Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The thoughts we have about ourselves, our lives, and our futures matter. The words we use with ourselves make a difference.”
I reached for this book as I was feeling down and exhausted. I haven’t even felt the desire to read fiction for a while, which is so unlike me! Over the last year or so, I’ve come to understand just how important it is to look after yourself and to focus on your wellbeing, which is why I decided to give this book a go. And I’m so glad I did! Sarah Peyton’s Affirmations for Turbulent Times has not only given me the tools I’ve needed to feel my normal self again, but I’m also really excited to get into my next fiction read as a result. I can’t praise it enough! I’m so happy to be sharing my review for this fantastic little book. If you like the sound of it, support the author by buying yourself a copy or sharing this review!
About the book
We live in complex and unsettled times. The issues before us are unimaginably difficult, and range from the personal to the global. This beautiful little book accompanies readers toward a greater sense of peace and self-compassion, reminding us that even though our world is so turbulent, we can still have quiet places within, filled with love, that make it easier to live and to breathe with ourselves.
Rooted in the neuroscience of affirmations, and covering more than 100 themes (including health, self-care, issues at work, and connection with loved ones and with the planet), this book is a companion for daily life. With the help of questions and wonderings about what may be important for readers, the book gently encourages acceptance of what is. The affirmation for each theme reminds readers of their own strengths and reservoirs of calm, and helps them to remember and reclaim their innate gifts and resources.
I knew I was going to love this book, even from just looking at the contents pages! There are so many themes listed out that the book will cover, everything from health and wellbeing to loving the planet. Sarah gently eases us into the book, which I really appreciated as I didn’t want to read anything heavy when I started. The introduction is worded in a way that makes you feel like you’re having a conversation, taking in facts from someone who knows their stuff and someone who you instantly trust. It was a lovely feeling knowing you’d take away so much before you even begin! Sarah discusses things that I could relate to, things I was curious to explore further and exactly what we can expect to learn about in the book, but all with a forensic eye. The detail already was very reassuring. The author notes here that one way to use words that nourish the growth of supportive neurons is to create affirmations, something I’ve never even considered before, but something I wish I’d used sooner in life. This introduction was everything I needed to keep me interested and curious about the contents of this book!
The first thing I must note is that I didn’t read this book in the order it’s laid out. Like the book suggested, I picked it up sporadically, and each day over the space of a couple of weeks, I chose a section and saw where it took me! The first section is entitled ‘Living with Chaos and Uncertainty’, a huge reason why many of us feel generally exhausted and down right now. I was surprised by how much I could relate to each of the ‘Wonderings’ in this section, and by just how much each accompanying ‘Affirmation’ felt like a natural exercise to remedy these thoughts. The author clearly and concisely summarises thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing, and provides relevant affirmations to encourage you to alter your mindset and feel better about your daily life. It felt hugely satisfying to read, and even as I did so, I could feel those cogs turning in my brain, forcing me to focus more on the good and the things I can change. I found the book to be such a brilliant tool, and I quickly became excited each day to pick it up again!
The more I read this book, the more I felt somewhat familiar thoughts returning after being lost, almost as if the things we’ve faced over the past few years has slowly drained a lot of positive thoughts from me over time. It’s a hard thing to explain, but hopefully you’ll understand what I mean! The ‘Health and Wellbeing’ section felt like the author could see inside my brain, like she was speaking to me directly. I was shocked at how much I could relate to so many points! Because of this, I took so much away from the Affirmations. It genuinely felt refreshing and hopeful. The book has not only helped me to focus more on myself, but also the people around me in the right way. I’ve learnt that it’s okay to be human, and that you can’t balance everything you face on your own. Not only is the information invaluable, but it is written in a way that is enjoyable and very easy to digest.
There were a few sections in the book that were irrelevant to me at this time in my life, but that was no issue at all. In fact, it was great to read about these difficulties in case I ever faced them, and I even felt in a position where I could give advice to loved ones who were experiencing something similar. The book certainly has a little something for everyone! It asks the reader many yes/no type questions throughout which makes it super easy to involve yourself in a topic, and every time I read something that directly affected me, it felt warming and empowering. I knew this book would be perfect to pick up in times of self-doubt or when feeling a little low, and I knew there’d be a section in here to bring me back to my normal self again and to make me feel like I can take on the world. This book has quickly become something I’ve learnt to rely on a little, like it holds the answer to so many life problems and issues you may have around a great number of topics. It really should be a staple on your bookshelf!
There isn’t a single negative comment I wish to make about this book – I’ve loved picking this up each day and I’ll continue to do so whenever I feel something niggling at the back of my mind or when I feel doubt or uncertainty creeping in! Its goal is clear and it does what it sets out to do exceptionally well. You can feel the author’s love and appreciation of life and just how much she wants to support all her readers in the turbulent times we’re living in right now! The ‘Wonderings’ are so relatable, the ‘Affirmations’ valuable and powerful. I appreciate clear and informative books of this nature, and this one is a true testament to its genre. A brilliant book full of helpful information and food for thought. We are complex people, but this book tells us that this is perfectly normal, and I loved that.
A huge thank you to the author, Sarah Peyton, for creating such perfection in this book, and to Oliver at W. W. Norton for my beautiful copy! You can purchase your own copy of Affirmations for Turbulent Times over on Amazon, available on Kindle and in hardcover. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter and Instagram!
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