When I recently asked readers to complete a brief survey (you can find it here if you’re interested in participating!), one of the questions I asked was “What is a product or service you would like to see me create for you?” One particular response caught my attention (although I highly value all the feedback I’ve received!): start a monthly book club.
Well first of all, I love reading. And I’m an especially huge bookworm when it comes to self-help books. #justtherapistthings
And while I don’t have immediate plans to start a monthly book club (though I’m not ruling it out for the future), I thought the least I could do would be to share some of the self-help books I’ve been loving lately. And guys, oh my goodness…they are SO good. At least, IMHO.
It was super hard to narrow the list to just five, so if you have others to share with us, please leave them in the comments! I have a feeling this will be a topic I keep coming back to. And with the holidays just around the corner, these would also make perfect gifts for the self-care/self-help aficionado in your life (or you know, yourself!).
You don’t have to be an alcoholic to have your mind blown by Annie Grace’s book, This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life. The title alone is actually pretty mind-blowing, right? I downloaded this book on Audible because I have worked with many who have struggled with addiction in the past, and though the work is difficult, it fascinates me. With so many theories abounding on what causes alcoholism (or addiction of any kind) and the best route to sobriety, it’s hard to know what to believe. Grace presents her theory that spontaneous sobriety (getting sober without a program or rehab) is the best plan – and backs up her claim with her own personal experience, and principles of psychology and neuroscience.
In addition to being a very interesting read, the book also made me think twice about the moderate amount of alcohol I consume. I probably have between 4-6 drinks per week, which seems like nothing, right? Well that’s what I thought until this book started changing my unconscious thoughts about alcohol. Grace promises you don’t have to give up drinking entirely to gain control of your drinking, although you might want to do just that after reading her insightful book.
“Since the product is actually poison, advertisers need to overcome your instinctual aversion. That’s a big hill for alcohol advertisements to climb, which is why the absolute best marketing firms on the globe, firms with psychologists and human behavior specialists on staff, are hired to create the ads. These marketers know that the most effective sale is an emotional sale, one that plays on your deepest fears, your ultimate concerns.” – Annie Grace, This Naked Mind
Is there really anything mind-blowing left unwritten about when it comes to parenting? Um, yes. Yes, there is. I have read a TON of parenting books for my professional and personal use over the years, and this one by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, has officially moved to the top of my list. I have long struggled to figure out the best way to parent my oldest son, who is equally as sweet as he is sour at times. In the past, we have engaged in power struggles that have left me scratching my head and wondering what the heck I’m doing wrong. Things have gotten better as he’s gotten older, but The Awakened Family blew my mind by revealing that I had been parenting my son primarily out of anxiety, causing him, in turn, to become quite anxious. This could have been a much more difficult pill to swallow, had I not seen an immediate and lasting improvement in our relationship and communication since I began to implement many of Dr. Shefali’s teachings.
At the end of the day, every child is different, but this book shines a light on the fact that how we parents struggled in our own childhood has a lot to do with the way we parent our children (unconsciously), and that when we are willing to do the work on ourselves, our relationships with our children can thrive.
“We cannot control our children. We can only create the conditions for them to rise. What this means is that we need to stop expending our energy on trying to control who they are and how they turn out in the future. The real challenge is to keep our eyes on the parameters that are truly under our control – ourselves, and the way the home functions.” – Dr. Shefali Tsabary, The Awakened Family
In this book, Hal Elrod posits that you can change the entirety of your life simply by waking up one hour earlier. #mindblown
To be fair, Elrod is not the first to suggest that they key to a productive and focused day (and therefore life) is adding more time to your day by waking up earlier. However, The Miracle Morning encourages us to spend that early morning hour focusing on several important aspects of self-care such as silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, and reading. This book has the potential to make even the most skeptical (aka “non-morning person”) want to jump out of bed and “do you” at the outset of your day, and reap the benefits of non-negotiable self-care.
“Silence is one of the best ways to immediately reduce stress, while increasing your self-awareness and gaining the clarity that will allow you to maintain your focus on your goals, priorities, and what’s most important for your life, each and every day.” – Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning
I mean…if we’re honest, we all know that our smartphones are like a frenemy that we’ve had in our life since, well…whenever we first owned a smartphone. And they’re not all bad, obviously! But Catherine Price explores all the ways phone addiction can suck the very life and joy out of us if we’re not careful.
Price explains that smartphones and their elusive apps are designed to be addictive, that the marketing geniuses behind Apple and Android spend millions of dollars per year to make sure that we feel like we can’t live without our precious phones. I know I’ve fallen prey to rabbit hole of social media far more than I’d care to admit – this book helps you break up with your phone, and then start a whole new relationship with it…but this time, a healthy one.
“Put this all together, and it makes sense that spending a lot of time on social media could be associated with depression and lower self-esteem. What doesn’t make sense is that we are deliberately choosing to relive the worst parts of middle school.” – Catherine Price, How to Break up With Your Phone
Mindfulness is something I’m a huge proponent of – I use mindfulness techniques with my clients, as well as strive to apply them to my own daily life. In this book, Laurie J. Cameron proves that mindfulness isn’t something that occurs only when we are meditating or practicing stillness, but also all throughout our regular daily activities. Full of practical wisdom and actionable insights (backed by science!), The Mindful Day is perfect for the mindfulness master or newbie alike.
“Navigating the complex world isn’t all that mindfulness addresses, it also helps with the inevitable challenges that life brings – both the joy and the pain.” – Laurie J. Cameron, The Mindful Day
There you have it, my friends! These are the five self-help books I’ve been loving lately, but I’d love to hear what’s on your must-read list, so do tell!