Brad's Reviews > The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
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's review
Apr 15, 12

bookshelves: 2012, non-fiction, philosophy, wishlist
Read from March 29 to April 14, 2012

I found this book extremely helpful--I had previously read about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on the website PsychologyToday.com. Apparently it is a successful and empirically proven therapy, so I was very much intrigued. I ended up going pretty slowly through the book, which allowed me to think about the principles it contains on a daily basis for a couple of weeks.

From what I understand, ACT takes a lot from Buddhist philosophy, and I can totally dig it. Some of the important things ACT teaches are that sometimes life is painful, and we need to accept that fact; our thoughts do not control our actions, particularly when we step back and observe what our thoughts are and decide whether they are in line with our values; if yes, act on them, if no, don't try to force the thoughts away, but choose an action that is in line with your values.

I've been thinking a lot about these things for both the big and little challenges that I face each day, and I have found them useful. This isn't a book that tells you how to be happy all the time, because that is not possible. But it does help you live a life of fulfillment, which I think is what matters most. I also believe that a fulfilling life is a joyful life--note that I do not say a "happy" or "ever-pleasant" life, as I think there is an important distinction.

I highly recommend this book.

Rating: PG, probably, for some mild language?

Things that seem like they might be useful for me:
(view spoiler)
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