Mindful Monday: ACT & The Happiness Trap

March 9, 2015

ACT & The Happiness Trap

I’m a very inquisitive and open-minded person and super keen to learn all perspectives, uses and methods of implementing mindfulness.   I love to discover, listen and learn all possible ways and means out there that might lead to obtaining a good balance of mind, body and spirit and that ultimately assist in achieving wellness,  happiness, and becoming the best possible version of ourselves.  At the same time, I have been meaning to find out a bit more about the book ‘The Happiness Trap’.  I had heard of it and wondered if it recommended the use of mindfulness within its pages.

Well, my investigations led me to the book’s author, Dr Russ Harris.  His background is in medicine.  He qualified as a doctor in 1989 at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK.  He migrated to Australia in 1991 and set up practice as a GP in Melbourne.  As a GP he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of medical illness (and increasingly disenchanted with writing prescriptions).  Ultimately this interest in human psychology led to a career change and he now works in two different yet complementary roles: both as a therapist and as an executive coach.

An internationally-renowned ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) trainer, Russ travels all around Australia, and internationally, providing workshops and training for a wide variety of professionals, and he regularly presents at both national and international psychology conferences.

The Happiness Trap (his best selling book) has introduced ACT to many thousands of people around the world, and has now been translated into seventeen different languages.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages: to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve your quality of life.   The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life, and YES – it does incorporate the practice of mindfulness!  Go HERE to read more about the ACT view on mindfulness and more about ACT in general!

So let’s meet Russ and listen to him introduce us to ACT.  Trust me it’s worth every bit of the 9 minutes and 36 seconds of viewing!  Ok – maybe go make a cuppa first and then come back and settle in for a listen. I’ll wait for you – promise! 😉  ….  ok hit PLAY!

The other video’s they refer to can be found HERE.  You can read a lot more about Dr Russ Harris & ACT (including loads of resources and information on more of his books) at his websites – ‘The Happiness Trap – Stop Struggling, Start Living’ and ‘ACT Mindfully’.

The self-help book ‘The Happiness Trap’ claims to show you groundbreaking ways to:

  • handle painful feelings far more effectively
  • escape the grip of self-defeating habits
  • rise above your fears, doubts and insecurities
  • find more fulfilment in your work
  • build more satisfying relationships and, above all,
  • create a rich, full and meaningful life.

Well gee I reckon we could all do with a little help with some, if not all, of those dot points!!  So after my little investigation, why YES, I am interested in reading the book and learning more about ACT.  Why not?!  I’ll add it to my wish list and report back once I’ve read it!  😉

Have you read The Happiness Trap?  If yes, what did you think?  Have you heard of ACT before?  Any of those dot points above jump out at you?  What did you think of the video?

Ciao for now,


 [ This post is linked up with One Mother Hen‘s #OpenSlather ]


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  • Reply Jody at Six Little Hearts March 9, 2015 at 6:58 am

    I have heard of this book too. Thanks for reminding me again and the review. I will source it at my library…

    • Reply Min March 10, 2015 at 6:31 am

      No problem. It’s a book I’ve heard of too … but never looked into what it’s about before.

  • Reply Caroline@Mamma Raj Says March 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Sounds like a very interesting book to read!!! Looking forward to your review! Love that is he a local!

    • Reply Min March 10, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Yes it’s refreshing to find that the author lives in Australia! I think the review might be a way off yet as I haven’t got a copy of the book yet 🙂

  • Reply Alicia March 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Being more mindful, has made more able to cope with the things that go wrong during my day. It’ definitely made me more aware about how I am feeling, about the things I am confronted with.

    • Reply Min March 10, 2015 at 6:33 am

      It sure does help Alicia! 🙂

  • Reply Zita March 10, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I have heard of it and I own a copy!! It’s one of those things that I have read but think I need to go back and re-read it, this time with a highlighter and a pencil!! Will dig it out again when I get home!

    • Reply Min March 10, 2015 at 6:35 am

      Oh you have a copy! Wonder how long ago it was that you read it? I’m curious to have a read – but I’ll need to get the book first! ;=)

  • Reply Tegan March 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I’m doing ACT with my psychologist at the moment. I really like it because it teaches you to live with the thoughts and takes the seriousness out of them. I really like Harris’ thoughts on happiness and how unattainable it is, that it should be about the journey rather than reaching a certain point. I have The Happiness Trap on my kindle and he has a good writing style. It’s less wishy washy than other self help books I’ve read. If you have a smartphone or iPad you can download the kindle app and order the book from there. It’s pretty reasonably priced from memory too.

    • Reply Min March 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      It’s great to hear a glowing report about ACT and The Happiness Trap, Tegan. Thank you! I don’t have a kindle. I bought an eBook once but could never get the thing to work! I’ll order the book soon I think as I’m keen to read it! 🙂

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