The Magical Experience of Reading a Self Help Book #SelfHelpBook #books

self help books

I have recently discovered self-help books. For years I have avoided them like the plague however a couple have recently changed my life.  I thought capturing this magical reading experience would make a good blog post.

For noting: self-help books can cover a range of topics, issues and ailments. For this post I am using my own issue that I resolved through a self help book.

Also not all self help books are magical. The point I am making with this post is that when you find one which you can relate and one which changes your life – it can be magical!

5 stages of this magical experience:

  1. Living with your issue. Your mind feels overcrowded and packed full of useless rubbish. You feel constantly wired and like you are plugged into an electricity mains. Your mind never sleeps. Even though there is a lot of activity going on inside your head your productivity levels are flatlining. Every time you sit down to do something your mind is engaged for a few minutes and then….whoosh off it goes onto the next task. The speed at which you chop and change tasks is terrifying. You wake up feeling drained and you go to bed feeling drained. You don’t do any exercise, you eat rubbish and there is no escape from your mind which seems to be running 24-7.
  2. Frustration. During this stage you start to get frustrated. As a writer this manic state leaves you with hundreds of unfinished stories. If someone was to look inside your head they would find a mountain of bits of paper and mental folders of half-baked stories. You want to change your ways, become focused and lead a calmer life but you don’t know how to. In this stage there are lots of desperate facial expressions, phases where you trawl through Google searching for a cure, a few attention seeking posts on Facebook (heavy use of sad-faced emojis) and viewing yourself as the only person in the world going through this crap.
  3. Self-Help Book Denial. Someone suggests reading a self-help book that they have read which has changed them. You roll your eyes – you do not need to read self-help books!  What could they offer you? I mean just because some of the authors of these books have actually been through what you are going through and have taken steps to overhaul their lives means nothing. No. Why should you read self-help bools when you can put your time to better use by doing some frantic searches of Google and coming up with a load of nonsense? The frazzled feeling gets worse. Your mind creates your 106th creative project, the other 105 are still on the go. In a desperate state you buy the recommended self-help book and quietly creep away into a dark corner.
  4.  Enlightenment. You start to read the self-help book and the author starts to explain how you are currently feeling – gasp! You stare in horror at the page as the author is writing about you. Did the author stalk you whilst writing this book? The author suggests some subtle changes to your life; exercise, meditation, start a diary, say some affirmations, read more and eat less sugar. Seeing as you are feeling desperate and this author seems to ‘gets you’ it’s time to try out their suggestions. Sitting in silence for 10 minutes is interesting, so too is Yoga’s Downward Facing Dog position and writing down your thoughts after a stressful day at work doesn’t sound ground breaking. You sadly pass on that cream bun, try some herbal teas, which are not that bad and you start saying some positive stuff to yourself. After a few days you start to feel different. Your mind doesn’t seem so busy, you feel energised but not wired and doing exercise doesn’t feel so bad. Wow! At night you start to sleep like a baby and wake up feeling refreshed. This must be a coincidence! It can’t be this self-help book.
  5. Hope. After a month of this new regime you feel like a different person. You have become focused on one writing project and there is no longer that feeling of having a mountain of bits of paper inside your head. You actually enjoy doing the Yoga stretches and look forward to giving the neighbours an interesting view with your Downward Facing Dog position. You can now sit in silence for 15 minutes which your loved one is calling a miracle. Life feels like it has been upgraded. Cue your blog post on self-help books and long lectures to uninterested loved ones about the benefits of meditating.

I accept that some issues in life cannot be resolved by self-help books but for my issue above reading them has changed my life.

The self-help books that have changed my life are:

Photo Credit: Upsplash

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

49 thoughts on “The Magical Experience of Reading a Self Help Book #SelfHelpBook #books

  1. Fabulous post, Lucy. Self-help books have helped me through so many life changing events. HUGE thanks for including my book in your post too, I’m so pleased you found it helpful xxx

  2. What a great post Lucy. I’ve never read a self-help book but should probably give one or two a try. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote (which was very good-when is your book coming out?).
    I’ll check out the books you mentioned. Thank you!

  3. Sometimes it’s a great self-help book, other times it’s your own homework of working on yourself in the mean time between reading more that helps! Any information available for self-help is always good and useful! I’m glad your experience with self-help books was so great! It helps to reassure other’s that they are worth looking into and how to get the best results!

  4. Worthy of another comment as this fabulous post is part of the Suzie Speaks blog party! You know all about my passion for self-help books, Lucy. Re-reading this post was a perfect reminder of why I write for this genre. Self-help is a unique journey and each book will be translated by the reader in a personal way. That’s what I love most about this genre. We take what we need, work through our battles, and hopefully come out stronger on the other side x

  5. I find that good self-help books are very hard to find. For every good one there must be a 100 not good ones. That said when you stumble on to a good one it’s almost like magic!

  6. One of the best self-help books was one I read as a teenager called Feel the Fear and do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers, It changed my thinking! I’ve tried to read The Power of Now a couple of times over the last few years but I end up angry and frustrated with the author! I feel like the concepts he talks about are very much like Buddhism but I just can’t get my head round the way he describes them! He’s helped many many people so it’s just my personal preference.

  7. Such a wonderful post, I agree I too hated the idea of reading self help books. But over the years I have learnt a few things from them. I liked your list at the end. Taking notes for future reads.

  8. Ok, ok you’ve converted me! I think I’m going to have to invest in some of these books, Lucy (of course I’ve already read Shelley’s). I might start with Oprah’s!

  9. I really enjoyed this post. It’s a relief that I’m not the only one who’s brain won’t shut off! It goes 24-7, just like you said – and yes, has me going to bed and waking up completely exhausted. Maybe it’s time for me to invest in a self-help book.

    1. Hey! Thx for reading my post. I didn’t believe in self help books until I read a magical one. I also thought meditation was a load of nonsense….until I tried it. They are great sources of advice. Good luck!

  10. Just finished Oprah’s what I know for sure and wrote a post on “what I know for sure”. I have always enjoyed self-help books. Different perspective and knowing other people have gone through @#&*. Noting your recommendations. thanks.

  11. I read this and thought yes, yes, yes to everything! Am also a great one to decide to do self help ideas and then employ delay tactics. I read and reviewed Shelley Wilson’s book last week and can recommend!!
    Will look forward to trying some of your suggestions.

  12. The Tolle has been on my list for awhile. You’ve convinced me I ought to give it a try. I love reading non-fiction. A book I really liked recently is GRIT by Angela Duckworth. Not exactly self help, but definitely chock full of information that ultimately leads to self-evaluation and change. I think that’s pretty much the same thing, right?

  13. Interesting post Lucy and if you find a method that works then absolutely brilliant. Personally, I’m not good with self help books, but then my focus was a mindfulness course that really helped (or does when I stick to the principles). Hardest part for me was re-training how to think clearly as opposed to the above starters for ten with a hotwired mind running a billion stories all shouting at once and going nowhere!

    Solid post as always 🙂

  14. You are so very right Lucy……self help books take us away from the harsh realities of daily life and transport us to some place where we really wanna be, in peace and tranquility, and reading such books are always eye openers and gives such helpful guidance many of which we still fail to follow, but at least reading them gives us all the energy for upliftment….:)

  15. I’ve read my share of self help books as well and they are helpful. 🙂 Thanks for listing your favorites. I might have to check out Shelley Wilson’s book sometime when my TBR pile gets a little smaller. 🙂

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