Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Deluge of Self-Help! Where is it the rest of the year?

It's a funny time January. No matter where you go, what you do, who you talk to and whatever channel you switch on there is always someone hankering on about how they changed their life and how you could do the same too. From addictions to weight loss to sleep apnoea; the help the solutions the specialists are all there to offer help and advice and then come February 1st and just like magic they're all Gone! 

Just to make it clear, I think it's brilliant having all these inspirational people sharing their experiences. You never know which one will be the one to utter that one sentence or that one word that will make you want to change your life forever. I love a good story anytime and all the better if it's one about a before and after. What I am whingeing about is that the media and the medical profession should instill in people that the change should be a life-time one and that it is a good idea to highlight these issues along the year and not just in January. 

The way I see it is the message specialists and media people are sending out is that unless you make your resolutions in January and seek help for whatever is ailing you in that month then you're on your own. See if I was lying under a rock presumably all of January missing this deluge of self-help advice and woke up to complain in February about the fact that I had in effect spent all January under a rock (I would think it as cause for concern) then would the response I get be "Sorry mate, that was January, we're on Valentine's now!" or if I decided I had had enough idleness by July then do I wait for January's celebrity endorsed DVD to start an exercise program?

And if you ask me this is the problem we are facing as a nation who is now fast becoming the fattest in Europe. It's because we never seem to follow up on our resolutions and the media stop highlighting problems such as addictions and obesity as if they were a seasonal affliction that come round once a year. My solution? Press the record button and tape these interviews or cut out those magazine/newspaper articles and keep them to hand for when you stumble on your life-changing journey or you could just keep them handy for that sod who spent January dozing under a rock!

My favourite self-help books have been:
1. I Can Make You Smarter by Paul McKenna (for improving memory and promises to make you read faster which means more books on the shelf. Who can say no to that!)

2. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne: Based on the Laws of Attraction, it teaches each one of us how positive thinking attracts positive outcomes to our life and vice versa and how we can set about doing that.

3. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Probably one of the best books you'll read as a woman. It is not really a self-help book but teaches about contacting the power of the wild woman within and how strong and intuitive and brave women are and can be. It is a beautifully written book with lots and lots of stories designed to rejoice in the feminine power.

4. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie. A powerful book published some twenty years ago and still holds true today. It lets you imagine the worst possible scenario to anything and then how to deal with it so it becomes less significant and more manageable. Truly inspiring.

5. The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck and its accompanying weight loss workbook. It teaches you how to train your brain to think like a thin person. It really is compelling reading and so easy to follow.

6. French Toast for Breakfast: Declaring war on emotional eating by Mary Anne Cohen: This book sheds light on why eat and why we overeat and why it is essential to have the foods that we crave. This is one satisfying read!

No comments: