Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Women Live Better by Valorie Burton

If you are a woman, you are probably not as happy as women were in the 1970s. That is what research shows. Since the early 1970s, while men are getting happier, women are becoming less happy.

Women are in crisis, Valorie writes. We have more now than women at any time in the history of the world but we are enjoying it less. She has written this book with two goals in mind: get women talking about their happiness, provide tools for being happier.

She starts out by recognizing the problem. That's the first step. She has studied the research in the field of positive psychology (the study of what makes us happy) and has identified thirteen happiness triggers. She explores them, showing us how we can activate them in our everyday lives. These triggers are really life skills. “Happiness is a skill,” she writes. (12)

Studies show that about half of our happiness is genetic. About ten percent is based on our circumstances. That means about forty percent of our happiness is from our thoughts and actions. “What makes you happy is your attitude about your life.” (14)

Some of her triggers I expected, like service, play and gratitude. Some of her triggers surprised me. Anticipation, for example. Every day we are to have something to look forward to. Valorie helps us notice what is there or create something. Another was her list of foods that boost our mood, like asparagus. And I expected something about finances, but not aiming to live on less than 75 percent of our income. She reminds us that a key to happiness is not money itself but what you do with it. Some of the triggers were new to me, like flow (or being in the zone) and savoring. Some were good reminders, like using winning words, not whining ones, and that exercise is a happiness booster.

Valorie includes a “Conversation starter” at the end of each chapter. She gives points to ponder and then asks questions for conversation. These make the book great for personal journaling or for use in a study group.

Valorie's is a very practical book. She has provided realistic suggestions on how to implement each trigger for happiness. It would be great for personal use and the discussion section makes it a good choice for group use too. I think using this book in an accountability group would be a great idea.

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach. She has written nine books on personal development and is the founder of the CaPP Institute. She has appeared on several television programs. Find out more about her and sign up for her blog at http://www.valorieburton.com/, and find out more about her company at http://www.cappinstitute.com/.

Harvest House Publishers, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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