The Happiness Trap
How to Stop Struggling and Start Living
By 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 stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life.
I highly recommend this book if you are struggling with keeping your thoughts under control.
The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
By Kristin Neff, Ph.D.
More and more, psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion in the treatment of their patients—and Dr. Neff’s extraordinary book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.
Many of us show compassionate and caring towards the people we love, without much regard to our own needs. We often have kinder words for strangers, than we do for ourselves. For me, this book helped me to see that the words I have spoken internally, effect my self-esteem and the way I see myself in the world.
This is a great book, with exercises to help break old patterns and learn to nurture ourselves with love and self-compassion. To read more about my personal work with this book, please click on my blog posts titled, Self-Compassion and Be Kind to Yourself.
A Hidden Wholeness
The Journey Toward An Undivided Life
By Parker J. Palmer
In A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer reveals the same compassionate intelligence and informed heart that shaped his best-selling books Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach. Here he speaks to our yearning to live undivided lives—lives that are congruent with our inner truth—in a world filled with the forces of fragmentation.
Mapping an inner journey that we take in solitude and in the company of others, Palmer describes a form of community that fits the limits of our active lives. Defining a “circle of trust” as “a space between us that honors the soul,” he shows how people in settings ranging from friendship to organizational life can support each other on the journey toward living “divided no more.”
The exercises in this book helped to heal one of the most difficult relationship of my life and allowed me to find the peace I had been looking for.
Your Year for Change
53 Reflections for Regret-Free Living
By Bronnie Ware
Having spent several years listening to, and then writing about, the regrets of dying people, Bronnie Ware understands the importance of acknowledging death and finding the courage to live a happy and authentic life in the meantime. In this tender yet influential collection, Bronnie Ware shares 52 inspiring stories, woven among observations from her daily life, strengthening you with the values needed for regret-free living. You can read one story a week or read them all right through. Either way, Bronnie’s ability to open your eyes to new perspectives will also open your heart to new strengths and dreams. Your Year for Change is a gentle and powerful book that will leave you determined to embrace your life, forgive your past, honor your heart, and create a regret-free future of happiness and wonder.
This book touched me so deeply that I wrote a blog post, titled, The Top Five Regrets, based on Ware's discoveries.
The Rhythm of Life
Living Everyday with Purpose and Passion
By Matthew Kelly
In The Rhythm of Life Matthew Kelly exposes the lifestyle challenges and problems that face us in this age obsessed with noise, speed, and perpetual activity. Kelly's message rings out with a truth that is challenging and unmistakably attractive Who you become is infinitely more important than what you do, or what you have. Are you ready to meet the-best-version-of-yourself?
The Rhythm of Life is a brilliant and clear-eyed rejection of the chaotic lifestyle that has captured the world, written with common sense, humor, and extraordinary insight. This book is destined to change lives!
I read this book many years ago and it had a profound effect on me. Finding balance is the key to a productive and peaceful life. I highly recommend it!
A Weekend to Change Your Life
by Joan Anderson
After years of focusing on the needs of others as a wife and mother, Anderson devoted a year to rediscovering herself and reinvigorating her dreams. The questions she asked herself and the insights she gained became the core of the popular weekend workshops Anderson developed to help women figure out how—after being all things to all people—they can finally become what they need to be for themselves. A Weekend to Change Your Life brings Anderson’s techniques to women everywhere, providing a step-by-step path readers can follow at their own pace.
Drawing on her own life and on the experiences of the women she meets at her workshops, Anderson shows women how to move beyond the roles they play in relationship to others and reclaim their individuality. Through gentle instruction, she illuminates the rewards of nurturing long-neglected talents, revitalizing plans sacrificed to the demands of family life, and redefining oneself with new possibilities.
I read this book many years ago, when I felt like I was drowning in my life. I loved the idea of spending time alone, in an attempt, to find the balance I so desperately needed. If you find yourself in a similar place, then you will find this book helpful.
When to Say Yes, and How to Say No
to Take Control of Your Life
by Henry Cloud & John Townsend
Does your life feel like it's out of control? Perhaps you feel like you have to say yes to everyone's requests. Maybe you find yourself readily taking responsibility for others' feelings and problems. Or perhaps you focus so much on being loving and unselfish that you've forgotten your own limits and limitations. Or maybe it's all of the above.
In the New York Times bestseller, Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend help you learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of your life and set healthy, biblical boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, and even yourself.
Boundaries is a book that came into my life when I realized that I didn't possess healthy boundaries. Although, it was hard to face, I learned that I had to change if I wanted to be happy and have peace.
A Short Guide to a Happy Life
by Anna Quindlen
In this treasure of a book, Anna Quindlen, the bestselling novelist and columnist, reflects on what it takes to “get a life”—to live deeply every day and from your own unique self, rather than merely to exist through your days. “Knowledge of our own mortality is the greatest gift God ever gives us,” Quindlen writes, “because unless you know the clock is ticking, it is so easy to waste our days, our lives.” Her mother died when Quindlen was nineteen: “It was the dividing line between seeing the world in black and white, and in Technicolor. The lights came on for the darkest possible reason. . . . I learned something enduring, in a very short period of time, about life. And that was that it was glorious, and that you had no business taking it for granted.” But how to live from that perspective, to fully engage in our days? In A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen guides us with an understanding that comes from knowing how to see the view, the richness in living.
I really liked this book and it has many lessons. One of the most important is, you are the only person responsible for your life, so take responsibility! Anna Quindlen's memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is about marriage, parenting, and growing older.
The Gifts of Imperfection
by Brené Brown
A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling. With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts” are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life.
Now more than ever, we all need to cultivate feelings of self-worth, as well as acceptance and love for ourselves. In a world where insults, criticisms, and fears are spread too generously alongside messages of unrealistic beauty, attainment, and expectation, we look for ways to “dig deep” and find truth and gratitude in our lives. A new way forward means we can’t hold on too tightly to our own self-defeating thoughts or the displaced pain in our world. Instead, we can embrace the imperfection.
The Gifts of Imperfections is an excellent book and a great resource. In a world were we are suppose to meet unrealistic standards of perfection, we need to embrace our imperfections, with love and self-worth.
How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow
by Elizabeth Lesser
In the more than twenty-five years since she co-founded Omega Institute—now the world’s largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth—Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which people weather change and transition. In a beautifully crafted blend of moving stories, humorous insights, practical guidance, and personal memoir, she offers tools to help us make the choice we all face in times of challenge: Will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed? Lesser shares tales of ordinary people who have risen from the ashes of illness, divorce, loss of a job or a loved one—stronger, wiser, and more in touch with their purpose and passion. And she draws on the world’s great spiritual and psychological traditions to support us as we too learn to break open and blossom into who we were meant to be.
I found this book helpful and full of helpful tools to meet you were you are and guide you through some of life's most difficult times.
The Woman's Book of Courage
by Sue Patton Thoele
Now with an updated look and a larger format for easier reading, The Woman's Book of Courage is a little book with a big message - we can take charge of our lives, stop trying to please all of the (other) people all of the time, and live happily with ourselves and others right now. Since it was first published, The Woman's Book of Courage has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of women.
This small book is filled with quotes, poems and encouraging words. I like to pick it up and thumb through it until I find something that resonates with me. A nice gift for someone going through a difficult time.
The Power of Habit
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg
In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
This is an interesting book, giving many examples of what we do habitually that can help us or hurt us. The Power of Habit teaches us how to set new habits and how to go about achieving them.