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Mindfulness: Journey From Blue Eyed Barbarian to Medical Marvel

Mindfulness: Journey From Blue Eyed Barbarian to Medical Marvel

Mindfulness: Journey from Blue Eyed Barbarian to Medical Marvel

by Ponderings Radio

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Journalist

Are you a master of your mind, or does the thought of mindfulness send you cross-eyed and thought twisted? 

What exactly is mindfulness? Is it enveloping our minds in a eurythmic cocoon of self-awareness and safety? Or is it juicing up the old think tank in a new way? We ponder the medical marvel and its history, while talking with mindfulness expert Dr Craig Hassed, Monash University Professor.

 

The most tragic myth is that mindfulness is easy; you simply sit down, breathe, think, and hum. The truth is, it can be challenging and does not need to be practiced while meditating! Essentially, mindfulness is being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in the present moment and accepting them without judgement. This can be done at any time; while you eat, walk or even complete chores. Meditation and yoga are merely ways to nurture and expand mindfulness, as it encourages sincere concentration.

Overtime, this ancient religious practice has become the fastest growing health trend in America, with an estimated 200–500 million people meditating worldwide.

Its story begins in the 6th century, when Bodhidharma, an Indian monk known as “The Blue-Eyed Barbarian” arrived in China to teach a special teaching not-written in the scriptures because the teaching is impossible to transmit by words. 

The teaching was Zen, which focuses on achieving enlightenment through meditation.

“What is ultimately behind (Zen), is the annihilation or transcendence of your identity as an individual, and access to non-local, super personal, consciousness,” says Russell Brand, comedian turned human advisor and Luminary Podcaster. There can be no doubt that mindfulness has the power to give anyone a new lease on life.

The 1800s Gold Rush introduced Zen to the western world when Chinese migrants travelled to countries in search of gold. Deep-rooted racism prevented acceptance of Buddhist rituals by the mainstream until, of course, they were whitewashed 100 years later.

Monash University Professor, Dr Craig Hassed, told us, “When the first studies on the benefits of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy came out in 1999, it sparked exponential growth in the research and application of mindfulness.”

Dr Craig Hassed goes as far as to call it “an antidote to the modern world.”

The Monash University professor says, “[mindfulness has] many useful side effects such as reducing stress, enhancing performance, improving mental health, enhancing communication, and fostering prosocial attitudes and emotional intelligence.”

Russell Brand addresses the involvement of modern science in his video, ‘Is Mindfulness a Con’. He says, “the people that came up with meditative techniques, that [modern scientists] are now proving to make your brain waves all groovy and lower your heart rate, already knew [the benefits]. They knew without access to the physicalized technology that demonstrates the efficacy of these techniques.”

In other words, Neuroscience didn’t make meditation ‘better’; it just validated what Buddhists had already known for millennia.

Mindfulness in the western world today, is a hybrid of Zen and the rituals and beliefs of Indian and Chinese Taoism.  The practice has been secularized and become a ‘trendy fad’.

However, the health benefits are irrefutable, and it’s effectively awakening the minds of individuals.

Studies have shown that after meditating for 6–9 months, almost two-thirds of those prone to anxiety manage to reduce their anxiety levels.

Mindfulness has come a long way. From sacred teachings, to medical marvel, to commodity sold by meditation apps and retreats. By acknowledging the origins and its true purpose, mindfulness has the power to create more awakened people.

 

If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, Monash-FutureLearn collaboration is providing a free online mindfulness course. The next one goes live on October 7 and is ranked as one of the world’s top online courses.

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy McEvoy is an AFLW player. A Carlton player to be precise. A bluebagger that might have ground curators shaking in their loafers. They might want to upgrade their Bermuda turf protection, as this burgeoning star prepares to rip up the field and take position.

5 Ways in 5 Days to Detox Mind, Body and Spirit

5 Ways in 5 Days to Detox Mind, Body and Spirit

5 Ways in 5 Days to Detox your Mind, Body and Spirit- spiritually, financially, physically socially and emotionally

Life is busy. Busy with burdens and busy with blessings.  

While it’s easy to share and shout memes about removing what no longer serves us and avoiding toxic people, there is also much to be said about the excess of even seemingly positive things in life.

Yep, you can have too much of a good thing.  

Too many conferences. Too many audiobooks. Too many affirmations.  When your newsfeed is in excess of the same message, it can actually be counter-intuitive. In fact, you can perceive that you’re being more productive than you actually are in a false revolving door of words- not actions.

Ponderings Magazine Gift Picks of the Month

So, today, we assess how much “good” we have in our lives and dare to detox the overindulgence of overwhelm and over-stated “stuff & fluff” in our lives.

We will look at 5 areas where we are likely spreading ourselves thin with deceiving distractions on our mind, body and spirit.

Spiritually  

First things first. Having faith in something or Someone is certainly noble. Whatever your sets of beliefs are, chances are you spend time in rituals, obedient obligations, practices and more. In fact, worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group.

While it’s noble to learn more about the faith you wholeheartedly follow, it can get noisy when you’re listening to and learning from multiple third party sources.

Action step:  Take some time alone and minimize your faith to the basic principle(s) and reset your focus to the very basics of what you believe.

What simple practices can you perform to  grow deeper and more intimately in your belief system?

Financially

Even too much money or too much focus on funds can be the cause for imbalance in your life.  Whether you’re on the side of saving or splurging, the saying goes, “If you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll wonder where it went.”

Action Step:   Print off the last two months of your bank statements and locate any recurring charges that are mindlessly withdrawn from your account. Unsubscribe from programs and apps not in use.

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Detox takes time as it is a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of something.

Physically  

Detox is most often associated with the foods we eat and the intention to cut out the junk, while introducing more of the good, nutrient-dense foods. There are even detox drinks you can have to boosts your immune system, detoxifies your body and helps support vital organs and their functions. Dr. Josh Axe and Jillian Michaels discuss detoxing here.

Action Step: Be realistic. Cut out C.R.A.P. (carbonated, refined, artificial, processed).  Go a day with whole foods and water – and watch your body fat reduce and your skin radiate. Rebalance is the key to detoxing, and be sure to follow the advice of practitioner!

Socially  

Having friends is great.  Having more friends and outings than you have time can be, well, exhausting.  When your planner is filled with festivities and spill over and onto your days of rest or errand-running, you may find yourself resenting your friends more than cherishing them.

Action Step: At the beginning of each week, identify dates for your priorities first. Faith, Self, Family, Vocation.  From there, leave pockets that are open for fun and friends. One those blocks are filled, begin to schedule blocks in coming weeks as new requests for your time and talents roll in.

Be patient with yourself and if you fail to detox for the day, remember to have race and try again next week.

 

Emotionally.  

This can also be identified as how you feel mentally. A great way to detox all that you are constantly processing.  Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That just sounds exhausting.

Action step:  While it is your brain’s job to process the many sensory things happening at any given time, you can be overwhelmed by the daily dose of disturbances and desires.  Take the time to begin a prayerful or meditative practice where you intentionally allow the noise without the processing of information.

Take these action items on weekly to detox the “extra” in your life that leaves you feeling overbooked and under-par.

Check out the Mojo Reactivate Event happening in Geelong, Victoria 7th June, raising funds for Autism Australia, it is a stellar panel of women joining Award Winning Author and founder of Planet Spectrum- Kate O’Donnell. These incredible ladies will discuss and give key information for Caring for the Carer- for parents with kids with extra needs. Morning tea is provided and its set to be a fun morning with prizes to be won and fun to be had.

Mojo Reactivate Geelong Eventbrite Autism Australia

Click to Buy Tickets

 

 

Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

words: Jasmin Pedretti  Turmeric. Is it worth all the hype, or is it just a trendy fad loved by...
Hey Sis, What’s the Tea? Make Your Own!

Hey Sis, What’s the Tea? Make Your Own!

All the reasons why you should grow your own tea. Ideal herbs to use and their specific medicinal health benefits.

 

Jasmine Pedretti 

Journalist | Wordsmith

There is nothing more soothing for the soul than the perfect, hot, cuppa’.

What if I told you that you could grow your own tea? In a fast-paced world that prefers convenience, we often miss out on life’s little wonders. Yes, you could buy the tea from the shop. But using freshly grown herbs from your own garden is far more special. Let me tell you why. 

First of all, our planet would thank you. We are far more waste conscious these days, however, unbeknownst to many, some brands actually make and fasten their tea bags with plastic. Therefore, by growing your own tea, you are helping to lift your eco-footprint, one glorious herb at a time. 

Gardening is also a wonderful stress reliever because it can distract you from all-consuming anxieties. In fact, a new study has discovered that regular exposure to plants and green spaces is beneficial to mental and physical health.

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 If you are going to grow your own- tip: make sure you aren’t using pesticides or chemical sprays and be sure to wash them thoroughly before use. Our Ponderings Produce Wash recipe helps to remove any nasties from your fresh herbs and produce. Fill a large bowl with water, put a healthy dash of organic APVinegar into the water, place herbs in (water should cover) and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse. (Awesome right?)

 Perfect brew:  Infuse in hot water at 90°c (194°F) to 95°c (203°F) for 2 to 4 minutes for the first and second brewing. Tear the leaves to bruise and release the goodies. Leave for 5 + minutes depending on the intensity you like your brew. 

Like all herbs you should check with a medical expert first before using as they may have drug/herbal contraindications. 

Making your own tea from the herbs you have cared for and helped prosper is also far more rewarding than buying it dried and in a bag.

 

Not only this, fresh herbs are full of goodies that benefit your health. Using fresh herbs that have not been poisoned by harsh chemicals or sat in a box for who knows how long, means you get the most from their medicinal potential. 

 Unsure of what herbs to start with? Here is a rundown of some great options, along with a few of their health remedies:

 

Pot Marigold

Botanical name: Calendula officinalis

Season to grow: all year round.

  • Contains significantly powerful flavonoids that shield cells from free radical damage and may aid menstrual cramps.  Quercetin and isorhamnetin are the two most common. These two are shown in countless medical journals to help protect the body from free radicals and helping to savenge potentially damaging toxins reducing inflammation. 
  • Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs for centuries
  • Calendula oil is still used medicinally. The oil of C. officinalis is as a remedy for healing wounds.
  • May help prevent and relax muscle spasms. A study conducted by the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences found that calendula relaxed spontaneous muscle contractions. 

Peppermint

Botanical name: Mentha balsamea Wild

Season to grow: Spring or summer but can be grown indoors on a windowsill over Winter. 

 

  • Great for indigestion and bloating as it may relax the muscles in the stomach and intestine.
  • Peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential.
  • May decongest and soothe sore throats because of the menthol.
  • May lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
  • Contains several flavonoids, primarily eriocitrin, luteolin and hesperidin, rich in carotines and Vit. C
  • Beautiful on its own or as a complimentary taste. 
  • Caution has been urged for peppermint oil therapy in patients with GI reflux, hiatal hernia or kidney stones.

Pineapple Sage 

Latin name: Salvia elegans

Season to grow: Spring, however, can tolerate Winter if grown in sandy or sharply-drained soil. 

 

  • A  study showed pineapple sage could act as an anti-depressing agent. 
  • Aids digestion and is good for settling an upset stomach and has a calming effect.
  • Our resident Naturopath tells us too much can dry you out, so go easy, it has been used for centuries for drying up mother’s milk. 
  • Full of antioxidants and flavonoids this is a powerful herb.
  • It tastes just like pineapple, which is delicious as a cold tea infused tea too!
  • Use the flowers to garnish, they are edible and make the perfect edition to a salad top.

 Lemon Verbena

Latin name: Aloysia citrodora

Season to grow: Spring but can be grown indoors during the colder months. Do not be alarmed when it loses its leaves during Winter, they will return. 

 

  • Rare power to strengthen muscles due to the high amount of antioxidants.
  • May reduce inflammation and joint pain caused by arthritis.
  • May boost immunity because it increases white blood cells.
  • Lemony deliciousness, the aroma is next level
  • Full of phytochechemicals such as- neral, geranial, limonene, nerol, geraniol, terpineol, caryophyllene, curcumene, isovalerianic acid, eupafolin, hispidulin, eupatorin, salvigenin, apigenin, luteolin, geraniol, flavonoids
  • Considered safe but be sure to check with a medical expert first before using this herb as it may have drug/herbal contraindications. 

Lavender

Latin name: Lavandula

Season to grow: Spring but can be planted in Autumn using bigger plants to ensure survival over Winter.

 

  • A study found that lavender tea increases the percentage of deep slow-wave sleep; the restorative sleep phase. 
  • Contains substantial amounts of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds such as vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
  • May detoxify the body of harmful free radicals caused by pollution, heavy drinking and smoking.
  • Lavender extracts contain flavonoids from group of apigenin, luteolin and quercetin. Higher amounts of luteolin diglucuronide are also found in the stalks, so don’t throw them away!

There is no greater time to start growing those aromatic, health restoring plants. If you grow them already, then put them to good use and brew a glorious elixir to heal the body, mind and soul. Check out our Ponderings Herbal picks of the month.

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Independent Media is critical; it means no large media giant is pulling our strings or dictating what we write. Ponderings provides an alternative to networked media, producing stories about issues of social justice and humanity; that might not otherwise be told. Some you will need no introduction and some you will be uplifted to find out about and be inspired by. This year, in particular, our lineup is going to delight and surprise you.

 

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Bear Fire, Five Minute Reading Meditation

Bear Fire, Five Minute Reading Meditation

Instructions – please use a laptop or Ipad for this activity

*Attach your headphones-
*Click Play and on the Featured Artist.
*Skip the Ad! Adjust the volume for comfort
*Get Comfortable
*Read
*Ponder

So what is Mindmusic ? The first of it's kind just for you.

Instrumental music and language are syntactic systems, employing complex sequences in the Broca’s area of the brain. Linguistic and musical syntactic processing, these two human abilities can cross paths- sounds complex right? Let’s break it down- listening to harmonized music while reading a story designed to help you imagine and be mindful of the two experiences simultaneously. 

At first, it might seem distracting, but just like meditation, the more you practice, the better you get!

We have some uplifting and inspiring pieces coming up for you, paired with some of the world’s most beautiful harmonies. We have crafted some written pieces with a rhythm in the syllables and consonants.

We share it with you. A first of its kind in the world. May you imaginate while stimulating your senses and strengthening your mind. The first one is below- Bear Fire.

Bear Fire, our very first reading meditation. Plug in your headphones and select the music we have paired for you, relax, read and escape. Adjust the volume to suit your comfort. 

Instructions – please use a laptop or Ipad for this activity

The old man sits by the river, watching the ripples turn and eddy around branches. Shining egg like rocks weathered by eons of water flow shaped the movement of the water, and the old man smiles. His weathered face a portrait of a lifetime, and his smiles now as his grandson throws a rock into the water.

Why do you sit by the water so much Grandfather? The young man asks. Thinking how boring it must be to always be seated like this looking at the same water. His long grey hair is pulled back into a ponytail, he has humoured his granddaughter that morning and agreed to a pink sparkled hair tie with a small plastic butterfly glued to its edge. 

“You are in exploration, my child. But one day, when you are craving peace and stillness, you will understand that nothing remains the same in this water, it changes all of the time. Its the moments of contemplation that creates curiosity.” 

The young man grinned, so often his grandfather who would forget his truck keys would be full of this riddle like wisdom. He found him amusing. 

The old man sees the innocent amusement and understands it for what it is. Not mockery, but a youthful exuberance yet to know. 

His grandson is young and energetic, playing the sports of his peers, driving cars and holding the hands of pretty girls, he is good. He has made time to sit together.

The old man hopes that these small moments will stay with the boy when it is time for the old man to journey to his ancestors, for he knows it is coming soon. 

“Can you explain to me why you need to come here, other than getting away from the noise of the house?” asks the boy. 

“Ah, yes, the noise. It is the noise” he returns quietly as he reaches for their mugs and the thermos of tea he bought with him.  He hands them to the boy and motions with his wrinkled brown hand to pour.

Returning to the fallen branch he sat on, like a saddled old friend, he takes out the leather pouch and small packet of waffery papers.

The damp hairs and strands of tobacco are pressed into the paper, held gently between his fingers, and he breathes in deeply as he rolls it back and forth. The scent is earthy and whiskey, warm and sweet, amber and leathery. Like home. 

“Those will kill you, Abuelo,” says the boy. 

“Most likely,” says he. “Most things you love do in the end.” 

“We wear layers my boy, coats and shirts; the stories we are told and form our love and friendships, our beliefs and the things we use to survive. But sometimes we have worn them so long the fibres have etched into our skin.

We keep this hidden skin, and it keeps us warm, but we must be careful. The skin can become forgotten and grows knots and tears. Every so often, we must be still” he lights the tip of the cigarette and draws the sweet smoke in, exhaling slowly.

“By being still, we are reminded of the threads that need trimming, the loose threads that no longer serve us but bind us. New skin grows with a new coat, full of promise and hope. This is what our ancestors want for us, and it only comes from the stillness. I come here because Out There is a wild place of an exaggeration, it makes our senses run like a bear with his paws on fire, and we do not know it. We smell the smoke but do not know what it is. So I come here to put my paws in the water.”

“Moments are the currents in the stream you and I sit beside, coursing along, flowing and ebbing, running into each other. Without them, the fish cannot swim, the water does not stay fresh and vibrant. Such is flow. Without it, the water becomes stagnant, the heart develops a sickness in the soul, and the tragedy of moving through life without purpose is sad and causes anger.” 

“Like old Martha?” asks the young man. Old Martha was the woman who lived near their village, coming out every so often to yell abuse and grumble at every person for all the perceived wrongs only a bitter heart can conceive of. Her walking stick was as sharp as her words and her hatred for small children was notorious. People were frightened of her rage. 

“Yes, like old Martha, shaking her fist at our ancestors, because she feels they left her. But they did not, and neither did God, she forgot to be still so she could hear the whisper, the movement and the rhythm of life within the stillness. One day she will know it, and it will be a refreshing drink on a hot day, parching her poor soul. We must show mercy to those in anger for their longing.”

“Abuelo, how do you know all these things?”

“Because I did not rush, and I listen for a lost language.” 

“What is this language you talk about?” asked the boy. 

“It can’t really be explained, you either hear it or you don’t” he replied. 

The boy smiled at his crazy grandfather and they sat, listening to the sound of the water, the bird and the movement of nature. 

The boy was still and the old man smiled.

Did you enjoy our reading meditation? We would love if you would like and share it, or leave us a comment and tell us what your experience was.

Leave us a message on Insta or Twitter with #ponderingsmeditation.

Libby Trickett, the Woman Behind the Hero

Libby Trickett, the Woman Behind the Hero

Libby Trickett, The Woman Behind The Hero

by Ponderings Radio

As one of Australia’s great Olympic champions, we have seen Libby Trickett battle it out in the pool. What we have not seen are the battles with depression that have led her to become an ambassador for Beyond Blue and R U OK?

Behind her beaming smile and warm personality, is a woman who has suffered feelings of severe hopelessness.

However, there is so much more to her narrative. This interview unravels Libby’s quirks and complexities and the wisdom she has learnt from the challenges she has faced and overcome.

You lead your life by example, and it is such a positive one for young women. If you could give your 18-year-old self one piece of golden positive wisdom, what would it be?

It’s probably quite cliché, but I would say you are enough. You don’t need to impress or be something that other people might want you to be. Being yourself is worthy enough. All the things you’ve worked through and achieved mean something. They’re all for a purpose, and although maybe you don’t see it at that time, it all turns out for the best in the long run. 

What are your secret indulgences? 

Ok, this is my dirty little secret. I’m obsessed with true crime. To the point where I’m getting concerned about myself. Anything I can find. Whether it’s on Netflix or a podcast. 

Who is the coolest person you have ever met? 

Meeting Prince William was very exciting and terrifying, I completely muffled my greeting. All you’re supposed to say is “it’s lovely to meet you Your Royal Highness”. I had verbal diarrhoea. The words just fell out of my mouth in no particular order, and then I laughed awkwardly. He was lovely about it, which made me feel less idiotic. I mean he wouldn’t remember me from a bar of soap.

What has been the funniest moment in your swimming career?

When I was about 15, I was standing on the block, and there was a bee buzzing around my head. I tried to swat at it but lost my footing and ended up slipping in such a way that I ended up falling sideways and found myself straddling the lane rope. Not funny at all at the time but it’s quite hilarious looking back on it. The whole squad was there laughing.

On a more serious note, you have struggled with your own mental health over the years. What helped you recover? 

Talking about it has been an essential part of my healing process, especially after post-natal depression. I consider myself strong and independent, but I recognised that motherhood is inherently hard. Regardless if you have a unicorn baby that sleeps 12 hours a night, the different challenges and guilt that comes with parenting is difficult. 

For me, as soon as I started talking about it, the response I received was amazing. Without talking about it, you can feel isolated because you don’t see how many other people are struggling and you wonder why you’re the only one not coping. That’s why if you look at my Instagram, most of it’s just poking fun at parenthood. 

I think it’s important to show that truth and realness because that’s part of the beauty of life as well. It’s not all perfectly curated Instagram accounts, it’s the rawness and the realness that makes life textured and layered and colourful. Social media can be such a terrible thing in terms of creating low self-esteem. 

But on the flip-side, there are these wonderful communities that can be so positive, and I certainly feel lucky with my Instagram, because I’ve received nothing but kindness from people that I may never meet physically in person. 

How has your experience with depression affected your relationships? 

They’ve become stronger. I know that the relationship with my husband Luke has just gone from strength to strength because we communicate. We talk about our fears.

 

When someone with depression reaches out, it can be hard to know what the right thing to say is. What do you recommend? 

 

That’s part of the reason why I’ve been part of Beyond Blue and R U Ok? They have incredible resources. Don’t underestimate asking ‘are you okay’? Maybe the person isn’t ready to talk, but simply showing that you’re there and that you care, is incredibly powerful for the person that might be struggling. Equally as important is listening unconditionally. Not trying to fix them, just listening to what they’re experiencing. The next thing you can do is follow up. Often, we’re like, ‘ok I’ve asked, tick, they said they were fine, they must be fine’.

If you ask again, they might be ready to talk. 

Do you know someone who might need to talk or perhaps you are experiencing feelings you are unsure about or that are creating anxiety in your life. Click HERE TO CONTACT BEYOND BLUE and HERE TO RUOK. 

The Anti-Self-Help Books that Are Actually Helpful

The Anti-Self-Help Books that Are Actually Helpful

Self-help books can be a great source of encouragement, but they can also be idealistic bullshit.

Sometimes you just don’t need the “how to be a high-achiever” and “say yes to everything” crap. Love you Socrates, but what the hell am I supposed to do with “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”.

Anti-self-help books rip up the rule-books and give you real, straightforward advice on how to live your best life. And sometimes it’s as simple as not giving a f*ck. 

Here are some of the world’s best-selling anti-self-help books. 

Anti-self help- quirky phase or wickedly intriguing insights? We check out the top 6 and give you the run down, by Jasmin Pedretti. 

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Journalist

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*Ck by Mark Manson

Forget everything you think you know and let Manson slap you in the face with the secret to a good life. Instead of worrying so much, find one thing that gives you meaning and devote all your fu*ks to it. This saves a whole lot of time and energy. Find that ‘thing’ that aligns with your personal values so you can stop searching for happiness and just accept your wonderful life as it is.

The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Learn about the theories of the 19th-century philosopher, Alfred Adler, by eavesdropping on a chit-chat between a philosopher and a young boy. The theory is that you can determine your own destiny as long as you dare to live free of the shackles of other’s expectations. Essentially, don’t stress if everyone hates you because being disliked is proof that you are living according to your own principles. 

You Do You by Sarah Knight

Finally, a book that tells you to worry more about yourself and encourages you to fuck up. It might sound counterintuitive. In fact, it sounds like a guide on how to be a selfish mess. But the reality is, looking out for yourself and embracing your imperfections and shitty mistakes can be the answer to happiness. Don’t worry about what everyone expects of you. Make mistakes, bounce back, and continue being your own kick-ass self.  

How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide by Meghan Doherty

An ‘etiquette guide’ does not sound funny or remotely fun to read. However, this is different. It’s basically a how-to-not-be-a-dick guide in a world inevitably filled with dicks. It offers practical tips for navigating 21st-century social situations through comedy and 1940’s retro-style illustrations. You know when the first line of the book is “throughout history, there have been dicks”, you’re in for a good laugh and real-talk advice. 

 

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Lawson uses disjointed, blog-like points to explain how to cling onto your mental stability by your fingernails. Her no-nonsense collection of confused thoughts explores her own personal battle with mental illness. Her advice is to take those “fine” moments and make them “amazing” because they are the moments that we take into battle to fight depression. She says to find joy in being outrageous because craziness isn’t all that bad.

Have you read one of these wonders of wisdom? If so we would love to hear about it! Take a pic of your fave Anti-Self Help and use #ponderingsbook.