The U.S. General Social Survey shows women's happiness level is the lowest it's been in 40 years. This is true no matter how many children they have, how much money they make, how healthy they are. It's not surprising a book with the title "The Happiness Project" has touched a nerve.
Jaye McCoy helps others now, but two years ago she helped herself. Despite a marriage, children, and a family business something was missing.
Jaye McCoy said "There's just that restlessness, that discontent. It's not depression or anything like that, but you're just not quite happy."
Many women apparently feel the same way given the popularity of "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. The New York Times best seller chronicles the author's year long journey to lead a happier life. Every month focuses on a new topic like boost energy, remember love, aim higher. The author recorded her resolutions and graded herself daily.
At first Doctor Sharon Hammer, a psychiatrist with UNMC Physicians, wasn't so sure about the idea. That changed when she realized the book isn't meant as a one size fits all solution. Instead the book nudges women struggling with "having it all" to realize like everything else happiness takes work.
Doctor Sharon Hammer said "I don't think you're going to achieve happiness or contentment unless you put some effort into it it's not going to be given to you or drop down, it's a process so as much as this inspires people I think it's good."
If the whole thing sounds a little self-centered and indulgent, consider this. Mental health professionals say the happier we are, the more mental energy we have to give to others, making us better spouses, better parents, better employees.
For some, it requires a change in thinking. Instead of circling a day on the calendar and heading to the spa for a moment of happiness, make time for joy every day. Jaye McCoy did that by finding her passion and going back to school to become a certified life coach.
Jaye McCoy said "We need to ask ourselves what is inside of me that I'm not doing that I would really love to do that would make me feel peaceful that would make me have joy that would make me wake up another day and say yes, I want to do this."
Now she coaches others to do the same. Whether it's coming up with a concrete plan for a friend to finish writing a book or achieving something else, it's about finding happiness and realizing it's often contagious.
Author Gretchen Rubin has an interactive Web site, which allows anyone to set up his or her own happiness project. Click here for more information.