As a reading enthusiast, I know how much reading helps people in a lot of ways. But I just realized not so long ago that reading about how to increase my mental strength could be powerful. “Brainy pursuits make the brain more efficient by changing its structure to continue functioning properly in spite of age-related neuropathologies,” according to professor of neuropsychology Robert S. Wilson, PhD. The wonder it has done for me has encouraged me to share some of my favorites that I first got from social media. I just started buying one book, and when I finished, I decided to buy more and more!
So here’s a list of the top three books that have moved me mentally and emotionally, which I hope will do the same for you.
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert. This book just got me going with my love for writing and for life in general. Gilbert successfully delivered the purpose for the book, which is to encourage one to be creative in all things he does. It pushes one to get out of his comfort zone and learn new activities that would improve creativity and therefore enhance mental wellness. Gilbert, once again, is a winner in this one, aside from her very successful Eat, Pray, Love.
Highlight: Part of being creative in life is to bravely face that which you are scared of.
- Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way – John Parkin. Focusing mainly on the phrase ‘fuck it,’ Parkin teaches us to let go of the things that do not help us become better people. We are taught not to overthink and look for meaning for almost everything we go through. We can take control of our lives better when we know which ones to prioritize and which ones we set aside. I realized after reading this one that sometimes we imprison ourselves and we end up feeling anxious and depressed. We have a choice to kick these barriers down and just say, “F**ck it!”
Highlight: We’ve been so used to tackling every problem head-on, no matter how big or small. For once, let’s decide to be fearless and say f**ck it, and then let’s see what happens.
- The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin. This is a classic but its release triggered the release of a hundred more books about happiness. I love Rubin’s take on what to do every day, which you will understand when you get to read it yourself because Rubin writes this book in a monthly diary style. The Happiness Project is one of the early books I finished that motivated me to be more practical and realistic about my goals in life.
Highlight: If you’re planning a family trip, doing preparations and contemplating about the trip makes 60% of your happiness. The 40% you get when you’ve started the trip.
My Final Thoughts
According to Maria Eugenia Panero, PhD, a research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, “Reading helps us to take the perspective of different characters we normally wouldn’t interact with, and to give us a sense of their psychological experiences and how they interact with other people and situations.”
My fascination with reading different kinds of manuscripts – being sports, music, art or life related – has in one way or another led me to seek for lessons that I could learn from and share with others, just as I am doing now with you. “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book, you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.” And I leave you with one of the most important takeaways that have helped me improve my positivity and zest for life. This one is from ‘The Secret’ written by Rhonda Byrne.
“There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change.”