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Last Updated on October 29, 2018

10 Great Psychology Books To Change Your Life

10 Great Psychology Books To Change Your Life

We’ve all been there, sitting in our local coffee shop with our book in hand, when suddenly you read something so enlightening, so unexpected that you choke a little on your double mocha frap. Maybe you stop to ponder for a minute that undeniable piece of wisdom, wisdom which flies in the frap-lathered face of an idea — or many — which you held so dear. This is a moment of epiphanic change, and it feels fantastic.

These are the moments with the power to change lives, and that right there is the highest value in reading. Sadly we all know that these moments are few and far between, so here at Lifehack we have compiled a list of the top 10 greatest psychology books which can change your life:

1. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Heidt

The Happiness Hypothesis

    Starting with my personal favourite on the list, Jonathan Heidt effortlessly brings to light the beliefs of ancient systems and puts them under the scrutiny of modern science. Heidt conveys his superior knowledge of psychology and neuroscience, and compares it with his understanding of such ancient systems in a witty yet comprehensive way. Heidt shows the flaws and misconceptions of various systems and practices — as well as their truths — whilst offering a tangible solution to the many vices and privations which trouble the modern person.

    Who’s it for: Anybody who is chasing their own tale in looking for a source of happiness. After all, there is more to life than ______ (fill this in for yourself)!

    2. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

    Civilization and Its Discontents

      Who can dismiss the ferocious intellect practised by world renowned father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. In one of his most famous works, Freud breaks down the construct of civilization and our relationships with others for the primal, and sometimes savage construct that it is. This is for those who aren’t fazed by a slightly heavier and more dense read. That being said, if you can break through this book and grasp its meaning, the understanding of why our civilization is built they way it is will help you navigate it all the more effectively.

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      Who’s it for: Those interested in why our civilization exists. You’ll need patience, and thick skin.

      3. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

      Thinking fast and slow

        In a summary of decades worth of research, Kahneman challenges the various cognitive biases people subconsciously possess, and apply day after day. Understanding that our minds are composed of two parts — an instinctive and primal section, and a more critical and rational section — together with their manifestations in decision making will give you an “aha” moment of relatability. The applications of this book are vast, from daily tasks to major business decisions, you’ll never look at decision making the same again.

        Who’s it for: The indecisive person in you. Those who face make or break decisions regularly. But before you get this book, it’s best you read this first to have some understanding about these “fast” and “slow” systems.

        4. Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

        Influence: The Psychology of Persuesion

          If you’re the type of person who finds themselves constantly being rejected by others — someone who is never taken seriously despite your best efforts at being authoritative, constantly left feeling like a pushover — Robert B. Cialdini has your back on this one. In this best-seller, Cialdini teaches us the 6 principles of persuasion which will ensure that you’ll never be left feeling like a fool again. In applying these 6 principles you’ll be at the centre of attention, seemingly commanding people with your every word. Mind control in disguise? Maybe. Totally awesome? Definitely!

          Who’s it for: Those with great ideas, but who struggle to have them acknowledged.

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          5. Outliers: The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

          Outliers

            Do you want to find out how the worlds most successful people became, well, successful? Who better than to ask someone who has spent years studying them and finding out exactly that. This is precisely what Malcolm Gladwell has done, and shares with us in his book Outliers. Through these observations, Gladwell developed “The 10000 hour rule” amongst other associations made on how one achieves a high level of success. Whether you’re an athlete, musician — or anything really — If you want to become world-class at it, this book is for you.

            Who’s it for: Anybody looking to become a champion, leader and grand master.

            6. Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

            Flow

              In an unexpected yet mindblowing take on happiness, Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced cheek sent me high) shows through decades of research exactly how our happiness is effected by the work we commit ourselves to. He argues that happiness is achieved through a mental state known as Flow, where the high skill level of the individual is met with challenging work. Imagine a mathematician solving a perplexing problem, or an artist bringing their conception to life through seemingly perfect brush strokes. What happens to the brain during this state appears paradoxical!

              Who’s it for: Anybody working in a skilled profession, or who regularly practice a hobby.

              7. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art Of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

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              David and Goliath

                Yes you’ve read correctly, Malcolm Gladwell makes our top 10 list for the second time with this brilliant book. In using a dense array of examples, as is the style of Gladwell, we learn about the probability of improbable outcomes when small people face big challenges. Whether it is your unruly boss, a physical feat or mental condition, Gladwell shows us that it is possible to defeat things, even when the odds are stacked against you.

                Who’s it for: Those who struggle in the face of adversity.

                8. Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman

                Authentic Happiness

                  As one of the worlds most established Psychologists, Martin Seligman paves the way to happiness with this light and rewarding book. Proving that happiness is more a product of internal conditions rather than external, this book shows us how to develop the numerous aspects of life we often overlook. This is for anyone who wishes to become a more well-rounded version of themselves.

                  Who’s it for: People looking to develop their interactions with others.

                  9. Mindfullness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace In a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

                  Mindfulness

                    In today’s frantic world its easy to get lost in the lightening pace of everything around us, and to forget about the moment to moment occurrences which can bring us true happiness. In this mega-popular book, Williams and Penman show us how to exist in this state of tranquillity in an ever moving world. Finding peace in the moment — not in some hippy, woo woo sense — but based on tried and tested psychological findings is a proven path to lasting happiness.

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                    Who’s it for: Anyone who is easily caught up in the rapid pace of the world. Those with anxiety issues.

                    10. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

                    emotional intelligence

                      You may have noticed in recent years the fading of the IQ phenomenon, and the emergence of this new theory of EQ — or emotional intelligence — and for good reason. Psychology is now showing us that EQ is a bigger determinant of personal success and mental health than IQ. Emotional intelligence is exactly what the name implies, it is our ability to identify and handle not only our own emotions, but the emotions of others, and our ability to handle situations according to these principles. Overall a thought-provoking book.

                      Who’s it for: Anybody who lets their emotions, or the emotions of others get the better of them.

                      Featured photo credit: PixaBay via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on September 12, 2019

                      12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                      12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                      Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

                      While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

                      What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

                      Here are 12 things to remember:

                      1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

                      The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

                      However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

                      We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

                      Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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                      2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

                      You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

                      Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

                      Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

                      3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

                      Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

                      Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

                      4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

                      Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

                      No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

                      5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

                      Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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                      Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

                      6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

                      Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

                      Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

                      Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

                      7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

                      Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

                      Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

                      And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

                      8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

                      When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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                      Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

                      9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

                      Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

                      Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

                      Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

                      10. Journal During This Time

                      Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

                      This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

                      11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

                      It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

                      The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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                      Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

                      12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

                      The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

                      Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

                      When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

                      Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                      Final Thoughts

                      Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

                      Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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