Self-help Books to Read in 2019

One of the best habits I’ve picked up while recovering from severe depression & anxiety is reading. I’m a huge fan of self-help books and like with anything else you do, if you are willing to take the time and do the work offered in these books, amazing things can happen.

Also, there is something special about finding that quiet spot to sit and read a book. It’s amazing to feed your mind with uplifting content that will enrich your life for years to come. Reading is essential to achieve knowledge on a subject that you are passionate about, to get more insight, to improve a certain aspect of your life or just to better interact with others.

Don’t have time to sit and read? Try AudioBooks.

It’s a convenient alternative to old-fashioned reading. You can listen to a book while you are commuting to and from work or while jogging or sitting at your kid’s soccer practice.

Never underestimate the power of reading. Your future self will thank you for it.

Here are my picks for your reading pleasure in 2019.

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The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

 In his new book The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing and do anything in order to have everything. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, you simply have yet to unlock the 9 Secrets to Happiness. 

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

If you are an over-thinker, like me, you will benefit from this book. You will learn to live in the now and not stress about the past or worry about the future. You will encounter moments of peace through this reading and be reminded of how important it is to live in the moment and not get distracted by all the things happening around us. 
The Power of Now serves as an excellent guide to overcoming ego consciousness.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose 

 I had to get this book after I read the review from Oprah Winfrey. She said:  “This book is a wake-up call for the entire planet, one reader at a time. It helps us to distance ourselves from our egos . . . and to open ourselves to a higher self. . . . It helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.” 
This is a great self-development book and I’m taking my time reading it, as I have to stop and reflect on things before I can continue. Very inspiring and transformational.

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking

Feeling overwhelmed and struggling with anxiety? This book offers easy to follow instructions on how to free yourself from negative thoughts and start the journey of self-development. This book is easy to read and it summarizes effective methods for immediate results.

Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame 

​It’s everything the title says and more. Filled with insights, it offers strategies to create self-awareness, emotional health and self-healing. Absolutely amazing.

SELF HELP: 12 Things You Can Do That Will Drastically Improve Your Life

Steps to start living a better life are easily explained in this book. An important reminder that small changes can create a huge impact on our lives and the lives of others around us. Easy to read and you can easily apply the techniques offered to improve our lives.

Here is the book that I’m currently reading:

The Secret

I’ve heard a lot of awesome reviews about this book so I asked my hubby to get it for me for Christmas. I’m loving it.

The Secret contains clear principles on how to live your life in accordance with the natural laws of the Universe, but the important thing for every person is to LIVE IT.

Now, with The Secret Daily Teachings, Rhonda Byrne takes you through a year of teachings, sharing wisdom and insights for living in harmony with the laws that govern all human beings, so that you may become the master of your life.

Building upon The Secret’s powerful truths, your knowledge of the law of attraction is about to expand far beyond what you can imagine. More joy, more abundance, more magnificence – every single day of the year.” – Amazon

How about you? What books have you read lately that made an impact on your life?

Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

Take care,


A Surprising Solution to Relieve Stress

A solution to relieve stress 2
I’m always reading about new techniques that will help me reduce stress on a daily basis.
I love learning about how stress affects our daily lives and I enjoy finding ways to reduce the impacts of stress.
From finances and health concerns to lengthy to-do lists, there are numerous sources of strain in the lives of most people. We are living in this era of constant new technology and fast-paced evolution, it’s no surprise we are always overstimulated, constantly plugged in and stressed.

We need techniques to help us decompress and regain focus on our well-being.

According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 68% of people feel stress on a weekly basis and 32% are stressed every day. Women, in particular, are impacted, as 25% surveyed reported experiencing stress multiple times a day. Chronic stress can lead to or exacerbate mood disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar, cognitive & behavioral issues.
So what can we do to help minimize the impacts of stress in our daily lives?


A Surprising Solution to Relief Stress
A surprisingly simple way to relieve stress is not a new gadget or an app, it’s not a new drug or a new type of exercise. It’s simply flowers.

I love flowers! As you see I have lots of pretty photos of flowers on this site, they make me smile and feel happy and I wasn’t even aware of this new research until today.


New research from the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health shows that living with flowers can significantly alleviate daily stress.
These findings follow decades of behavioral research studies conducted by researchers at universities including Harvard, Rutgers and Texas A&M that demonstrate flowers’ ability to make people happy, strengthen feelings of compassion, foster creativity, improve your mood and even provide boosts of energy.
The study, titled The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, concludes that adding flowers to indoor environments results in a statistically significant and meaningful reduction in stress.
“There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health,” said the lead researcher Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D., associate professor of the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health. “Now it is both intuitive and scientifically known that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being.”
The specific results include:
  • The average reduction in stress among women who received and lived with flowers was minus-5.5 points on the perceived stress questionnaire, a significant statistical decrease in stress.
  •  Flowers are a unique gift with the proven potential to reduce stress among women, likely because flowers provide the opportunity for nature contact, an established health-promoting environmental exposure.
  •  Participants who received flowers overwhelmingly reported that flowers improved their moods.
“Our findings are important from a public health perspective because adding flowers to reduce stress does not require tremendous effort to generate a meaningful effect,” Largo-Wight said. “When life seems to be in a constant state of frenzy, flowers can provide a much-needed moment of calm.”
For more information about the study, along with tips on relieving stress, visit
I always enjoyed admiring pretty flowers, big or small gardens with different types and colors of flowers and little did I know that by doing this simple task I was improving my well-being.
It’s been proven and it actually works! What a nice habit to keep!
Have you stopped to enjoy the flowers today?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Top Mindful Notes signature
Source: Society of American Florists

My Story

Hello friend, I’m Giselle

I’m a wife, a mom to 2 amazing boys, and I work full time at a Communications Company here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where we live. My hubby, Christopher, is a busy Contractor, he works long hours making sure his clients have a beautiful home. We also have an adorable Jack Russell Terrier, named Pitu (10).  

Life is pretty busy with 2 young kids and working full time, so needless to say things can get pretty hectic at times and it’s while experiencing these not so calm times that I turned to mindfulness and meditation.

However, initially, meditation wasn’t the natural choice for me, I didn’t grow up around people who practised it. I didn’t know anything about meditation, until… 

I had a major nervous breakdown and my husband urged me to go see our family doctor. 

I was going through stressful times at work as well as with my mother. I was deeply sad, experiencing all of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. I had no energy for anything, all I wanted to do was sleep and hide inside my own house. I took a complete break from social media, I was not engaging with my friends, I was avoiding eye contact with everyone, in case they wanted to start a conversation that I was not prepared for. I didn’t leave the house unless I really needed to, I was a mess. 

I lost my appetite and consequently lost a lot of weight and I couldn’t even get out of bed without crying for 20 min first. Although I was depressed, my mind was never quiet, my mind was always going 100 miles per hour. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus on a task, I couldn’t work at my job or at home, I couldn’t cook or clean. I was pacing back and forth and feeling so stressed! I was so worried about everything, but I couldn’t get anything done. I had panic attacks. I cried and cried some more, every day. 

Not at all what I had planned for my life. 

My doctor immediately took me off work (thank goodness for work benefits) and sent me to go see a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. I needed help and I wanted to get help and get better! 

I had to take my life back. Giving up was not an option. 

I saw the Psychiatrist first, we talked about my symptoms and I was given medication to start my healing process. While I waited a couple of months for my Psychologist appointment, I went through a roller coaster of starting medication and having to stop them due to side effects. One made me too sleepy, the other made me eat too much, the other made me dizzy all the time.

I went through 3 or 4  types of medication until we found one that started to work. Everyone’s system is different, that’s why it took so long to find the right type that would work for me. I had weekly follow-up appointments to track my symptoms and I followed the doctor’s instructions to a T.

I wanted to get better for myself, for my kids, for my husband.

It was with this determination and dedication that I slowly started to feel better. But somehow I knew that medication alone was not going to resolve everything. I started therapy sessions with the Psychologist and quickly realized that if I wanted to make a good recovery I was going to have to embrace a new way of dealing with my emotions, thoughts and actions. It was only after this moment that things started to get better.

I was introduced to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as Meditation and I slowly started to change my life for the better.

I had to complete daily exercises, meditate every day for 10 min and I was asked to start writing about my emotions, about scenarios that caused me stress, to keep a journal of my thoughts and how I was reacting to them. 

Everything had to be written down, not typed in, but written with my own hands. I learned so much with the Psychologist! She was amazing and made me feel comfortable talking about everything that was causing me so much stress. CBT was an essential tool for my recovery and I started to perk up a bit after a couple of sessions. I was getting back to being myself.

I went back to work after 5 months of intense therapy, journaling, meditation to calm my mind, research and self-awareness. 

I learned about depression, anxiety and how the brain works. I learned more about why I think, feel & react, the way I do. I learned to self-assess and identify my triggers. 

I learned to meditate to calm my mind and although it felt strange at first, the benefits of those moments of pause to breathe and quiet my mind were incredible! I couldn’t get enough of it, I felt so good after each meditation that I couldn’t wait to do it again. I did Yoga and loved it. I reconnected with my closest friends, I talked about my feelings more often and I got better control of my emotions.

My behaviour and my attitude changed. I created new habits, they became a new routine that I continue to follow until this day. I learned that I can’t control what’s happening, but I CAN control the way I respond to what’s happening. I’m able to identify what stresses me and apply the techniques I’ve learned before things escalate. 

I haven’t been depressed or overly anxious for over 3 years now and can honestly say I’m living a better life. 

Last year I discovered blogging. I wanted to learn a new skill and since I love the online world, I completed a few online courses to learn how to start my own blog and I fell in love with blogging. The learning is ongoing. I decided to learn all the ins and outs of the online world and I embarked on the blogging journey with the same determination I tackled my depression & anxiety. And I’m so glad I did. I’ve discovered a creative side that I thought I didn’t have. Blogging has allowed me to express my creativity and it’s teaching me so much about myself.

I’m always looking for ways to live better, save time and money, reduce stress & anxiety and I love sharing the things I learn with other people. 

This blog’s main focus is to share helpful information with YOU, my special audience! If I can help at least one person out there who is struggling, I will be so incredibly happy!

TMN is a small place online, where I share lifestyle notes, strategies to live a better life, personal stories and my view on different topics. I enjoy fashion, travel, good food, lifestyle-related articles & everything there is to learn about mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress and anxiety.

Please be reminded I am not a qualified doctor and what you will read on this site are my own opinions unless otherwise specified. I share the techniques that have worked for me for my particular situation. If you feel that you are depressed or have anxiety, please consult your family doctor. It’s the best advice I can give you if you are struggling.

If you enjoy what you see on this blog, let me know by sharing it, commenting on the posts, on the contact page or sending me a direct message on any Social Media links below. 

I’ll try my best to respond to you as soon as I can.  

Take care,