Bringing together the latest insights from psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy, Daniel Nettle sheds light on happiness, the most basic of human desires. Nettle examines whether people are basically happy or unhappy, whether success can make us happy, what sort of remedies to unhappiness work, why some people are happier than others, and much more.
The book is packed with fascinating observations. We discover the evolutionary reason why negative thoughts are more powerful than positive ones. We read that happiness varies from country to country, for example, the Swiss are much more happy than Bulgarians. And we learn that, in a poll among people aged 42 years oldpeak mid-life crisis timemore than half rated their happiness an 8, 9, or 10 out of 10, and 90% rated it above 5. Nettle, a psychologist, is particularly insightful in discussing the brain systems underlying emotions and moods, ranging from serotonin, to mood enhancing drugs such as D-fenfluramine, which reduces negative thinking in less than an hour; to the part of the brain that, when electrically stimulated, provides feelings of benevolent calm and even euphoria. In the end, Nettle suggests that we would all probably be happier by trading income or material goods for time with people or hobbies, though most people do not do so.
Happiness offers a remarkable portrait of the feeling that poets, politicians, and philosophers all agree truly makes the world go round.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.70(w) x 4.70(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Daniel Nettle is Lecturer in Biological Psychology at the Open University. He is the author of Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity, and Human Value and co-author of Vanishing Voices (with Suzanne Romaine). He lives in the U.K.
Table of Contents
1. Comfort and Joy
2. Bread and Circuses
3. Love and Work
4. Worries and Enthusiasts
5. Wanting and Liking
6. Placebos and panaceas
7. A Design for Living
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you want a happy self help book that gives you a quick list of directions on the road to happiness, look elsewhere. If you want to take a slower path and look at the more complex issues that make up the mosaic of what happiness is, then this is the book. I was going to give a copy to a friend and decided not to because of their general point of view. The meaning behind the book would have been lost and it would have been put on a shelf or in a landfill. Not for all. Great for some.