I didn’t like self-help books before. I’ll be the first to admit — I thought they were hokum and that everything written there is already innate within us. However, what I thought was a waste of publication was actually really helpful, as its genre suggests. I was able to gain insight, widen perspective, and improve my life — whether they’re about self-awareness, productivity, or mindfulness among others.
I’ve listed seven promising and timely self-help books to read that will make life simpler, easier, better, and definitely more positive! Most of these are easy to read, digestible in just one sitting, and extremely informational.
(Also read: The Best Books of The Last Decade)
Battlefield of The Mind by Joyce Meyer
This book changed how I think in just a span of a month reading it. I noticed that I’ve become more positive and lighthearted, and I even stopped the need for therapy, two months in. Although it’s a Christian-based book, anyone can relate and grasp the insights Joyce gave, no matter your religious background.
The book discusses and solves issues anyone and everyone faces, like depression, anger, anxiety, and other negative thoughts. Joyce highlights that most of our problems are the effects of our wrong thinking patterns. She also teaches how to change this by changing our thoughts.
Battlefield of the Mind is definitely not something you should read in one sitting, but you should rather digest this slowly or in paces. Each chapter, and its subsections, tackles different issues. So, it’s a good practice to use this book as a guide when you’re feeling or thinking the corresponding negative thought.
Unlike other self-help books on goals and habit-changing, Atomic Habits is more practical and applicable than it is theoretical. Instead of focusing on habits and goal-setting per se, it focuses on habit-building techniques — how to make systems and its importance, how to design your environment to support your habits, and, overall, how small changes make a big impact.
You’re Not Listening
In her book, Kate Murphy highlights the importance and lack of the listening aspect when communicating. You’re Not Listening is filled with well-researched and thought-provoking points, but is still easy to understand. In a time when isolation and lack of meaningful communication are prevalent, she talks about how certain elements hinder us from listening and, in turn, engaging in meaningful interactions. Though this book doesn’t teach you how to listen, it does give you some guidance and tools to apply for listening.
Don’t Overthink It
Anne defines overthinking as our brains being “hard at work, but accomplishing nothing. It is exhausting, and makes us feel crappy.” Her book, Don’t Overthink It, is a concise version of almost every personal development book, and that’s why it’s a good read.
She talks about everyday situations wherein we get hung up on things or thoughts we unnecessarily worry about. She also provides simple solutions you can apply. This is a good read if you have anxiety or you tend to overanalyze. Even people who don’t classify themselves as overthinkers relate with the book. It tackles decision fatigue, technology overload, and self-sabotage, among other issues.
Unapologetically Ambitious is the inspiring story of one of Silicon Valley’s first female African American CEOs, Shellye Archambeau. In this leadership book, she tackles her discovery that ambition alone isn’t enough to bring success. Each chapter dives deep into strategies and tools to increase the chances of overcoming your personal and professional goals, with her personal stories backing up her advice.
Media companies Fortune and Bloomberg have named Unapologetically Ambitious as the “Best Business Book of 2020.”
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Essentialism isn’t a lifestyle, it is a way of being. This book isn’t about how to declutter your closet. It’s about how to simplify and better your life by choosing what’s essential. This is the book for indecisive people — those who always want to please others, those who are always busy but never productive, those who want and need change in their lives. This is the book I wish I read in high school or college, or even before I started working. Trust me, you need this book.
With the rampancy of social media and tech addiction, Cal Newport introduces a new philosophy for technology use — Digital Minimalism. He gives thoughtful methods for deciding the tools to use, their purpose, and the conditions upon using it. With real-life examples of digital minimalists’ relationship with social media, and how they connect with the world and their inner selves, Cal shares practical strategies to fuse their practices to our daily lives.
(Story contributed by Assistant Editor, Carmela Valencia)