Book Review: Practical Steps to Being Happy

| by Fit Bottomed Girls

I’ve been on a bit of a happiness journey lately. From meditating more to meeting with a wellness coach to really going after my dreams (more on that in the coming weeks!), I’ve taken the time to look at my life, see what can be tweaked, and I’ve taken my happiness into my own hands. What does that mean exactly? Every day I decide to be happy, instead of letting outside events and happenings determine how I feel. Well, in the middle of this self-discovery process, we got sent the book Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life by Dr. Ian Smith (you probably know him best as the doctor on VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club and The 50 Million Pound Challenge, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

While in the car making the trek to Colorado for my husband's and my annual camping and hiking vacation, I pretty much devoured this book. What I really liked about it is that it’s less self-help and more educational, even though there are a number of tips and tricks that you can implement into your life to boost your happiness. For example, Dr. Ian goes into a lot of research about factors that determine happiness. While there seems to be a genetic inclination for some to be more happy-go-lucky than others (you probably know some people who just seem perky no matter what, right? They have freak happy genes!), other factors such as income and life events don’t play as much prominence as you (and I) might think. In fact, as long as someone has enough money to meet basic life needs (shelter, food, etc.), happiness doesn’t always increase along with income. I guess the Beatles were right; You can’t buy love. So what matters for happiness? Here are some take-homes from the book.

Steps to Being Happy

  • Exercise. Preaching to the choir here!
  • Staying positive. Optimists are happier than pessimists.
  • Disconnecting digitally. Being reachable 24/7 isn’t always a good thing.
  • Don’t live beyond your means. Keeping up with the Joneses is exhausting and stressful.
  • Take more me time. Taking time to recharge leaves you fresh, focused and, well, happy.
  • Slow down. Take 15 minutes a day to appreciate what’s around you and what you do have.
  • Try something new. Much of the human experience is about learning new things.
  • Dream. Identify your passions and practice them as much as possible.

Like we always say here in FBG land, life is too short to be miserable. So come on, get happy! —Jenn

Want to read Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life? Leave a comment on our site about what makes you happy, and we’ll select one U.S. reader to win this book! Winners will be selected in about a week via email. Happy commenting! (Get it? Har! Har!)