I made you something pretty with my words today.
you're interested in sleep science, sleep hygiene, improving sleep.
Much of our life is consumed by sleep's healing ability to process memories/experiences, produce HGH, and recover from injury, illness, and exhaustion. Yet, the topic of sleep remains neglected and misrepresented particularly in sleep-deprived societies which laud erroneous phrases such as, "I'll sleep when I'm dead."
Dr. Walker explores several topics ranging from the evolution of sleep, the benefits of sleep, how sleep is measured, how to protect sleep, and the numerous unhealthy habits that create chronic sleep deprivation and illnesses.
you're interested in understanding the health problems that ensue as a result of trauma, mind-body connection related to trauma
Dr. van der Kolk provides possibly the most definitive book for understanding why trauma is a mind-body experience (mental and physical). The literature describes how the traumatized body is primed to store chronic pain and illness. This book helped me understand my own struggle with PTSD and has become a frequent recommendation for individuals who don't yet understand that PTSD is not fear, not something that just gets rewired, not something that can be prayed/meditated away, and not something self-inflicted. If you're still in a position of not understanding of how erroneous it is to blame a person for their own medical conditions, I strongly recommend this book.
you're interested in understanding long-term trauma and its health implications, recovery from long-term trauma, quality of life after long-term trauma
While C-PTSD is not recognized by the DSM-V, C-PTSD is a phenomena that does occur over a prolonged or repeated exposure to traumatic events. This book also further expands on the reductive concept of "fight-or-flight" by introducing a superior model, "window of tolerance." I highly recommend this to people who don't chose to not understand how abusive relationships spiral out of control for people living with C-PTSD. I also recommend this when people don't understand why interpersonal relationships are extremely challenging for people with PTSD, C-PTSD, and other overlapping and similar conditions.
you're interested in therapeutic journaling, structuring expressive writing for wellness
As somebody who often stated, "I don't like journaling," this book was largely influential on my decision to begin blogging. For me, emotionally processing meant sharing, and that was how I learned to connect with myself while simultaneously connecting with others. 8 out of 10 times, writing it down now helps me process how to handle emotionally painful situations.
you're interested in the benefits and harms of mindfulness meditation on trauma, impacts of systemic trauma on wellness
Offering "meditation" as a suggestion for dealing with mental illness is something of a touchy subject for people, as it can often be presumptuous and generalizing. This book goes beyond anything I've ever read to include why meditation can actually be psychologically harmful for individuals with traumatic backgrounds, especially those who have experienced systemic-levels of oppression.
you're interested in a deep dive on the subject of dharma, a companion reader to the Mahabharata
Many years ago, taking a class on Anthropology of Religion, I came across a biography of Sri Ramakrishna that spoke to me on an indescribable level. Since then, I've been exploring the ancient philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta. That path led me to read the Mahabharata, and a dear friend recommended this book as a companion to help understand the gray areas of our dharma (inherent nature of reality around us) and why "good" may come with painful sacrifice(s).
you're interested in the psychological underpinnings of spirituality, cognitive science of religion, Theory of Mind
Theory of mind is our ability to attribute mental states to oneself and to others, e.g. perspective-taking. I became introduced to the idea of theory of mind when I was exploring my own condition (Major Depressive Disorder) in an attempt to understand whether I was experiencing "deficits" in decoding what other people were enacting. In this book, the theory is specifically applied to how people enact spiritual beliefs, and how people come to believe in divine interventions. This book was especially helpful for making sense of belief-based incongruities and disagreements.
you're interested in Yogic and Vedanta philosophy and traditions of meditation, meditation for Self-Knowledge, developing concentration and self-control, mystical experiences and realizations
As something of a primer on an ancient tradition, it provides a useful reference on mystical experiences, objects used for meditation, goals and benefits, practices of meditation and living a meditative life, and obstacles that inhibit meditation. The book is written from a philosophical perspective, and I found it useful when partnered with other reference materials.
interested in minimalism, decluttering, unplugging, developing self-control around the faux-urgency of a tech-saturated world
In the past year, I've generally explored minimalism as a lifestyle. I recently blogged about simplification, but I would highly recommend taking refuge from the privilege of digital communication which has become something of its own nightmare-ish and anxiety-inducing world of frivolity and mindless consumerism.
interested in minimalism, essentialism, improving habits and routines, reducing disingenuous busy-work
When we live in a world that competes to look productive without a meaningful end-product to show for our time spent, the conversation around essentialism has fascinated me. This book explores how to go through life without setting the proverbial hoops on fire.