The little Happy Book, we cover and promote, may seem a simple strategy; but it contains many important points.

Firstly, the beautiful cover has immediate eye appeal – a strong sensory reaction, which helps in the release of endorphins into your bloodstream. Different colours and patterns appeal to different people; which is why I have chosen a wide variety of brightly coloured covers to display, in our talks to community organisations.

Secondly, when you handle the book, it is easy to handle and the textured cover helps stimulate certain super-sensory areas of your hands. This sends messages to the brain, which triggers a release of serotonin. The bloodstream is quickly infused with mood-enhancing endorphins to help improve your mood and make you happier.

I’ve watched countless people pick up the books and caress them with their hands. It’s an automatic response. Both of these senses – sight and touch – help lift your mood to make you happy.

Next, comes the act of writing down pleasurable memories, which also adds to your happiness. It’s human nature to look back at what has gone before, prior to making the new entries. After the day’s items are listed, you experience a great sense of well being, from just revisiting these happy events.

Once you’ve written a few pages in your book, you can look back and enjoy reading the items that made you happy. Amazingly, your whole being seems changed, to a very positive, much happier focus. All this takes place in a brief few minutes.

Looking back over the years, there are so many seemingly insignificant things that brought me joy and made me happy. Flipping back through the pages of my collection of Happy Books, patterns begin to emerge and I get clear insights into the person I am.

My friend says she has a “cleaning fetish”, and loves to see a fresh, sparkling, beautiful home: whereas I love beauty, natural and very sensory things and the outdoor life. For both of us, it is a simple form of psychoanalysis that’s helped us understand more about our inner selves.

For those in need of a survival strategy, the daily use of my Happy Book has helped me survive some appalling crises – especially recent ones – that could cause a person to despair.

When you get as close to the edge of life’s precipice, as I have recently, and look over at eternity, you become very aware of how precious living and every one of life’s special experiences, becomes to you.

Medically, for the past year, I’ve been right on the brink of that precipice: I’m “a ticking bomb – living on borrowed time,” as one doctor warned.

So, as every day is now more precious; I write down every joyful experience – however insignificant it seems; happily sharing – with as many people as I possibly can – my knowledge of how to live a happier life. It gives me great joy to know that the strategy, I have shared and written about, has already changed a number of lives for the better.

To order a Happy Book go to:

© Helen F. McKay © 2007
Author of Links to Your Happiness