It’s that time of year isn’t it? January: dark mornings, dull and damp days, dark evenings and many people feeling down after the excitement and buzz of Christmas and New Year. Next Monday is the third Monday in January which, by recent tradition, is dubbed Blue Monday and said to be the most depressing day of the year. Well, here comes a book which could be the little ray of sunshine needed to raise your spirits.
Live Happy, as the subtitle says, is filled with 100 simple ways you could bring joy into your life whether it’s the darkest day or a bright, frosty morning.
While some may be more challenging – not everyone can make a quick decision to get hitched for example! – the vast majority of pieces of advice contained in this book are indeed simple and achievable. They may mostly seem like common sense things but it does no harm to remember that simple things are good for your mental health and well-being.
Opening a few pages at random we are reminded that being more creative can be a powerful mood enhancer, particularly if you can spend time with friends. Singing more is also known to raise your mood as is taking up a new hobby. Perhaps it’s time to have a look for a community choir where you would experience many of these benefits at the same time? Showing gratitude is also something which can leave you feeling much more positive as well as benefiting whoever you are showing your gratitude to. Eating a balanced diet, walking in the fresh air, drinking less alcohol and getting regular sleep can all help boost your vitality which is linked with positive mental well-being as well as good physical health.
Say hi to your neighbours, connect with nature, cherish your relationships, learn to say no, make time for yourself, avoid comparison. These are all things which are easy to do and can all have a positive influence on our lives and quite often the lives of others. These, and so many other pieces of advice, are things I am resolving not only to do more this year, but also to take the time to notice how they make me feel. I feel I should also consider seriously the advice to get rid of clutter!
The 100 ways to fill your life with joy listed in this book are wise, positive, encouraging and, most importantly, achievable. I honestly felt better just for reading this book. But then in my opinion, reading is also great for your mental health. If you feel you need a little boost this month, treat yourself to this book.
My thanks to Alison Menzies for my copy of the book. Live Happy is published today by Modern Books in paperback. You should be able to buy a copy from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy online here: Live Happy
From the back of the book
Part self-help book, part psychology primer, Live Happy features 100 pieces of advice on leading a life of contentment.
A distillation of the latest research into happiness, this is a guide to the tools and strategies most likely to make you happy. Informative, factual, accessible, and scientifically rigorous, Live Happy gives the best available advice across a range of situations and activities that are relevant to our happiness.
Advice featured ranges from simple lifestyle changes, such as taking up a new hobby and spending time in the garden, to more abstract long-term goals, such as improving your luck and putting value in experiences. Presenting recent psychological and scientific studies as practical steps for the reader to take, Live Happy offers the perfect mix of practical and aspirational.
About the authors
Bridget Grenville-Cleave is a founding member of the International Positive Psychology Association and holds an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology. She lectures at Anglia Ruskin University specializing in Positive Psychology for Practitioners. She is also the founder of Workmad Ltd, which focuses on increasing wellbeing at work.
Ilona Boniwell heads the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, and also teaches positive leadership at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School. She founded the European Net work of Positive Psychology, organised the first European Congress of Positive Psychology and was the first vice-chair of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).