To Self Help or Not Self Help – Recent Picks from Personal Development arrivals

This month, take a look at different ways of thinking and managing your life, explore the importance of habits and find simple exercises for building new routines. Find ways to manage stress and anxiety with a focus on positive thinking, kindness, generosity and fun! Then perhaps consider this advice for self-improvement from an entirely different angle, rejecting the urge for self improvement by urging self acceptance.

Syndetics book cover365 ways to live generously : simple habits for a life that’s good for you and for others / Sharon Lipinski.
365 Ways to Live Generously features lessons each day that focus on one of the seven generosity habits: Physical health, Mindfulness, Relationships, Connecting with yourself, Gratitude, Simplicity and Philanthropy. Each habit appears once a week, giving you a year to practice and make them all a part of your daily life. Learn why the habits are important, discover tips based on the latest research about making positive change, and explore simple exercises for building new routines.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStand firm : resisting the self-improvement craze / Svend Brinkman ; translated by Tam McTurk.
“How can we resist today’s obsession with introspection and self-improvement?In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and “stand firm”. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner-self but in coming to terms with yourself. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this insightful anti-self-help guide offers a sobering and realistic alternative to life-coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say yes!” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverMaybe it’s you : cut the crap, face your fears, love your life / Lauren Handel Zander, with Marnie Handel Nir.
Maybe It’s You picks up where You Are a Badass leaves off–it’s a no-nonsense, practical manual to help readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. Filled with practical exercises, inspiring client stories, this book enables readers to identify, articulate, and account for their own setbacks so they can transform them into strengths.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEyes wide open : overcoming obstacles and recognizing opportunities in a world that can’t see clearly / by Isaac Lidsky.
“When Isaac Lidsky learned that he was beginning to go blind at age thirteen, he initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his success and hopes for the future. Paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive. Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and live with open hearts and minds.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWillpower : discover it, use it and get what you want / Ros Taylor.
“Willpower is the heartbeat of a successful, fulfilling work and personal life. But you either have willpower or you don’t, right? Regardless of what you want to achieve and where you’re starting from, Willpower shows you how to: practice the scientifically-proven skill set for enhancing you willpower; make progress immediately and have new, positive habits in just three weeks.The difference between those who get what they want and those who don’t comes down to self-control, Willpower is the way you master it and use it for personal and professional success.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNotes from the sick room / Steve Finbow.
“Incapacity provides time for contemplation and creativity yet pain and discomfort detract from inspiration. Serious illness confronts the individual with the reality of death, the complacency of being is jolted by the shock of non-being. Notes from the Sick Room is an investigation into the connections between physical illness and creativity, concentrating on physical illness – cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and disabilities caused by accidents. ” (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe success intersection : what happens when your talent meets your passion / Pat Williams with Jim Denney.
“From the age of seven, Pat Williams’s greatest passion was baseball. However, after two years in the minors, he had to admit it was not his greatest talent. But a phenomenally successful career in sports was just beginning and when he combined his passion for sports with his greatest talents-leadership, salesmanship, and promotion, he found his success intersection. Williams shows readers how to a) identify their greatest talent b) pursue their greatest passion and c) multiply their efforts through teamwork. Readers will discover how to maximize their natural gifting, focus their enthusiasm, and leverage their talent and passion into a lifetime of success.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLife after loss : a practical guide to renewing your life after experiencing major loss / Bob Deits.
“One of the classics in the field of crisis intervention” (Dr. Earl Grollman), Life after Loss is the go-to resource for anyone who has suffered a significant life change. Loss can be overwhelming, and recovery often seems daunting, if not impossible. With great compassion and insight, Deits provides practical exercises for navigating the uncertain terrain of loss and grief, helping readers find positive ways to put together a life that is necessarily different, but equally meaningful. (adapted from Amazon)

 

Our body, our mind, our health

This month, we’ll explore some fascinating facts about our bodies from a historical, scientific, artistic and sociological angles, look at our relationship with our face and its appearance, find solutions to almost every back problem and take advice  on nutrition, health and exercise. Finally, we reflect on how we can change our approach towards gender stereotypes by understanding the neuroscience behind it.

syndetics-lc Anatomies : the human body, its parts and the stories they tell
“It is the most fraught and fascinating, talked-about and taboo, unique yet universal aspect of our lives. Until we fall ill, most of us take this extraordinarily complicated collection of flesh, bones and fluids entirely for granted. But from ancient body art to plastic surgery, from early anatomists to conceptual artists, grave-robbers to bionic athletes, our changing attitudes to the human body – how it works, what it should look like, how to live with it, what it means – tell us more about ourselves than almost any other subject in human history. Blending history, science, art, literature and the everyday, one of our finest science writers investigates this most marvellous and mysterious of creations. The result is a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information that encompasses everything from the first finger-printing to the physiology of angels, from synaesthesia to the clown-egg register, from the death-mask of Isaac Newton to the afterlife of Einstein’s brain.” Publisher’s description (courtesy of Syndetics)

syndetics-lcIn your face : the hidden history of plastic surgery and why looks matter
“We humans have been modifying our faces for centuries-from medieval face-pulling competitions (often fatal) and criminal punishment in ancient India (rhinokopia), to post-war reconstructive surgery and contemporary cosmetic surgery. But what is it that compels us to go “under the knife”? Is it simply the pursuit of beauty, or is it a deeper drive for survival? And why, with all our advances in medical science, does some plastic surgery look so bad? You can open any women’s magazine and find at least one article showing some celebrity’s cosmetic surgery gone wrong, often resulting in that familiar and laughable but tragic “wind tunnel” face. The truth is that kind of look is not really plastic surgery at all-it’s cosmetic surgery done by underqualified practitioners using outdated techniques. It shouldn’t happen. This book shows you why and how. In the tradition of The Brain that Changes Itself; Guns, Germs & Steel; Salt; and Orchid Fever, this lively exploration of the history and science of plastic surgery looks at 500 years of the face-what we do to it, what it means for us, and what the future holds.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcThe back bible
“A must-have family reference packed with proven, practical approaches to caring for your back throughout your life. With a full anatomy of the spine and back, a breakdown of different types of pain, when to see the doctor and at-a-glance diagnostic advice, The Back Bible offers a physiological run down of the problems that can affect you back, neck, and shoulders.
Dozens of self-help measures are covered, including general back care, exercise routines, ways of improving sleeping posture and the benefits of heat/hydro therapy and self-massage. There is also extensive advice on managing back pain, from analgesics to visualisation and meditation. The book then guides you through what to expect from conventional medical care, covering diagnosis, drug treatments, surgery, physiotherapy and a directory of complementary therapies and specialist treatments.” (From Amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcThe honest life : living naturally and true to you
“Actress, activist, and entrepreneur Jessica Alba inspires moms to make affordably healthy choices for themselves and their families without sacrificing style. As a new mom, Jessica Alba wanted to create the safest, healthiest environment for her family. But she was frustrated by the lack of trustworthy information on how to live healthier and cleaner–delivered in a way that a busy mom could act on without going to extremes. In 2012, with serial entrepreneur Brian Lee and environmental advocate Christopher Gavigan, she launched The Honest Company, a brand where parents can find reliable information and products that are safe, stylish, and affordable. The Honest Life shares the insights and strategies she gathered along the way. The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life. She shares strategies for maintaining a clean diet (with favorite family-friendly recipes) and embracing nontoxic choices at home; she also provides eco-friendly decor tips to fit any budget. Alba discusses cultivating a daily eco beauty routine, finding one’s personal style without resorting to yoga pants, and engaging in fun, hands-on activities with kids. Her solutions are easy, chic, and down-to-earth: They’re honest. And discovering everyday ways to live naturally and authentically–true to you–could be honestly life-changing” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcThe unapologetic fat girl’s guide to exercise and other incendiary acts
“An empowering guide for plus-size women shares non-judgmental, practical information and motivational strategies for incorporating exercise into an everyday lifestyle, profiling a range of options from WiiFit to extreme sports while covering such topics as common sports injuries, nutritional guidelines and working with a trainer. This guide is big on attitude, giving plus-size women the motivation, support, and information to improve their health.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcBe your own nutritionist : rethink your relationship with food
“A radical new approach to healthy eating…
Bombarded by fad diets and scary slogans telling you how to eat healthily and lose weight? Confused as to which of the hundreds of diet books out there is telling the truth? Be Your Own Nutritionist has the answers. Forget low-carb diets, superfoods, your five-a-day there are no hard and fast rules about what to eat, when. A healthy diet varies from person to person and, most importantly, from place to place.
This is an exciting new take on nutrition showing how factors such as climate, time, environment and emotional wellbeing should all affect the way we eat. Combining age-old traditions of healthy eating (did you know that the mid-Victorians had the best diet of any Britons before or since?) with modern scientific research, clinician George Cooper shows you how to ignore the fads and eat right for yourself. He explains in clear, easy terms exactly how your digestive system works (and why you need to know). He explains why raw food is sometimes bad for you; and how hot, spicy foods can mitigate against damp and cold. Packed with easily-adaptable recipes and useful tips, this book is your indispensible guide to eating well, wherever you are.”(from Amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcGulp
“Few of us realize what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal. In her trademark style, Mary Roach investigates the beginning, and end, of our food, addressing such questions as why crunchy food is so appealing, how much we can eat before our stomachs burst, and whether constipation killed Elvis.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcAll is well : heal your body with medicine, affirmations and intuition
“This new book by celebrated authors Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, not only explores the medical science behind the affirmations in Louise Hay’s international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, but also offers stories and practical advice for personal healing.
Structured around seven emotional centres, which mirror our chakra system, Louise and Mona Lisa examine the connections between these centres and the body. Drawing on years of research, they explore probable mental causes for the physical manifestation of illness associated with each centre, and then lay out how to address these health concerns. Combining two complementary systems, Louise discusses new thought patterns and offers new affirmations to counteract specific emotional weaknesses, and Mona Lisa, who has worked for many years as a medical intuitive and physician, helps readers listen to their own bodies’ intuition and prescribes medical solutions that are based in Western science. They provide real-world examples of people who faced illness and outline the specific emotional and physical prescriptions that helped them heal.” (from Amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcPink brain, blue brain : how small differences grow into troublesome gaps–and what we can do about it
“Turning conventional thinking about gender differences on its head, Lise Eliot issues a startling call to close the troubling gaps between boys and girls and help all children reach their fullest potential. Drawing on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time as parents, teachers, and the culture at large unwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. By focussing on the ways in which differences emerge such prescriptive behaviours can be eradicated, and the boundaries that prevent boys and girls from achieving can be destroyed.” (From Amazon.co.uk)

Makeover your mind

March on this month – whether you want to redesign part or all of your life, have something you want to quit, a relationship to decide about, or want to learn about managing your mind more effectively. Or maybe you’re just curious about disgust… read on…

Syndetics book coverThe chimp paradox / Steve Peters.
“Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life? ‘The Chimp Paradox’ is an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person. Dr Steve Peters explains the struggle that takes place within your mind and then shows how to apply this understanding to every area of your life so you can recognise how your mind is working, understand and manage your emotions and thoughts, and manage yourself and become the person you would like to be. Each chapter explains different aspects of how you function and highlights key facts for you to understand, along with exercises to help you see immediate improvements in your daily living and, over time, develop emotional skills and practical habits that will help you to become the person that you want to be, and live the life that you want to live.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverStay or leave : six steps to resolving your relationship indecision / Beverley Stone.
“You’re stuck in an unhappy relationship. You’re not sure you want to stay, but you can’t make up your mind to go. You’re stagnating… but feel powerless to do anything about it. Successful relationship psychologist Beverley Stone will get your life back on track. She uncovers the root of your confusion and helps you make the big decision: to stay and make a go of it in a radically improved relationship… or leave, confident and happy. Step by step, she helps you make your decision and put your choice into action, helping you to discover why your previous attempts have failed and covering all the possible options for your relationship – mending it, maintaining it … and, in the last resort, leaving it.” – (from the Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThat’s disgusting : unraveling the mysteries of repulsion / Rachel Herz.
“Disgust originated to prevent us from eating poisonous food, but this simple safety mechanism has since evolved into a uniquely human emotion that dictates how we treat others, shapes our cultural norms, and even has implications for our mental and physical health. ‘That’s Disgusting’ illuminates the science behind disgust, tackling such colourful topics as cannibalism, humour, and pornography to address larger questions: Why do sources of disgust vary among people and societies? Where does disgust come from in our brain and what deeper fears does it reflect? How does disgust influence our individual personalities, our daily lives, and our values? It turns out that disgust underlies more than we realize, from political ideologies to the lure of horror movies. Drawing on surprising research in psychology and evolutionary biology, ‘That’s Disgusting’ shows us that disgust mirrors human nature and, as a result, is as complex and varied as we are.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverUnhooked : how to quit anything / Frederick Woolverton and Susan Shapiro.
“Doctor and former patient join forces in this guide to kicking addiction, from heroin to shopping. Woolverton, founder and director of the Village Institute for Psychotherapy, has worked with addicts for 25 years. Even as a successful and self-aware professional, it was when he quit smoking that he gained crucial insight: “I had to let myself suffer, figure out where it was coming from, and figure out what that pain was trying to tell me.” The importance of taking those steps in that order is emphasized throughout; Woolverton bolsters his argument by noting that’s why 12-step programs work. Addicts “need to be told to stop right now or they might die”; afterward, self-exploration supports lasting recovery. Former patient and coauthor Shapiro can attest to this: 10 years ago, Woolverton helped her quit alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes. She’s since discovered a passion for writing and published seven books. Her example and other case studies illustrate how Woolverton’s approach has worked for real people-and Woolverton’s willingness to share his own personal struggles add authenticity. Those stories and their positive message, combined with the authors’ concrete steps for identifying destructive behaviors and seeking help, make for a valuable, hopeful read.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly review)

Syndetics book coverThe great life redesign : change how you work, live how you dream and make it happen today / Caroline Cameron.
“Are you always in a hurry, with too much to do and too little time? Do you ever feel that ‘back-to-work-tomorrow’ gnawing dread on Sunday nights? Are you trapped on a treadmill to nowhere and dreaming about how life could be, if only…? If any, or all, of these questions strike a chord with you, don’t despair – there is a way out. ‘The Great Life Redesign is an inspirational guide that will help you reshape the life you have into one you’ll love. Whether you need to redesign certain parts of your life that could be better, or undertake a major life renovation, Caroline Cameron shows you how. Featuring practical, easy-to-apply techniques, exercises, tools and tips, plus more than 30 inspirational case studies, you’ll soon be on your way to a great life.” – (from the Book cover)