Happiness Oversite

Conscious Happiness

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Part 1 What is Consciousness
Part 2 Happiness
Part 3 The Happiness Strategy
Suggested Reading
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Oversite - A Personal View

By Bruce Barbour
Version 1 - February 2016

Suggested Reading

1. The Happiness Trap, Dr Russ Harris - this is an excellent book that teaches techniques of handling negative Self Thought, through recognising it for what it is and making room for the Thoughts without getting involved in them. It also proposes a values based lifestyle.

Web based resources:

Other Books

2. Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life, Dr Steve Hayes with Spencer Smith. Steven Hayes is the originator of ACT. This book is written for the general public however I found it to be a more technical book than the "Happiness Trap". He has also written (or co-written) many other books (at least 32!) including "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" which is a lot more academic treatment of ACT - I wouldn't recommend it for the general reader.

Web based resources:

3. The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle - an interesting book in which Tolle proposes minimising thought processes (he doesn't differentiate between Self Thought and other thought) and living solely in the present moment. It is an Awareness / mindfulness based approach; however he goes a lot further than what I do. He sees thought as a disease that needs to be eliminated as much as possible. In my opinion this is extreme, in that it discounts the value of much of human endeavour, past and present, and is a case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. My other problem with it is that while he mentions compassion and love he fails to fully articulate how one should live ethically - how one should treat others. Also see "Stillness Speaks" by same author.

Web based resources:

4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers - This is quite an old book now (1987). The author suggests the extensive use of positive affirmations. However she admits that even with the positive affirmation that fear is still going to be present and suggests "doing it anyway" (an ACT approach!). Seems to show the difficulty with relying on positive affirmations to drown out negative thoughts. Still it is an interesting book. Suggests some useful ways of thinking about decision-making and change.

Web based resources:

5. An Awakened Life, Christopher Titmuss - provides a Buddhist perspective. Combines a lot of short interesting articles.

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6. Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman. The author is one of the most widely recognised experts on happiness and has written a number of "self help" books on the subject as well as academic papers. He teaches techniques for learned optimism which, he claims, are largely based on the latest developments in research. Some of the techniques are similar to what is suggested in this site, although the terminology is quite different. An interesting read aimed at the layman.

Web based resources:

Other Websites

7.     Wikipedia Entry on Happiness

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