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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Dr Pamela Stoodley talks about Cracking the Happiness Code

Dr Pamela Stoodley is a medically trained doctor, neuropsychologist and counsellor, who uses her broad scientific knowledge and experience to explain the science behind how our mind works and how to achieve lasting happiness. She talks to NZ Booklovers.

Tell us a little about Cracking the Happiness Code.

Cracking the Happiness Code is a simple guide that deals with causes and solutions for maintaining blissfulness. Part A of the book lists common foundational causes that could be responsible for the 'why do i struggle with happiness' and once understood, the Part B explains 'how can I change my situation'.

What inspired you to write this book?

Everyday I see, overhear or read about people I directly or indirectly interact with and in some way shape or form, the common factor of the struggle is maintaining a state of blissfulness/joy, no matter their life's circumstances. Talking to family and friends has been beneficial to them so I thought, why not get my message across to strangers (or people I know) too who could benefit from what I have to share, even if they are hesitant to reach out and talk.

What research was involved?

Reviewing loads of relevant and current scientific papers, if there wasn't any relevant information available I ended up doing a short course on the subject to then make references to the material. Tons of educational videos and of course my personal and professional observations.

What was your routine or process when writing this book?

Everyday I would work on a topic that I wanted to cover, I scribbled in my notebook for hours (I like the old school way of writing). Then when I was ready, I would transfer the words on my computer and aim to condense pages and pages of my scribbles into a condensed 2-4 paged chapter. It was hard because there was so much I had to say on any given topic, but I wanted the book to be a guide rather than a novel. I wanted people to get the idea and then be on their own journey towards happiness, armed with the knowledge I shared.

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone who wants to understand how their mind works, without having to get a degree in it. We all have a basic understanding about our digestive, reproductive and physical systems as taught in schools, but no one really is taught about the inner workings of the mind. So as adults, anything related to the mind becomes daunting and stigmatic. Normalising the working of the mind is like describing how we catch a cold and that's the first step towards making discussions around it less formidable.

If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include.

My all time favourite that probably summarises my book, centring around the love for our lives - Top of the World by The Carpenters.

What did you do to celebrate finishing Cracking the Happiness Code.

I finished the final draft on my 41st birthday making it my personal milestone and cherished the moment I hit 'send' to share the draft with my editor! It was a double celebration!

What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

My thrift store find of an old edition of 'Children at Play' by Heidi Britz-Crecelius. It is so relevant in this age of technology and I believe, is the very essence of what's lacking for most adults.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

Probably another book solely focussing on the mind of a child and/or courses based on the topics covered in Cracking the Happiness Code.


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