In her book the Happiness Makeover, M.J. Ryan shares insights into how we can experience more joy in our lives. She tells the stories of many people who have found ways to be happier everyday in spite of adversities that they might have experienced in the past or that they are currently experiencing. You may recognize Ryan from her bestselling books Power of Patience and Attitudes of Gratitude. She challenges the reader to really take a look at their lives and to get rid of things that stand in the way of happiness. This could be a bad relationship, a job that is neither challenging nor rewarding, an unrealistic expectation, and emotions that we carry around constantly like worry, fear and envy.
I was drawn to this book because I am always looking for ways to create a more enjoyable life for myself and for tips I can share with clients, family and friends about how they can reduce stress and increase pleasure in their lives. The author also provides tools that she calls happiness boosters that can be used by anyone who seeks more happiness in life. The tools include thoughtful questions and simple but powerful activities. The activities help you to gain more insight into what is blocking happiness and how to remove the barriers to experience a life that is filled with more optimism and joy. Ryan suggests that we are in charge of our own happiness. Therefore we must look inside ourselves to see what changes are required to create the happiness that we seek.