onsumed by pressure, anxiety, and depression due to our current lifestyle, we often forget how to live a fulfilling life. Most of us are awakened to the importance and the power of mindful living. Hence, we look for support and more information. Some of us turn to knowledgable mentors, and many of us find that knowledge in self-help books.
In a library full of self-help books, it’s challenging to pick a few that are worth your time. Hence, we are here to help you select your next read by compiling a list of the most productive self-help books that will help you on the journey of self-improvement.
‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
After the controversial success of Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert published a few follow-ups that were received well. Big Magic is one of them.
While Eat, Pray, Love can be seen as a woman’s personal memoir on getting over a breakup by eating, praying, and encountering new experiences, Big Magic is more of a template.
It comes with chapters like Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, Divinity that lead you to a life lived more creatively rather than in a fearful state of mind. The book doesn’t push you to pursue an art-related profession but encourages you to find a friend in creativity.
From painting to skating, whatever form of art helps you see beyond fear, Big Magic supports you in finding it.
‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wikiing
Can Danish ways really teach the world how to live a happier life? Hygge is a Danish concept of living, and the word in itself represents the feeling of cosiness, a moment of comfort, warmth, and contentment.
This book has a list of simple activities that invite a sense of belonging like lighting a candle on the table while having breakfast. While these activities are based on the Scandinavian climate, the idea is to indulge in practices our ancestors performed.
The book differentiates between a sense of belonging and a high standard of living. It concludes that the sense of belonging is deeper and highly effective in leading a happier life. The book opens you up to explore your own culture to discover your Hygge.
‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl
Frankl’s book is based on a holocaust. There are moments when we feel such heavy weight on us, we can neither get it off us nor scream.
Frankl is the psychologist who found Logotherapy. Through his story, he showcases how, even as a captive and when the major concerns were food and survival, he could understand what his campmates were going through.
The book describes how ‘hope’ allowed the average prisoners to survive the unimaginable life at concentration camps one day at a time. Frankl’s story will motivate you and teach you how to find your hope amidst the darkest of times.
‘Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-love Is The Key To Unlocking Your Greatness’ by Vex King
King’s book starts out by teaching you about self-love and how it is about accepting yourself and knowing that you deserve better. It’s about working towards becoming a better self while knowing and accepting who you are.
If you are just introducing yourself to topics like law of attraction, affirmations, blocking negativity, this book is perfect for you as it talks about these topics with examples.
It’s an easy read which makes it a comfort read for younger generations. The best part of the book is ‘quotes’ that stick by.
‘Lightly’ by Francine Jay
Not many understand that minimalism isn’t only about decluttering your bedroom, it’s a lifestyle philosophy. It’s powerful enough to impact your subconscious mind productively.
Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life by Francine Jay speaks about living a minimal life. It not only talks about lightening your choices of material and decluttering the surroundings but also elaborates on lightening stress, lightening the spirit, and lightening our impact on the planet.
For Jay, living lightly means moving through life without being overwhelmed and overbooked, embracing kindness and simplicity. While minimalism appears differently to everyone, its impact is profound.
Living lightly starts with getting rid of old papers but takes you through an intense journey of finding peace in the spiritual realm.
‘Make Your Bed’ by Admiral William H. McRaven
The book comprises of ten lessons that McRaven learned during his thirty-seven years in Navy SEAL.
It begins with a small yet impactful morning activity, but what follows through is thought-provoking. The lessons and activities McRaven talks about may seem small at first look, but its impact on life and on the environment is significant and long-lasting.
Lessons like standing up to bullies, understanding that life is not fair, and that’s okay, embracing failure, are powerful. Make Your Bed is witty and wise, and you may come out of it with a different perspective on your life.
‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ by Dr. Joseph Murphy
The information stored in your subconscious mind largely impacts your behaviour. The subconscious mind works with the already-set patterns of your living.
Even when you do not act, it’s always working towards building your life and attracting events based on what’s already heaped in it. Hence, when you have a happier mindset, you attract more pleasant events and with a sad perspective, you attract tragic events.
Dr Murphy’s book shows you how a simple thought can change your life drastically. He also elaborates on how ancient people used the power of the subconscious mind for healing purposes.
‘The Art of Happiness’ by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
This book contains conversations about attaining a happier life between His Holiness Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler, who is a professional psychiatrist.
It is divided into five sections – The Purpose of Life, The Right to Happiness, The Sources of Happiness, Training the Mind for Happiness and Reclaiming Our Innate State of Happiness.
This book reveals ways to find meaning in pain and suffering, moving beyond anxiety and anger, and living a spiritual life. It is easy to relate to for everyone, including people who have not read about Buddhism.
‘Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life’ by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia
Ikigai simply means your reason for being. The book teaches you to look beyond materialism to lead a life that fills you emotionally and professionally.
A lot of it depends on your lifestyle, your mental and physical health. While most self-help books are preachy, this book makes you work on yourself. It explains how ‘what you do’ and ‘what you love to do’ impacts your longevity.
Your takeaways from the book will be logical, and you’ll find beauty in things that are imperfect and real.
‘Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking’ by S J Scott and Barrie Davenport
Declutter Your Mind is for the people who have a lot of negative thoughts and lack of focus polluting their minds.
If you are stuck in an endless loop of thinking about your past, this book will help you move on. The book suggests that you can declutter your mind, live in the present, and control your thoughts by practising mindfulness.
This book describes the importance of thoughts. Positive thoughts help you live in the moment, and they enhance your experience, while negative thoughts give disruptive results.
Despite having every asset to be happy, it is possible that one might not feel satisfied. Foods, drinks, work, and other things may distract you for a while, but negative thoughts come back again. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.
‘Declutter Your Mind’ helps you identify the negative thoughts, tells you how they were formed, and how to declutter them. It won’t change your mindset overnight but will allow you to identify the triggers and be more mindful with time.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Alan Singer
Singer’s book will teach you how to use the thoughts in your head as a productive part of you instead of feeling stuck.
Instead of blaming and manipulating yourself for what you could have done in a past situation, The Untethered Soul will help you separate yourself from those thoughts. We have the tendency to cling on to things or block them from coming.
Singer’s book will allow you to see how one is in charge of their own happiness but mostly chooses to waste the energy in overthinking, reacting, and recovering.
What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
One thing we know for sure is that no one teaches self-love like Oprah.
What I know For Sure feels like a hug from Oprah herself. Oprah’s experiences and words give you the moment of clarity when you feel overwhelmed.
In the moments you feel like sobbing and giving up, this book inspires you to say ‘thank you’, and that’s when you know, you’re reading this one for your own good.
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