How to Be Happy (or at least less sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley
|How to Be Happy (or at least less sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A workbook which encourages you in a gentle, non-preachy way to look at the good things in life. And, yes - it works.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: March 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
I gave up hoping for happiness many years ago and settled instead for enjoying contentment when it arrived and trying to make the most of it. 'Happiness' seemed to be rather like 'privileges' - something which you shouldn't expect as of right. Most of the time it works well, but just occasionally an extra boost - a new approach - is needed. Lee Crutchley has suffered from depression and he knows that this book is not going to help when you're clinically depressed, but those of us who have been down that road know that there are certain laybys where you stop and possibly turn around.
The idea is deceptively simple: it's a workbook and you're going to work your way through it and then see how you feel at the end compared to how you were at the beginning. You're presented with a series of exercises (no - nothing too strenuous...) which will push your mind into thinking about you. Not about the sad, down in the dumps you, but the one who just might have quite a lot going for them. Don't worry that you're going to be presented with some of those trite phrases that people offer when they encounter someone who is depressed. I don't know if Pull yourself together or what's your problem? ever had a positive effect on anyone, but the only time you're going to meet them in this book is on the front cover, where they're crossed out.
Let me tell you about one of the exercises. Put your hands down on a sheet of paper, one at a time and draw around the other hand so that what you have looks like a pair of gloves. Now - in each finger write down something you're grateful for. As Crutchley says, they could be people, places or pizza. Actually, this is very clever. If you have to write down three things you can do it quickly: spouse, kids and the dog. But ten things are a bit different. You have to start of group things (I don't want to put just one dog down, so I'll put 'all the dogs we've had in one finger.) It took me about fifteen minutes to come up with a list which pleased me - and in the quarter of an hour I'd concentrated solely on all the good things in my life and there wasn't a single negative thought. It's a wise and gentle book.
I haven't given away too much there - there are quite a few similar exercises which might not make you feel happy but they're going to put problems into some sort of context. Now, is there anyone who wouldn't like to feel just a bit happier? No, I thought not.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.
For more on happiness we can recommend The Secrets of Happiness by Richard Schoch, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein and The Longest Journey: Nine Keys to Health, Wealth and Happiness by Sandy Donaghy.
You can read more book reviews or buy How to Be Happy (or at least less sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy How to Be Happy (or at least less sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.