Recommended Read: The Secret To Letting Go by Guy Finley
"The Secret of Letting Go" by Guy Finley is a book I would highly recommend to anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, negative thoughts, or insecurity. But to be honest, this book would benefit ANYONE who reads it. In fact, everybody SHOULD read it! There are SO many great tangible tips that I have started putting into practice since re-reading it last month. This book is decently dense and has some pretty challenging sections. There are definitely some sentences I had to re-read several times.
The basic gist I got out of the book is that YOU and YOU ALONE are responsible for your happiness, as well as your unhappiness and emotional struggles. Tough to hear, I know. You cannot blame other people or outside circumstances for why you are depressed, have anxiety, etc. etc. It's hard to swallow, but WE have a choice for every reaction. It seems impossible, but it's true...I've now experienced being able to choose my reactions. People do not make us sad, it is our reactions to what people do that makes us sad. Does that make sense?
One of the biggest breakthroughs I've had since reading the book is that I have become much better at being "aware" of my thoughts and mental patterns. A lot of the negative thoughts and reactions we have are patterns that we must break, and from there we can create new patterns. Just like anything other "addiction," awareness and admission is the first step. It is so crazy to me how in tune I have become with my brain, and how easy it has become for me to recognize the patterns as they happen. I know one day, I won't have these negative thoughts at all...and there will be no reason for me to "recognize" these patterns. However, for the time being, I am able to recognize the "negative reactions." Once I recognize them, I stop, and no matter how hard it is, choose to react more positively. By choosing a positive reaction, I am creating a new mental pattern...the kind that I want! If you are unable to choose the positive reaction, it's ok...don't be hard on yourself. Even just being aware and recognizing a depressive thought, negative emotion or negative reaction is the first step. Be proud and commend yourself for just recognizing it. Trust me!
Think of a worn path in a field. Every time you have a depressive thought, anxious moment, etc. you are walking down that path. Now, think of walking through that same field where the path is not worn. The grass is tall and thick, and it is tough to walk through. When you "recognize" a negative reaction, stop and choose to react positively, you are walking through the thick grass. It is tough. However, every time you walk down that same path, it will become worn down and easier to walk through until a new path is formed. AND! Every time you do NOT walk down the already worn path of negativity, the grass starts to grow back. In time, the path of "positive reaction" will become the easier path to walk through, and the path of "negative reaction" will become overgrown and difficult to navigate through, just as the positive path once was. Your brain will always pick the easiest path of reacting. Once the path of positivity becomes more easily traveled than the path of negativity, you are home free! So seriously, any time you are able to just be aware of your mental patterns, be proud of yourself! The more you become aware of it, the easier it will be one day to choose another path. The more times you choose the new path, the easier it will become. After no time, it will become second nature and you will be choosing the correct path subconsciously. Your only job is to NOT GIVE UP. You must trust the process!! This book is 280 pages, and you are definitely going to want to buy a physical copy and read it with your highlighter and potentially take notes. I broke it down and read about ten pages a day and finished it in the course of a month. I took extensive notes, and have linked them in PDF form below. It's pretty lengthy, but hey, a 29 page PDF is shorter than 280 pages. If my summary and interpretation leaves you wanting more, than definitely check out the full version, you won't regret it. It's a challenge, but 100% worth every single insight you will get.
Book Summary: Download Here!