a too materialistic society California.There are actually quite a few simple ways of boosting one s mood, and therefore happiness, on a daily basis, which aren t mentioned in the book at all Sleeping well is one of the most important, as sleep deprivation makes up irritable, stressed, unpleasant and aggressive with others, and even depressed Watching comedies, playing games, and so on are also good ways.Finally, Mrs Lyubomirsky only looks at positive ways to enhance happiness, but fails to recognise the importance of reducing negative circumstances Her methods will never work on someone who is bullied on a daily basis and can t escape from it That person will remain miserable, because he or she did not achieve personal safety, towards the bottom of Maslow s hierarchy of needs If it is true that we possess an uncanny faculty to adapt to positive changes, even winning the lottery, and some negative changes illness, unemployment, loss of a relative , deficiencies in the basic necessities of life can seriously affect long term happiness Sometimes having a house big enough for all its occupants can become a basic necessity if it is the only way to sleep well regularly Too bad the author couldn t understand that


  7. Liz Berning Liz Berning says:

    I was assigned to read this book for a psychology class and I can t say that I was mad about it I ve never really read a self help book before, but if you are in that boat as well This is an awesome place to start I think the most important aspect of this book is that is is research based Another aspect that I appreciated was the fact that the book was personalizeable based on tests at the beginning of the book So, depending on the results of those test, the book can be tailored to you sp I was assigned to read this book for a psychology class and I can t say that I was mad about it I ve never really read a self help book before, but if you are in that boat as well This is an awesome place to start I think the most important aspect of this book is that is is research based Another aspect that I appreciated was the fact that the book was personalizeable based on tests at the beginning of the book So, depending on the results of those test, the book can be tailored to you specifically


  8. Anthony Anthony says:

    What are the thing s that make a person happier The author gather s much of the research data done on happiness and lays it out for you There really aren t any big surprises involved here It s stuff like exercise, having friends, being a considerate and optimistic person Stuff like that She comes up with a list of 12 things that any person could do to become happier in general This after the caveat that a great deal of one s happiness seems to actually be already set by birth, in other wor What are the thing s that make a person happier The author gather s much of the research data done on happiness and lays it out for you There really aren t any big surprises involved here It s stuff like exercise, having friends, being a considerate and optimistic person Stuff like that She comes up with a list of 12 things that any person could do to become happier in general This after the caveat that a great deal of one s happiness seems to actually be already set by birth, in other words whether you are chipper or a grump most of that is genetics I ve always suspected this Science has found that wealth, fortune, fame and tragedy all have a much smaller effect on our happiness than we might think.After genetics, a great deal of how happy or how sad a person is, is up to them What is interesting is that so many of the things that make a person happy are the same proverbs and ideas espoused by the world s great religions Stuff like forgiveness, mindful awareness and so on It is kind of funny that the latest scientific research is really just a validation of the 2,000 yrs old teachings of Christ and the Buddha.So, there is really nothing groundbreaking here However it s still a well written, concise and helpful look at healthy human psychology And, as someone who can t stand overly schmalzy stuff, I think the author does a great job of being inspiring without being cloying or too touchy feely Basically it s a self help book without the cheesy attitude


  9. Margarida (mbooksbycandlelight) Margarida (mbooksbycandlelight) says:

    This book has tons of great information about how to be happy and how to maintain that happiness once you achieve it The author gives many strategies for cultivating happiness and all of them are supported by many scientific studies It is a bit of a dense read if you don t have a lot of experience with psychology focused texts I don t and this took me a few days to read It just has too much information to read all in one sitting At least it did for me All in all, I would recommend this boo This book has tons of great information about how to be happy and how to maintain that happiness once you achieve it The author gives many strategies for cultivating happiness and all of them are supported by many scientific studies It is a bit of a dense read if you don t have a lot of experience with psychology focused texts I don t and this took me a few days to read It just has too much information to read all in one sitting At least it did for me All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who finds happiness a worthwhile pursuit


  10. Farnaz Babaie Farnaz Babaie says:

    If you want to read this book, physical book would be much better than audio For such books full of lists, activities and exercises , physical book might be easier to follow The author suggested some strategies to boost your happiness You rank these strategies based on your background, priorities and other personal characteristics She clearly explains sometimes which is a lot each strategy and elaborates on how they affect our happiness There are some practical activities which sound ver If you want to read this book, physical book would be much better than audio For such books full of lists, activities and exercises , physical book might be easier to follow The author suggested some strategies to boost your happiness You rank these strategies based on your background, priorities and other personal characteristics She clearly explains sometimes which is a lot each strategy and elaborates on how they affect our happiness There are some practical activities which sound very trivial and easy to follow


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The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want You can change your personal capacity for happiness Research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky s pioneering concept of the % solution shows you how Drawing on her own groundbreaking research with thousands of men and women, research psychologist and University of California professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky has pioneered a detailed yet easy to follow plan to increase happiness in our day to day lives in the short term and over the long term The How of Happiness is a different kind of happiness book, one that offers a comprehensive guide to understanding what happiness is, and isn t, and what can be done to bring us all closer to the happy life we envision for ourselves Using than a dozen uniquely formulated happiness increasing strategies, The How of Happiness offers a new and potentially life changing way to understand our innate potential for joy and happiness as well as our ability to sustain it in our lives Beginning with a short diagnostic quiz that helps readers to first quantify and then to understand what she describes as their happiness set point, Lyubomirsky reveals that this set point determines justpercent of happiness while a merepercent can be attributed to differences in life circumstances or situations This leaves a startling, and startlingly underdeveloped,percent of our capacity for happiness within our power to change Lyubomirsky s happiness strategies introduce readers to the concept of intentional activities, mindful actions that they can use to achieve a happier life These include exercises in practicing optimism when imagining the future, instruction in how best to savor life s pleasures in the here and now, and a thoroughgoing explanation of the importance of staying active to being happy Helping readers find the right fit between the goals they set and the activities she suggests, Lyubomirsky also helps readers understand the many obstacles to happiness as well as how to harness individual strengths to overcome them Always emphasizing how much of our happiness is within our control, Lyubomirsky addresses the scientific how of her happiness research, demystifying the many myths that unnecessarily complicate its pursuit Unlike those of many self help books, all her recommendations are supported by scientific research The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to all those who have questioned their own well being and sought to take their happiness into their own hands ☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ Irrawaddy Tango By Wendy Law-Yone ✐ – 9facts.co.uk research psychologist and University of California professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky has pioneered a detailed yet easy to follow plan to increase happiness in our day to day lives in the short term and over the long term The How of Happiness is a different kind of happiness book ❰KINDLE❯ ❃ قصص الأنبياء Author الشيخ خليل دريان الأزهري – 9facts.co.uk one that offers a comprehensive guide to understanding what happiness is ❴BOOKS❵ ✪ The Nanny Arrangement Author Lily George – 9facts.co.uk and isn t [Download] ➺ Starting Your Own Business ➿ Jim Green – 9facts.co.uk and what can be done to bring us all closer to the happy life we envision for ourselves Using than a dozen uniquely formulated happiness increasing strategies ❮BOOKS❯ ✮ Quest for Prosperity Author Konosuke Matsushita – 9facts.co.uk The How of Happiness offers a new and potentially life changing way to understand our innate potential for joy and happiness as well as our ability to sustain it in our lives Beginning with a short diagnostic quiz that helps readers to first quantify and then to understand what she describes as their happiness set point [KINDLE] ❂ Summery boxes, Tables & Illustrative figures of Bailey&Love (27th edition).pdf (27th edition).pdf: Baily & love 27th edition (Surgery Book 1) Author Md.merajul Pial – 9facts.co.uk Lyubomirsky reveals that this set point determines justpercent of happiness while a merepercent can be attributed to differences in life circumstances or situations This leaves a startling ❮PDF / Epub❯ ☀ Cleaner Author Emma Finn – 9facts.co.uk and startlingly underdeveloped,percent of our capacity for happiness within our power to change Lyubomirsky s happiness strategies introduce readers to the concept of intentional activities [PDF / Epub] ☉ Influencing Virtual Teams ❤ Hassan Osman – 9facts.co.uk mindful actions that they can use to achieve a happier life These include exercises in practicing optimism when imagining the future ❰PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Secrets of a Prayer Warrior Author Derek Prince – 9facts.co.uk instruction in how best to savor life s pleasures in the here and now [PDF / Epub] ☂ Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1) By George Trombley – 9facts.co.uk and a thoroughgoing explanation of the importance of staying active to being happy Helping readers find the right fit between the goals they set and the activities she suggests [PDF] ✩ Kanzen Jisatsu Manyuaru, The Complete Suicide Manual ✭ Wataru Tsurumi – 9facts.co.uk Lyubomirsky also helps readers understand the many obstacles to happiness as well as how to harness individual strengths to overcome them Always emphasizing how much of our happiness is within our control ❮Reading❯ ➳ Narconomics ➬ Author Tom Wainwright – 9facts.co.uk Lyubomirsky addresses the scientific how of her happiness research ❰Ebook❯ ➨ Cuck Storm Horizon (Reluctant Cuckold Book 2) Author David McManus – 9facts.co.uk demystifying the many myths that unnecessarily complicate its pursuit Unlike those of many self help books [Read] ➫ ရှေးရှေးတုန်းက ကံကော်ပွင့်တွေ By စံပယ်ဖြူနု – 9facts.co.uk all her recommendations are supported by scientific research The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to all those who have questioned their own well being and sought to take their happiness into their own hands


About the Author: Sonja Lyubomirsky

The majority of my research career has been devoted to studying human happiness Why is the scientific study of happiness important In short, because most people believe that happiness is meaningful, desirable, and an important, worthy goal, because happiness is one of the most salient and significant dimensions of human experience and emotional life, because happiness yields numerous rewards for the individual, and because it makes for a better, healthier, stronger society Along these lines, my current research addresses three critical questions 1 What makes people happy 2 Is happiness a good thing and 3 How and why can people learn to lead happier andflourishing lives Why Are Some People Happier Than Others I have always been struck by the capacity of some individuals to be remarkably happy, even in the face of stress, trauma, or adversity Thus, my earlier research efforts had been focused on trying to understand why some people are happier than others for a review and theoretical framework, see Lyubomirsky, 2001 To this end, my approach had been to explore the cognitive and motivational processes that distinguish individuals who show exceptionally high and low levels of happiness These processes include social comparison how people compare themselves to peers , dissonance reduction how people justify both trivial and important choices in their lives , self evaluation how people judge themselves , and person perception how people think about others All of these processes, it turns out, have hedonic implications that is, positive or negative consequences for happiness and self regard and thus are relevant to elucidating individual differences in enduring well being My students and I have found that truly happy individuals construe life events and daily situations in ways that seem to maintain their happiness, while unhappy individuals construe experiences in ways that seem to reinforce unhappiness In essence, our research shows that happy individuals experience and react to events and circumstances in relativelypositive andadaptive ways For a recent example, we found that happy individuals are relativelylikely than their less happy peers to endow positive memories i.e., store them in their emotional bank ACCOUNTS but to contrast negative memories i.e., life is so much better now Liberman, Boehm, Lyubomirsky, Ross, 2011.On going studies in my laboratory are exploring additional cognitive and motivational processes that support the differing worlds of enduring happiness versus chronic unhappiness For example, several investigations have revealed that unhappy individuals arelikely than happy ones to dwell on negative or ambiguous events Lyubomirsky, Boehm, Kasri, Zehm, 2011 Such dwelling or rumination may drain cognitive resources and thus bring to bear a variety of negative consequences, which could further reinforce unhappiness These findings demonstrate some of the maladaptive by products of self reflection, suggesting that not only is the unexamined life worth living, but it is potentially full of happiness and joy.To cast our work on happiness in a broader framework, we have also been exploring the meaning, expression, and pursuit of happiness across cultures, subcultures, and age groups e.g., Boehm, Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, 2011 For example, despite media reports, we have found that parents actually experiencehappiness and meaning than do non parents both when evaluating their lives as a whole, when going about their days, and when caring for their children versus doing other ACTIVITIES Nelson, Kushlev, English, Dunn, Lyubomirsky, 2013 Of course, parents happiness is impacted by myriad factors, including their age and SES and their children s ages and temperaments Nelson, Kushlev, Lyubomirsky, in press Further, we are currently carrying out happiness increasing interventions among Japanese engineers,