Reviewed by Jenny Seymour
I’m no psychologist and can’t comment on the factual accuracy of this book, but I’m definitely interested in what makes someone look on life as either half full or half empty (indeed I understand Frederika just instigated this research through her own interest). I‘m definitely a half full person most of the time. Many people say to me, “where do you get your energy?, you have so much energy – “why are you always so happy?” So, you may not think I would need to read Frederika Robert’s book “Recipe for Happiness”. However, I was intrigued to see whether Frederika thought this was genetic – nature or nurture. Can you learn how to be happy? and sometimes an overtly happy character is not perhaps happy at all.
The front cover is simple, yet eye catching and bright and the back cover depicts a relaxing sun lounger next to a beautiful sparkling sea – who can deny this picture of happiness!
This book is easy to read with a lovely mix of Frederika’s own life experiences, quotes and her 9 ingredients for a happier life. This book has 9 chapters and at the beginning of each chapter there is an Italian recipe to match the topic in that chapter. For example, the chapter on imagination includes a recipe for a soup that Frederika concocted herself. All of the recipes are fairly simple too.
Frederika doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but the book talks through her research and gives some great simple tips and techniques you could put into practice when needing a happiness “boost” in your life, to perhaps get you over a tricky time in your life or to generally turn your outlook from ½ empty to ½ full. Activities I have now put into practice in my own life include: a happiness list (a list of little things that if they happened on any given day may give you a boost – a call with a long lost friend, a cuddle, a walk in your favourite park) and daily considering 3 happy things that happen each day (not always easy on a bad day) so that we recall the day in a more happy way, discarding the bad, as we only have the ability to remember a small proportion what happens in our lives and can be grateful for the happy things in our life.
We’ve all had those days when it feels as though you’ve got out of the wrong side of the bed, but what if, instead of thinking “today is going to be a rubbish day” we ignored that self-fulfilling prophecy and thought, “that’s all the bad things over for today and now it will be a good day”. Would that change the happiness of our day? Can changing our attitude, change our happiness, our success?
Frederika’s conclusion is that happiness requires effort on your part. There’s been a recognition that happiness can help lead to success and that 40% of happiness can be made by our own intentional daily activity, so maybe we should all give it a go…
I would recommend this book as generally an interesting read and also for people who are perhaps in need of a few tips to improve their outlook on life. I really enjoyed this book – an easy read with some great tips which I’ve put into practice and some tasty Italian recipes – what a bonus!