Author(s): Harriet Griffey
The harder we try to achieve happiness, the more elusive it becomes. In the process of trying, we find we are working harder, longer, and less productively, creating not happiness but stress and anxiety. What can be done? In I Want to Be Happy, Harriet Griffey shows how everyone can achieve happiness, whatever their age, and whether or not they have been born with 'the cheerful gene'. From resting to having fun, eating properly to getting a good night's sleep, there's a lot we can do to improve our happiness. Happiness is characterized by the ability to take pleasure from life. But what comes first, the pleasures to be actively sought, or the ability to take pleasure from what is already there? The art of happiness rests less in transitory moments of achievement or acquisition, but a deeper, more contented acceptance of what we already have, cherishing those small pleasures that perhaps we take for granted and removing some of those self-inflicted barriers to happiness that wheedle their way into our lives. Happiness is not just about relieving misery, counteracting stress, or reducing anxiety: it's also about protecting emotional and physical health by interacting more positively with the lives we lead.
HARRIET GRIFFEY is a journalist and health editor living in London.