Self-Help Books; Happy – Finding joy in everyday and letting go of perfect

I found this in the self – help section of my local library, which is a perilous place to be as it contains a jumble of self-help, biography, general health, diet and exercise books,and I always feel somewhat icky about having diet regimes next to books about mental health… However, I picked up this one because a friend had said she enjoyed the podcast that has been produced alongside the book, and she found it helpful. I do love the cover, and there are similar watercolour illustrations throughout the book which lend it a more creative edge and are very pretty. It is split into easy to navigate sections, but without a contents page or index – I suspect the idea being that you follow the chapters and exercises in them from start to finish. There are also lots of interviews with different people about their experiences. Here’s a quick overview;

Intro, including a rainbow spectrum of emotional states for you to plot your journey on

Happy Not, about depression and how it feels

Happy Balance, including work/life and balancing extreme emotions

Happy Now, mindfullness and trying to avoid drowning in past regrets/nostalgia or future worries

Happy Face, self-expression, self-care and being authentic

Happy Choices, feeling able to choose, making sustainable small changes and finding positivity

Happy Mind, CBT style ideas about controlling your thoughts, giving yourself rest using mindfullness and creativity, believing you can change, a small section on anxiety

Happy Body, stresses the connection between mental and physical health as a two way street, appreciating your body for what it does, self-care, and self-love

Happy Families, a small mention of different family structures and friends as family but focuses mostly on families joined by blood or marriage, bereavement, motherhood, family drama

Happy Thanks, practising gratitude

Happy Shared, cultivating human connections

Happy Heart, romantic love and relationships, self-love

There are exercises throughout the book for you to do, which appear to be from a CBT style of self-help including a lot of thought and feeling exploration, challenging, and planning coping mechanisms.There is also a focus on mindfulness techniques and an individualised approach to mental health.

Personally I would say this is most appropriate for someone who is new to self-help with mild to moderate anxiety or depression, generalised mental health issues or wants to maintain or improve their mental health. I absolutely encourage anyone and everyone to borrow a copy from their library first and see if it works for them!

You might like this if;

You are looking for a self-help guide

You have tried or want to try CBT techniques

You would like more activities to use for day to day coping mechanisms

You like the idea of yoga, meditation, music, art and cooking as mindfulness practices

You have a relatively ordinary family structure

You want to try to achieve a calm, balanced mindset

You’d like an easy introduction to self-care for generalised mental health issues

 

This probably isn’t for you if;

You haven’t found CBT helpful

You need more specific and in depth approaches to a particular mental health issues

You need a more radical or sociological approach to mental health issues and the structural causes of mental illness

You find a tight focus on an individual’s choices or behaviour frustrating

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