Today, May 1, New Harbinger Publications is releasing my latest book, How to be Miserable: Forty Strategies You Already Use. In it, I invite readers to contemplate how they could reduce their happiness and life satisfaction if, for some reason, that was their goal.
Why bother? Most of us spend much of our lives trying to arrange things so that we feel happier and more contented with our lives - and often we feel stuck or frustrated. We never ask ourselves how we could feel worse. But doing so can illuminate a road that runs in both directions. By understanding how we could lower our mood, we can often see more clearly how to raise it.
- Never be allowed to sing along to a song again.
- Lose the relationship with my partner.
- Have to look at the blank page every day that I promised would be a book someday.
- Work late on a regular basis.
- Stay in the house on weekends.
- Take my holidays in pay instead of time.
- Ruminate more on negative things that I can't change.
- Sit more; do and move less.
- Be who you think others want you to be and not who YOU actually want to be.
- Stop attending night school to achieve my goals - no reading, lectures, books, workshops, or conversations.
- Stop singing - no choir practice, no concerts to enjoy.
- Stop volunteering - no presentations, stop organizing programs, stop serving coffee for church outreach program.
- Ignore my health.
- Eat more steak.
- Pay to be entertained.
- Gain five pounds.
- Drink alcohol every night.
- Force self to stay awake as long as you can every night but get up at the same time.
- Continue to overeat compulsively.
- Worry about my adult daughter's ADD and "recreational" drug use.
- Continue to worry about my own health issues.
- Read the newspaper and watch the news.
- Walk through the downtown eastside district.
- Sleep less and work more.
- Try to gain weight more and more.
- Don't contact family and friends.
- Do not plan anything for the future, even just for tomorrow.
- Stop spending time outside.
- Stop exercising.
- Stop spending time with friends and animals.
What about you? If you could change only three things in the quest for unhappiness, what would YOU do?
As of today, How to be Miserable is available from Amazon, other online booksellers, and your local bookstore.