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7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life

7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life

These days, it seems like there’s a new spirituality book that comes out almost every other day. The problem with some of these so-called “spirituality” books, is that they only make sense to the author… because more often than not, these types of books are filled to the brim with enough pseudo-science and psycho-babble to shoot a sci-fi film.

And if you’re reading this article, I’d venture to guess that you’re not looking for fictional books about spirituality. That said, today we’ll be outlining a powerful list of 7 science-backed books about spirituality that will (hopefully) help you make some positive strides in the spiritual department.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

#1. 10% Happier by Dan Harris

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science-backed spirituality books

    If you’re a skeptic by nature, then this is the book for you. 10% Happier was written by news anchor, Dan Harris. In the book, he chronicles his run-ins with over-the-top self-help gurus (like the quacks behind The Secret)—and cross-references their claims with science to determine whether they held up or not. Along the way, he uncovers the intersection of where science meets spirituality.

    #2. Waking Up by Sam Harris

    science-backed spirituality books

      Waking Up is a book that attempts to position itself as the guide to spirituality without religion. Written by a controversial atheist-neuroscientist named Sam Harris (no relation to the guy from the book above)—the author provides a nice mash up of personal storytelling to back up his heavy-hitting—science-backed—arguments about why spirituality isn’t something fluffy… but rather, when one seeks spirituality in the proper context (ex: practicing mindfulness), science has proven over and over that it has a dramatic improvement on the quality of an individual’s life.

      #3. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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      science-backed spirituality books

        My wife is a professional dancer and choreographer, and ever since the day I met her, she’s sworn up and down that she feels like she’s closest to her Creator when she immerses herself in the world of dance. To her, it doesn’t matter whether she’s performing on stage herself, or if she’s choreographing a number for her students… every time she’s doing something related to the art of dance, she ends up in this peak state of consciousness — where hours fly by like minutes, and everything is happening exactly the way it should be. This is known as flow. And anyone can cultivate it—including you—regardless of what you do for work. Get the book to learn how.

        #4. Real Magic by Dr. Wayne Dyer

        science-backed spirituality books

          You might be wondering how in the world it could make any logical sense at all to include a book titled Real Magic in an article about science-backed spirituality books. If I were you, I’d be asking questions, too. So here’s the deal with why this book made the list: it’s grounded with mountains of research that prove the efficacy of the ideas presented by the author, Dr. Dyer. Ideas about the power of meditation and mindfulness. And how much of an impact they can have on our overall well-being and happiness.

          #5. Uncovering Happiness by Elisha Goldstein

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          science-backed spirituality book

            Uncovering Happiness is a book about a more compassionate approach to dealing with the ever-expanding number of psychological ailments that pervade modern society… Depression and anxiety are at an all time high, and our doctors are behaving like legal drug dealers — trying to solve these psychological ailments with prescription after prescription, which of course, act as nothing more than short-term solutions for long-term problems. In this book, author Elisha Goldstein pulls back the curtain and helps us uncover our happiness — not with pills and prescriptions — but with self-compassion and mindfulness… and the best part? Dr. Goldstein’s got the scientific research to prove the efficacy of this treatment for long-term health, happiness, and wellbeing.

            #6. Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman

            science backed spirituality books

              Optimism plays an essential role in getting your spirituality game together. This is because optimism leads to happiness… think about it: how many angry + unhappy spiritual people do you know? Personally, I can’t really name any off the top of my head (and “religious” people don’t count). The reason behind this is because they’ve learned to cultivate optimism in their lives — which happens to be closely tied to faith—not religion—but faith. Learn more in Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism — it’s crammed with nearly three decades of science-backed research on the power of optimism and the role it plays in developing happiness, meaning, and spirituality in our lives.

              #7. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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              best science backed spirituality books

                Meditations is filled with Stoic wisdom that’s just as applicable to the world we live in today, as it was when it was when it was first written 1,800 years ago! The remarkable thing about the advice in this book, and the reason it shows up on this list, is because a vast portion of the spiritual principles that were practiced and written down so many centuries ago, have since been confirmed by science to be effective on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Find out more by picking up a copy of this age-old text to see if you can bring a little old-school Stoic wisdom to the 21st century.

                Which book will you read first?

                Now that you’ve got this list of 7 science-backed books about spirituality — there’s only one question left… Which one do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all at once? Or should you take a lifetime to read them? So many options. So little time. Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life and career. But if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started:

                • Subscribe to a book summary site, like FlashBooks to get the key-takeaways from the books on this list.
                • If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just ONE book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once… and as we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book. And then commit to reading it from start to finish.
                • If you’re in a rush, try Audio books, or Audio summaries.
                • Finally, if you’re in a super rush, checkout some YouTube video book summaries, like this one.

                More by this author

                Dean Bokhari

                Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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                Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                1. Create a Daily Plan

                Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                3. Use a Calendar

                Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                4. Use an Organizer

                An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                5. Know Your Deadlines

                When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                6. Learn to Say “No”

                Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                7. Target to Be Early

                When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                8. Time Box Your Activities

                This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                11. Focus

                Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                12. Block out Distractions

                What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                13. Track Your Time Spent

                When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                15. Prioritize

                Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                16. Delegate

                If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                For related work, batch them together.

                For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                2. coaching
                3. workshop development
                4. business development
                5. administrative

                I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                19. Cut off When You Need To

                The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                More Time Management Techniques

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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