My Favorite Positive Psychology Books
Reading is one of the easiest ways to slow down and find the blue sky in an increasingly fast-paced and digital world. A good book pulls me away from my life of screens and into a new reality. Whether I'm looking for a momentary escape or simply to be immersed in a new perspective, it's the first place I turn.
Below are some of my recent favorites about mindfulness, love, and positive psychology.
The Happiness Advantage
Success comes to people who are happy, not the other way around. This book has research to support this claim and actionable strategies for practicing happiness every day. A few highlights:
- Happiness isn’t an inherent quality for most people, it has to be pursued every day.
- Certain habits minimize the effort it takes to be happy. We are just a bundle of habits!
- Habits: practice gratitude, positive reinterpretation of failure, focusing on what you can control, sleeping in your gym clothes, meditating, investing in social relationships, etc.
The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships
The author shares every vulnerable detail of his road toward monogamy, including addiction therapy. Great psychological insights for someone who likes to psychoanalyze themselves and those around them. It really helped me understand:
- Relationships are where we play out our childhood dysfunctions
- You must be the loving adult that your inner child always needed
- You have six core needs that you should attend to daily: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, and sexual
Explore recent research into epigenetics and the increasingly-important microbiome. Pick out actionable lifestyle insights across diet, stress, exercise, meditation, sleep, and emotions, from a menu of easy, hard, and experimental choices.
I marked this book up with notes, circles, and check marks, and I still refer to it when I feel I've fallen off the wagon in any of the above categories. If you're looking for a combination of education about the body and practical tips for improving your quality of life, this might be your new handbook.
In Defense of Food
About the industrialization of the food industry and how our culture came to be obsessed with isolating nutrients and marketing them as one-off essentials.
You'll learn a few simple food choice guidelines:
- (Maybe) don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients
- (Maybe) don’t eat anything with ingredients you cant pronounce
- “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Why Buddhism Is True
About: Buddhist philosophy, the nature of reality, mindfulness meditation, the ideas of not-self and emptiness, Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection.
Read If You Like: philosophical proofs for ideas, a logic-based approach to spirituality, The Matrix, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind,
Full post with writing quality, "what you'll learn," and my thoughts can be found here!