I can’t remember where I first saw the review for this, and when I picked it up, though I know it is recent, and I might have seen it on one of the many book blogs I skim through Feedly. (Amazon tells me I bought it 9 days ago.)
I’d like to say I picked it up because of the catchy first part of the title, but I think it might be the “reducing stress” part of the title that caught my eye first. Though I certainly wouldn’t mind being 10% happier either.
The book is 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
When I started to read this book, I could somewhat identify with (well, not the drugs bit) with what the author is going through in the beginning of the book, on several levels. Over the past year and half, my health has been acting up. I found myself identifying with the panic attack described in the book – but also how there seemed to be something wrong with his body. And the doctors can’t find anything.
Not that you really want the doctors to find something, mind you, but if they did – there might be a solution to it. Instead of this mindless: “I don’t feel well.” “But we can’t find anything.” “But I don’t feel well.”
“Well” in this case being rather specific symptoms, that don’t translate into any happy diseases when you Google them, thus giving you even more anxiety about it all.
Reading about his process through it all – trying different things, and landing on meditation and talking through his issues with people, and mindfulness – I found it to be a fairly sensible and down-to-earth approach to it all.
He is a good writer, and just cynical enough about everything for me to enjoy the book a lot.
It also helps that some of the techniques that he brings forth my physical therapist is doing with me, and that I know from the pilates classes I took ages ago, and the Yogalates dvds I have, but almost never remember to use.
I know I can definitely be both living too much in the past and look too much to the future – I often forget to enjoy the present.
Remembering to focus on one thing at the time, instead of try to do everything at once. (While I watch a film, I might read a book on my phone, check Facebook, Twitter…)
And yet, I realize that when I am taking the steps to enjoy the present – I am the happiest. When I am walking through a museum and taking in the silence of just walking and enjoying the pictures. When I am walking in the sunshine – not to get anywhere but enjoying the experience.
I am going to try to incorporate some of the things mentioned in the book in my every day life.
After all, who wouldn’t want to be 10% happier?
Note: The link in the title is an Amazon Affiliate link for the book. I did not receive any compensation to read and review it.