America the Anxious

America the Anxious

How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating A Nation of Nervous Wrecks

Book - 2016
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The author embarks on a pilgrimage to investigate how the national obessession with happiness infiltrates all areas of life, from religion to parenting, from the workplace to academia. She attends a Landmark Forum self-help course, visits Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas (a "happiness city"), looks into the academic "positive psychology movement" and spends time in Utah with Mormons, officially America's happiest people.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2016.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781250071521
1250071526
Branch Call Number: 306.0973 WHIPPMAN
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 22 cm

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PimaLib_AmyK Sep 13, 2018

Is personal happiness an individual responsibility? In America it seems so, and billions of dollars are being spent by consumers every year in the quest to be “happy”. Yoga classes, meditation, “mindfulness”, retreats, etc…but studies suggest that Americans are more anxious and unhappier than ever. This book is written by a British expat living in California, and she readily admits her outsider status probably makes her view things differently, but some of her observations of us Americans are painfully funny, laugh-out-loud so. I thought this book was a great read, and frankly, makes me feel less guilty now about my less-than-exuberant-all-the-time tendencies. I’ve always been rather suspicious of people who are happy ALL THE TIME, as surely that’s exhausting, isn’t it? I liked the author’s point that all of this individual pursuit of happiness might be better put towards spending time with PEOPLE, maybe sharing a beer, to stop mixing work with one’s personal life, spending less time on social media, and being comfortable with being unhappy sometimes. Stop trying so hard to be happy, and you might, you know, actually be happier.

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