Don’t Give Up On Achieving Immense Happiness

Happier At Home Book Review

October 5, 2012   17 Comments

I chose a photo of a woman blowing bubbles because I think we can all remember finding great joy in bubbles.

I love how bubbles defy gravity and if you turn away for a second they are gone. They focus our attention on the moment and they make us giggle. Fleeting, isn’t it?

Gretchen Rubin has become my hero by writing two books on the subject of happiness. Hers is not an existential crisis but an awakening. She isn’t depressed and she has everything she has ever wanted - kids, fulfilling career, loving husband, apartment in New York City. Hey, what else could she want?

More happiness!

Believe it or not, you can actually work toward being happier. I find it comforting that I can learn to be happier. What does this have to do with food?

I believe your general mood affects how you approach food. If you are happier, you might not need the bacon cheeseburger as much. You might have the energy to order the salad and enjoy the fact you just made a healthier choice (unless it is a Cobb salad).

Gretchen uses monthly resolutions in her book “Happier at Home” to focus on her happiness goals. In October, for example, she writes about her marriage and one of her resolutions is “Kiss in the morning, kiss at night”.

Yeah, I think that would make me happier. Why the heck aren’t I doing that? Sheesh.

While that might seem obvious, just making it a monthly goal and shifting that little bit can make a big difference in how you feel about your partner. More love, baby!

The book is filled with stories of how she implements these small steps toward greater happiness. She sounds like a good friend supporting you to make positive changes.

In November, she took on parenthood and decided to "Underreact to a problem". This made me laugh because that is a lot easier to say than to do.

"Mom, I just stuck a pen in your computer and I can't get it out." AAAAAHH!

Yes, I will try to underreact and take deep breaths (which only means a complete change in my personality) but, hey, if it leads to greater happiness, why not try?

Check out Gretchen's books below and her website - The Happiness Project. I enjoy the "daily happiness quotation" that I signed up for.

Have you worked on happiness? Please share.

Snack Girl receives a small percentage of sales from links to

Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

$26.00   $2.47   Barnes & Noble

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

$14.99   $10.59   Barnes & Noble

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This sounds like such an inspiring book!! You know we can all use a little more happiness!

on October 5, 2012

This is brilliant. I think I might look at getting this book! I am getting married next year and undertook to prepare myself for the next stage in my life with my hubby to be! I decided to start going to therapy to work on over reacting, being too controling and relaised that i spend so much time worrying and anxious it effects every part of my life! After completing the therapy I kind of just want more and more happiness and laughter! Its really addictive!

on October 5, 2012

I know I can always use an extra dose or two of happiness every day. I do try to be positive person most of the time. But honestly sometimes it is hard especially when others around you (like co-workers) are constantly complaining and are just negative. In the last few months I've really become aware how negative vibes from others affects me and I'm learning to distance myself from the negative ones. Indulge in small and happy things in life. If you look hard enough you will see you are surrounded by them. Happy Friday everyone!!!

on October 5, 2012

I love Gretchen's books and her attitude. She does "have it all" but she realized she wasn't appreciating it all like she could, so she changed her attitude. Thanks for sharing :)

on October 5, 2012

Great ideas! This post also made me think about food and happiness... not only how your feelings affect what you eat, but how what you eat affects your mood!

on October 5, 2012

I'm learning (it's an ongoing process, even at my age) that happiness isn't about the big events - weddings, vacations, parties, etc. It's about the small moments - a kiss from your partner in the morning, playing with your kids, watching the dogs run around in the back yard, a sunset. These moments make up a happy life. Thanks for the reminder, Lisa - I will get the book and practice being happier. :-)

on October 5, 2012

Thank you for sharing this. My happiness is fleeting and I would love to get it back. This couldn't have come at a better time for me.

on October 5, 2012

I loved the Happiness Project and, as a Health Coach, I recommend it to my clients. Sometimes we're in such a rut we don't even see what we're doing. Little tweaks really do make a big difference. When you can make an even bigger one, look out world!

on October 5, 2012

I so needed this! My happiness left last year and I've put on 22lbs because I'd given up on being happy and just decide to settle for what was left and pretty much stopped caring about myself. I'm going to get this book today!

on October 5, 2012

I've read The Happiness Project and also subscribe to her monthly newsletter. You are correct in that I found a lot of her ideas are common sense things that make you wonder why you didn't think of that. It boils down to stepping back a bit and looking at yourself instead of reacting all the time.

on October 5, 2012

I've read both books, and their main theme (whether Rubin intended this or not), is about self-awareness. It's important to be aware of the things in your life that already bring you happiness and gratitude (loved ones, health, home, ability to earn a living in this economy, etc). But it's also important to pay attention to those "little" things that bring you happiness that you perhaps don't make enough time for: reading a book, taking a walk, a craft or sport, a creative pursuit, cooking and baking, taking photographs, having dinner with a friend. We cut these sources of good feelings out of our lives all too often when we get busy, when they are the very things that can restore our energy and good moods.

I agree with the person who said that it's best to stay away from those who are consistently negative. Those moods are contagious.

on October 5, 2012

Thanks for that! I signed up for the tips and put the book on my wish list (I am reading 3 books right now and really need to finish those first or I fear I won't remember what thoughts go with each!).
I needed this!!

on October 5, 2012

Great post about Gretchen Rubin - she might be my new hero too! You are right about how your how general mood affects how you approach food. I myself got caught up in being overworked and busy to the point where I never made time to eat a healthy well-balanced meal. Because of that my health declined severely - and I'm only 28! Now I've dedicated myself to living a healthy lifestyle and I'm documenting it on And I couldn't be any happier!

on October 5, 2012

It is so true that when you are happy, everything looks brighter and is easier to handle; this includes food choices. It is also choosing to be present and recognizing the little things that bring you joy. It is also shifting the focus off the big things. Great read. Thanks.

on October 5, 2012

I haven't read Gretchen's books yet but I have always found her blog very inspiring. It even inspired me to start my own blog about happiness =)

on October 6, 2012

This sounds like something I could do with right now, Im looking for a few ways to make myself & my family smile more. Were not happy, but we need a little something!!

on October 7, 2012

pick up a copy of THe Happiness Diet at your local library. WOW! I never knew how much food and things added to food effects our moods, I am truly amazed!

on October 19, 2012

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