The best mental health advice from books

Self-help books can be a great resource with which to improve your life. With help from Blinkist, we've combed the best of the best for advice on boosting your mental health. 

All of us know how important it is to look after our mental wellbeing. We also know how much our daily life can impact our mental state, which is why more and more of us are making a conscious effort to get plenty of sleep, incorporate exercise into our daily routine, learn new things and make time for hobbies that make us happy. However; even with a plethora of apps and tools to help us maintain our mental wellbeing, it is still a challenge.

With Mental Health Awareness Week running from May 13th-19th, we’ve spoken to experts at micro learning app Blinkist, who mined data from over 9 million users, to find the best tips and tricks for looking after your mental wellbeing in 2019: 

 

Right on cue

better mental health advice from books

For your circadian rhythms to function correctly, you need zeitgebers. These are cues that help set your internal body clock, with the sun being the most powerful one. Exercise, sleep and meals at specific times are further examples.

The more zeitgebers you’re exposed to, the more synchronised your circadian rhythms will be. From The Sleep Solution by W. Chris Winter, M.D

Blinkist comments: It is unsurprising that this is the number one piece of advice when it comes to mental wellbeing. A disrupted circadian rhythm (the 24-hour sleep/wake cycle your body relies on to function), leads to tiredness, stress, irritability, and can cause long-term damage to overall well being, which is why it’s important to know how to optimise your day, allowing you to make the most of your night’s rest. 

 

Routine makes reality

Number one: You can’t change your partner; you can only work on yourself.

And number two: What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. From The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin 

Blinkist comments: The quality of our relationships play a huge role in our overall happiness, especially those of the romantic variety. It is important to remember that some things are outside of your control, and if you want to improve the way that you relate to the people around you, then you need to make a consistent effort to do so yourself, rather than demand that they change dramatically. Making small changes every day can lead to vast shifts over time. But this takes work and commitment. 

 

An attitude adjustment

books that will help your mental health

The key to future thinking is taking your “what if” worries and confronting them with “can do” solutions. From The Worry-Free Mind by Carol Kershaw and Bill Wade

Blinkist comments: Worrying about the future is something that affects all of us, however, worrying long-term can be exhausting, and have a huge impact on our mental health. It is important to focus on practical solutions in order to alleviate feelings of worry further down the line. 

 

Lessons learned

People who care about developing their positive mental attitude see setbacks as a challenge to be taken. So, instead of giving up, they try harder. This reaction is known as inspirational dissatisfaction and those who have it use it to rise above even the most desperate and hopeless situations. From Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill

Blinkist comments: A key piece of advice that can be applied to all areas of life! Use every situation, good or bad, as an opportunity to learn. That way, you are less likely to experience disappointment and will feel fulfilled and positively challenged in all areas of life. 

 

Listen to yourself

books that help with mental health

In Morita therapy, patients are asked to pay attention to and accept their feelings, without attempting to change them.

From there, they take particular actions to create new emotions, which gradually replace the old ones. From Ikigai by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles

Blinkist comments: Sometimes, instead of trying to force yourself to feel or think differently, you should simply accept and embrace your feelings. Once you accept a situation and your response to it, you can work on practical solutions to the situation itself, without emotions clouding your judgement. 

 

Pre-meditative states

Before you meditate, use pen and paper to jot down everything that is on your mind and anything that you need to remember for the day ahead.

Now you can put the paper aside and rest easy knowing that your daily concerns won’t be neglected.

Doing this will help clear your mind and prime it for a peaceful session. From Unplug by Suze Yalof Schwartz 

Blinkist comments: Whether meditation is something you want to try or not, this piece of advice is extremely useful whenever you feel overwhelmed with the amount of things you have to do, especially first thing in the morning. Write down and order your tasks, and take a few minutes to focus your thoughts and regain your calm. As famous author David Allen would say, your mind is a thinking tool, not a storage tool. Get all of excess information out to make space for big ideas.

 

Just say no…

good for your mental health

Saying no to scarcity means shifting your attention away from what’s missing and towards the abundance around you. From The Power of No by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher 

Blinkist comments: A piece of advice as old (and true), as time itself. Don’t dwell on the things that make you unhappy. Focus instead on the things you have—it is much easier to address or fix a situation with a positive frame of mind.