Health and Self-help Books That will Change your Life

Ever since I can remember, I have been into books. I loved getting lost in other worlds, stories, and imagining feeling what my characters were feeling and experiencing. It inspired me to start writing my own little stories even at 10 years old, poetry and even a teen novel that I’m not sure I have the intention of publishing! When younger, I loved fiction books, vampire love stories, witch stories, and crime thrillers. Nowadays, I am obsessed with self-help books and nutrition books. I mean, a particular nutrition book helped me to solidify one of the core reasons I switched to a plant-based diet and contains a wealth of information that everyone should read to inform themselves.

Quarantine allowed me to catch up on some much needed reading. Ever since leaving university, my reading habits have definitely dwindled. However, it was the time I started reading a nutrition book, the reading was just not regular. In quarantine, I tried (and still do) to read two different books at the same time. Meaning, I am reading a fiction book in Polish to improve my native language and also a self-help book in English whatever it may be at the time. I find that it is a nice balance as you can choose to read one chapter of one book in the morning and the other book in the evening before bed.

The truth is, that there is more books than I care to list that have altered and shaped my thinking but no one has the space or time for that! So I will stick to a few ones maybe some of you could relate to.

  1. How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD

I mean, come on. It has to be the first one on the list. It is the most important nutrition book I have ever read and will read. And I am confident that it will change your life in some way. Despite the title, unfortunately this book does not teach you to live eternally. It does however, dive into interesting detail about more than 10 common health aliments people die from and how to first and foremost prevent them, treat them, and get this…reverse them! Those who were lucky enough to read it already, know how much insightful, inspiring and shocking information can be found there. I promise you will not be the same after you read this one.

2. Lifespan by David A. Sinclair, PhD

This was a relatively recent read and I became inspired to read it through the recommendation of Valeria Lipovetsky on her Instagram. She is a model, former nutritionist and the master of looking young at her age. She celebrated her 30th birthday recently and no kidding, she still looks about 16. She doesn’t age! And this is what Lifespan is about: aging. The author, instead of seeing ageing as an inevitable part of our life cycle, categories it as a disease. The book is innovative and shifts your preconceived ideas and thoughts about ageing and our average lifespan. The average lifespan tends to end roughly in our 80’s (please explain Jane Fonda, and our undying Queen) but Dr Sinclair proposes that with the right lifestyle adjustments, it might not be unheard of people living healthfully well past 100. It is definitely worth a read.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

This one, I have actually read a few years ago. My memory of it is a little rusty and I will definitely give it a read again but I remember being profoundly affected by it when I read it. The book teaches you to put your ego aside, become a better listener, and make others feel important because ultimately this is our deep human need. I remember one lesson that stuck with me: hearing your own name is apparently music to your ears. When you call people by their name, they immediately feel seen and like you. I do this without even thinking much about it, and recognise that I too, love to hear my own name spoken by someone. (Unless it’s, Paulina, have you done the task I asked you to do?) Haha!

4. Atomic Habits, by James Clear

This. Book. Is. Everything. I am still currently reading this book but there was no way it wouldn’t make it on the list. I am trying to pace myself with this one because it is so addictive and helpful and interesting you want to carry on reading it without stopping. But I know myself. If I really plunge into it and read it in one day, I know I might forget some of the lessons and not use it practically. So, I am making small changes in my life alongside reading this. If you want to cure procrastination, get started with learning a new language, eat healthier, run a marathon, whatever your big dreams are, it starts with tiny decisions and habits and this book will break it down for you into easy and manageable ways. Atomic, decisions.

I know. Only 4 books? What happened to the rule of 5? Well, I can’t reveal all my secrets 😉 After Atomic Habits, next on my list is ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. I have heard many good things about it and I am sure it could be one of the books in my list. Has anyone read it? Or any of the above? Let me know and get reading! Even one page a day is something.

Paulina x

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