52 Good Books

Book Review – Happier Thinking by Lana Grace Riva

Pharrell Williams sang ‘clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth.’ I like to think that Pharell is just a happy dude 😃, but happiness is not a given for everyone everywhere and that’s where this book ‘Happier Thinking’ comes into play.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Lana Grace Riva who offered me a free copy of her book in exchange for an honest review. Riva in fact posted me a copy of her book which certainly made me happy. I love real books and it was such a treat to get one in the post!

Happier Thinking is a book about just that. This is a short 50 page book that guides the reader through the strategies that Riva herself has used over the years in dealing with poor mental health and the times when she has not been happy. Her aim is to help others who struggle with mental health issues by arming them with these techniques.

This book is an honest, clear cut description of strategies to deploy to bring yourself into a more positive frame of mind. The reasons this book is short is because Riva does not want to repeat herself or pad things out. She is genuinely trying to get across a message and doing it as succinctly as possible is actually what makes it so effective. It’s easier to hold 50 pages worth of information in your head than 250 pages.

Riva has years of experience and research in this area. Some of her techniques I recognised from elsewhere. For example the chapter on controlling your reactions rather than trying to control everything else around you (which is impossible) is something I recognised from The Power of Now by Echart Tolle. A book which I recommend that everybody should read.

The beauty of Happier Thinking is that is a simple slice of good advice. The flip side of this is that it may feel too simplistic. To somebody whose mood is low, telling them to change their reaction to something might feel as though they are being asked to move a mountain. Riva concedes that these are techniques that you have to keep working at. There is no quick fix.

I feel as though mental health is finally beginning to get some of the focus that it deserves. My work place have started a few initiatives such as providing some free self help literature (to which I will definitely be offering up this book) and the training of a number of Mental Health First Aiders – of which I am one.

We all have a state of mental health, whether it is good or poor. Any of us might benefit from the techniques in this book from time to time. If you’re looking for a quick go-to guide, Happier Thinking is just the ticket.

Join me next Monday when I’ll be reviewing a psychological thriller, The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter.

Leave a Reply