Life can be stressful, especially during a global pandemic. While many things are out of our control, like what our future will look like, improving our mental state is always within reach. If you find that your worries are holding you back, reading can actually help you take control of your mental health.
Since the pandemic started, you’ve probably spent a lot of time at home with your thoughts. It can feel uncomfortable, but it’s a great opportunity to look within. Take your mental temperature and assess your stress levels head-on! If you spend some time with yourself now, you might be surprised with how you handle future situations.
If you’re feeling anxious or down, you’re not alone. These four books can help you deal with difficult circumstances and will give you practical tools to deal with unfamiliar territory.
Here are four self-improvement books to help you through the pandemic:
1. The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle
If you read this book carefully, it can help you examine and erase deep emotional pain. For many of us, our happiness levels fluctuate depending on planned future events or our ability to mentally play-back happy memories, the way we perceive them. Tolle helps you find joy and comfort in the now, even if it feels unbearable at first. This book helps you recognize how your emotions and thoughts dictate your life’s journey. If you take this spiritual journey seriously, you will realize that all we have is right now, and you will make a conscious effort to create no more pain in the present. If you’re tired of living in anticipation, Tolle shows you how to observe your thoughts without judgment and let them pass.
2. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
By the title, you may think that this book is only for the artistic individual, but it quickly shows you that creative battles arise in many areas of life. The truth is, we all have an imagination that leads to dreams, aspirations, and goals. Life throws many unpredictable moments our way, causing us to procrastinate or resist. If you’ve ever struggled to get simple tasks done, like going for a walk, or even having a shower, this book will help you prioritize your wants and needs. Pressfield helps you tackle (or confront) your worst enemy: resistance. The pandemic might have you feeling unmotivated or discouraged, and this book offers hope and tells you how to put the voice inside your head into action.
3. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Have you ever found yourself thinking about your purpose in life? Why are you here? What is your role to play? Singer puts these questions into perspective with a practical answer; we are not the voice in our mind, but simply a person who hears those thoughts. It is easy to become preoccupied with our lives right now. Should I redecorate the entire house? Is my career choice right for me? Have I been living an unhealthy life? This pandemic has been a wake-up call for many. Singer helps us recognize that, “If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama. This is the part that thinks there’s a reason not to be happy. You have to transcend the personal, and as you do, you will naturally awaken to the higher aspects of your being.” As you take in this read, you will come to see that the mind creates a cycle of unhappiness, and you achieve nothing from being disturbed by life’s events.
4. Let That Sh*t Go: Find Peace of Mind and Happiness in Your Everyday By Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw
In a world that focuses on productivity and overachieving, no wonder we feel burnt out. We have somehow lost the virtue of relaxation and simply doing nothing. Nina and Katie help you evaluate your to-do list and personal life, so that it no longer feels like your head is spinning in circles. With lots of practical examples, tips, and concepts that you can apply to your daily life, stressful moments like going to the grocery store or cooking dinner can be tackled with a sense of ease. This book doesn’t make you feel like you need to add meditating or reading to your to-do list, it simply helps reshape the way that you tackle daily tasks, so that you feel better equipped to handle your day.
All four of these books shift your attention to the power of presence and help you tackle solvable worries that the mind creates. If you can think with more clarity during a pandemic, you’d be surprised how confident you feel when things are going right for you. It is important to feel strong internally so that you can tackle the experiences in life that you don’t see coming.
It is certainly not easy boosting your happiness levels during a pandemic, but with the help of these books, you will be guided on a journey that hopefully brings some peace and clarity to your life.
Photo by Amanda Inglese