Self-help books for trying times…
Sales of self-help books are booming. We’re all obsessed with getting the perfect life and being the perfect child, partner, workmate.
But sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to: if you’re on a downward spiral at the moment and want to change your thinking, then check out some of these suggestions to help you move forward…
Let us know what you think and if you have a personal favourite book which has seen you through tough times, then do let us know.
When you need to be calm
Wherever You Go There You Are – Jon Kabat-Zinn
First published in 1994, this is an oldie, but still a classic. Kabat-Zinn was writing about mindfulness when it was considered airy-fairie and new-agey. The book demonstrates how mindfulness in everyday life can lead to greater peace, joy, and happiness.
It’s a great starter on how to ‘live in the present’. It’s so easy to spend life chasing after all the things we don’t have, the things that we want, the things we think will make us happy. Mindfulness is about enjoying the present and developing a healthy sense of appreciation for what you have right now.
Top quote: “Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear?”
If you are plagued by self doubt
What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Dr. Shad Helmstetter
Are you in a negative funk, constantly insecure or full of self doubt? If so, then this is the book for you.
You need to learn to banish negative thinking. Many people give themselves a hard time by talking to themselves in harsh and unkind ways, perhaps because others have led them to believe many negative things about themselves.
Psychologist Dr. Shad Helmstetter shows you how to make positive self-talk a permanent habit, giving yourself the kind, loving, determined support you would give to your best friend.
Top quote: “You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming – what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself… The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create.”
When life is hard and your problems seem insurmountable
When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön
Chodron’s book is a lifesaver for many, with practical methods to deal with chaotic situations.
A Buddhist nun, Chodron helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives. She demonstrates how effective the Buddhist point of view can be in bringing order into disordered lives.
Our natural tendency is to fight, flee, or freeze our problems. We want to move away from what is uncomfortable. Get rid of it. But Chodron advises to move toward the places that scare you, that are most uncomfortable for you, and allow them to dissolve, to break apart.
Top quote: “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart… The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
When panic is your overwhelming emotion
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns
If your life is overtaken with phobias, fears and panic attacks, sleepless nights and endless worry and insecurity, then you may find some peace in this practical book.
David Burns helps identify the triggers that are hijacking your peace of mind. He believes anxiety is one of the world’s oldest cons. When you’re anxious, you’re actually fooling yourself. You are telling yourself things that simply aren’t true.
Instead, he shows the errors in the thinking that can lead to anxiety-provoking thoughts and provides a host of simple and effective methods for eradicating them, thereby easing or even ending the panic and anxiety.
Top quote: “That’s one of the peculiar things about bad moods – we often fool ourselves and create misery by telling ourselves things that simply are not true.”