Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Review: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.

Happier is a book written by Harvard educator Tal Ben-Shahar.  In spite of his lofty position, it is a relatively easy read.  Ben-Shahar does a couple of things that I really enjoyed in the book; he describes well designed research about "Who are the happy people" and "what do they have that keeps them that way".  He also uses personal stories to animate the realities of daily happiness. 

This is not just a "THINK Happy and You Shall BE Happy" book. Ben-Shahar recognizes that some conditions really do not lend themselves to happiness. And yet, perhaps there are some little tweeks one could make to make life a bit Happier!

He discusses practical ways to be happier in work, relationships, and school. He presents thought-provoking exercises called "Time-In's" that are a wonderful way to interact with the information being presented.

He discusses ways to address the growing problem of depression in our college students. I love his idea of teaching kids how to enjoy learning so college and career choices are not harmful to their emotioal wellbeing.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in taking control of their own happiness. It makes me want to put on some Bobby McFerrin... "Don't Worry ... Be Happy ..."

P90X Day 3

Goooood Mornin' San Diego!  I am diggin' the P90X Lean Workout. The first day was Plyometrics which is all core workout. It was intense and I had to slow down at the end of almost every exercise. You will definitely want your water close because you work up a sweat pretty fast.  This is NOT the Tony Horton of Buns of Steel... my error on that. This guy is great though. I expected it to be all serious, but he is FUNNY! He has a really nice way of keeping you engaged and motivated through out each DVD.  He only has three other people working out with him, and at least one is female. I was BEAT after the Plyometrics workout and felt sore the next day, but in that really good way. I have an injured rotator cuff so I was very aware of going slowly with upper body movements, and I was so happy that after the workout my shoulder has felt BETTER than before.

The second day on the Lean program is the Cardio DVD.  It started with a good yoga warm-up that quickly got my heart rate up. Then alot of the workout was Taebo/fighting moves or sports moves which took me a while to get into because they are not moves that I am familiar with. I found that if I stopped and watched the move a couple of times I could copy it fairly easily, but I was still a bit awkward. Again I was careful with shoulder moves and did no damage to my rotator cuff.

I have not got on board with their exact diet since we still have holiday food around. I am making healthy options though for me and the family... orange chicken with green beans and brown rice. And, okay, I did have a little slice of the pecan pie that my sister made for me (it tastes JUST like my grandmother's, so I could not resist).

I am not sore today; drinking lots of water, and taking my Mitrochondrial Renewal Kit vitamins from Xymogene.  I feel really energized and am looking forward to today's workout!!

I hope you all have a Happy Healthy Day.