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It's time to change your mind: books for a healthy brain

Posted on 14th January 2016 by Sally Campbell
Stuck in a rut? Tired of the same old, same old patterns? Want to reinvigorate, re-energise and reboot? Changing the way you think is the best place to start and here some books to help you do just that.

Most of us will make a New Year's resolution – to join a gym, to run a 10k, to dig out that rowing machine from the loft - but how many of us will aim to think better? So many New Year’s resolutions involve improving the shape of our bodies, while the way in which we think can often be neglected.

We all know that changing our perspective on a problem can help us to solve it completely, yet how often do we follow the same patterns through to the same conclusions? It’s human to do so but wouldn’t a better, cleaner, more efficient approach to our everyday tasks and tribulations improve our lives immeasurably?  A New Year is an opportunity, after all, for a new outlook.

So, to help you dispense with some tired, old habits that may well be sabotaging your own happiness, we'd like to draw your attention to the best new books that will revolutionise your mindset. These are the books that will help you to de-stress, de-clutter and refocus in 2016.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Our Non-Fiction Book of the Month is a wonderfully inspiring read. Reasons to Stay Alive is an optimistic memoir that teaches us all to have the best, the fullest and the most compassionate lives we possibly can.

The author is remarkably honest as he discusses his own battle with depression. Reasons To Stay Alive is the perfect go-to guide when, and if, you ever feel low; Haig crafted the book in short sections, to be easily digestible at a moment of crisis. It also provides invaluable insight for the friends and family of anyone who suffers from depression.

Haig recovered, and found hope and joy in the world around him. This book will undoubtedly help others do the same.

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax

If the idea of mindfulness is an intriguing but puzzling one, then Ruby Wax is the ideal person to demystify you. Her outrageously witty advice will help you address issues with relationships, parents, children and a host of modern day problems.

Based on her studies of Cognitive Therapy at Oxford University, in A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled shows us a scientific solution to stress, in Wax's characteristically boisterous and entertaining way.

Wax has been admirably candid when speaking about her own mental health, in particular her life-long battle with depression. In a recent blog post for The Huffington Post she explained that mindfulness has helped her find peace with her past. Now, in this accessible guide, she shares her method for changing your mind-set for good.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

How often do you do things you don’t want to do in order to please someone else? How often do you go places and see people you neither want to go to nor see? And, crucially, how often do you try to please others at the expense of your own happiness? For most of us, the answers to all these questions will be: far too often.

Inspired by Marie Kondo’s book (below) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, Sarah Knight has written The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, which is not so much a parody of Kondo's as an extension of the same ethos. After using the Kondo method to thin down her over-full sock drawer, Knight decided to declutter her head too.

This irreverent and practical book explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt. Knight’s simple 'NotSorry Method' will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k and will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and Spark Joy by Marie kondo

How does transforming your home into a permanently clutter-free space sound? With the incredible KonMari Method, trust me, you can (if I can, so can anyone). In her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, Japan's expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo presents her unique tidying philosophy and introduces readers to the basics, while Spark Joy is her in-depth tidying master-class.

Having just used Spark Joy to rid myself of all the unnecessary clutter in my home, I cannot recommend this book enough. While I disagreed with a few of her theories (I am not a believer in getting rid of all the books I have read -!), I found her logical and straight-forward, yet steadfast, approach helped me to finally clear away items that, simply, brought stress and no joy whatsoever.

Once you have your house in order, she argues, you will find your mind become sharper. If you think that such a thing is impossible (I know I did) then you must read Kondo’s books



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