Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Happiness Handbook Excerpt and Giveaway!

Brought to you by...

The Happiness Handbook: A User's Manual For Living Your Extraordinary Life
Jenn Flaa

We arrive on this planet naked and without operating instructions. We live our lives and learn from trial and error (lots of errors) what works, what doesn't work, what makes us happy and what pisses us off.

Each new person that comes into our lives gets no user's manual and has to figure us out the hard way. But what if we changed the rules? What if we wrote our own user's manual, The Happiness Handbook, about what makes us tick and gave it to the people we love most?

Imagine how that would change our interactions and our lives. People would begin to do what makes us happy and... we would be happy! If someone received our Happiness Handbook and chose not to follow it, well then, we could choose not to hang out with them more quickly.

The Happiness Handbook is about empowering the reader to discover their own unique ways of being that lead to unlocking their full potential and becomes their guide for leading the extraordinary life they were born to fulfill.

The Happiness Handbook is written in a warm, friendly and informal tone; as if a girl friend were guiding the reader through their process of self discovery. Peppered with humbling, humorous anecdotes and stories; the reader has a practical, seasoned guide and partner in crime as they work the exercises and use the tools to move from unhappy to happy!
Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

When Happiness Seems Miles Away 

There’s a time in each of our lives when happiness is so far away that it seems unreal—unattainable. Sometimes it’s the stresses of the day that just wear us down little by little, sometimes it’s a recent "unhappy making event" and sometimes it’s something awful that happened in our past.

It’s times like these that we can’t even remember what makes us happy and when following tried and true advice like "smile more," "laugh often," or "watch a comedy" don’t even make a dent in our sorrow.

The road back to happiness is in three steps. It’s not necessarily easy and it is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.

Step 1: Get To Neutral 

When we’re so unhappy, the leap to happiness seems unattainable. So, the first step is just to get to neutral—not happy but not unhappy either. Start by asking yourself if your basic human needs are being met: do you have safe shelter? Eating healthy foods? Drinking enough water? Getting enough "me" time? Getting enough good and satisfying sex?

Work towards providing more of those things for yourself first.

Step 2: Clear the Crap 

This is the toughest step—the one we avoid by being overly busy, self medicating, sitting in front of too much electronic entertainment and shopping.

What is "the crap"? It’s dwelling on the bad stuff that’s happened. It could be running the old movie of the “unhappy making event”, or getting thoughts stuck in the negative groove. The result is keeping sorrow, anger, fear wrapped around us like a security blanket. Now is the time to be courageous enough to redefine “security” into positive emotions like happiness and self-confidence.

The bad news: the only way I know how to do that is to face that old crap head on. I’ve got a troubleshooting guide in the back of The Happiness Handbook with some tips and exercises that have worked for me and my friends. Here are a couple ideas:

Take the “me time” that you’ve put in place from Step 1 and start a journal and write about all the awful stuff—get it out of your mind and onto the page. You may want to burn it or use it as compost later. You may want to save it and reread it in a year to help you see just how far you’ve come!

Sometimes the sorrow is stuck—use your "me time" to take a long shower or bath and just let yourself sob.

Sometimes it’s the anger that’s stuck. One of my favorite tools is to go to the batting cage or driving range and knock a few balls around.

The hardest one for me is when compassion and understanding get stuck. I can see how the "meanie" arrived at that decision, how the journey of their life compelled them to be the person they are. I’m not forgiving; I’m just stuck in a place that doesn’t let me get to my own sorrow or anger. To get out of this spot I take my "me time" to imagine they are in front of me, I tell them about how I understand and then I tell them that I want them to know how it made me feel. By this point I’m usually ready to let the red letter words fly freely! Remember, this is imaginary, not a real conversation... yet.
Step 3: Define Your Happiness 

If you’ve followed Steps 1 and 2 you’ve found your physical and emotional neutral. From here, happiness is significantly closer and much more attainable! This is when many of the exercises in The Happiness Handbook become fun and easy to do. For example: What are the Top 5 Things That Make You Happy? Can you provide them or do they require a happiness co-conspirator to help you out? What are the characteristics in other people that make you happy to be around?
Bonus Steps 

But our happiness doesn’t stop there. Next is to communicate clearly to others what makes you happy and then when they do it... do a little happy dance and let them see the happiness perking through you from your toes to your big toothy grin!

About the Author

Mild-mannered high-tech CEO and sci-fi geek by day dons her leathers and morphs into classic rock singer by night with raspy tones reminiscent of Janis Joplin. The author thing... well, that was an accident.

There was a time when happiness was not a part of her daily life but Jenn took on the goal of discovering what made her happy and how to sustain it. She figured it out and reemerged the bubbly self that got buried during the complexities of life and relationships.

The male engineers and musicians in her life noticed this change and begged her to write a book so they could make their girls just as happy. It took some prodding on their part but one day The Happiness Handbook hit the press. Now, whether you are male or female, single or in a relationship, straight or otherwise inclined, you've got a tool to help you find and communicate your happiness too!


Thanks to the author and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours, there is one copy of The Happiness Handbook up for grabs—winner's choice of print or digital! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below :) Here's a fun comment prompt for extra entries:
Define your happiness! Where do you find happiness?
Please remember to make your comment meaningful, giving more than a one-worded answer and saying more than "thanks for the giveaway."
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends May 9th at 11.59 pm (your time).
Open internationally! However, only US/CAN residents are eligible for the print copy; anyone outside US/CAN will receive the book in PDF or Kindle format
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!