Evidently The Act Of Reading A Self-Help Book, Is Quite Helpful In and Of Itself.

This photo take by the lovely KatieBeth Pierson. I cropped an innocent bystander out of it so he wouldn't have his face plastered on my blog.
This photo take by the lovely KatieBeth Pierson. I cropped an innocent bystander out of it so he wouldn’t have his face plastered on my blog.
Do you catalog your stretches of “good days”? Because I do! Days where I don’t have anxiety attacks or depression-fueled binge eating, days that I get the appropriate run or workout in, days where I don’t yell at my kids, days where I don’t curl up in the fetal position in the corner mumbling about my adoration for Jimmy Fallon…those are ALL good days.

(I adore Jimmy Fallon.)

I have had FOUR good days in a row. I’m not going to put the success entirely on the content ofthis book, but simply reading it is keeping me a bit more focused than normal. When you read a good self-help book, it keeps you introspective. You constantly find yourself analyzing your thoughts and actions and this is a good way to keep anything from snowballing out of control. Every bad roll down a hill starts small. Maybe I ate a cookie at some random non-hungry time of day, but then I decide that cookie spoiled the entire day and then next thing you know I’m hiding in a dark car inhaling an entire box of donuts while no one is looking.

Or maybe I lose my patience with my kids a little bit and raise my voice unnecessarily. The next thing you know I’m screaming at the top of my lungs about how I HATE CONSTANTLY SAYING THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER and kids are crying and it’s just a nightmare.

It always starts with a little step in the wrong direction.

The book itself has been good, but the act of reading it has been the biggest help so far. It’s keeping me very focused on the Hows and the Whys of what I’m feeling and what I’m doing. I’m certain the content of the book will be helpful too, but right now I’m reading a lot about compassion and connections and that’s one area of my life I’ve been steadily improving. So, it’s more validating than enlightening. But simply picking up the book periodically keeps me focused internally which has really been great in giving me four REALLY good days. Everything has just fallen into place because I’m so hyper-focused that I seem to be making decisions more rationally and less fueled by emotions.

This has been enlightening on it’s own. The idea that reading ANY self-help book that encourages introspection, could be the big catalyst for change. Regardless of what the words in the book say to you.

I have a feeling that this is why a lot of my Christian friends are so diligent with their Bible studies. I mean, for a Christian the Bible is the ultimate guild to self-improvement, right? So, keeping those words in your mind and in your heart daily would help you make more mindful decisions in your life. There’s a motion you do during a Catholic mass, before the Gospel is read, where you’re basically saying a small prayer that says, “May these words be in my mind, in my words, and in my heart.” So, maybe if you’re a Christian, then committing yourself to daily time with your Bible would have the same effect on your life that this book has had on mine. I think maybe, regardless of my final thoughts on the content of this book, I’ll try to always keep a self-help type book on my Kindle. Just to force myself to read something daily that reminds me the importance of thinking about my words, thoughts and deeds.

9 Comments

  • roseann

    Did you get it on your kindle? Or pick it up in real life paper type? I haven’t had the time to go out and actually search for this book, I was thinking of getting it, but I might be better off either ordering it on Amazon or getting it on my kindle.

    I watched her Ted Talks last week, and there were a couple of Ah Ha moments, in each one, so I think her books would be just as life-changing, for me.

    • Zoot

      HA! That’s a funny story. I thought I’d like the paper version to highlight and write in, so I reserved a copy locally at B&N and I encountered TWO asshat employees in the process and decided…screw it…I’ll get it on my Kindle. I’ve been highlighting on the Kindle fine so it’s okay 🙂

  • Monica

    Congratulations on four good days in a row! I understand how big than can be.

    I was wondering how you feel about the book, too. I’ve been thinking about getting it but usually self-help books make me fall asleep or I don’t end up finishing them. There’s probably a self-help book for that.

    Also, I know it doesn’t make you feel any better, but I am always relieved to hear that you yell at your kids. I’m not saying I want you to keep doing it. Just that whenever I yell at my son, I feel like the worst parent in the world, so it’s nice to know that I am not the only one who does it. Rationally I know I’m not, but who’s thinking rationally when they’re depressed and anxious and yelling.

  • Karen

    I sleep with Brene under my pillow. 🙂
    I also like Building Resilience in Children and Teens.
    And you definitely need a getaway…

  • Lindsey

    I think it also follows the same idea as writing down what you eat throughout the day. It changes your focus and challenges your preconceptions.

    Another anxiety focused one for you that helped me for a time: Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook. I like the format and the lessons it provided about where anxiety comes from. Plus there’s an eBook, which is always a win for me.

  • Cara

    Oh yeah. I just finished re-reading In Defense of Food. So, of course, I am eating a bowl of broccoli for an afternoon snack.

  • Lorena

    I stumbled on this post from Zite and I’m curious as to what book you are talking about? It sounds like a good one….. thx