Thirty Shades of Happiness By Haim Ben Hai 

Thirty Shades of Happiness is an interesting book in that it was written by an engineer who is exploring his view on feelings and how to obtain happiness which is usually written by authors with a background in psychology or related field.  For someone that has a background in psychology I found myself disagreeing with the author at the beginning of the book and had to put that aside to really explore his take on what feelings are and how to obtain happiness.  From a psychology standpoint, there aren’t as many different feelings at the author describes and I feel one of the greatest downfalls of this book is not having a definition for the different terms that the author used such as happiness, bliss, and good mood.  I had trouble following the logic because of the lose definitions.  I feel if the author had given more of a strict definition for each term it might have made his theory stronger.  I found sometimes I was rereading a section because it appeared that the term was defined using the word itself as the definition.That said, while I disagree with the theory of feelings proposed in this book I feel it has a lot of potential especially in a clinical setting specifically for dialectical behavior therapy.  The idea of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is to make a “life worth living” which the author talks about in this book and to increase the positive experiences a person has.  I believe the sources that the author picked out could easily be an asset to people undergoing this type of therapy, which helps people with a multitude of mental health issues, and for therapist delivering this type of therapy.  I think the author could probably shave some of this book down as it was redundant in several places which lost my attention but overall it is a well written book which is easy to understand although the last couple of chapters were a little tense as the theory came together.  The author also addressed an important issue for me which was that people have different levels of obtaining happiness; for example a rich person with everything may not experience as much happiness as a poor person with very little.  I was at first afraid he was going to leave that out but addressed it fairly early into the book.  The author discusses that we should be modest in feeling grateful for things which is not a lesson easily learned and was not exactly addressed here but I think that topic could be a book unto itself.  I find myself on the line with this book.  I overall disagree with the premise and that kept me from enjoying it but at the same time I think it has value in this field so I have to give it a neutral review.  I do recommend it to anyone wishing to try to add more happiness to your life as it is packed full of ideas on how to increase pleasant experiences to lead a better life regardless of the theory of how to do it.  I also have to commend the author for sticking with this book and getting his ideas out there for others instead of doing something that would have been less fulfilling for him.  This is a good book to put on the self help list for anyone who wishes to increase the positive experiences in their life.

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