Advertising
Advertising

Why You Should Read Books From Every Country In The World (With 30 Books Recommended)

Why You Should Read Books From Every Country In The World (With 30 Books Recommended)

Books offer the privilege of travelling all around the globe without even having to leave one’s comfort zone. Reading also ignites the level of one’s imagination. However, it is equally true that books are reflections of the author’s mindset and their imaginative outburst.

And when diversity is considered to be an asset, it is certain that their works of art touch a flavor of how they own their diversity and it impacts what we receive by reading their works.

So rather than engaging in reading of only a singular culture and lifestyle, it is valuable to learn of the differences and avoid assumptions about others. Here in this article, we present to you a list of 30 books from 30 different countries that are not only significant in terms of literature but should also help you to understand the different settings in which they are set in a better way.

The list is inspired from author Ann Morgan’s TED Talk in which she shares her experiences of reading one book from each and every country in the world over the period of one year. You don’t need to worry about the language of these books though as these works have been translated into multiple languages.

1. France: The Little Prince

1

    The Little Prince, which was first published in 1943, is one of the finest masterpieces of all time written by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It is the third most translated novel today with translations in more than 250 languages with hundreds of millions of copies sold worldwide.

    The novel is a soft tale of love, loneliness, friendship and loss in the form of a young alien Prince who falls to earth. The author is believed to have drawn on his earlier aviation experiences in the Sahara desert to create this novel.

    2. England: Emma

    2

      One of the best works of Jane Austen, Emma was first published in 1815. Several TV shows, films, and stage shows have been adapted from this novel. In the words of Austen herself, the novel is an attempt to create a heroine only for her to like.

      The book portrays a youthful, lively and beautiful Emma Woodhouse as the heroine of Jane Austen where Jane explores the concerns and difficulties of a well-mannered woman living in England.

      3. United States of America: The Scarlet Letter

      3

        The Scarlet Letter, published for the first time in 1850, is one of the finest works of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. According to D.H. Lawrence, this book is the most perfect work of American imagination. In this fiction story, Hawthorne sets the character Hester Prynne in the historical setting of 17th century Boston. Hester conceives a daughter after an affair and the novel revolves around her struggle for dignity and acceptance in the society.

        4. India: The God of Small Things

        4

          The God of Small Things is the debut novel of Indian writer Arundhati Roy, which was first published in 1997. Roy received the Booker Prize in 1998 for the novel, one of the most prestigious awards for English literature in the world.

          The book explores the life of two fraternal twins in a village in the Indian state of Kerala and beautifully portrays how small things change the behavior and life of people.

          5. Germany: Main Kampf

          5

            Mein Kampf is the autobiographical manifesto of Adolf Hitler published initially in 1925 and 1928 in two volumes. The book has been popularly read for its political theory and has been often criticized for its racial content.

            Literally meaning “My Struggle”, Hitler outlines his political ideology and plans for Germany. In the book, the narrator describes how he became increasingly anti-Semitic and militarist.

            Advertising

            6. South Africa: Long Walk to Freedom

            6

              Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiographical book by Nelson Mandela that was published for the first time in 1995. The book has been a huge source of inspiration for many and reflects the struggle and determination of Mandela.

              The books explores his early life, his education, his political activities and his 27 years’ prison life in Robben Island under the apartheid government.

              7. Russia: Crime and Punishment

              7

                Crime and Punishment is a novel written by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, published first in a Russian Literature journal in series in the year 1866. The author explores the theme of redemption through suffering. This book, when it appeared brought Dostoyevsky at the forefront of Russian literature and since then, has remained one of the most influential novels in world literature.

                8. Italy: The Name of the Rose

                8

                  First published in 1880, The Name of the Rose is a fine work of Italian author Umberto Eco. The novel has been translated into several languages and in 1996, it was even adapted into a film starring Sean Connery and Christine Slater, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

                  Set in Italy during the Middle Ages, the book explores a murder mystery in one Italian monastery in the year 1327.

                  9. China: The Garlic Ballads

                  9

                    The Garlic Ballads is written by 2012’s Nobel Prize winner for Literature Mo Yan. This book was first published in English in 1995 as Yan’s gateway book. Set in the 20th century in rural China, the farmers in the novel are asked by government officials to only grow garlic but which they refuse to buy later. The book is banned in Yan’s native China in the wake of the protests in Tiananmen Square.

                    10. Switzerland: Siddhartha

                    10

                      Published for the first time in 1922, Siddhartha is written by novelist Hermann Hesse. In 1960s when it was first published in USA, the book gained more popularity. With simple words but deep meaning, this book is a capsule to wisdom.

                      The novel is a spiritual journey of a man named Siddhartha who renounces all his princely life back in Kapilvastu, Nepal and decides to live an ascetic life in search of light.

                      11. Lebanon: The Prophet

                      11

                        The Prophet is a book of prose and poems, first published in 1923. Ever since its first publication, the book has never been out of print. This book is considered to be the best work of Kahlil Gibran and has been a best-seller for many years.

                        The book is divided in chapters that talk about marriage, love, children, drinking, eating and many other aspects of life. Lines from this book have influenced many political speeches, songs and other artistic works worldwide.

                        12. Spain: Don Quixote

                        12

                          Don Quixote is one of the most influential works from the Spanish Golden Age. Published first in two volumes in 1605 and 1615, the full title of this novel, written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in English is “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”.

                          Advertising

                          It tells the story of Alonso Quijano, a Hidalgo, living near La Mancha region of Spain around the beginning of 17th century. He reads the tales about knights, princesses and enchanted castles extensively without even sleeping properly that he goes out of his mind.

                          13. Japan: Almost Transparent Blue

                          13

                            First published in 1976, Almost Transparent Blue is written by prominent Japanese novelist Ryu Murakami. Murakami won several awards for this novel including the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The book portrays life around the US Base Camp near Kanagawa in the 1970s. The near-plotless story chronicles an intense journey through rough drug addiction, group sex, and other violent acts.

                            14. Norway: A Doll’s House

                            14

                              A Doll’s House is a three-act play in prose that was initially published in 1879, written by Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen. The play was considered significant for it challenged the dogmas of 19th century marriage norms.

                              The play was based on the real life of Ibsen’s close friend Laura Kieler. It describes the events that unfold on the lives of Nora Helmer and her husband Torvald when Nora secretly burrows large sums of money to cure her husband’s illness.

                              15. Portugal: Blindness

                              15

                                Published for the first time in 1995, Blindness is a novel by Nobel Prize winning Portuguese author Jose Saramago.

                                The novel is a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of loss by Saramago. The story is of a city that is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” that spares no one. The book is a folly and heroism of ordinary lives.

                                16. Turkey: My Name is Red

                                16

                                  My Name is Red is written by Orhan Pamuk who won 2006’s Nobel Prize in Literature. It appeared in its Turkish version first in 1998. It is the recipient of 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Award. Set in Istanbul in the late 1590s, the book is a philosophical thriller about a stirring murder mystery. The other themes of the novel are love, artistic devotion and tensions between the East and the West.

                                  17. Egypt: Children of Gebelawi

                                  17

                                    Published originally in 1959, Children of the Gebelawi is a novel written by Egyptian Nobel Laureate writer Naguib Mahfaouz. The book was opposed by religious authorities in Egypt, which even resulted in him being stabbed by religious extremists and he nearly died in the incident.

                                    The novel reconstructs the interwoven account of the past of the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It is set on an imaginary Cairene alley of the 19th century.

                                    18. Brazil: The Devil to Pay in the Backlands

                                    18

                                      The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, written by Brazilian writer Joao Guimaraes Rosa, was first published in 1956. The book is now considered to be among the greatest works of Brazilian literature and one of the important works in Latin American Literature.

                                      In this book, Riobaldo, a bandit who has been long travelling Brazil’s interior, tells the story of his life to an unknown listener. The story initially begins in ordinary manner but soon it tells about the life of a man struggling with life, love, friendship, devil and trust.

                                      19. Ireland: Gulliver’s Travels

                                      Advertising

                                      19

                                        Gulliver’s Travel is the most popular and classic work of Jonathan Swift, that was published for the first time in 1726. This satire of travel narratives and human behaviors became a bestseller soon after its publication.

                                        It is the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon from Nottinghamshire who loves traveling. On a fateful voyage to the South Seas, he is caught up in a storm and washed up on Lilliput, an island of tiny people who are about 6 inches tall. He then runs into several other types of people in different places as well.

                                        20. Iceland: The Independent People

                                        20

                                          Originally published in two volumes in 1934 and 1935, The Independent People is an epic novel written by Nobel Laureate Halldor Laxness. This book, along with others helped Laxness win the Nobel Prize in 1955 crediting his vivid epic power that has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.

                                          The book is the story of an Irish sheep farmer Guobjartur Jonsson and his battle for independence. After working for others for many years, Jonsson saves enough to lease a sheep farm of his own. However, it is in a valley believed to be haunted.

                                          21. Iran: The Blind Owl

                                          21

                                            The Blind Owl is a book by Iranian writer Sadegh Hedayat. It was published first as a limited edition in Bombay in 1937. It later appeared in Tehran in 1941. Written during the final years of Reza Shah’s rule, it’s considered a major literary work of Iran from the 20th century.

                                            Regarded among the finest works in modern Iranian literature, Hedayat’s masterpiece is a moving tale of loss and spiritual ruin that tells the story of a young man’s anguish after the loss of his enigmatic lover.

                                            22. Mexico: Pedro Paramo

                                            22

                                              Published originally in 1955, Pedro Paramo is a novel written by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. The book has been a source of inspiration for many Latin American writers including Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

                                              This novel is about a man named Juan Preciado who after the demise of his mother, travels to her hometown of Comala to find his father and happens to come across a ghost town populated by haunted figures.

                                              23. Austria: The Man without Qualities

                                              23

                                                The Man without Qualities is an unfinished novel published first as three books from 1930 to 1943, written by Austrian novelist Robert Musil. This unfinished novel took Musil more than twenty years and was halted by his death.

                                                Set in Vienna on the eve of World War I around the time of Austro-Hungarian monarchy’s last days, this novel is now considered to be one of the most important modernist novels. It dissects various human themes and feelings.

                                                24. Sweden: Pippi Longstocking

                                                24

                                                  Pippi Longstocking is a series of children books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The name Pippi was given by Lindgren’s then nine year old daughter. Different volumes of the book were published at various times between 1945 and 2000.

                                                  Story set in a Swedish village, it tells the story of Pippi who lives in her madcap house “Villa Villekulla” with a monkey. Her exuberant ways cause as much trouble as fun but she remains irrepressible and irrefutably charming at all times.

                                                  25. Peru: The Time of the Hero

                                                  Advertising

                                                  25

                                                    Published for the first time in 1963, The Time of the Hero is a novel written by Nobel Prize Winner Mario Vergas Llosa. The novel has been adapted into a film by Peruvian film director Francisco Lombardi.

                                                    The story of the novel is set up among a community of cadets in a military school in Lima. Llosa was so accurate in portraying the academy with the powerful social satire that it outraged the authorities of Peru, where thousands of copies of the novel were burnt publicly.

                                                    26. Argentina: The Motorcycle Diaries

                                                    26

                                                      The Motorcycle Diaries is the memoir of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara from his early motorcycle journey across Latin America, when motorcycling didn’t involve modern gadgets. The book has been a New York Times bestseller for a long time.

                                                      It tells the real story of a young Argentine man who went on to become such a huge icon and a major threat to global capitalism. The experience in the travel that transforms Che has been described by many as a coming-of-age story of adventure and self-discovery.

                                                      27. Colombia: One Hundred Years of Solitude

                                                      27

                                                        Published originally in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a masterpiece from Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s one of the representative novels from the literary Latin American Boom.

                                                        The multi-generational story of the Buendian family is a brilliant amalgamation of elements from all Marquez’s previous short stories. It tells the captivating story of the rise and fall of a mythical Macando town through the family’s history.

                                                        28. Chile: The House of the Spirits

                                                        28

                                                          Published for the first time in 1982, The House of the Spirits is a masterpiece bestseller of Isabel Allende. The novel was declared as the best novel in 1982 in Chile where Allende also received the country’s prestigious Panorama Literary award.

                                                          Allende constructs a spirit ridden world that turns out to be a symbolic family saga and story of the turbulent history of an unnamed Latin American country. Incorporating the elements from magical realism, it tells the story of Trueba family spanning across four generations.

                                                          29. Nigeria: Things Fall Apart

                                                          29

                                                            Published originally in 1958, Things Fall Apart is a post-colonial novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe which is probably the first to receive global critical acclaim. It was also the first work to be published in Heimann’s African Writers Series.

                                                            The novel is an intertwining of two stories both centered on the protagonist Okonkwo, who is an Igbo leader and local wrestling champion in the fictional Umuofia village of Nigeria.

                                                            30. Pakistan: I am Malala

                                                            30

                                                              I am Malala is Malala Yusufzai’s fearless memoir, co-written by journalist Christina Lamb that was published for the first time in 2013. This book is inspirational and depicts the dire necessity of change in the life of women in Pakistan.

                                                              The youngest Nobel Laureate, Malala explains the life under Taliban rule in her home district, Swat Valley in Pakistan. Already an activist for girl’s education in the Swat Valley since 2012, Malala explains the situation of women in Pakistan.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Girl Reading a Book via pixabay.com

                                                              More by this author

                                                              Nabin Paudyal

                                                              Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

                                                              20 Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Delicious Comfort Food Benefits of Sauna: 8 Ways It Makes You Healthier and Happier 25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life Think That Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead 6 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Struggle Through Dyslexia

                                                              Trending in Hobby

                                                              1 Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally 2 18 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Your First Tattoo 3 17 Free Websites That Will Improve the Quality of Your Life Today 4 Streaming or Downloading: Which Is the Best Use of Your Mobile Data? 5 7 Fun Things To Do When You’re Home Alone

                                                              Read Next

                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising

                                                              Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                                              How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                              How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                              Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                                              Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                                              I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                                              You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                                              Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                                              When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                                              I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                                              Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                                              Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                                              Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                                              1. The Inner Critic

                                                              This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                                              • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                                              • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                                              • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                                              • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                                              The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                                              Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                                              2. The Worrier

                                                              This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                                              The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                                              3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                                              This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                                              The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                                              4. The Sleep Depriver

                                                              This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                                              The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                                              • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                                              • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                                              • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                                              • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                                              How can you control these squatters?

                                                              How to Master Your Mind

                                                              You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                                              Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                                              There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                                              • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                                              • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                                              This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                                              The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                                              Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                                              For the Inner Critic

                                                              When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                                              You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                                              For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                                              You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                                                              Advertising

                                                              “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                                              If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                                              • They rile up the Worrier.
                                                              • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                                              • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                                              • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                                              • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                                              Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                                              Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                                              For the Worrier

                                                              Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                                              Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                                              You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                                              • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                                              • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                              • Muscles tense

                                                              Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                                              If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                                              Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                                              “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                                              Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                                              If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                                              Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                                              Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              For example:

                                                              If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                                              “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                                              Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                                              “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                                              Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                                              For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                                              Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                                              The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                                              • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                                              • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                              • Muscles tension

                                                              I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                                              Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                                              Breathe in through your nose:

                                                              • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                                              • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                                              • Focus on your belly rising.

                                                              Breathe out through your nose:

                                                              • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                                              • Focus on your belly falling.
                                                              • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                                              Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                                              Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                                              One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                                              For the Sleep Depriver

                                                              (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                                              I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                                              Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                                              1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                                              2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                                              When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                                              From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                                              For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                                              If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                                              You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                                              • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                                              • Shut down your thinking.
                                                              • Calm your feelings.
                                                              • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                                              You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                                              Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                                                              More About Mental Strength

                                                              Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                                                              Read Next