Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers: A Lighthearted Way to Stress Less and Savor More Each Day
Diane. R. Gehart
What I love about this book is its compassionate and non-judgmental approach, combining positive psychology and Eastern wisdom into an easy-to-follow path to find your joy & your "flow."
I define "flow" as the ease with which you are able to accept everything that life has to offer, even in difficult times, through channeling joy and gratitude.
If you have ever wondered, "What exactly IS mindfulness?" or struggled in beginning a meditation practice, Gehart provides basic outlines at understanding these concepts, along with some awesome exercises to try as you move through the book. And, yes, some of them involve chocolate, which is a nice bonus.
The book is broken down into seven steps to increase your happiness, including: "demystifying happiness, identifying common barriers to happiness, befriending reality, shifting your relationship to your mind and life, learning to play with crazy wisdom, developing compassion for self and others, and living an ethical and meaningful life." It's a great read for anyone who wants a basic "how to" into the ways that mindfulness, meditation, and positive psychology can be incorporated into their lives with the aim of increasing their overall state of happiness — translation: everyone.
". . . the more you focus on actions and factors that you control to make you happier, the happier you are likely to be. If you are sitting around waiting for others or life to change in order to make you happy, you are more likely to be disappointed."
"George Mason University in Virginia found that goal attainment only gave a three-month boost in happiness, whereas gratitude and a sense of life purpose are more likely to reduce depression."
"Buddhists have developed a unique spin on happiness: They view it as an action, rather than a feeling or emotion. They see themselves as actively practicing it rather than finding or creating it in their lives."
". . . pleasure and happiness are two very different things. Happiness is an emotion, whereas pleasure is a sensory experience. Our culture is obsessed with sex, food, gadgets, and entertainment — all are forms of pleasure. They make us feel good, but this feeling begins with the body, not the heart."
"[Buddhists and positive psychologists] agree that one of the secrets to extraordinary happiness is recognizing that all things are constantly changing; all things are impermanent."
"Positive psychologists have found an interesting difference between pessimists and optimists. Pessimists tend to see negative events as permanent and good events as temporary. Optimists have the opposite tendency: They see good events as permanent and bad events as temporary. As you might expect, researchers have consistently found that optimists tend to be happier people."
". . . much of the suffering I see directly results from a person's attempt to not acknowledge or feel what is, because it is too painful, frightening, or overwhelming. In frantic attempts to avoid what is, people engage in behaviors such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, psychosis, and violence, unintentionally creating greater and greater forms of suffering."
"It is impossible to condemn and hate others without doing the same to yourself on some level."
"If there is a single secret that those who live extraordinary happiness share, it is this: you must eat life whole. The good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows, the ups and downs, chocolate and lima beans. They go together, and there is no escaping the painful moments."