Read — 59 Seconds

I hate self-help books. But I stumbled on one I was willing to try. The full title is "59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot". Unlike most books in this genre, this one is backed by real (and facinating) research. Here's a sample from the first part of the book:

A group of participants was asked to select a negative experience from their past. To make the study as realistic as possible, they were asked to avoid the trivial stuff, such as missing a train or not being able to find a parking space, and instead think about "the most negative upsetting emotional event in their life, one they still thought about and still needed to talk about." From death to divorce, and illness to abuse, the issues were serious. One group of participants was then asked to have a long chat with a supportive experimenter about the event, while a second group was invited to chat about a far more mundane topic—a typical day. After one week, and then again after two months, all the participants went back to the lab and completed various questionnaires that measured their emotional well-being.

Those who had spent time talking about their traumatic event thought that the chat had been helpful. However, the questionnaire results told a very different story. In reality, the chat had had no significant impact at all. Participants thought that it was beneficial to share their negative emotional experiences, but in terms of the difference it made in how well they were coping, they might just as well have been chatting about a typical day.

The author goes on to assert that talking often leads to more confusion, whereas writing offers a structured and organized way to process thoughts.

If you're even mildly interested in psychology pick this one up. Get it from Amazon.