One Minute Review: Happier People, Healthier Planet by Teresa Belton.
Reviewed by Jesús Martín.
Published last September , this is a book which deeply touches its reader, not only from a mental perspective also but from an emotional and active one. This is probably a book that doesn’t need to be advertised, word of mouth marketing will work for sure.
The subtitle “how putting wellbeing first would help sustain life on Earth” gives us some clues about the whole subject. Although it seems a kind of Catch-22, Teresa perfectly re-frames this situation. She frames the core idea well in the following paragraph:
“The burgeoning field of wellbeing research offers us a good understanding that the sources of real human fulfillment are to be found in non-material aspects of life. It confirms what we largely already know deep down but tend not to heed, that lasting happiness and satisfaction derive not from money and material acquisition, but from good relationships, active engagement in life, a feeling of belonging combined with one of self-determination, and a sense of meaning or purpose”
The first part of the book draws a landscape about the situation of our planet (climate change, peak oil, waste, planetary boundaries…), our whole society (consumerism) and the personal issue (mental health, unhappiness…), the last one mostly in UK, but it could happen in other countries because of the shared values. This is the ugly information that we all almost know. However, this knowledge has mostly been the seed of the change for the ninety-four people who will appear in the rest of the book.
The powerful idea of the book was to dive deeper into the causes and meaning behind the lifestyle of these people who answered yes to the following questions: Do you live a life of modest material consumption? Are you happy with your lifestyle?
Thanks to this research, Teresa unveils the personal causes behind the change or behavior of most of them. Here, the book becomes an inner experience. Everyone has something, some kind of history that can resonate in your own life. I think that it is not giving tips that one can change but with emotional experiences as Teresa reflects in her book where she gives words to these unknown heroes. Among them, there are some who are active in initiatives of transition towns.
Finally, most of the chapters offer us some conclusion and guidelines for action. The circle of head, heart and hands is closed. So if you want to feel an outstanding experience about empathy, values and change that could pick you up to a World of Wellbeing, just order your copy of “Happier People Healthier Planet” here.
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