Professor mimics self-help books
Brinkmann has chosen a rather unconventional way of presenting his points. He has written a book that resembles the self-help books he is criticising.
“It’s a self-help book with a humorous twist — you might call it a self-help book against self-help books. I wrote it like that to generate debate.”
In the best self-help book writing style Brinkmanns book has a seven step structure:
1. Stop soul-searching: From medical science we know that the more we try to feel, the worse we feel. The more we focus on our own health, the less well we feel. This is known as the ‘paradox of health’.
2. Focus on the negative aspects of your life: You have to acknowledge that you will gradually feel worse and worse and finally one day die. If you bear that in mind every day you will value life more highly than if you spend your time constantly searching for something positive to focus on.
3. Say no: As an adult you have to be able to say no in order to maintain personal integrity.
4. Repress your emotions: It is a common psychological assumption that you become neurotic if you do not express your emotions. However, research is unable to confirm this. Physical illness cannot generally be provoked by repressing one’s emotions. There is, however, evidence that men face a slightly smaller risk of getting cancer if they do express their emotions. The reverse is true for women, but this is trifle