The Kindness Method: Changing Habits for Good by Shahroo Izadi
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Published on: 14th June 2018
I obtained a complementary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ok guys, I know I’ve said I’m more of a fiction type of gal when it comes to reading, but NetGalley has so many amazing non-fiction/self-help books to offer that I have succumbed to getting a few!
Shahroo Izadi is a behavioural change specialist based in London. She has experience of working with substance users to help them overcome their addiction. This book is the fruit of what she’s learned through years of working as a psychologist and her first hand experience of eating disorders and food binging habits. It is clear that Shahroo has learned a lot from her clients and herself and this enabled her to draw patterns in terms of what behaviours help people make sustainable changes and what behaviours do not help. Her approach is based on one thing: being kind to oneself through the process of change.
This is a truly amazing book because it can be applied to anything, whether you are trying to control an addiction like drinking, smoking, drug use, gambling etc; or just general bad habits such as talking yourself down. It can be used to overcome anxiety and depression aswell. Shahroo’s insight into why people don’t make the changes that they know they need to make is incredible; and that’s because she’s been there too, battling her own demons.
Shahroo’s approach is based on filling out maps that represent different areas of your life, and as you go through the books you complete more and more maps which highlight what you want to change about yourself, and why it is important that you do so and stick to it. You will then spend a few days or weeks creating the basis for your plan to change, all while remaining positive and kind to yourself. She also professes moderation rather than abstinence. For instance, she uses the example of alcohol abuse a lot, and explains how it isn’t always helpful to go cold turkey as it is more likely to drag you into a relapse. Instead, she encourages people to moderate their alcohol consumption to a point where they can actually enjoy it rather than let it rule their life.
Whether you feel like you need to make changes in your life at this point in time or not, this is an amazing read, especially if you’ve got the habit of talking yourself down constantly, which I know I do. It does force you to pause and look at your thoughts and ask yourself “why do I speak to myself in this mean and counterproductive way?”
The only negative point I have about this book is that I was given an advance copy, which do not contain the example maps for guidance, and that was a bit of a shame as I would have liked to be able to compare my own maps to the ones provided in the book.
I’ll admit that in order to stay on track with my reading, I’ve had to skim through the second half of this book (for some reason it always takes me much longer to read non-fiction than fiction books) but I do intend to go back to it and complete the rest of the maps in my own time. This is a truly inspiring book and I would highly recommend it to everyone.