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non fiction

There are many books out there that helped mould me into the person I am today, but Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig opened my eyes more than any other book.

The best-selling author analyses our relationship with the Internet and how it affects our mental health.

Matt is often vocal about his mental health struggles, which is something I admire most about the author.

 

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His honesty is heavy at times, but necessary. He filled Notes on a Nervous Planet with words of wisdom that are bound to change the way you view the world.

I simply couldn’t put the book down, it was practically glued to my hands for 24 hours.

As someone who struggles with mental health issues, I found Matt Haig’s honesty reassuring and comforting. His words made me, and many others, realise that you are not alone in your battle.

One of the most thought-provoking parts of the book is the chapter in which Matt discusses the pressure we put on ourselves to do everything. He advises readers to change the way they think about what we can do in life.

We often worry about the things we’ll never get to do, but he urged us to focus on what we can achieve and what we can enjoy.

“To enjoy life, we might have to stop thinking about what we will never be able to read and watch and say and do, and start to think of how to enjoy the world within our boundaries.”

We need to cut ourselves some slack. Sure there are millions of movies to watch and books to read and places to visit. Realistically, we’ll never be able to visit every single place or tune into every single movie, but what we can do is revel in the ones we do have time for.

 

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Maybe I’ll never visit Asia or Texas.

Maybe I’ll never get time to read War and Peace or Lord of the Flies.

Maybe I’ll never watch Star Wars or The Princess Bride.

However, this book helped me accept that we just can’t do everything in our time on this nervous planet and that is perfectly fine.

You can purchase a copy of Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig here.

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They may be branded as ‘nerds’, but apparently people who read fiction books have better social ability and better abilities of empathy and theory of mind.

Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto carried out studies in 2006 and 2009.

The idea is that since readers of fiction spend so much time dipping into other peoples’ lives, they’re better able to see the world from someone else’s point of view.

However, don’t just waltz into your local library and grab the first guy you see – you have to make sure it is fiction they’re reading. If he’s hanging out by the non-fiction isle, then it’s not a good sign.

Apparently exposure to non-fiction is “associated with loneliness, and negatively related to social support.” That means they’re socially awkward, which isn’t actually something you should hold against someone, but if you’re looking for someone who will gaze into your eyes and tell you a romantic tale or two, then it’s the fiction fans you’re after.

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