Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The Joy of Appreciative Living by Jacqueline Kelm
I'm sure it's clear by now that I've been significantly affected by non-fiction books designed to help increase happiness and quality of life.
The other books I've talked about so far are great for people who are already on a path of personal discovery and growth. While this book is helpful for those people also, it's the first one I recommend for someone who is suspicious of the concept of being able to make yourself happier or of having a gratitude process.
What makes this book different is that it takes a scientific approach. The author's studies have shown that people who actively participate in exercises to record what brings them joy have measurable increases in personal happiness. Those who continue to do the exercises have continued gains in happiness while those who stop have decreases in happiness.
I can tell my story over and over. I can talk about my own experiences until I'm blue in the face. But if someone doesn't get it, they don't get it. This book is full of cases studies and testimonials from participants who were admittedly unhappy and experienced a great difference after participating in the author's study. The straightforward presentation of the data is undeniable. The steps are explained clearly and the 28 Day Plan is completely manageable.
I like this book because it's different from others in the genre. It's not super "touchy feely." When life gets overwhelming, I can lose interest in the "fun" techniques that make me feel better and this book reminds me that I do have the ability to boost my happiness in a simple way.