The Best Books to Help With Depression and anxiety.
Dr Wayne Dyer Books.
This was the first book I ever read of Wayne Dyers and amongst the first of many self help books I had started to read back in the early 90’s.
Wayne Dyers teachings on self-improvement came from his own life story marked with living in orphanage’s and his addiction to alcohol.
In Your Erroneous Zone Wayne starts by squashing the myth that to be happy is measured by your abilities and that in turn decides your level of intelligence.
The thinking being, if you have been to university, have your own house, or in a position of authority, earning a big wage etc. you are then living a fulfilled life and one of worth.
So along with that myth, is the idea such people are strong as well as intelligent so do not suffer from depression and are more able to put on a pretense of happiness.
Wayne makes the statement what most people suffering have always found it difficult to comprehend, and that is you choose your feelings.
This is often seen as offensive because it seems it is a question of proportioning ‘blame’.
But what this really means is, to become mentally well and free, you need to start thinking differently.
This he acknowledges can be hard to achieve.
One of the ways he suggests you begin is to learn firstly to love yourself.
He acknowledges that it is not easy to get rid of childhood habits and the image you have of yourself, but with persistence it can be achieved.
All of us have opinions of ourselves regarding our talents skills or lack of them, and this is where self-esteem always appears. Self-esteem is important for your personal happiness.
Paying attention to our mind and thoughts is where we begin challenging those thoughts in the moment each times it happens.
Wayne gives examples of behaviors that you can adopt to improve your self-esteem. Here are three of them:
· Order something from a menu without looking at the price.
· If you are tired, take time out to walk in the park or even have a nap.
· Eliminate envy knowing it lowers your self-esteem.
You Do Not Need The Approval of Others.
When you think that what others think about you is more important than your own opinion of yourself, you will then live according to the need of others.
Life passes you by because you are worrying about that external approval.
This he suggests to you is a desire rather than a need. But when, as it will becomes a necessity then it ceases to be a desire. You in effect are giving part of yourself away.
When you describe yourself with labels such as “I am fat,” I am weak,” “I cannot spell,” “I am uninteresting,” etc. etc. They keep you stuck in the past being what you have always been.
These labels come from two sources. Some come from people and were said when you were a child, others are the result of your own choice and have served as an excuse during difficult times or doing uncomfortable things.
These labels are what you see as defining you and prevent you from being different from what you have always been.
He then gives examples of these “I am” categories and the impact they have on your life. He is a taster of some of them.
· I am Italian, Jewish, German, Black, Chinese etc. The “I am: Tries to justify your hostile attitudes that bother others. You disguise your behavior with a “I cannot help it, I’ve always been like this.”
· I am forgetful, careless, irresponsible, etc. Justify ineffective behavior. Instead of improving, you label yourself.
· I am messy, disorganized, meticulous, etc. This is how I manipulate others. It is usually accompanied with an “I’ve always done it that way”. With both statements you explain why things have to be done that way.
Change the “I am” to “I used to classify myself like this…. Ask friends and family to pick you up when you use these statements as and when they emerge.
Guilt and Useless Worry.
In brief – he explains guilt as a thing of past events and worry is of the future.
These are both a waste of time and both are Erroneous Zones that are connected to each other. With both keeping you useless in the present.
He then gives you strategies to eliminate worry and guilt. Here are two examples:
GUILT: Start to look at the past as something that can never be modified and admit that no matter how guilty you feel, it will not help you to change.
WORRY: Ask yourself the question “What is the worst thing that can happen to me (or to them) and what are the chances of it happening?” You will see the answers as absurd.
Justice is a Trap.
We use justice and it’s lack as a reason to be unhappy without accepting that injustice is a constant in the world.
Instead of being immobilized by it, help to work to eradicate it.
You can choose to be happy or unhappy, but it has nothing to do with what’s happening around you.
Free From Your Erroneous Zones.
He gives examples of how people who are free of erroneous zones are different. You will probably know some of these people. Here are brief examples.
· They enjoy everything that life offers them. If it’s not hot they enjoy it and they do not complain.
· If they are in a traffic jam, they accept it as it is.
· They live intensely in the present. They are not procrastinators, they live today.
· They do not seek the approval of others, because they feel happy with themselves. They are independent.
· They know how to laugh and make people laugh. They discover humor in any situation and can laugh at the most absurd things.
· They have high energy levels and are stimulated by life.
· Some people may not want to get out of their “safety zone” as this book encourages you to do.
· You could be so rigid in your plans for how you see and plan your life that you are not open to new experiences.
· You let your plans be more important than you.
· You cannot let go of the idea and belief that you need others to reinforce your value.
· You see the idea of “Loving Yourself” as seeing yourself as better than anyone else and being conceited.
· Wayne teaches you to believe in yourself and be open to new experiences; this is how we grow as a person.
· He encourages you not to be afraid of the unknown, by not being afraid of failure or what other people might say or think.
· He helps you realize you do not have to have a reason for doing something; just having a desire is enough.
· He teaches you that “Loving Yourself,” is about accepting your weaknesses and imperfections with a desire to improving a little each day.
They say the sign of a good book is when you can remember it two years later.
It has been fifteen years since I first read “Your Erroneous Zones” I can still remember the impression it made on me then, in particular the feeling of “hope” I felt when reaching the end of the book, along with the anticipation of reading many more of Wayne Dyers amazing inspirational books.
Rest In Peace Wayne Dyer!