Self-help can go a long way — Books to change your out­look

If you’re look­ing for a way to align your daily liv­ing with the things you value most, a self-help book could be a great place to start. ME spoke to psy­chol­o­gist David Jones about how read­ing can ac­tu­ally help you to de­velop a life you love.

ME - - Contents -

Your alarm goes off. It’s 7 am and you’re about to start another day — but in­stead of feel­ing grat­i­tude or be­ing thank­ful to be alive, you are fa­tigued and unin­spired.

Sound fa­mil­iar?

So of­ten we put the things we feel obliged to do, such as work­ing and pay­ing the bills, ahead of the things that we are truly pas­sion­ate about, and in the process get a lit­tle lost.

For some peo­ple, the term ‘self-help’ car­ries a stigma, but in­stead of let­ting this de­ter you from pick­ing up a mo­ti­va­tional book, why not con­sider what you have to gain?

There is the op­por­tu­nity for en­light­en­ment, a bet­ter way to live or even a new wave of thought, and such books are even recog­nised by psy­chol­o­gists. Shep­par­ton psy­chol­o­gist David Jones said self-help books could be a great tool to guide peo­ple to a con­scious way of liv­ing, be­cause they pro­vide stim­u­lus for think­ing and re­flec­tion.

“It de­pends on the per­son, their read­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, field of in­ter­est and the level of mo­ti­va­tion,” David said.

“If these (at­tributes) are aligned in the right di­rec­tion and the per­son can grap­ple with a book that can take an idea and ex­tend it over 25000 words, it can help them to re­flect and adopt some of the ideas in the book.

“Then they can maybe see things in re­la­tion to their per­sonal is­sues a lit­tle dif­fer­ently.”

David said not all self-help books were cre­ated equal and peo­ple re­spond dif­fer­ently, but he had yet to en­counter a book that didn’t at least im­part a small pos­i­tive in­flu­ence.

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