- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Rough Guides (1 April 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848360150
- ISBN-13: 978-1848360150
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 488,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Rough Guide to Happiness (Rough Guide Reference) Paperback – 1 Apr 2009
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About the Author
At Cambridge University, Dr Nick Baylis has lectured 'the skills of well-being' for seven years. An experienced well-being therapist, he wrote 100 columns for The Times (London), and a monthly self-help column for The Australian newspaper. He now helps train the leading educational, health and business organisations the world over. He is a keynote speaker at the leading head-teacher and university conferences in the UK; BUPA commission him to present to their top corporate clients; and his own client list includes the BBC, Channel 4, and Credit Suisse.
Top customer reviews
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He offers sound, practical advice on every area of life, from looking after our bodies to nurturing our relationships with friends and family. In short, it's good, honest wisdom about how to help yourself grow and flourish.
I was really moved by this book and wholeheartedly recommend it. It's an irresistible rallying call, a truly inspirational read.
I share many of Nick Bayliss's views about health and well being. I come at the problem from a medical angle (See for example "Between Health and Illness" Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (50:444-452 2007)) ...and I recognise that my medical training is a useful but partial view of the whole. Bayliss acknowledges that his psychological training is only partial- and regrets the fragmentation of knowledge into multiple parts. The parts are each useful, but we are hopefully experiencing life as a whole.
This book is a quick, yet thorough, guide to what is known about how we as humans become, or can make ourselves, happy. It makes a good attempt at defining happiness first, and then considering the steps we can take to get us towards it. The evidence that will help persuade us is presented in very incisive summaries, and the full reference usually given.
The book gives many useful suggestions of activities that help and those that hinder our achievement of happiness. The point about the false version of happiness sold to us by advertisers, and the siren calls put out by alcohol, and the television are well made.
I read Martin Seligman's book on Authentic Happiness earlier this year.Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment I was surprised to see Bayliss criticising this as I would have thought he and Seligman are actually quite close in their thinking. One point I took from Seligman's book was the difference between immediate pleasures, and lasting satisfactions. My retired colleague Dr Seth Jenkinson observes that humans have always found strategies for mood alteration- some of which are beneficial, and some of which are deleterious- and these outcomes may be almost immediate (e.g.alcohol, food, sex, the anxiolytic effect of tobacco smoking) or delayed (the long term damage from alcohol, tobacco, obesity etc) Our human tendency to overvalue immediate gratification, and for many of us to overindulge this in many ways, is actually often a distraction from our achievement of lasting happiness, which will usually be described in terms of abilities learned, or purposeful work. The theme of joyful but disciplined practice comes through strongly, echoing Geoff Colvin's Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
This book is a sensible, humane and wise guide to achieving happiness. It will give readers many strategies they can use, and enable them to strike a sensible balance between the immediate and the long term. I think the ideas in this book will be helpful to many people who are looking for more balance and happiness in their lives.
This book is clear, comprehensive and accessible. I recognise his explanations and it reassures me and makes me feel that my happiness is important and is again achievable. I would recommend this book to anyone who is unhappy or anyone close to someone who is unhappy. It sits in a class of its own.
We also have a criticism of technology as a substitute for more conventional ways of spending time and a calling for spending more time with people. If you think about it, nowadays many people don't bother even talking to one another and they spend the day on their iphones. We use technology when we don't need to and have become addicted.
He offers a critical view on many of the paradigms of current society, criticising specialist for giving misleading or just downright wrong information. He even implies that they often to it on purpose for their own benefit. The "money doesn't make you happy" paradigm is also put in check and he cites the flimsy studies this belief came from.
If I were to recommend one book as an introduction to psychology, it would be this one. I incidentally bought it from a library for a mere ten pence but I would have paid the price of a new book.
This book has been thoroughly researched and clearly written. You can read from cover-to-cover and then happily return to re-read sections.
It is one of those books that I keep wanting to buy an extra copy to give to friends.
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