In this powerful book, the author teaches the art of better managing anxiety. To do so, you must first accept the emotion and not let it prevent you from acting according to your values. In the workplace, stress and anxiety are commonplace and can have adverse effects. Better understanding these emotions allows you to develop psychological distance from them, which helps you to manage tense situations. After reading the book, you’ll be asked to set personal goals that will guide you through stressful situations. The book is based on the empirical approach of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): learning to live with negative emotions rather than fight them. The more you struggle, the worse it gets. The overarching message from Russ Harris is that you can’t choose how you feel, but you can still be the master of your own actions. Free will places you in control of your happiness and you’ll develop a greater and deeper sense of satisfaction with your life.
Two interesting quotes from The Happiness Trap
“Thus, as soon as we start to do something new, our mind will start warning us: ‘You might fail’, ‘You might make a mistake’, ‘You might get rejected.’ It warns us with negative thoughts, with disturbing images or bad memories, and with uncomfortable feelings and sensations. And all too often we let these warnings stop us from taking our lives in the direction we really want. Rather than sail for shore, we drift at sea. Some people call this ‘staying in your comfort zone’, but that’s not a good name for it because the comfort zone is definitely not comfortable. It should be called the ‘misery zone’ or the ’missing-out-on-life zone.” “So here is the happiness trap in a nutshell: to find happiness, we try to avoid or get rid of bad feelings, but the harder we try, the more bad feelings we create.”