Recently a survey on happiness quotient had thrown surprise readings. People in the so-called developed countries were far behind in happiness. India for one was among the top country of happy people. How does one measure happiness or define happiness or find out if we are merely trapped in it.
Well, a latest book not only tells you what happiness is, but even suggests how to escape from the trap of what we feel is happiness. ?The Happiness Trap, Stop Struggling, Start Living? by Dr. Russ Harris is a psychological study into the minds of people, exploring and explaining the emotional web. The book is full of ask yourselves questionnaires and experiments.
Based on the recently developed psychological therapy ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) the book offers skills in managing emotional upheavals. It suggests do-it-yourself methods to fight unpleasant thoughts and feelings, because they seem to be the biggest threat to happiness.
The six principles of ACT are defusion, expansion, connection, the observing self, values and committed action. While defusion means to relate to the thoughts in a new way, expansion advocates making room for unpleasant feelings, so that they stop dominating the mind. Connection is living in the present, values involve setting ones values and are able to connect and relate to it. Committed action is to try again and again till one is on track.
The basis of the book and its methods are negating negatives, to result in the positive. The author says the book is based on ?a growing body of scientific research that suggests we are all caught in a powerful psychological trap. We lead our lives ruled by many unhelpful and inaccurate beliefs about happiness ? ideas widely accepted by society because everyone knows they are true.?
The book is a far cry from the state of mind we call ?ananda? but in the times we live in, probably happiness also comes off the shelves in the malls.
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