It's not just big choices that can radically change our lives-sometimes it's the small ones. Activating Happiness offers powerful, evidence-based strategies to help you conquer low motivation, nix negative moods, and defeat depression by actively making positive choices in small, everyday moments.
If you have depression or just suffer from low mood and lack of motivation, you know that your life isn't going to change with one grand, sweeping gesture. But you can make important decisions every day-whether it's getting off the couch and going for a walk, signing up for a course in pottery or screenwriting, or just setting aside some time to meet and chat with a good friend over coffee. These little things won't change your life all at once. But over time, they will shape the way you live and see the world and keep you on a path to wellness.
In Activating Happiness, you'll find solid strategies based in behavioral activation and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you break the cycle of avoidance, guilt, shame, and hopelessness that can take hold when you're feeling your lowest. Using this guide, you'll find little, doable ways to "show up" to your life, get the ball rolling, and start really feeling better, instead of just reassuring others. You'll learn to set healthy goals for your body like eating and sleeping well, as well as healthy goals for your mind. Most importantly, you'll discover how to view your life through the lens of your own deepest values, which will spark a commitment to real, lasting change.
The best thing about change is that you can start anywhere. By building a life-moment by moment-of rewarding behaviors that correspond to your values, you have the recipe for getting and staying well at your fingertips. This book will guide your way.
Rachel Hershenberg, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the research and treatment of depression. She is assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University and director of psychotherapy in Emory's Treatment Resistant Depression program. She has published over twenty peer-reviewed publications, coauthored a chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Depression and Comorbidity, and has appeared as a guest specialist on local radio.