This website is about getting more happiness into your life. It’s based largely on my book, Happy at Last, but I keep posting new information when it’s available. This website is not about happy talk, quick fixes, or following your bliss. It is about serious scientific research and the clinical wisdom I’ve gained in my 30-plus years as a psychotherapist. Although we shouldn't hope to transform ourselves into dancing little forest sprites, we can do some things that will reliably bring more joy and satisfaction into our lives.
I’ve put up this site because it seems to be more and more difficult for us to simply feel good. Over the past fifty years, ever since scientists started surveying people about their individual happiness, the number of people who say they are happy has declined every year—in the U.S. and in most developed economies. That’s really an amazingly consistent trend. Why?—no one can be certain, but I’ll show you some of the factors that are contributing to the problem.
Happiness doesn’t come naturally, though we often think it should. This makes us blame ourselves for our unhappiness. Our brain tricks us into believing that we’ll be happy if we get what we want, but that’s simply not so; we just move on to wanting something else. Learning how to be happy takes systematic, focused attention to our feelings (in a way that we’re not used to), then thoughtful decision-making, then practice. But once we learn how to do it, staying in a happier state is easy, because we’ve taught our brain new automatic habits. If you can learn to type, you can learn to be happy.
The exciting news is that science is showing us how we as individuals can buck this trend and help ourselves reach a greater level of happiness than we’re accustomed to. We can literally reprogram our own brains to feel more joy, attain greater satisfaction, and reduce unnecessary misery. With all the new brain imaging technology available, we can see how this rewiring takes place, through repeated practice of certain skills. I’m going to show you here some of the most important new skills, and give you simple, practical advice on learning them. Learning anything new is awkward at first, but once you’ve integrated happiness skills, maintaining them takes almost no effort at all. Once you learn to ride a bike, you know how to ride a bike—it’s implanted in the circuitry of your brain. Once you learn how to be happier, you will know how to be happier.
Please go on to the next page, About Happiness, for an overview and introduction to this website.
Please see these pages for the professional qualifications
and personal experiences
that enable me
to write on these topics
Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician, therapist, or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any treatment, or for making any lifestyle decision that may have serious negative repercussions.\