Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happiness or else

I think the secret to happiness is something we all believe is out there and one day we’ll find it if we just work a bit harder, push a bit further, be a bit more generous, care a bit more, etc, etc. I don’t want to accused of being stereotypical, but I think as women we always expect ourselves to be a little bit better than we are and always punish ourselves when we’re not happy enough.

I personally know dozens of women who have amazing careers, are wonderful mothers, caring partners, work for charity and achieve an incredible number of other things – who still ask themselves how they can find happiness. I know I am on that quest each and every day, which is why I was fascinated to hear an Australian journalist actually set out on a quest to discover the truth about being happy.

After suffering from depression as the result of a personal tragedy, ABC medical reporter Sophie Scott decided it was time someone found the answer, and has now authored a book Roadtestting Happiness reveling what she found.

She spoke to experts on happiness including Buddhist monk Mathieu Ricard, psychologist Dr Tim Sharp from the Happiness Institute and Assistant Professor Alice Domar from the Harvard Medical School, to discover the best ways to achieve and maintain happiness.

Using each approach suggested by the experts, she then ‘roadtested’ her way from depression to happiness, sampling techniques such as the power of positive thinking; the benefits of gratitude and altruism; meditation, spirituality and mindfulness; and of exercise and the mind–body connection.

Want to know how she went? Roadtestting Happiness is available now from bookshops. RRP $27.99

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