“The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living” by Russ Harris is an amazing resource for anyone who hasn’t already mastered separating their thinking mind from their observing mind. So if you have no clue what I just said, this book has the potential to change your life!
If you are like me and enjoy devouring books on a weekend, this one will frustrate you. Harris basically commands you to put the book down and come back to it in a few days so that you can integrate his profound insights.
At first, I found myself cursing at this incredibly arrogant suggestion, but once I calmed down, I realized the wisdom in his advice, and I managed to meander through its book over a period of 4 weeks. It wasn’t an easy task for a greedy reader like myself. It was like having a chocolate bar and trying to make it last for 28 days. But I do think I got more out of reading the book because I took that time.
You may want to get a pad of paper to keep with this book to get the maximum value out of your reading experience.
The main purpose of this book is to teach the basic principles of ACT in a way that you can use it yourself. ACT is often called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and is used by both therapists and life coaches. The acronym also stands for the process itself which boils down to, Accept your internal experience; Choose a values-based direction; Take action! ACT has proven effective with depression and addiction and is often used to increase overall happiness.
“What do you want your life to be about?”
This book is so full of practical exercises and activities you will actually notice a change in your life from reading it if you participate in the activities as suggested. While I am really tempted to share some of my favorites here for you, I couldn’t possibly choose just a few or explain them nearly as well as Harris has done, so please check your library, used book store, or wherever you like to get books.