Prather’s Pick: Thinking happy
This week’s Prather’s Pick looks more like a magazine than a book, but I’ll refer to it as a “book” in the column. It’s an updated reissue of a Special “Times” Edition. “The Science of Happiness: New Discoveries for a More Joyful Life” is published by Meredith Corporation (2020). It is a 96-page book with a durable cover.
The book’s cover is decorated with Emoji art (supplied by Emoji One). There are colorful photos and illustrations throughout the book. Some full-page illustrations feature sayings from famous people. For example, “Most people are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” (Abraham Lincoln)
The book is made up of stories by a number of different people, each one offering unique insight on happiness. Some include scientific research on the subject. Included are ideas about relationships, exercise, inner life, diet, meditation, parenting, and more. Included at the back of the book is an impressive list of credits.
On the very last page of the book the reader finds a map of the United States with “States of Happiness” or state happiness rated from least happy to most happy. Did you know that Colorado is ranked among the top 10 states in well-being? Along with Hawaii, Colorado has maintained this rank for the past 11 years. Some of the other states in the top 10 include Wyoming, Utah, the Dakotas, and Alaska.
Still another map rates the world as to feelings of well-being. The United States ranks 18th world-wide in measurement of happiness. Finland is the world’s happiest country.
Stories in the book offer tips for experiencing more happiness. “Nine Ways to Feel More Joy” offers 9 tips. Among them are “make tough stuff work (go with the flow)” and “fake it till you feel it.” A story, “How to Bounce Back” tackles resiliency. The author compares resiliency to the way rubber rebounds after being squeezed and twisted. The story includes fascinating scientific information about how the brain behaves following stressful situations and a list of expert tips for being resilient.
“Fourteen Ways to Jump for Joy” is a story that tackles ways to infuse your days with pleasure—but does not suggest “ big, costly splashy events.” Instead, the author suggests prioritizing, savoring the small things, rationing time, thinking happy thoughts, and more.
The book has about 14 stories involving happiness. It’s a thought-provoking read. You can find the book in stores that have magazine displays. The book costs $14.95.
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