8 Super Awesome Books for Happiness
Here's why I love books as much as I do - they are inexpensive, full of insight and knowledge, and easy to come by. A value of mine is to always keep learning and books make this very easy. Here are 8 super awesome books for happiness. Now, only one of my recommendations is directly about happiness. This is because I think happiness is a bit understood and I want to introduce you to a new way of looking at this emotion. Each book teaches some version of this truth - happiness is in acceptance, letting go, and gratitude. It may not be a constant, every day state but is an energy that you embody. Happiness has peaks and valleys but it's also something you can think of and say, "Yup, I am happy and feel happy even when life happens."
Everyone wants more happiness, but what I hope you find in your reading is that it's already within you! You just have to stop looking out there for more joy and turn inward. Happy reading!
This is easily my most recommended book. Brene Brown easily shows her readers how letting go of 'supposed-to' and 'should' is liberating and needed to live a more happy, fulfilled life. In a 10-year research project she did on the topic of shame, what Dr. Brown discovered were a group of very happy people living what she calls a wholehearted life. What is this exactly? Living life with courage of an open heart, vulnerability, and embracing failure. In her second book here, she shows you how to do the same and reap the benefits of a wholehearted life.
Sometimes I get on a Brene Brown kick, I can't help it. I love her. In her third book, Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown talks about what it means to have the courage to live in the arena. What might you ask is the arena? It's that place in our lives where we are authentic, vulnerable, and open but it also means you should expect some criticism. And that's ok. Because you're in the arena, declaring your worth and that's hard work. Vulnerability, once thought of as weakness, turns out to be this awesome thing that can change your life! There can not be authentic happiness without authentic vulnerability.
This book caught me by surprise and I'm grateful for that. Be prepared for this read to challenge you and to think from your higher self. That place that can't rationalize, but can only feel and experience like you already know. Michael Singer outlines in his first book how to release your Self from your ego and reconnect with a place of infinite energy and our collective soul. LIke I said, be prepared to be challenged. But if you can embrace his concepts you will find yourself also embracing the most truthful form of happiness - total presence of body, mind, and spirit.
Written on a 13-hour flight from LA to Melbourne, this is my favorite book by Deepak Chopra. Don't look at the word success in the title as having anything to do with your career, but as a calling to succeed in life. He focuses on seven keys to a good life - things like giving, karma, and pure potential. Ideas that help to put things in perspective.
Often it's the simplest of things in life that have the biggest impact. This book is just that - simple. The four agreements are: Be impeccable with our word, don't take anything personally, always do your best, and don't make assumptions. He teaches you the real power behind taking personal responsibility for yourself and your actions and detaching from the actions of others. We all see the world through our own unique lens and when you do the best you can within that, happiness is inevitable.
Your mindset is your filter for how you interpret the world. How do you feel about your ability? How do you think about failure? Do you think people are out to help you succeed or fail? These are all part of your mindset and your mindset can make a big difference in being happy or not. Happiness is not blind optimism, it is a choice and your mindset will help with that choice. She outlines two mindsets she found in her research and how adopting one or the other will set you up for more or less joy in your life.
This is the only book on my list that deals directly with the happiness. Turns out there are things you can do that can increase your happiness by as much as 40%! That's a lot and within your hands. Once you read a bit about her research you will take a short assessment to help you find which happiness producing activities are best for you. Things like getting in flow, keeping a gratitude list, and exercise among many others are included.
Whether you're in a relationship or not I recommend this book. We all have needs and interpret how much love someone has for us based on how well our needs are being met. Now, I am not an advocate for assuming your partner or even best friend to fill in your needs for you. However, knowing what you need more of and less of will contribute greatly to personal happiness. Dr. Chapman walks you through each language and then you get to find yours. If you're in a relationship I suggest reading this book with your partner. It's amazing what having your language met can do!