I don’t usually review books on my blog, but recently I’ve read a couple that have stuck with me that I simply must write about. The first of those books is Happy Guide: 6 Simple Lifestyle Changes for Health and Happiness by Michael Kinnaird.
I must say, this post has been a long time coming. I first read this book back in May, and I reread it just last month. It’s certainly one of those books that you can keep referring to when you need a little guidance.
Happy Guide, as the name suggests, is a guide to happiness. And no, it’s not one of those self-help books that makes you jump through hoops in the pursuit of happiness. It provides six very simple, very achievable steps that you can follow to achieve the happiness you truly deserve.
Let me just take a second to mention the time of year. With Christmas coming up in just two weeks, and a New Year only three weeks away, it’s certainly time to start considering New Year’s resolutions.
So if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, you should consider this book (available at happy.guide). It will provide your loved one with an excellent read and the perfect New Year’s resolution.
In 2015, I will be happy.
So how do we achieve happiness? Regular readers of my blog will know I’m a big health fanatic. Nutrition is key to looking beautiful and feeling healthy. But it’s also one of the key topics covered in Happy Guide.
At the moment, especially in Ireland, the majority of people have what Happy Guide calls the “pill for an ill” mindset. For every illness, there is a pill that should cure it, but do you really want to take pills for the rest of your life?
True vibrant health and happiness, like children have, comes from having a healthy body and a clear mind, free from worry.
The truth is that health and happiness is the synergy of all factors that create health. And that is why the same factors will heal and restore almost all health problems.
– Michael Kinnaird, author of Happy Guide
Michael lays out the path to happiness in six simple steps. I won’t go through all of them (you should read the book for that), but I can say that all six steps are easy and achievable.
Here are my three favourite topics covered in this book:
1. Eat and Drink the Right Stuff:
We’ve all made that New Year’s resolution of getting fit and eating healthy, but when it comes down to it, there’s always another tin of Roses left over from Christmas, or there’s that lump of Christmas cake that your mother made that simply can’t go to waste.
In fact, most people give up on that ideal by February, deeming it simply unachievable. In fact, the best time to start your New Year’s resolution is February, when the tins of Roses and Christmas Cake have disappeared and temptation is no longer in your way.
Happy Guide encourages readers to eat whole, natural foods and to buy the highest quality food that you can afford. The book even provides a Happy Guide Diet.
What’s on your fork today contributes to your health and happiness in a week, a year, ten years, fifty years – your health ‘outcomes’.
And we like what we know. If you get onto a healthy eating plan, you’ll come to love it, cravings will drop away and you’ll get happier and happier.
What you eat is a huge part of the happiness equation.
– Happy Guide.
These lines from chapter five really stuck with me because they are true. If, for example, you choose to cut sugar out of your diet completely, you will find that after a few days of torture, your body will just stop craving sugar. When it’s in your system, your body craves more of it. But once it’s gone, you’ll feel all the better for it.
2. Be Free from Drugs
This is probably a little controversial because of the aforementioned “pill for an ill” mentality that is rife in Ireland at the moment.
But all too often the medication you are on is simply conditioning your body to depend on it. Drugs are drugs after all. They may not be hardcore drugs like heroine, but they can still be addictive.
It goes back to what I said earlier about sugar. If you consume sugar every day, your body craves it. When you deprive yourself of sugar, it can be torture. The same goes for many drugs. When you’re on medication, that medication can control you, and do you really want your life to be controlled by a drug?
I’ve been incredibly lucky in life because my mother is a nutritional therapist. I’ve never been to a doctor for an illness. There has been nothing that good diet and natural remedies could not sort in my life. Having said that, please do not come off your medication without first speaking with your doctor.
One thing I loved about Happy Guide was the fact that the author included various quotes at the beginning of each chapter. For chapter six, ‘Be Free from Drugs’, he included an especially powerful quote:
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.
– Thomas A. Edison
Happy Guide encourages you to meet the needs of your body, stating that when you get sick, it’s often a result of those needs not being met for a number of months, years, even decades. The trick is to meet those needs, and not introduce drugs into “an already out-of-balance biochemical system”.
This chapter goes through the topics of side-effects and dependency on drugs, the bio-mayhem that can occur when you do decide to stop taking a drug and, most importantly, how to get into the clear mindset that will allow you to fight for a drug-free life.
So for the sake of health and to feel good all the time, aim to be drug-free whenever possible. And put the conditions in place that let your amazing body do the thing it’s good at – keeping you happy and healthy.
– Happy Guide
3. Get Organised
Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.
– Mark Twain.
Starting with a quote from the incredible Mark Twain, chapter nine (the fifth step to happiness) is one that really stuck out for me.
I try my best to make time for myself, but the very fact that it took me five months to finally get around to writing this blog post just shows you the amount of pressure and stress that takes over my day-to-day life.
Michael Kinnaird explains it best within the pages of Happy Guide:
I know people who’ve spent their whole lives chasing a dream they thought would make them happy, only to achieve it and realise they were no happier than before.
They put all of themselves into outer success, but their dream turned out to be an idea, a concept… “I will be happy when I have this thing” or “I will be happy when I am doing that thing”.
So we chase after rainbows. How can there be lasting happiness by chasing things that come and go by their very nature?
– Happy Guide
We can work so hard to get to a certain point in our lives – a point that we think will make us happy – but in the process, we can lose sight of the things that matter. A rainbow will never last forever, but there are things that will.
I love to read and I love to play my piano. It makes me happy. But lately I’ve been trying so hard to make it in my career that I haven’t read a book for pleasure in over four years – not since I graduated from UCD with a degree in English and Music.
As for the music, I have the most beautiful piano, but because I’ve spent so many years working for a career in journalism, I’ve lost the skill I once had. If you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s not happiness.
But Happy Guide has taught me to prioritise those things that make me happy and I plan to read over Christmas, and play my piano as often as I can. Do what makes you happy and put everything else second.
Put the horse before the cart. Get happy first and then see what you do!
– Happy Guide.
This book is so refreshing, and has really opened my eyes to what I’m doing with my life. I try my best to be healthy and happy, but this book has really made me realise what I could do to improve my life.
On the website, I’ve found several recommendations from doctors, life coaches, dieticians, psychologists, olympians, and busy people like you or me.
I’d like to add my own recommendation to the mix. If you want to achieve real happiness, read this book. You won’t regret it, trust me.
With Christmas coming up and New Year’s resolutions being considered, this is the perfect gift for a loved one – or yourself. What better gift than the gift of happiness?
For more information on the book, visit the website at happy.guide.
10% Discount for Beautiful Health Readers
With Christmas coming up, I’m delighted to be able to provide my readers with a 10% discount for Happy Guide , courtesy of Michael and James from Happy Guide.
To avail of your discount, simply click here.
After that, you’re on your way to a happier, healthier life! Enjoy it!