Reading books often represents a comforting escapism. But what if reading could do even more than entertain and distract you at the end of a difficult day? What if reading could help treat a mental illness
In today’s world of technology and gadgets, you all have somewhere forgotten your old friend, books. Each book and each novel has a unique story to offer. Books have been a prime source of entertainment and recreation for years. Additionally, they help in enhancing our language and grammar skills. The smell of a newly purchased book always lingers in your mind and each book takes us along a different memory lane. The fun aspect of reading is that there is no fear of the book running out of battery. What’s more is that reading for even 20 minutes is like hiccups of vacation in the day. Reading sets a calm mood and clears mind off toxic thoughts. So today, we take a moment and talk about mental health benefits of reading books, especially in times when depression, anxiety and stress are constantly taking a toll on people’s lives
Just like a cup of tea, there’s very little a good book can’t fix. Providing a pocket of escapism in a busy day, carving out a bit of time to switch off and live through the words of someone else, even for a short while, does the ol’ stress levels a world of good. However on a deeper level, ones of the ‘shelf-help’ variety can also supply the tools needed to help you overcome your mental stumbling blocks such as low confidence, fear of failure and anxiety.
We struggle with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and have suffered bouts of depression. Most of the time, it’s a daily struggle to not let our mind and our thoughts get the very best of me. We are also aware of the giant universal lie that we let our mental illnesses feed us: we are completely alone, nobody else in the world has ever felt like we do, and everybody else has everything all figured out. But not one of these things is true. Your mental illness is lying to you, and the stigma surrounding mental health treatment is definitely lying to you, too. You’re never alone. And you’re certainly never alone when you have books
Many bookworms remain worried that the ubiquitous use of social media is leading to a decline in reading books. But a number of surveys indicate that book-reading trends have actually remained stable over the last two decades.
Books are a great escape from the stresses of the real world, a fact that may be especially true for those battling depression. In fact, finding comfort in books has even become a recognized source of comfort called bibliotherapy. For those currently struggling with depression, we’ve come up with a list of the 11 best self-improvement books. how many of you have ever felt personally victimized by your mental health struggles? There are a lot of virtual hands going up right now. And if you don’t feel strong enough to put up your hand just yet, that’s fine too. That’s what this list is here for.
WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE, BECOME MORE CONFIDENT OR BREAK FREE OF DESTRUCTIVE HABITS, THESE MOOD-BOOSTING READS WILL PROVIDE A HELPING HAND
Here is the list of top 11 books recommended for everyone battling against mental health problems.
- Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
Daniel G. Amen
This bestselling book by Daniel G. Amen is subtitled “The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems.” As such, Amen provides a series of what he calls “brain prescriptions” to help his readers learn to fight their depression and anxiety, while also silencing panic, anger, impulsiveness, and worry. Throughout, Amen also includes various scientific studies and cases to show that changing the way your brain thinks can actually change your life.
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
David D. Burns, M.D.
The mind is a powerful thing when it comes to overcoming our moods and emotions; if you can change the way you think, then you can change the way you feel. That’s the big takeaway from Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns, M.D. The Stanford-based psychiatrist explains through easy-to-understand writing the ways in which our minds tend to distort our thoughts and lead to depression, anxiety, and anger. He then offers a series of mental exercises and challenges his readers to consciously replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts in order to “learn to feel good.”
- Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
In this hilarious memoir, comedian and bestselling author Jenny Lawson, recounts her lifelong battle with crippling depression and anxiety. She’s (sometimes brutally) honest about her struggles, but manages to find the humor in it. The result is an entertaining read that will probably make you laugh, and certainly make you realize that you’re not alone in your pain and struggles.
- Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression
According to author Robert Duff, his book Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression is the “no psychobabble self-help book for people that don’t usually like self-help books.” Although Duff is a psychologist by trade and training, his books (including one about anxiety) are no nonsense, and easy to read and understand. Readers will learn why they feel as if they have no energy and why they have the feelings they do. They’ll also gain Duff’s knowledge about realistic steps that can be taken to solve many of the day-to-day issues faced by those battling depression.
- How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows
Doubling as both memoir and self help book, How to Weep in Public by comedian Jacqueline Novak is a darkly hilarious look at what it’s like to live with depression. Novak’s aim is not to magically cure her reader. Rather, she aims to make them feel not so alone, bring a little bit of comfort and humor, and ultimately offer tips to manage emotions and “fight this some other day.”
- I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
Somehow, specifically male depression is still something that is glossed over in nearly every representation of depression. In I Don’t Want to Talk About It — the first book published that talks exclusively about male depression — author Terrence Real summarizes dozens of case studies to break down the ways in which depression affects men and their families. He also details the ways in which male depression is different from female depression, and offers some tips men can use to learn to control their moods and health in order to overcome their depression.
- Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
Martin Seligman, Ph.D.
Like Feeling Good, Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life is all about taking control of your thoughts in order to escape depression. According to Seligman, an “optimistic attitude is a key factor in overcoming depression.” At the beginning of the book, Seligman invites readers to take an optimism quiz to figure out just how optimistic or pessimistic they truly are. He then provides an entire toolbox of strategies to help readers reset the way they think.
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think
Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky
Mind Over Mood is a longtime bestseller about one of the most sought-after ways to overcome depression. Authors Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky, both Ph.D.s, provide the reader with clinically proven strategies that can help one learn to manage their mind, control their negative thoughts, and end for good the distress of depression.
- The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
While most self-improvement books on our list take on the challenge of providing helpful tools for overcoming depression, Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon is a little different. As its subtitle implies, this book studies depression from multiple perspectives: the intellectual, the historical, and the personal. Solomon, who suffers from depression and was awarded the National Book Award for The Noonday Demon, is at once encouraging and heartbreakingly honest as he dives into the roots of depression and the ways in which it is beaten.
- Tears to Triumph: Spiritual Healing for the Modern Plagues of Anxiety and Depression
In her book Tears to Triumph, bestselling author Marianne Williamson asserts that we as a culture have decided it is better to avoid facing pain. But instead of numbing, dismissing, or medicating our pain away, Williamson argues that we should fully face those things that make us upset or sad, and that by doing so, we can gain true healing and actually avoid serious mental illnesses such as depression.
- You Are Not Alone: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Depression
Feeling entirely alone in their battle is a common feeling among those suffering from depression. That common feeling is so powerful and prevalent, that including You Are Not Alone on our list of the best self-improvement books for those battling depression was an easy choice. The book is comprised entirely of conversations with people with depression. They share their stories, their triumphs, and their lowest moments. Over the course of the book, readers will realize that they are not alone in their depression and that their feelings are completely valid.