The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living

The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living

10 thoughts on “The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living

  1. Matt Matt says:

    It’s worth it in the end That is my first thought that describes this book When I began this book I did not enjoy it Honestly it annoyed me By the time I finished it I realized ways I could make substantial improvements in my lifeFirst The annoying partThe author Dr Harris seems to assume that all his readers have the same thought processes make the same mistakes and can be fixed the same way He begins by telling us we likely believe four myths Myth 1 Happiness Is the Natural State for All Human BeingsMyth 2 If You’re Not Happy You’re DefectiveMyth 3 To Create a Better Life We Must Get Rid of Negative FeelingsMyth 4 You Should Be Able to Control What You Think and FeelI don’t think most people believe THESE myths I think they believe truths that are very closely related to these that get twisted 1 Happiness is a possible natural state for all human beings happiness not pleasure2 You can learn to be happier by fixing your defective habits3 You can create a better life and you will have less negative feelings4 You should gain better control of your thoughts and feelings as you progressDoctor Harris spends half the book teaching a useful but difficult lesson We have two ways of thinking or two minds We have the “observing” and the “thinking” mind The observing mind is always observing and recording It doesn’t interpret or judge it just observes what’s there Then our thinking mind can interpret that information if need be or think about something else entirely That’s why you can drive your car on the interstate and not remember the last 15 miles because you’ve been thinking about something Your observing mind always observed you were driving in your lane so your thinking mind left it alone and pondered something elseHe teaches us how to stop beating ourselves up for the constant flow of thoughts we can’t really control Thoughts will come that we never wanted When we dwell on them or try to drive them out we always seem to make things worse and end up angry or upset at ourselves He teaches us to simply accept the thought and then move on Don’t dwell on it not try to avoid it Acknowledge it – it’s just a thought It’s not an action it’s not a destiny It’s a thought you had it it was there and you can’t change that Accept it then move onThe end of the book is great It teaches how to make real change that brings real happiness Happiness comes from living according to your values He urges us to spend REAL time discovering our values Not our goals or what society tells us to care about but what we REALLY care about Figure those values out then set immediate short medium and long term goals that are congruent with your valuesI’m using what I’ve learned and my life is getting better What can I say?Here are some of my favorite uotes from the book“Today’s middle class lives better than did the Royalty of not so long ago and yet humans today don’t seem very happy” – p 2“You won’t change your life simply by reading this book” – p 35“We have many thousands of useless or unhelpful thoughts every day” – p 49“Letting the radio play on without giving it much attention is very different from actively trying to ignore it” – p 66“Despite everything you’ve tried over the years isn’t it a fact that your mind still produces unpleasant pictures?” – p 75“What would I attempt if thoughts of failure didn’t deter me?” – p 79“The fight or flight is often triggered in situations where it is of little or no use to us” – p 85“Any search for a Pain free existence is doomed to failure” – p 137“What do you want your life to be about?” – P 167“He who has the why to live for can bear almost any how” – F Nietzsche – p 170“Never set as your goal something that a dead person can do better than you” – p 186“If you’re living a goal focused life then no matter what you have it’s never enoughfind the values underlying your goals” – p 198“Twenty years from now you will be disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do So throw off the bowlines Sail away from the safe harbor Catch the trade winds in your sails Explore Dream Discover” – Mark Twain – p 216“Commitment isn’t about being perfect always following through or never going astray Commitment means that when you inevitably stumble or get off track you pick yourself up find your bearings and carry on” – p 219“Success in life means living by your values” – p 221“If you don’t decide where you’re going you’ll end up wherever you’re heading” – p 232

  2. Alice Alice says:

    I want to hate this book It's so patronising and at times seriously flawed logic wise It explains things with lots of exclamation marks And drawn out metaphors And basically it's just the author going on without drawing on any examples from the real worldDespite all this I'm persisting because in amongst all the guff there are some strategies in here that bloody well work And they work fast This pains me because I like the people Harris loves to patronise in the book am one of those that spent a lot of time working through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy strategies To have Acceptance and Committment Therapy boy come in sit down and go Here's some things that will work for you Got any biscuits? is just plain annoying But I guess I just have to recognise that that's just a thought I'm having don't I Russ? Grr Update I'm much less grr about this book now since I've been through all of it I think I actually want to read it again and do the exercises meticulously The bottom line is while the writing style isn't great the strategies he's promoting are actually really good Now it's just a matter of actually following through on them

  3. Thomas Thomas says:

    45 starsAn excellent book I would recommend to anyone interested in mental health either their own or those around them or the concept at large In The Happiness Trap Russ Harris crafts a persuasive intelligent argument for why we should stop aiming for happiness and instead aim for a mindful values driven life His ideas in this book come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT a newer third wave cognitive behavioral therapy that has shown promising effectiveness in research studies He starts the book by dispelling “happiness myths” such as how happiness is the natural state for all humans or how to live a better life we have to get rid of negative feelings After this first section he goes on to provide several strategies for increasing psychological flexibility core principles that help us cultivate a rich and meaningful life I will provide a super brief synopsis of each one1 Defusion Recognizing thoughts images memories and feelings as what they are – just words and pictures – without fighting them running from them or staying too focused on them2 Expansion Making additional room for these thoughts images memories and feelings while allowing them to come and go as they please without fighting them3 Connection Staying fully aware of the present moment and letting yourself experience the present moment with openness interest and receptiveness4 The Observing Self Bringing a pure awareness in which you observe your challenging unpleasant thoughts and feelings without being hurt by them or subsumed by them5 Values Clarifying what is most important to you in your life what sort of person you want to be and not just focusing on external goals – focusing on the expression of those values eg “I want to practice connection with people” instead of “I want to be married to a romantic partner” 6 Committed Action Taking effective action in line with your values no matter what the outcome and even if it is hardAs a therapist and has someone who has been in therapy I love ACT I find it so effective for myself and for clients and I appreciate its emphasis on both sitting with and honoring difficult emotions while also taking action to change your situation for the better In a capitalist often external and outward focused society ACT’s commitment to internal awareness and values makes me so happy and I recognize happiness is not the goal ha Harris also provides several relevant clear and applied examples of his theories which aids in this book’s appeal to a mass audience In some ways it reads like a accessible version of this Acceptance and Commitment Therapy book though I would recommend that book too without a doubt My only critiue is that I wish Harris had addressed how these theories may or may not apply to various minorities as the studies examining ACT’s efficacy has mostly focused on white samples though that is changing slowly very slowly Even a nod toward how we need a culturally relevant understanding of ACT would have helped just to acknowledge that not all people are the same and thus we should make sure our therapies apply to folks of different backgrounds Also I think he could have done a better job of thoroughly giving credit to the Buddhistnon western roots of where some of his ideas came from Still a highly recommended read for those interested in Psychology and mental health

  4. Philip Glennie Philip Glennie says:

    I'm a little at a loss about this one But I'd like to start by saying that this book has made a significant impact on my motivation and overall uality of life It's been months since I read it but its message is still paying dividends I've always been skeptical of the self help genre but this book came at the recommendation of a trusted friend and I can honestly say that it's one of the most important things I've ever read My approach to my own mind has always come from a psychoanalytic perspective in which I have believed that unearthing traumatic elements in my personal history might somehow help me to banish bad thoughts forever But this book gave me my first exposure to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and specifically the branch of it known as Acceptance Commitment Therapy This approach to the mind is based on the acceptance that no matter what you do a massive portion of your thoughts and self talk will be negative These thoughts can't be overpowered by positive visualization or a talking cure but only by accepting them for the negative thoughts they are and moving on Bad thoughts are not YOU; they are simply things being secreted by your brain and need to be treated as suchI strongly recommend this book for anyone looking to feel motivated and fulfilled in their day to day lives You might notice that I leave the word happy out of this description and if you read the book you'll know why

  5. Sarah Sarah says:

    I don’t know how I feel about this book It’s basically a client friendly overview of Acceptance Commitment Therapy ACT and offers instructions on how to implement associated techniues and interventions Essentially ACT suggests that there is no way to eliminate pain in life so learning to accept it and channel your energy into activities that have value to you leaves you prepared to live effectively and without a lot of wasted time fighting reality I agree with the central theory Humans naturally and inevitably experience a whole range of emotion including distressing emotion and it’s much healthier to remain in a non judgmental accepting place as opposed to getting all wrapped up in futile attempts to push unpleasant emotion away bottling or simply letting it consume and paralyze you dwelling I also agree that the majority of the suggested techniues associated with ACT are beneficial for many people There’s a lot of really easy to try sometimes oversimplified techniues that make sitting with unpleasant emotion a little easier and accessible to folks who have spent a lot of time and energy trying to control emotion rather than accept it I take issue with two things in relation to this book First there were a few times as I was reading that the tone felt condescending I felt very little empathy or understanding in relation to how difficult it can be to endure the kinds of things that go beyond the basic universal aches and pains of life I found this particularly weird given that the author is a therapist himself Sure with practice these little exercises get easier but not everyone can immediately turn their crippling grief or rage or trauma into “demons on the boat” that simply need to be acknowledged and dismissed in order to “turn the ship toward shore” Emotions can’t physically hurt you that’s true and we’re absolutely strong enough to process even our most upsetting emotions but sometimes worksheets and values clarification just aren’t enough or at the very least come off as remarkably naive and simplistic Try telling a victim of rape or severe domestic violence for instance to “just make space” for their anger and shame and trauma Or telling a grieving wife who lost her husband of 60 years and is now potentially homeless with no support that she should “accept” her fear and heartache and helplessness I suppose that ACT might be appropriate after some time has passed and folks like this are experiencing stability but I also think that there are some things that need deeper exploration than ACT can offerHarris did mention several times throughout the book to take what works and leave the rest I just hope he meant that we could leave the whole thing if necessary and determined to be clinically appropriate As a therapist I can’t imagine he meant anything else so I’m just going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one Secondly I also find it problematic how ACT as presented in this book hijacks Eastern philosophies that have been around for thousands of years repackages them and sells them as a new primarily Western therapeutic modality Harris was explicit about the fact that none of what he was describing was related to religion meditation spirituality etc and yet the primary techniue breathe accept remain mindful and non judgmental is nearly a word for word definition of many Eastern meditative practices stripped of their cultural and spiritual context Additionally the way that Harris describes the underlying theory of ACT sure sounds a lot like Buddhist philosophy even though it hasn’t been labeled as such Life is pain; non attachment is the solution; the importance of mindfulness; the benefit of breath work This all starts to feel a lot like cultural appropriation and philosophical plagiarismI’m not saying ACT is worthless that all of it is stolen or that it should be discarded in favor of religiously and culturally traditional practices I am saying that instead of distancing ACT from obvious Eastern connections it would seem appropriate to deliberately and respectfully highlight the connections give credit where credit is due and then point out that it’s possible to utilize some of these ancient practices with modern Western cues in a non religious way in service of our mental health as Easterners figured out like forever ago Anyway This review has gotten long and rambling In sum I think Harris and ACT have a lot to offer I just have some personal beef with the way it was presented in this particular book

  6. Daniel Taylor Daniel Taylor says:

    When I got into self help books I had two problems I wanted to solve how to become likable and how to solve an addiction I'd had since I was 13 years old The books were able to help with the first but nothing I tried worked with the addiction That was until I started seeing a psychologist trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACTAfter our first session I got instant results Over the weekend that followed I had many changes to indulge my addiction and I had the desire but I was able to use ACT to make values based choices At that point my knowledge of the principles of ACT was rudimentaryMy psychologist loaned me his copy of this book and I read it swiftly picking up a number of tools that strengthened my practice of ACT With a gift voucher for Christmas I bought my own copyWhat is ACT? The acronym also stands for the process Accept your internal experience; Choose a values based direction; Take action It has proven effective with depression and addictionThe book explores a number of tools you can use to accept your experience of those things and make choices that will make you feel good long termIt's a groundbreaking book that's simple to understand and easy to apply If you're having problems in life because of negative feelings or self talk this book would be my first recommendation

  7. Bronwyn Bronwyn says:

    Dr Harris uses a great story of 2 kids in the car with mum on their way to the zoo Both have been looking forward to the visit for weeks Johnny is looking out the window playing I spy with mum looking at the cars passing by waving at the trains and the truck drivers Counting cows and sheep along the road side Billy is slumped in the back anxious and irritated when are we going to get there he keeps asking A few kilometers from the zoo the car breaks down and has to be towed back to their home They never did make it to the zoo Which of the boys had the better day out? The Happiness traps is about the lives we lead chasing happiness we will only be happy when and in our obsession to be happy we miss what is happening right now It gives us the tools to really appreciate the journey and live a fulfilled life I highly recommend it

  8. Chanel J Chanel J says:

    While the ideas and techniues discussed in this book are interesting the way it is written is insultingly patronising and alternates between speaking to you like a child and yelling at you like an impatient parent This attitude ruined the book for me

  9. Josh Josh says:

    It must reveal something if I feel cagy about advertising that I've read a book subtitled How to Stop Struggling and Start Living Who doesn't imagine people are paying way attention to your insecurities than they really are? Gracious I didn't know Josh was struggling The poor dear Let's make him some soupWell okay I'm not actually struggling Life's mostly all peach these days but I'm almost always interested in self improvement We get one go on this globe and studying ways of living well is a worthy endeavor no matter where we fall on the strugglesucceed scale So let's say you're not struggling either Or maybe struggling just in like this one area or two Let's assume we're all arrayed somewhere along the fat median part of the continuum's arc and doing okay or pretty good or I'm too busy to even tell but maybe sometimes find ourselves on the far downslope anxious or discouraged or frustrated with ourselves Does Russ Harris's The Happiness Trap have anything to offer?Absolutely The tenets of the book are solid and its suggestions useful It's based on something called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy hey ACT get it? and while I won't unpack it all here I can endorse it I can endorse it though because many of the practices are ones I've already incorporated to some extent or yes have thought about incorporating because it sounds like a good idea and once I'm done with the dishes and today's heaping inbox and had a nap and watched an episode of Homeland I intend to think very seriously about maybe doing it sometime Anyhow I'm particularly a fan of defusing from thoughts basically a Don't Believe Everything You Think approach and the practice of returning regularly to your values to make sure you're staying on course I also liked his suggestion Don't set goals a dead person can do better than you Eg As God is my witness I'll never waste time playing Freecell again isn't the most usefully formulated goal one might hope forI did heave a few impatient sighs in the beginning where like in all self help books it seems Harris spends a good deal of time declaring how This Book is Different Not to mention going over stuff that's as elementary as the Alphabet Song to anyone who's read anything even remotely self helpy Lowest moment is when he explains that the acronym ACT is pronounced like the word act I think we might've guessed He takes pains midway through to explain again how his method differs from previous methods but it's not difficult to spot his ancestors most notably Richard Carlson the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff guy whose earliest books are owed such a great debt that Harris doesn't even whisper his name His insistence on his own originality sounds hollowest when he declares that his take on mindfulness is different from other versions of mindfulness or that his living in the present is somehow a new idea The Further Readings and Resources is woefully slim it lists only three other books followed by a paragraph directing the reader to Harris's website for materials You don't saySo you have to slog through those parts to get to the good stuff But the good stuff is good It's not terribly new but it's exceptionally well organized which alone makes it worth checking out Judging by other reviews it's been a boon for a lot of folks and I can't uibble with that Even though I found much of it familiar I appreciated the reminders and like how the program's laid out a lot Consider the book recommended

  10. Karate1kid Karate1kid says:

    If you are willing to read just one self help book this is the one Especially if you prefer advice on how to find out what you like and why you are better off behaving in a certain way to 'just so' statements about beliefs you must adopt and the way you should think feel behave to achieve a specific goal way of life some guru says is best The advice is based on a third wave CBT approach behavioral than cognitive called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT If you are looking for an in depth discussion of the psychological theory and relevant research see the second edition 2011 of ACT by Hayes Strosahl and Wilson If you're interested in its philosophical basis see Hayes Barnes Holmes and Rocheand 2001 Relational Frame Theory Those books are not easy to read I don't recommend them as a starting point even for professionals new to ACT and they are completely unnecessary for readers interested in self helpHarris does a very good job simplifying the philosophy and therapy ideas explaining motivations and translating it all into practical advice and exercises There is always room for improvement but this book already is much better than good enough

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The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living [Download] ➻ The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living Author Russ Harris – Are you like milllions of Americans caught in the happiness trap Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable driving the epidemics of str Are you like milllions Trap How MOBI ï of Americans caught in the happiness trap Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable driving the epidemics of stress anxiety and depression This empowering book presents  the insights and techniues of ACT Acceptance and The Happiness PDF or Commitment Therapy a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting edge research in behavioral psychology By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness a techniue for living fully in the present moment ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life     The techniues presented in The Happiness Trap will Happiness Trap How PDF ↠ help readers to    • Reduce stress and worry    • Handle painful feelings and thoughts effectively    • Break self defeating habits    • Overcome insecurity and self doubt    • Create a rich full and meaningful life.

  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living
  • Russ Harris
  • English
  • 22 November 2015
  • 9781590305843

About the Author: Russ Harris

Dr Russ Harris is Trap How MOBI ï a medically ualified doctor stress consultant executive coach trainer author and a leading authority in the powerful new paradigm of Psychological Flexibility This is a revolutionary new development in human psychology that enhances performance reduces stress and improves health and wellbeing Dr Russ regularly presents workshops on The Happiness PDF or Psychological Flexibility at both na.