I read Irvine's "A Guide to the Good Life" while traveling, which was a very good time to do it. It wasn't as annoying as some trips are, but there is always something.
I really enjoyed the book. There were some things in it that really seemed familiar to me, things that I already to to cope. For example, in traffic, I pretend that the other cars are not driven by people, but just move at random, similar to inanimate objects in a stream of water for example--somewhat predictably, but you don't get angry if one seems to move too fast or in a strange way; you just try to avoid it. I do need to find ways to apply the principles to people in more general situations than just traffic , however; that is the big area I could improve.
Also, appreciating what you have without wanting more all the time: it's funny because of the cold shower thing here, but I always feel so lucky just to have hot running water. The poorest of us lives better than royalty did just a few hundred years ago, and if we remember that, it helps to appreciate life.
I really liked how he applied evolutionary psychology. I have thought about how evolution would not want us to be happy; of course it wouldn't--all that matters is that genes are spread, and it's better for our genes if we are always trying to acquire more and never settling for what we have. I hadn't thought about how that would apply to anxiety as well, as he mentions, but it makes sense--the more worried you are, the more likely you are to avoid things, if you are living in an environment where constant vigilance keeps you alive. Now, it's just detrimental to happiness.
I need to go back through it and write down a few key thoughts to think about every day. Overall it was a very good book with a lot of ideas that I think would be beneficial to apply.