The Mind Workout: Twenty steps to improve your mental health and take charge of your life
Now available for pre-order in the UK: http://bit.ly/themindworkout
Combining design thinking and innovation tools with Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques, this book is all about the practice of taking care of that mushy ball of thoughts and feelings in your skull.
Sharing from my own experience overcoming mental illness and helping others around the world on their own journeys, each chapter of the book covers a concept to help with embracing difficult emotions and each chapter finishes with an exercise to help you explore and apply that concept. We’ll talk about how to push into uncertainty, anxiety, and other feelings you don’t like instead of trying to avoid them. I’ll share exercises and tips on how to start a meditation practice in the same way you’d start a running practice. We’ll go through several examples of how to accept anxieties, not engage in compulsions, and instead do things you actually care about. And the entire second half of the book is devoted to making the switch from a life that’s all about reacting to fear, to a life that’s all about putting your time and energy into things you care about.
This is not about what works in a lab or what works in theory, it’s about what works in the real world, as we navigate our complex lives and sustain changes that help us maintain and improve our mental health and fitness.
* More editions are on the way, in a bunch of different languages.
My Book Shelf
I often get asked for book recommendations, so here are some of my favourite books to help people with making changes in their lives:
Peace is Every Step
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Whenever somebody asks about how to get started on practicing mindfulness, this is the book I recommend to them. Learn more.
Get Out Of Your Mind And Into Your Life
by Steven Hayes
If you want to learn the skills and concepts of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, start with this book. Learn more.
Eat & Run
by Scott Jurek
Whether physical or mental, change is change. You can learn a lot about change from this exploration of ultra-marathon running. Learn more.
The OCD Stories
curated by Stuart Ralph, foreword by Lily Bailey
These personal stories of tackling OCD can offer insights for your own journey of recovery from any mental health challenge. Learn more.
Fail Fail Again Fail Better
by Pema Chodron, foreword by Seth Godin
As with physical fitness, building better mental health is all about exercising to failure, and then doing it again, but wiser. Learn more.
by Brené Brown
If you’re struggling to step into difficult emotions that make you feel vulnerable, pick this up to explore how vulnerability can be a source of power in your life. Learn more.
The Back Of The Napkin
by Dan Roam
Get ideas out of your head and escape the limitations of words. It’s a huge support for personal or organizational innovation. Learn more.
The Happiness Trap
by Russ Harris
A great book to help you see why the feelings you’re pursuing are actually giving you more of the feelings you hate. Learn more.
by Jason Luoma, Steven Hayes, and Robyn Walser
It says it’s for therapists but I think this is an excellent resource for any patient. Learn the skills and apply them in your life! Learn more.
by Nancy Duarte
If you struggle with presentations or communication in general, grab this book. Learn more.
A Wild Sheep Chase
by Haruki Murakami
Not explicitly about mental health but it’s my favourite novel so I always keep it on my bookshelf. Learn more.