THE MAGIC OF SELF- HELP BOOKS
Updated: Sep 14
Books are a present to us in how they benefit us in numbers. They not only transfer us to different places but also rejuvenate our perspectives about life. Just like numerous types of therapies in the field of psychology, “Bibliotherapy” is a reinvention of a traditional idea followed by the Greeks who used poetry as therapy. It is a therapeutic approach employing books and other forms of literature from philosophy to memoir to self help, to help patients in healing.
Self - help books not only boost our emotional and psychological being but also make us inspired, empowered and more self aware due to introspection.
Here are some self help books that one must read at least once:
1. THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK
Written by Mark Manson, an American self help author and blogger, this book is a powerful compilation of subtly put life advices that provides beautifully intelligent insights. With the tools of wit and humor, Mark has tried to create simplicity around complex daily life tactics. Explained with well versed research topics, facts and real life examples, the book captivates the readers with its philosophies.
Throwing a truth bomb just in the beginning of the book, by bringing forth the story of Charles Bukowski titled “Don’t Try”, Mark describes the significance of wholesome self acceptance while not trying to look for a bigger meaning. As quoted, “The desire for more positive experience is in itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
The book puts up many bold truths about rejections, entitlement, fear of failure, problems, making boundaries and death with outraging honesty. Addressed with simple language, humor, real life incidents mingled with lessons, this book is a total mind – food!
2. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?
Who Moved My Cheese is a short, light hearted parable about change, by bestselling author, Dr. Spencer Johnson. It talks about how we respond to life’s changes and how doing so skillfully, can help us find more success and happiness in our lives.
The fable is about 4 characters. Sniff and Scurry, two mice who are depicted to be too cute to be ignored and Hem and Haw, two little humans of the size of mice. These characters live in the Maze (metaphor for world), looking for cheese (metaphor for a good job/money/possessions/health) to keep themselves happy. The story unfolds with each character responding differently when encountering change, which depicts how humans showcase 4 different types of responses to change in real life.
The short story is hilarious but captivating with its lessons about “Change” and how to cope up with human tendencies that precede change, i.e. fear, anxiety and ignorance, put up in a very creative way. As quoted, “What you’re afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine – The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.” Overall, the story is charming, inspiring and pragmatic, which reminds us that we are not alone and there is, always, light at the end of the tunnel.
3. SAME SOUL, MANY BODIES
Brian Weiss, a psychiatrist, a hypnotherapist and the author of a renowned book, “Many Lives, Many Masters” has written this revolutionary book which describes the experiences of his patients about Progression and Regression therapy used for healing.
Case studies in the book like, “George: Anger Management”, “Immortality”, “Samantha and Max: Empathy” portray emotional and physical issues that his clients suffered from which makes the readers feel more connected with the mankind by something that is universal , pain. Brian Weiss, in the book reveals how our future lives can transform us in the present and how our present actions will influence our lives to come as we evolve towards immortality. Based on Parapsychology, it interestingly binds the readers till the end to explore the reality of human souls and emotions.
By Vidhi Chanpura
She is a nature enthusiast pursuing her second year in Psychology Majors. She is fascinated by the mysteries and magics of the mind and is keen to connect with people about it through her write ups.
Davis, J. (2020). Reading books can positively impact your mental health. Referred from https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/culture-news/a31728850/reading-improves-mental-health/
Whitley, R. (2019). Can Reading Books Improve Your Mental Health?
Franklin, T. (2017). The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck- A Book Review. Referred from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-subtle-art-of-not-giv_b_12012008
Kar, S. (2019). Book review of “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spenser Johnson. Referred from https://medium.com/@subodhkar/book-review-of-who-moved-my-cheese-by-dr-spencer-johnson-485d08d2f9e4