By Tess Hardy
A compilation of must-reads that will help you to navigate your anxieties.
Taking time out of your day to read your favourite book or novel is one of the most refreshing ways to spend your time. It removes your mind from the anxieties of the future or the pain of the past and into the present moment. Reading is an invigorating hobby and self-help books, in particular, offer liberating forms of release to calm the mind, body and soul.
I’ve put together a treasured collection of self-help books. I regard these as essential to help guide your thoughts, soothe your soul and find your purpose.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now is a prevalent, modern-day guide to spiritual enlightenment. For me personally, it’s the most essential kind of knowledge and is completely life-changing.
The hugely successful spiritual teacher and bestselling author, Eckhart Tolle, teaches us the importance of living in the present moment, in the Now.
When we focus our attention on the Now, on the very moment that we’re experiencing, we become consciously aware of ourselves and our surroundings; problems of the past and future don’t exist. Written in a Q&A format, it helps to manage challenging thoughts and reminds us that, in the Now, we are already whole, complete and perfect. A truly transformative, joyous and revolutionary read.
‘Hold the space of intense presence. All you need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.’
Where to find it: The Power of Now
Inward by Yung Pueblo
Diego Perez is the poet, mediator, speaker and writer behind the name Yung Pueblo, meaning ‘young people’, who sends love to all beings.
This name reminds him of his Ecuadorian roots, his experiences in activism, and that the collective of humanity is in the midst of important growth. Inward explores the contents of distance, union, self-love and understanding through pages of poetry and prose.
Each page serves as a reminder to reclaim your power, heal yourself, love yourself and know yourself, because these are the pathways to our own freedom and happiness. When we release our individual burdens and look inward, we contribute to global peace. I personally love this book; it makes you realise that we’re all a work in progress, continually learning and expanding, and that’s ok. It’s a perfect book to revisit if you’re after a little pick-me-up. I would recommend following yung_pueblo on Instagram if you’d like to read daily snippets of his wisdom.
‘I closed my eyes to look inward and found a universe waiting to be explored.’
Where to find it: Inward
Ikigai by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles
The international bestseller, Ikigai, is the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. It’s one of the first self-help books I came across, and I’m so glad I did.
Do you ever ask yourself, ‘What is the meaning of my life? Is the point just to live longer, or should I seek a higher purpose? Why do some people know what they want and have a passion for life, while others languish in confusion?’
Ikagai is the art of living and your reason for being. It translates roughly to ‘the happiness of always being busy’ – a reason to jump out of bed every morning. It refers to the Japanese proverb, ‘only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.’
This book gives you the tools to find your own ikagai, your skills, ambitions and purpose. Once you’ve discovered it, you’ll have everything you need for a long and joyful journey through life. If you’re feeling slightly lost with regard to your direction in life, this book is a wonderfully warm, kind and comforting read for you.
Where to find it: Ikigai
The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge
Chloe Brotheridge has formulated a simple and inspiring guide for managing anxiety with The Anxiety Solution: A Quieter Mind, A Calmer You.
As a former sufferer and qualified clinical hypnotherapist, Brotheridge helps us to understand the root cause of anxiety and equips us with techniques to reduce symptoms and feel more grounded.
I’ve had my fair share of being stuck in a cycle of anxiety, fear and worry, however, I now know that this isn’t who I am. A calmer, happier and more confident you is within and this book teaches you how to recognise that.
There is also a helpful toolkit at the back of the book, offering different exercises to complete: you can write down affirmations to boost positivity, use your senses to relax and tune into your body, or fill in the trigger tables and self-care diary.
Where to find it: The Anxiety Solution
Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyō Masuno
Zen is one of the most beautiful books I’ve bought. Its picturesque illustrations lured me in and I finished reading it with a renewed sense of peace.
The book lists 100 daily practices from Zen Buddhist monk, Shunmyō Masuno, for a lifetime of calm and joy. Masuno reiterates how to simplify your life by slowing down, finding true happiness and learning how to feel more relaxed and fulfilled.
He covers ways to energise your ‘present self’, inspire confidence and courage for living by changing your perspective, alleviate confusion and worry by changing how you interact with others, and make any day the best day by shifting your attention to the present moment.
I can guarantee that after reading this, your heart will feel lighter and you’ll feel alive with a warm, refreshing energy. Through the art of Zen, you’ll have a more carefree but appreciative outlook on life.
Where to find it: Zen: The Art of Simple Living
Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
This little book is very sentimental to me as my version’s been passed down to me from my mum.
Life’s Little Instruction Book contains 511 suggestions, observations, and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life – as well as my mum’s penciled annotations and checklist that she’s ticked off throughout her own life!
Originally written by a father for his son departing for university, this book provides a road map of practical, thoughtful and amusing tips for mind and heart reflections.
It’s a very special and heartfelt book and I would like to think it would be a precious gift for another daughter, son or friend.
Where to find it: Life’s Little Instruction Book
I’ve read all six of these books and they’ve all made a significant impact on my mindset and outlook on life by changing my perspective for the better. They each mean a great deal to me personally; I’ve reached for them during hard times when I felt as if I’ve needed them, or to just refresh my world-view and philosophy of life.
I couldn’t recommend them enough and love sharing them with you and our other KeiSei readers.
Let us know what your current go-to books are in the comments below!