Words like happiness are so difficult to define in real world applications that we often just give up. Well, Valerie Alexander has given us both an organized way to achieve happiness and examples from her own life that really wpeak to me. I enjoyed working through this book. I plan to read it again. I learned not to be afraid to be happy and I learned that the ability to be happy is within me. This is not a philosophical treatise. It's a way to make being happy a part of your emotional vocabulary through easy exercises. I like the analogy with learning a language. There's a lot of valuable information that you can take advantage of a little at a time. There's no pressure and no time limit. I'm glad I bought this book.
I'm generally a happy person to begin with and, to be honest, I usually 'pish-posh' self-help books. So I was skeptical as to whether there would be much for me here. But I really liked this book! It's a quick read, went cover to cover on a couple of flights, and there are some great insights in its simplicity. It's formatted as a textbook so it's easy to go back to when you need a refresher. Valerie Alexander suggests simple tools and poses brilliant insight to help one get through those moments of craziness that can sap happiness. This isn't a cure-all for every situation but for the vast majority of us who seek to practice more happiness this is definitely worth a good read!
I’ve struggled with depression almost my entire life so I approach self-help books and the current obsession with being HAPPY all the time with a certain cynicism. However, a friend raved about this book so I gave it a shot and I was very, very pleasantly surprised. The idea that happiness is a language that one must learn and practice struck a chord with me. Additionally, Alexander's writing style is fresh and personable so it feels like you’re having a conversation with a particularly insightful, caring friend. I have found myself (almost against my will) implementing the methods proscribed and finding that they do have very positive results. Have I journeyed to a place of constant happiness and bliss? No – and that’s not the author's suggesting. Rather I have learned very do-able, new, methods for changing how I speak to myself and how I look at the world. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants another tool to help improve themselves and their lives.
I've purchased many self-help books over the years. However, few give it to you as straight and as easily as "Happiness As A Second Language." In a society where unhappy lives are an epidemic, this book is a godsend. It is well-written, and easy to follow. It avoids flowery pie-in-the-sky talk, and instead, it provides practical step-by-step exercises to help you become happy.
Good writing doesn't mean the text is complex or difficult. Quite the opposite, good writing is straightforward, easy to understand, and maintains your interest. This book is very easy to get through, but the messages, exercises, and meaningful discussions underneath will stay with you for years, if not for life. The author's writing style makes reading the book a pleasure. The exercises she describes are easy to implement. And if you do what she says, it works.
I saw myself in this book, chapter after chapter. It opened my eyes to what I was doing wrong without even thinking. I now have the knowledge on how to be happy. Valerie spells it out so simply, giving great examples that make perfect sense. It's not going to be easy but I am going to give it my best shot.
I saw my friends, my family, in this book. There are things in your life that you can't put into words. You know something is wrong but you don't know how to fix it. Valerie tells you how. It's so simple, yet hard, because habits are hard to break. There are people that spend big money going to shrinks. I know people that have been in therapy for years. This book is a easy read but one that I will need to periodically keep rereading until I learn - my second language -.
I am going to buy a bunch of books and give them out as presents. Birthday's, Anniversaries, Thank you, Xmas, etc. I suggest you do the same. Maybe we can start a new movement where Happiness can take over the world. It seems so many of us wallow in our lot and don't know how to pull ourselves out of the hole. Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
I think that is probably the best thing I can say. I've read a few books on happiness, but I can't remember any of them making me this happy just by the act of reading them. There is some good advice here, and I expect to refer back to it again, but whether or not the results last, I can honestly say that right now, I am truly happy. :-)
I just finished this book while I was on vacation, which is really the best time to contemplate happiness.
I found myself to be completely challenged by the ideas put forth in this book. There was a section about visualizing that you have everything you've ever wanted. Visualizing that you have the respect of everyone you would want to respect you. This really stopped me in my tracks. I don't even know what I want, I just know I don't have it!
There are so many observations in this book just like that. Full disclosure - I've never read a self-help book in my life. But there was something about this one that really spoke to me. I discussed many of these observations with my husband - who is a naturally happy person. In fact, when I told him I'd purchased this book (and its title), he said, "That seems like a worthy purchase for you." :P
I did not complete all the exercises in my first read-through but I know I'm going to go back to this book again and again.
I feel like Valerie gives you permission to be a real person. You don't have to be superhuman to be happy. The section on forgiveness/release was something I can carry with me forever.
Words are failing me to describe how I'm feeling. And I'm a writer!