The Happiness Trap - Social Anxiety Forum

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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The Happiness Trap

Physician Harris challenges some basic assumptions about the all-American tradition of the pursuit of happiness, drawing heavily on the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) work of University of Nevada professor Steven Hayes, which argues that happiness is not a normal state of being; pain is inevitable and what matters is how it is dealt with. The ACT prescription is to be mindful of negative thoughts and emotions, reconnect with core values, act in accordance with values and with the psychological flexibility to adapt to any situation. ACT techniques include diffusion—decreasing the impact of self-defeating thoughts (without making them go away), turning off the struggle switch, practicing expansion to make room for self-observation and connecting with the present moment. While these concepts might sound like typical self-help fare, Harris makes key distinctions: ACT is not a form of meditation or a path to enlightenment—to reap the benefits, action is imperative. More of an ACT primer than anything else, there's enough interesting content here to keep the reader, um, happy.

More info:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590305841/...etydisorder-20
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 08:12 PM
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Sounds reminiscent of Buddhism.

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" -John Lennon
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 09:19 PM
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I've actually been working thru this book, its actually quite helpful.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:30 PM
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This book is wonderful. ACT is wonderful. The defusion techniques alone have drastically reduced my intrusive thoughts, anxiety and perfectionism.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 05:34 PM
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so far so good

Started reading this. I think it's a good option for those of us who find "positive affirmation" type stuff to be pointless. It's about helping you deal with negative thoughts so they don't take over. So far I like it, but only started recently.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 02:34 PM
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 05:32 PM
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It sounds good, although all the concepts you mentioned in that post are all ideas I have encountered (and found worthy of application) in my spiritual search.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 02:40 PM
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I was reading this and it was good until i encountered this:
"Our emotions definitely do not control our behaviour. For example, you can feel angry but act calmly. You may have the tendency to shout, grimace, clench your fists or lash out physically or verbally, but you don’t have to"

followed by:
"when we talk about being ‘paralysed by fear’, it isn’t the literal truth. It’s just a metaphor; a colourful turn of phrase. The person is not truly physically incapable of taking action; he or she is simply choosing not to
"

I think this is not completely true, emotions certainly can remove a certain amount of control. There were a few times I couldn't lift a glass/cup to drink because I would shake the contents all over the floor. I would like to drink this coffee but I can't => behaviour controlled by anxiety.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 07:59 AM
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^Thank you for pointing this out, @sqwaaaz. So the author is completely dismissing the psychosomatic response?

Because I, too, have experienced uncontrollable shaking as a result of fear. I have, in fact, been "paralyzed by fear". I think this is truly insulting to those who have! To say, for instance, to housebound agoraphobics that they are simply "choosing not to" leave the house is incredibly insensitive and dismissive!

And for being "mindful" of anger...studies have shown that completely distracting oneself from anger, not trying to be "mindful" of it, is effective. It's focusing on anger (i.e., rumination) that feeds the negative emotion. Trying to embrace or accept it does indeed sound to be "Buddhistic". But having tested the "distraction" method myself, it seems to be far more effective than "being mindful" of whatever it is that has angered me.

This book has been on my radar for sometime now, but if this is the sort of stance that the author takes, then I don't think I'll be adding it to my "to read" list anytime soon.

Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theloneleopard View Post
^Thank you for pointing this out, @sqwaaaz. So the author is completely dismissing the psychosomatic response?

Because I, too, have experienced uncontrollable shaking as a result of fear. I have, in fact, been "paralyzed by fear". I think this is truly insulting to those who have! To say, for instance, to housebound agoraphobics that they are simply "choosing not to" leave the house is incredibly insensitive and dismissive!
Indeed. I've lost companies so much money because I froze up, completely froze up and my mind went blank. Sure, my body moved but my mind was dead and I gave out way too much product, change, gave wrong instructions...when we state we go paralyzed--we mean it.

I'd still like to give this book a try. I'll be meeting with a councilor who practices this sort of stuff. I'm actually VERY nervous about meeting with him! I don't want to be yelled at because I talk about not being able to do things--is he going to constantly correct me and tell me I'm simply choosing not to do things? I'll tell him when I'm in such a state of panic that I don't have a clue what I'm doing but I'll keep doing something even at the expense and detriment of the company, I am choosing to move forward LOL

Or the time I had a breakdown in an ER, I was angry, I could have controlled that...I don't even remember what I did or why I was angry!!! I have no memory of what happened but I was supposed to control my anger in the moment? I walked away with a misdemeanor and I don't even know what happened...I'm such a quiet person...I don't know what happened

It's probably great for certain areas of mental illness, but I think I've crossed the border on that one lol
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtimenolove View Post
Or the time I had a breakdown in an ER, I was angry, I could have controlled that...I don't even remember what I did or why I was angry!!! I have no memory of what happened but I was supposed to control my anger in the moment? I walked away with a misdemeanor and I don't even know what happened...I'm such a quiet person...I don't know what happened

Whoa
-it sounds you like really did go into a "blind rage"! And I've no experience with ACT, but if ANY mental health professional yelled at you, well-that would be the time to get up and LEAVE!

I can definitely empathize with freezing up on the job and commend you on taking steps on trying to change your behavior. Here's hoping that ACT works for you.

Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 02:23 PM
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Well, I am still reading the book and so far it has been a nice read actually but not particularly helpful for SA. In summary it tells you : "you don't control your thoughts (they are sorta random) so ignore them if they're not helpful". It all makes sense and for depression it may actually work. I am now at 'creating a life worth living', which should be interesting for me.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 02:35 AM
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nice helpful material in the book
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 04:23 AM
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File Type: pdf How_to_get_the_most_out_of_The_Happiness_Trap.pdf (21.2 KB, 1 views)

And I always thought this would be the land of milk and honey
Oh but I came to find out that it's all hate and money
And there's a canopy of greed holding me down.
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