Feeling Good by David BurnsThis post is part of Wendy the Super Librarian’s TBR challenge.

What is the TBR Challenge? Simply put, it’s where readers pick up a long neglected book from their TBR pile, read it, and comment on that read on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. The idea is to read those long neglected books that you just had to get your hands on at the time, but have been languishing in your pile, all lost and forgotten.

This month’s theme is “Recommended Read,” as in, read a book that someone recommended to you.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I suffer from depression and anxiety. My life has been spinning out of control for the past several months and I turned, as I often do, to my friends on Twitter and asked what they did when they felt the pull of the vortex. Several of my tweeps recommended that I read Feeling Good which they said was much better than the corny title might suggest.

I bought this book about three months ago, which means it is far from the oldest thing on my To Be Read pile, but I was having a hard time concentrating on fiction, so this seemed a good choice. I bought it in paper, too, because I prefer not to read non-fiction that I want to focus on in paper, while I read fiction in e.

In Feeling Good, David Burns explains the tenets cognitive/cognitive behavioral therapy. I’ve had minimal experience with cognitive therapy in the past, though I studied it years ago. The basis of cognitive therapy is that negative “automatic” thoughts cause your emotional swings.

These automatic thoughts include things like all-or-nothing thinking or fortune-telling. For myself, the largest category of things I tend to do are over-generalizing and mind-reading.

So, for example, instead of saying “wow, that didn’t work out the way I planned. I’ll try something else next time.” I tend to say “nothing I try ever works.” Or instead of saying “she didn’t notice me over here,” I think “she’s deliberately ignoring me because she hates me [for whatever reason].”Does it work? I’m only about 2/3 through the book, so I can’t say. It takes a lot of practice to change the way you think. So even though this book doesn’t introduce me to any particularly new concepts, it’s useful because it reminds me that I have to keep practicing, and it tells me how to do so.