Health isn’t only about what you eat. It also involves what we feel, think, and do. Mental health is an important aspect of our entire wellness because it comprises psychological, social, and emotional awareness.
As a result of our good mental health, we are able to:
- Discover our inner capacities.
- Dealing with stressful events and adversities effectively
- Boost our performance, self-motivation, and productivity at work.
- On a professional and personal level, make genuine interpersonal ties.
Positive thinking proposes that by refocusing our attention from sickness to wellness, we might achieve a more comprehensive mental health transformation. Mental wellness does not mean a lack of mental challenges. It indicates the presence of strong internal capabilities that prevent the abnormalities from wreaking havoc. While setbacks and disappointments are unavoidable, keen mental acuity is essential for overcoming them. Books are a great resource to improve mental health.
This chapter illustrates a few of the best mental health books, the best work of literature, and assessments that promote mental wellness and suggest possible solutions in which we might foster it. The following are some of the best mental health books to read.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist, has been in the counseling session as an attendee numerous times until a catastrophe forced her to change sides and sit on the therapy couch herself. “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” Gottlieb’s New York Times bestseller book, takes the readers through her experiences as a therapist seeking therapy. The book details her clients’ therapy meetings at her Los Angeles-based practice, as well as the insights she takes of them and the progress they have made. When Gottlieb’s relationship ends unexpectedly, she seeks out Wendell for counseling and gets a taste of what it was like to be a client.
“Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” is a funny and truthful book about Gottlieb’s experiences as a clinician and a client. Readers will be inspired with insight and optimism about the human predicament we all share as a result of her words. If you are apprehensive of seeing a psychotherapist, this book can help you see meetings through the perspective of a counselor and realize that they, too, are human.
Emotional First Aid
Loss, heartbreak, disappointment, and abandonment may not be as evident as a fractured limb or an open wound, but they are no less painful. Guy Winch, Ph.D., wrote “Emotional First Aid” to help people deal with the psychological aches that everyone goes through at some point in their lives. Having an illness untreated, like any injury, can lead it to spread or worsen. Instead of prescribing medication, Winch offers ideas and resources to help you create your own psychological first aid kit. Abandonment, isolation, trauma and loss, low self-esteem, remorse, failure, and rumination are all addressed in the book.
As per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), depression has surpassed heart disease as the biggest cause of disability worldwide, with one-fifth of all adults in the US experiencing mental disorders every year. Considering the prevalence of mental disease, NAMI found that just 44.8 % of adults in the United States got treatment for mental illness in 2019.
Envision Therapy founder and certified mental health specialist Allyson Timmons frequently suggests “Emotional First Aid” to her clientele. “Guy Winch provides insight into how we are taught from infancy to care for our bodies but not our minds. He challenges us to cater to our emotions just as much as we do the body,” she describes. A Band-Aid won’t suffice when it comes to mental wounds. Winch offers an approach for dealing with mental bruising. This book can be found in all big online and physical bookstores.
Codependent No More
Codependency is a behavioral and emotional disorder that makes it difficult for a person to keep proper limits and a healthy partnership in platonic, family, or romantic relationships. Codependents frequently experience insecurity in their relationships, a need for acceptance, a lack of confidence in others and themselves, difficulties in making choices, and a sense of guilt when expressing themselves. To remain in their relationship and escape abandonment, a codependent person may go to lengths, which could become exhausting.
Melody Beattie presents life experiences, insights, activities, and self-tests in her book “Codependent No More” to make the reader escape the cycle of codependency and begin to put their own lives first. On Goodreads, the book has over 30,000 reviews, the bulk of which are positive. Some critics complained that the book was unnecessarily repetitious, that some of the religious overtones were offensive, and that many sections concentrated on codependency while dealing with someone who has an alcohol addiction disorder.
The book, according to Allyson Timmons, a professional mental health counselor and the creator of Envision Therapy, provides steps for recovery from codependency through examining patterns and developing appropriate boundaries.
The Body Keeps the Score
Trauma can take many forms, ranging from near-death situations to the untimely loss of a loved one. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk utilizes cutting-edge scientific research to show how trauma affects both the body and the mind.
Trauma, as per van der Kolk, can affect a person’s capacity for enjoyment, involvement, trust, and self-control. He addresses therapy strategies that can trigger the brain’s innate adaptability in trauma victims in his New York Times bestseller, “The Body Keeps the Score.”
“The Body Keeps the Score” is more than just a scientific triumph; it’s a tool for people to possibly make their way through the abyss of trauma using unconventional therapies like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment and yoga. Those in the fields of psychology and neuroscience have expressed interest in and praised the work.
This book gives devastated individuals a roadmap to recovery and fundamentally revolutionizes how psychiatrists and psychologists think about trauma and rehabilitation.
Hope and Help for Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now
Do you always feel like your thoughts are holding you captive? There’s a guidebook for that if you can’t seem to put out the fires of obsessive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts can seem like a gnat that won’t leave you alone. They can also feel like a blizzard at times, causing you to panic.
Dr. Claire Weekes’ book “Hope and Help for Your Nerves” gives you step-by-step instructions on how to recognize and manage your symptoms of anxiety. She draws on her own experiences as well as situations from her pioneering work in psychiatry to lay forth a clear way for readers to discover their own strength.
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
What if overcoming burnout was a lot easier than we thought? Amelia Nagoski, DMA, and Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., are on a quest to assist readers to learn how to break the physiological stress cycle and avoid burnout. “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle,” their book, attempts to clarify why women have experienced burnout differently than men, how to avoid it, and how to deal with emotions.
Burnout is defined as emotional weariness, dissociation, and a diminished sense of achievement, as per the book. The authors have pointed out that because you have dealt with a stressful situation does not mean you have ended a stress cycle, and becoming locked in one can lead to burnout. With helpful worksheets and detailed research, Amelia Nagoski and Emily explain how to recognize your body’s stress response, stop the circle of the stress cycle, and conduct proactive problem solutions.
“Burnout” is the holy grail of self-help books, according to Sarah Knight, a New York Times acclaimed author of “Calm the F*** Down.” Some critics voiced displeasure with the text’s feminist views, colloquial writing style, and pop-cultural references. Ever since its release, the book has received four stars on Goodreads, with lots of folks are praising it.
Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
The brain is a sophisticated organ that controls a wide range of bodily and mental activities. Why not manage it the same way we treat the rest of our bodies? Daniel G. Amen, MD, a neuropsychiatrist, advances the case that depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, obsessiveness, and rage are all linked to how particular brain areas work. He explains the dynamics of how the brain relates to overall mental wellness using scientific facts and research accumulated from 100,000 SPECT brain imaging.
This mental wellness book includes tactics for reducing anxiety, combating depression, controlling anger, improving memory, sharpening attention, and dealing with feelings of being trapped.
“Reading this book felt like panning for gold during the gold rush,” shared one reviewer on Amazon. Although the book contains pearls, some reviewers believe Amen’s language is unduly self-promotional.
Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
Russell Brand may be most known for his acting, but the “Get Him to the Greek” star has also made a name for himself as a rehabilitation champion. Russell Brand released his book “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions” in 2019. His book contains lessons that may be applied to a wide range of addictions, as well as measures for addicts and their dear ones to obtain the help they require.
Russell Brand has publicly battled addictions to drinking, sex, drugs, fame, and eating. By combining his own tale of addiction with lessons he’s learned while in recovery, the entertainer employs compassion and humor. Instead of asking why people are addicted, he feels the better question is, “What pain is your addiction masking?” Amid Brand’s personal experiences about the planet and his mental health recovery strategy, the actor offers a unique viewpoint on overcoming addiction.
Although Brand is not a mental health expert, his personal experiences may make readers feel a little less alone in their challenges.
Healing the Trauma of Abuse: A Women’s Workbook
Abuse affects males, females, and non-binary persons and can take the form of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. As per the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one out of every three women is abused by a long-term partner, and one out of every five women is raped. The figures are startling, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claiming that Twenty people in the United States are assaulted by an intimate partner each minute.
Because domestic violence is such a terrible but regular occurrence among women, it is indeed probable that you or somebody you know has been a victim of it. Workbooks like “Healing the Trauma of Abuse: A Women’s Workbook” can help people recover and heal in a peaceful way. The book is for women who have suffered trauma as a kid or as a grownup, and it intends to teach readers self-advocacy and problem-solving methods to help them regain their self-esteem and heal. Maxine Harris and professionals at Community Connections, a non-profit mental wellbeing agency in Washington, D.C., devised the approach.
Users can take an evaluation inside the book to see if they are prepared to do the tasks. Emotional and physical boundaries, strategies for self-soothing, sexual expression, self-destructive tendencies, communicative skills, and acceptance are all covered in the book.
Despite the favorable reviews and a 4.6 score on Amazon, the writers do not suggest the book to females who are actively attempting to leave a relationship that is abusive.
It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle
Mark Wolynn is regarded as a major specialist on the topic of inherited familial trauma all over the world. He delves into how inherited familial trauma molds who we are and how to stop the cycle in his 2016 book, “It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.” Regardless of the fact that this trauma does not immediately affect the reader, Wolynn argues it can induce anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and phobias.
The well-received book contains shared therapeutic techniques and scientific knowledge that industrial therapists have used with their own patients. “I found myself immediately able to apply Mark Wolynn’s techniques with my patients and saw incredible results, in a shorter time than with traditional psychotherapeutic techniques”, writes Alexandra Kreps, MD, in a blurb for the educational book.
Prior to plunging into activities that could be upsetting when dealing with trauma, it is important to see a mental health expert. “I would advise you have to be ready to confront these issues and it is most certainly not a light read,” one Amazon reviewer advised.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
“The Four Agreements” may spring to thinking when it comes to self-help. Don Miguel Ruiz, a shamanic healer, and teacher, comments on his Toltec ancestors’ pragmatic rules of conduct and self-limiting ideas. Before you dismiss “The Four Agreements” as being too “woo-woo” for someone’s taste, keep in mind that there’s a reason for its ten-year reign on the New York Times bestseller.
The four accords are straightforward: keep your word, do not take things personally, do not assume things, and always give it your all. The book emphasizes that if we are conscious of four concepts, we can substantially enhance our lives. The work shines via his strong storytelling, even though the principles appear to be easy.
Inspiring mentors such as Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey have praised Ruiz’s straightforward teachings. Certified mental health specialists like Timmons in addition to a star-studded roster of fans find that “The Four Agreements” can offer “insight into how we are fashioned to be a specific way.”
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
Elaine Aron, Ph.D., self-identifies as a highly sensitive person (HSP) and has spent the last two decades investigating sensitivity. “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You,” as well as its sequels, “The Highly Sensitive Child,” and “The Highly Sensitive Person in Love” was written by her. Although HSP may sound like buzzword treatment or a mental health oddball, Aron estimates that 15 to 20 percent of the community is highly sensitive.
Physical stimuli such as bright lighting, overcrowded spaces, loud sounds, and strong odors can be exhausting for HSPs. They may dislike violent movies because they are afraid of experiencing too much, get agitated by a hectic schedule, or be fatigued by too much socializing.
Although HSPs are frequently overstimulated, this isn’t always a bad thing. They notice the small nuances that contribute color and beauty to life, according to Aron. Sensitive souls, she believes, have an uncommon ability to detect subtleties, prevent blunders, and focus intensely. To assist people to cope with their hyperarousal and conquer social awkwardness, Aron employs research papers, exercises, and self-tests. Read “The Highly Sensitive Person” to analyze yourself and how this unique quality affects your private life, work, and love life.
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
“Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love” delves into the concept of attachment which was first proposed by British psychotherapist and psychologist John Bowlby in the 1960s. While attachment theory has historically focused on the influence of our early ties with our parents or guardians on who we become, it may also be extended to our close life relations. Amir Levine, a neuroscientist, and psychiatrist, and Rachel Heller, a psychologist, collaborated on “Attached” to present a new interpretation of attachment theory and how it might assist us in finding love.
Danielle Friedman, LMHC, Free Space Counseling, states, “Attached is a sigh of relief for anyone who struggles with anxiety and navigating conflict.” She believes the book has a hidden significance for the reader by educating them “that emotion is deeply rooted in one’s upbringing.”
As per the attachment theory, humans act in a relationship in one of 3 ways based on if they are avoidant, secure, or anxious. The book assists readers in navigating their relations and understanding themselves by assisting them in determining their individual style of attachment.
Friedman explains, “[Attached] gives people solutions and reasons for why they react and respond the way they do to others, especially those they care about deeply.” “This book takes the reader on a step-by-step journey to comprehend how we relate to one another while also updating our perceptions of ourselves,” she adds.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Timmons likes to use the learnings from Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” when guiding patients forward into self-improvement. She frequently suggests the book to patients who can benefit from its self-efficacy methods in order to be more deliberate. “This transformative book teaches its readers how to discard old ways and approach life from a different perspective — all leading to becoming a more effective and intentional individual,” she asserts.
The book has traditionally been recognized as a top pick among business leaders, and it can often be discovered on the bookshelves of CEOs and company founders. In the self-help community, Covey’s book, which has been in hard copy since 1989, continues to be admired. It is also regarded as among the top mental health books.
Among many learnings in the book, readers will find useful principles for finding balance and prioritizing areas of their lives in an effective and productive way. Covey helps the reader build a stable healthy balance in life, take on duties proactively, spell out ultimate goals, deal in a manner that benefits everyone, and cooperate well with others.
For people suffering from exhaustion or an incapability to become organized, Covey’s ideas could serve as a spark for their light to create a wellness regimen and interact effectively with each other. The “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has sold above 20 million copies, with88% of reviews on Amazon awarding the book a flawless five stars. Several Goodreads reviews felt that the book abided by the self-care template of many others and the information was monotonous. Nevertheless, many critics label the book “life-changing” and “transformative.”
“My nearest and dearest for anyone wanting to find deep and meaningful relationships,” writes Friedman in his praise for Alexandra H. Solomon, Ph.D.’s “Loving Bravely.” Friedman, who now has collaborated with patients herself on this book, says it “gently supports the reader to learn of themself and family in ways never considered.”
The author thinks that true love begins with you, and he offers 20 lessons to assist users to adhere to their mental health and development. Solomon, a psychologist and relationship expert, develops the concept of interpersonal self-awareness. She believes that by recognizing your personal strengths and flaws in relations, you can better appreciate yourself and others.
“Though the focus of this book is getting the love you want, the reader will ultimately learn that in order to get it from others, they will have to give it to themselves first. This book teaches you how to do that,” describes Friedman.