I first discovered self-help books more than twenty years ago when I was training to be a Kinesiologist and fellow students were eager to share their recommendations for books which had helped them through difficult times or which they had used to develop better self-awareness. Once thought of as weird or for those of a hippy persuasion, self-help books have now become mainstream, where celebrities are promoting their own versions and everyone has heard of the most popular titles.
My recommendations cover a range of topics and are books that I dip into time and time again. They have helped me through challenging times from illness
‘You Can Heal Your Life’ is my first choice
One of the most popular self-help books in recent years, Louise Hay writes from experience as a cancer survivor and her message is before you do anything else, you must learn to love yourself. This nearly put me off buying the book but as it came highly recommended, I persevered. So glad I did! Guided by the book, my self-esteem grew and my health improved. I finally began to accept myself, warts and all, and learn to love myself. I dip into this book regularly to find inspiration and affirmations to guide me through day to day life.
‘Light Up Your Life’ is my 2nd choice.
This was one of the first self-help books I bought. I saw it in a book shop and feeling that I was in a rut, hoped it would give me some direction. It is an easy read and I immediately felt that I liked Diana Cooper. She comes across as a genuinely caring person and her words offer advice on a range of topics, including the power of our thoughts, life choices and releasing negative ties.
‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ is my 3rd choice
Originally published in 1952, the message is still relevant today. This book has inspired millions with its simple guide to lead a more fulfilling life. It is a simple, practical guide on how to overcome the obstacles that life throws at you and not letting setbacks destroy your happiness. I was a little put off by the occasional references to God, but don’t let that stop you taking the advice even if you’re not a religious person.
‘Why Him? Why Her?’ is my 4th choice.
I love this book! By doing a simple personality test, similar to one of those multiple choice questionnaires that we used to do in Cosmopolitan magazine, you discover which one of four personality types you are and what makes you tick. Do this for your partner too and then you learn astonishing insights into why your relationship is like it is. It will change your understanding of why you love him or her and help you to find and keep your life partner. I used this book to help me understand the motivation and behaviour of Vedat’s character in ‘Seeing It All.’
‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ is my 5th choice.
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‘The Power Of Now’ is my 6th choice.
Mindfulness is the buzz word of today and sounds like a cliche. Enough to make you roll your eyes, right? But, would you rather beat yourself up for past mistakes, worry yourself stupid about the future at the detriment of your current happiness? Many people do but those who have read this book, learn that the only really important thing is now. Live for the moment. Be present!
So, are you experiencing depression, heartbreak, bereavement, divorce or illness? Are stuck in an unsatisfactory job or relationship? Are you at a crossroads in your life and don’t know what to do? Are you happy?
If any of the above, ring true for you, then choose a book to help you through. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth from a friend or family member but reading something in a book that resonates with you may prompt you to write that letter, apply for that job, leave that relationship or make a decision that will change your life. The books above are a great starting point but there are thousands out there. Go on! Do it! Start living your best life.