The Nine Rooms of Happiness

29 04 2010

I’m glad I read Nine Rooms of Happiness by Lucy Danziger, the editor of Self magazine and Catherine Birndorf, a psychologist. It;s not about coping with the big problems in our life – loss of a close one or divorce or failure or depression etc. It’s about those little thought and action patterns which curb our happiness, even if everything seems right on the outset.

The authors used the metaphor of house to describe different emotional states of a woman. According to them, the emotional house consists of 9 rooms:

  • Basement: Childhood memories, memories from school days etc. In short, your past.
  • Family Room: Where you deal with your family – parents, siblings, close relatives etc
  • Living Room: Where you deal with friends aka your social life
  • Bathroom: Where you face the issues of weight, beauty, aging, health etc
  • Bedroom: Where you explore intimacy and love
  • Kid’s Room: Where you deal with your children
  • Office: your job, career, finances etc.
  • Attic: The family heirloom, expectations of your ancestors (also your parents)

And there is a surprise Tenth Room, which is your inner sanctuary: A place to think about you, your purpose in life, relax and rejuvenate.

It’s a very easy read, with lots of stories from real-life. You are bound to relate to at least a few of them. The authors offer the reader lot of pearls of wisdom, which we can apply to, and thereby enrich, our lives. It’s amazing to realize how simple they are, yet powerful enough to change the course of our lives.

Some of the pearls include:

  • It’s not all about you
  • Stop controlling, start connecting
  • Go or grow
  • No one can complete you, but you. (I love this!)

I felt the relationship equation to be most useful to me, which is A+B=C, where A is you, B is the other person whom you love or deal with and C is the relationship between you. You cannot change B. So if you want to change C, the relationship, you have to change yourself. And this, you can do.

Things like unhealthy narcissism, striving towards perfectionism and many other day-to-day psychological patterns refrain us from really achieving and experiencing the holy grail – Happiness. The authors put it right in the first few pages that – Being happier is like being fit; You have to work at it. Happiness is a choice, choose to be happy.

And this book can be your companion.

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4 responses

29 04 2010
Sushma

liked this one… especially in the inner sanctuary part.

3 05 2010
Sunita

Nice.. Will try to pick this book sometime!

4 05 2010
Depression in women « Peek Inside My Mind

[…] am still in the hangover of The Nine Rooms of Happiness (see my previous post) and am still ruminating on all those pearls of wisdom so thoughtfully provided by the authors and […]

26 12 2010
My reading in 2010 « Peek Inside My Mind

[…] for non-fiction. But, to my satisfaction, I’ve tried various subjects – from self-help (Nine Rooms of Happiness) to travelogues (The Lost Continent); memoirs (Angela’s Ashes) to pure technical stuff […]

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