The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking [Oliver Burkeman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Success. In his new book, Oliver Burkeman shuns motivational seminars and the power of ‘Antidote’ Prescribes A ‘Negative Path To Happiness’. Summary and reviews of The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman, plus links to a book excerpt from The Antidote and author biography of Oliver Burkeman.

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The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review | Books | The Guardian

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. We’re heading toward that time of year when self-help industry publishers rub their hands together in anticipation. The holiday season and the inevitable New Year’s resolutions that follow tend to turn our minds toward happiness — getting it, keeping it and maintaining it. But journalist Oliver Burkeman burkrman whatever your plan, you are most likely doing it wrong.

He knows that because, for his new book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive ThinkingBurkeman spoke with psychologists, life coaches and other experts burkeeman figure out what does work when it comes to being happy. Burkeman tells NPR’s Audie Cornish about his search for the key to happiness and the self-help advice that drives him crazy. Whereas, actually, there’s a lot of research now to suggest that many of these techniques are counterproductive, that saying positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror can make you feel worse and that visualizing the future can make you less likely to achieve it.

And so what I wanted to do in this book burekman to explore what I ended up calling ‘the negative path to happiness,’ which involves instead turning toward uncertainty and insecurity, even pessimism, to try to find a different way that might be more durable and successful.


So I antidot there, antidofe of 15, people I think, at something called Get Motivated.

There were a whole bay of various speakers, one of whom I think really gave voice to the classic approach when he said that the way to achieve success was wntidote eliminate the word ‘impossible’ from your vocabulary. And this was really the idea that you should just refuse to acknowledge that failure can happen.

So it was with a certain sort of schadenfreude, I’m afraid, that I discovered later on that the business that he ran had gone bankrupt operating along these principles. And I think they do provide a short burst of some good feeling to the people who go He also writes a monthly column for Psychologies magazine. It’s a version of the old sort of parlor game atnidote if you try really hard not to think about a polar bear, teh the only thing that you can think about in that context is polar bears.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

And if you go back through the history of philosophy, spirituality, the stoics of ancient Greece and Rome, the Buddhists, and then also linking up with contemporary approaches to psychology, you find something else, which is actually that trying to let those feelings be and not always struggling to stamp them out is a more fruitful alternative.

And one of his suggestions was that if you have a real problem with embarrassment, you should deliberately embarrass yourself in order to bring your beliefs about how terrible that would be into direct confrontation with reality.

When I thought about doing this, when I told other people about it, everyone seems to agree it’s just a horrifying thought that you would be saying those things out loud. What’s fascinating is, when you do do it, it’s still pretty awful, actually, but it is not anywhere near as bad as those beliefs that I’d held previously.


You know, I didn’t get arrested, I didn’t get attacked, I didn’t explode — it was just slightly uncomfortable.

It was an incredibly powerful realization in that one specific context because it really makes you realize how swiftly and anticote our tbe about bad things and our anxieties jump ahead to these infinitely terrible scenarios that just aren’t justified by the situation.

I also have many, many problems with the kind of positive thinking that’s in books such as The SecretI have to say, which involve — just literally as far as I can tell — focusing on the idea of becoming very rich and successful and just waiting for it to happen. It’s not that I sail through life in some completely serene state, but that the problems and the obstacles and the irritations can be dealt with more swiftly when you are not locked into this idea that you have to stamp them out; that you have to make yourself feel motivated, for example, before you can get on with things that need doing; that there’s something terribly, terribly wrong with not feeling incredibly excited and cheerful every moment of the day.

Read an excerpt of The Antidote.

Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. November 13, 4: Heard on All Things Considered.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review | Books | The Guardian

Amazon iBooks Independent Booksellers. Author Interviews How To ‘Thrive’: Short Commutes, More Happy Hours.

The Pursuit Of Happiness.

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