Step right up if you’re potentially looking for a way out of the darkness your mental illness has brought you. If you’re into things like the Law of Attraction, enlightenment, mindfulness, the power of manifesting, and understanding what it takes to shift from a negative mindset to a positive one.
Now I get it, those words sound like they may be hippie-dippie to you but when you learn about them and use it to reduce anxiety and depression, your life will change.
We are living in a time where anxiety and depressive disorders are more common than we think. As someone who struggles with these two illnesses, I’ve had my fair share of coping mechanisms that have helped me get through dark times.
Each method has helped, but reading these books had a tremendous impact.When reading books on self-improvement, you gain knowledge of what “positive vibes” actually means. Believe it or not, it’s not just an unoriginal saying slapped on a canvas that you can find at TJ Maxx.
After beginning my journey in self-help, I’ve learned what manifesting is, the importance of gratitude and observing the positive aspects of any situation. Now you may not apply everything you learn to every situation you’re in, but having some extra knowledge in what can work is a great thing to fall back on.
In order to get the most out of these books, you really need to be open minded and not judgemental. You have to be willing to do the work the writers teach you. If you let go of skepticism and judgement, then you can go a long way and eventually indulge more in the self-help genre.
The books I’m about to share with you are the ones that have helped ME on MY journey.These books may not help you as much, but I do think they’re worth passing along in case someone else might benefit from them too.
You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (Jen Sincero)
Before I get into what I love about this book, you should be aware of what others are saying about it.
Many people took offense to the condescending tone of the writer’s voice and her views on depression. I understand that some of these things can be hard to hear, especially if you’re coming from a place that’s different from hers. I respect each and every one’s opposing view of this book because their journeys have been different from mine.
With that being said, as someone who also suffers from depression and anxiety, to me “You Are A Badass” is a really fun read about embracing the Badass you are. No matter what my inner brain tries to tell me.To me, this book is great because of how blunt Sincero is. I don’t mind this tone and I do think that her heart is in the right place.
Like most self-help books, the point she tries to make is that you can do anything you put your mind to if you let go of any self-doubt or intrusive thoughts. She calls you out on the negative bullsh*t stuck in your head that is holding you back, while reminding you of how badass you are and what you are actually capable of when you release a negative outlook.
What’s pretty cool about this book is that she uses anecdotes–little stories to get her point across— that are relatable which makes it funny.
Jen Sincero has also written a follow up to You Are A Badass, called “You Are A Badass At Making Money.”
This book is intended to push you to your financial freedom.
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life (Gary Bishop)
Bluntness and swear words seem to be the thing here, but it’s fair to say they’re attention grabbing.
“Unfu*k Yourself” gets to the point of how you are your own worst enemy.
Throughout the book, Gary Bishop reminds us that we are not our thoughts but we are our actions and what we do. Our actions are what sets us apart from where we are to where we want to be.
Bishop is also another writer who likes telling the harsh truth. For example, he says, “the only difference between you and the person who’s living the life you want is that they’re doing it. They’ve built that life and are living it.”
Ouch, but true. Action is what takes us from one place to another! Every action is a choice, even subconsciously. Sometimes we feel out of control from our actions which is what makes this statement hard to bare. But it’s true. And I’m learning that still every single day.
Not taking the action we need for a better life is really what is f*cking ourselves.
The Secret (Rhonda Byrne)
“The Secret” is the iconic book that was one of the first modern texts to present the law of attraction.
Since I got my hands on this book I have been completely in awe of what the law of attraction is and how it works. The law of attraction is basically saying you get what you put out. If you are constantly sulking in negativity, blaming everyone for your issues, your life is going to reflect that and what the universe brings to you.
Throwing a pity party every time something goes wrong isn’t going to make your life better. Playing the victim won’t either. Holding yourself accountable and realizing that sometimes your negativity impacts your life negatively, is the beginning of self-improvement.
Instead, being grateful for what you have, for your loved ones, and for your source of income sprinkles just a little bit of positivity into your life. Expressing gratitude is the most important thing about living a positive life. The more grateful you are, the more positive you feel, then more positivity manifests.
Gratitude is just a portion of what the law of attraction entails and The Secret teaches you the basics.
The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)
Depression comes from past experiences and anxiety comes from worrying about the future.
“The Power of Now,” a book recommended by psychologists, is all about living in the moment and achieving mindfulness. Mindfulness is another piece of the pie of positivity.
If you’re living in the now and only focusing on what is happening in this very moment, then anxiety and depression will melt away as your attention shifts. This is why meditation is so important and powerful because when meditating you’re attempting to enter a mindful state.
Eckhart Tolle discusses the importance of mindfulness. Being mindful is a chance of experiencing special moments with loved ones.
Being mindful is also a way to focus on your work or any other daily task.
Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires (Esther and Jerry Hicks)
Any book written by Esther and Jerry Hicks, a married couple who spend their lives passing on the teaching of Abraham and the Law of Attraction, is worth reading.
“Ask and It Is Given” dives into the power of manifesting and teaches you how to do it and what to do during certain moods. Manifesting is basically the ticket out of your crappy circumstances by using your faith and mind.
Esther and Jerry Hicks really get into depth on basic teachings and understandings of manifesting during the first half of the book. The second half is spent on sharing manifestation exercises during times of joy and enlightenment, but also irritability and overwhelment.
They make a list of 22 emotions ranging from positive to negative and then break down what to do during which range of emotion.
What all these books have in common is taking action and applying what you learned from them. These things sound easier said than done but it takes work.
Achieving mindfulness, looking at the positive aspects in situations, practicing gratitude every day takes work. But if these things are incorporated into your life, it will change.
Like I said before, you get what you put out.
If you’re only doing some of these things sometimes, or not at all, then there will be little to no improvement. But consistency and perseverance are key.