Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tuesday Tutorial; Read something uplifting

Hello folks,

It's Tuesday Tutorial time! Yay!

So this week, I'd like to talk about reading and more specifically, the power of reading positive and inspirational books.

Firstly, a confession, I'm a massive reader and would happily refer to myself as a bibliophile. I don't watch a lot of telly and I've stopped watching the news as it's too miserable. When someone invents a good news channel or paper I will turn on or open up. Instead I read. I kind of devour books really, so it gets expensive too. I borrow books from the library a lot, and even listen to audio books in my car now.

I also buy a lot of books from charity shops and a few weeks ago on the way to a meeting in Clitheroe I spotted this one...

As I have been really thinking about this blog and sharing happiness wider I bought it there and then for the bargain price of £1.99. Of course, I bought other books too, as I can never stop at one, but this is the one I want to share with you today.

I've enjoyed it and it has made me think. So here is  a book review (my first one since school) about Happiness by Richard Layard.

Richard is an economist (as am I) and he likes to explain things from quite a scientific point of view. I don't agree with every word but his ideas overall are interesting and make sense. He has identified what he calls 'The Big Seven' factors which affect happiness...
  • Family relationships
  • Financial Situation
  • Work
  • Community and Friends
  • Health
  • Personal Freedom
  • Personal Values
Family relationships are the most imporant in affecting how happy we are.

He makes it clear that one thing that can really help people to feel happier is to set goals. They need to be stretching us and achievable though as if they are too low we get bored and if we can't do them we will feel worse about ourselves.

He talks about how we can train our feelings and that we can be happy if we develop a positive outlook.

He also explains that it can be helpful to spend time appreciating what you have and to be satisfied with what is good enough. Not everything needs to be the best.

I can give you a clear example of this from everytime my husband and I shop online for anything jointly. Usually these tend to be things like insurance policies or a new toaster for example. We don't sit about jointly picking out each other clothes or shoes or DVD's or anything like that. I will sit down and look for what I want. As soon as I find it, I show my husband and then order it. He however, despairs of me for doing this. He thinks he can search every website, and find discount codes and check it isn't available somewhere else but £2 cheaper. This can take him a hour or two. I'm happier to have the hour or two to do fun things, but he needs to check he isn't missing out on something. After we have bought something I don't even think about it anymore, but he has more regrets and wonders if he really did get the best deal. He wants perfect, I'm happy with good enough and happier overall really.

Overall, Happiness by Richard Layard, well worth a read, but not the easiest book out there, it can be quite scientific. There is an online talk from Richard here if you want to know more.

Following on, for this weeks Tuesday Tutorial I want to give you three options to choose from.
  1. List some achievable goals (I think one of mine should be to learn how to spell achievable without having to look it up each time!)
  2. Just let something be good enough.
  3. Read something that inspires you or is positive
If you don't fancy reading 'Happiness', you could try one from this list of inspirational books or you could see what is in your nearest charity shop or library.

For those who struggle to choose and want something to help a specific condition, why not try the Books on Prescription scheme through Reading Well (full website here, just follow the link to the core booklist halfway down the page.) It lists books which can help with many different conditions including Anxiety, Depression and Stress and all of these books are available in any Lancashire Library. I have tried this scheme and although it's not always easy to find the books in the library, just ask. I read 'Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway' by Susan Jeffers when I was feeling anxious and it really helped me.

Finally, if you just want something short and easy or don't feel you have time for a whole book, why not have a look at our Pinterest board where we share lots of different inspiring quotes... The Art of Cheerfulness.

Thanks for reading,


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