Helpful books

Dialectical Behavoir Therapy (DBT) is also a rich source of life-support materials with a focus on  exercises to help you regulate your emotions and learn to discern between emotions, thoughts and behaviours so that you can are free to chose healthier ways of responding to your challenges. A nice, manageably-sized book is ‘Calming the emotional storm: using dialectical behavior therapy skills to manage your emotions & balance your life’, by Sheri Van Dijk. If you like the workbook formats try ‘The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anxiety: Breaking Free from Worry, Panic, PTSD, and Other Anxiety Symptoms’ by authors Chapman, Gratz and Tull. There are a lot of user-friendly books on DBT, many geared towards specific difficulties so check them out and see what works for you.

Another helpful book that I picked up at the library is Rick Hanson’s, ‘Hardwiring Happiness’. Now I am not one for a lot of the positive psychology out there because often I find it too superficial, maybe because saying positive affirmations over and over again while staring in a mirror never worked for me when I was hooked on a not-so-great feeling. But this book really resonated for me. It explains very clearly about how and why we humans have a “negativity bias”, one which our childhood experiences can make more pervasive, and how we can counter it by consciously ‘taking in the good’. The author is a neuropsychologist so he really knows what he’s talking about and, at the same time, he obviously cares enough to do us a public service by sharing his knowledge in ways we can implement to improve our lives right here and now. This is a good book to ‘absorb’.