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Notes on a Nervous Planet

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The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - H The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.


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The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - H The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.

30 review for Notes on a Nervous Planet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    I'm not really going to review this properly I bought it and read it just for me really. There's nothing much I can say that I haven't said before about this author's writing and sometimes you just want to read a book to kick start your soul again. Suffice to say that as ever after reading a Matt Haig book my faith in many many things is restored. Yes indeed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    This book gave me so much to contemplate!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Penelope

    A truly timely and important book that everyone living on this nervous planet should read. Matt's honest and personal experiences shine through on every page and his writing is like a cup of tea and a warm blanket making you feel that no matter how crazy the world can get everything is going to be ok. I loved this book and have no hesitation recommending it to absolutely everyone, no one will finish this book without learning at least one important lesson or taking away one piece of advice that A truly timely and important book that everyone living on this nervous planet should read. Matt's honest and personal experiences shine through on every page and his writing is like a cup of tea and a warm blanket making you feel that no matter how crazy the world can get everything is going to be ok. I loved this book and have no hesitation recommending it to absolutely everyone, no one will finish this book without learning at least one important lesson or taking away one piece of advice that will make life just that little bit better. Thanks Matt!

  4. 4 out of 5

    littlemiss_emmxx

    I had heard this book was a sort of follow on from Reasons To Stay Alive. I read Reasons To Stay Alive while I was on holiday in January. And loved it read it in 2 or 3 days and ended up having to start it again as I hadn't thought I would finish it so quickly. Clearly it took me a bit longer to read this but that's because I'm not on holiday this time. I couldn't wait that long to read it. I just love Matt Haigs writing. It is so honest and truthful. This will definitely be recommended as much I had heard this book was a sort of follow on from Reasons To Stay Alive. I read Reasons To Stay Alive while I was on holiday in January. And loved it read it in 2 or 3 days and ended up having to start it again as I hadn't thought I would finish it so quickly. Clearly it took me a bit longer to read this but that's because I'm not on holiday this time. I couldn't wait that long to read it. I just love Matt Haigs writing. It is so honest and truthful. This will definitely be recommended as much as I have Reasons To Stay Alive.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Gipson

    I read Matt Haig’s previous book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive ‘ last year and absolutely loved it.It dealt with Matt’s personal battle with anxiety and depression. It was so honest you couldn’t help but be affected by the level of suffering he went through. His follow up book ‘Notes On A Nervous Planet ‘ explores how our addiction to modern technology is making us anxious and affecting our quality of life. Each chapter is quite short and Matt does have an uncanny way of expressing his thoughts where I read Matt Haig’s previous book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive ‘ last year and absolutely loved it.It dealt with Matt’s personal battle with anxiety and depression. It was so honest you couldn’t help but be affected by the level of suffering he went through. His follow up book ‘Notes On A Nervous Planet ‘ explores how our addiction to modern technology is making us anxious and affecting our quality of life. Each chapter is quite short and Matt does have an uncanny way of expressing his thoughts where you find yourself nodding along in agreement. Thank you Matt for this book it felt a lot like an old friend comforting you when life gets too much.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    His best book yet! The perfect antidote to our messy world! I love all Matt Haig’s books and this was still even better than I had anticipated! Just buy it, read it, talk about and love it! This world is a better place with this book in it .

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vivek Tejuja

    This is a world of nerves. Of nervousness (as the title rightly suggests), of anxiety and of excess. Everything is in excess and we do not know when to stop or how to control our lives. We are constantly on the edge and losing the very essence of being human. Our lives are spiraling out of control and we perhaps do not know what to do. Matt Haig’s books are about mental health issues we face, the ones he has faced and continues to. The only difference is that he speaks about it, Haig communicate This is a world of nerves. Of nervousness (as the title rightly suggests), of anxiety and of excess. Everything is in excess and we do not know when to stop or how to control our lives. We are constantly on the edge and losing the very essence of being human. Our lives are spiraling out of control and we perhaps do not know what to do. Matt Haig’s books are about mental health issues we face, the ones he has faced and continues to. The only difference is that he speaks about it, Haig communicates and comes from a place of darkness to speak through his books on issues that we prefer to be silent about. “Notes on a Nervous Planet” is about what we go through on a daily basis and yet continue to and not battle it because we do not know how to. Haig not only tells us about the issues in detail but also lets us know what he does to combat them, and we could also do that, if we like. For instance, how to not be on the phone constantly, how to get off social media once in a while, how to sleep more and things that we think of but not implement on most of the time. Haig’s writing is personal. He writes from the heart (using the cliché phrase and apologies for that) and it is clear in the writing. It is all about how to stay sane anymore on a planet such as ours. I loved the way the book is structured, looking at each thing that is messing with our minds and the possible suggestions to each of them – from lack of sleep to addiction to work and play balance to questioning the habits and lifestyles of the digital age. “Notes on a Nervous Planet” makes you look at life without being preachy about it. All it does is make you want to reclaim humanity, little by little if need be. Matt Haig cleverly and beautifully deconstructs the world we live in and provides suggestions, if not answers or solutions on how to conquer. “Notes on a Nervous Planet” if nothing will make you feel that someone out there knows what you are going through and is able to understand it beautifully to express it the way you will feel a connect. It is the book for our times and much needed. Do read it, please.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Just read it :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Amazing!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cher

    4 stars - It was great. I loved it. A thought provoking look at how rapidly our society has changed over the last 20 years with the advent of modern technological advances. I found a multitude of quotable passages and interesting tidbits. I’m a fan of Haig’s writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: It sometimes feels as if we have temporarily solved the problem of scarcity and replaced it with the problem of excess. First Sentence: I was stre 4 stars - It was great. I loved it. A thought provoking look at how rapidly our society has changed over the last 20 years with the advent of modern technological advances. I found a multitude of quotable passages and interesting tidbits. I’m a fan of Haig’s writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: It sometimes feels as if we have temporarily solved the problem of scarcity and replaced it with the problem of excess. First Sentence: I was stressed out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tim Rideout

    ‘Kindness spring-cleans the soul.’ Reading ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ is like being given a new pair of spectacles. It makes everything clearer. Matt Haig writes with humility, wisdom, clarity, honesty, humour and kindness about his own mental illness and efforts to improve his mental health. In doing so he is a source of great help to others. I read this book quickly - it will stay with me for a very long time. Yet another remarkable book from Matt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    The world is a nervous system. Everything is connected and it's difficult to switch off, even for your own sake. Notes on a Nervous Planet makes you stop, think, consider your own interactions with the world around you and how it seeps into your life. Most of all it makes you hope it's possible to truly disconnect, whatever that means for the individual, and find your own sense of calm to catch your breath amidst the noise of the bustling world around us. A hopeful book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    liz

    Matt Haig has done it again: written a highly thought-provoking book which has made me want to better myself and enrich my life. I am so glad that I was able to meet him last week and tell him how much his books mean to me because this book perfectly encapsulates why his work is so excellent.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    The only thing I don't like about this book is that it wasn't around when I was a teenager. Firstly, I just want to say that this book is physically stunning. Beneath the dust jacket, the hardcover is all the colours of the rainbow and it's lovely. I also think the size is great, it's compact and smaller than most of the newer books on my bookcase. I'm also lucky enough to have a signed copy. This is a comforting, reassuring read for the most part, much like The Humans, only this one, of course, The only thing I don't like about this book is that it wasn't around when I was a teenager. Firstly, I just want to say that this book is physically stunning. Beneath the dust jacket, the hardcover is all the colours of the rainbow and it's lovely. I also think the size is great, it's compact and smaller than most of the newer books on my bookcase. I'm also lucky enough to have a signed copy. This is a comforting, reassuring read for the most part, much like The Humans, only this one, of course, is non-fiction. One of the reasons I read books on mental health (and books generally) is that they make me feel a little less alone in the world and as I get older it's becoming more important for me to realise that I'm not the only one. This book certainly succeeded in that, as Haig depicts the lowest moments of his life in a stark manner, but more importantly, each of these moments was followed by a hopeful, uplifting note. Haig is also astute in analysing all of the ways in which modern society contributes to our nervous dispositions. He uses not only well-researched evidence to support his observations, but he also quotes some of the greatest minds in literature, and history more widely, which is something I particularly enjoyed throughout. He also offers his own wisdom on becoming "a happy mess. Or, at least, a less miserable mess. A mess who can cope." (p. 176) I think it's useful advice and I'll probably return to it in the future. A lovely read. Wonderfully human.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katy Noyes

    Reasons looked inward, Notes looks back out again. Honest and applicable life lessons from one of my favourite contemporary writers and thinkers. I'd call Matt Haig 'a thinker'. As well as enjoying almost every adult and children's novel he's brought out, I can recognise my own life, thought processes and faults in his two non-fiction 'guides to life' as I think of them. Reasons To Stay Alive was a bare-all look at one man's breakdown and recovery/lessons learned. Now Haig puts himself and us in t Reasons looked inward, Notes looks back out again. Honest and applicable life lessons from one of my favourite contemporary writers and thinkers. I'd call Matt Haig 'a thinker'. As well as enjoying almost every adult and children's novel he's brought out, I can recognise my own life, thought processes and faults in his two non-fiction 'guides to life' as I think of them. Reasons To Stay Alive was a bare-all look at one man's breakdown and recovery/lessons learned. Now Haig puts himself and us in the context of the wider world, society, the universe itself as he has us contemplate the meaning we give our modern lives, our obsessions with technology and social media, how we allow the influence of others to affect our own self-esteem and value. Utterly relatable, I think most people would find value in reading this. Just to have someone tell you (in my case literally as the author narrates the Audible version I listened to) that I need to go to bed earlier, turn away from the phone more, see the bigger picture of my place as a rather small cog in a very much larger machine - it's that kick you need sometimes to look at your life and appreciate just what you really have. As with the previous book, the short chapters and flitting from subject to subject worked for me. There is a connecting theme and flow, but it also feels very human and stream-of-consciousness, with lists (as a listener, I could hear them, rather than see them on a page, and would have liked to see them written down to savour a little more). Haig says what we all need to hear, and I imagine many will nod along, as I did. He makes an affable reader, his material highly relevant to his audience, and teens through to pensioners will find something enlightening and emboldening here to unite us all. With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    jenice

    notes on a nervous planet was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. having said that, i actually didn’t know what it was going to be about. obviously, by the title, i knew it would focus more on anxiety, but that was pretty much it. overall, while notes on a nervous planet was a good non-fiction book on mental health, i still prefer reasons to stay alive. before anything else, it’s important to note that this book really triggered my anxiety. i’m very wary when entering a book that has eve notes on a nervous planet was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. having said that, i actually didn’t know what it was going to be about. obviously, by the title, i knew it would focus more on anxiety, but that was pretty much it. overall, while notes on a nervous planet was a good non-fiction book on mental health, i still prefer reasons to stay alive. before anything else, it’s important to note that this book really triggered my anxiety. i’m very wary when entering a book that has even the slightest bit to do with mental illness because i’m scared of how it will affect me. with every book that has had to do with anxiety or ocd that i’ve read in the past, it has triggered me. just reading the sentence “i have anxiety.” makes me feel anxious so i knew going in that this would bring my anxiety more into the surface so while i was somewhat prepared, it still affected me. haig’s anxieties seem to overlap with mine so i related a lot to what he was putting out, but that meant me having to put the book down because i was freaking out. i do think it’s worth the read, but please put your own mental health first and be absolutely sure that you can handle this. haig’s writing is so much fun. his style, at least in reasons to stay alive and notes on a nervous planet, is very conversational so most of the time you feel like he’s actually talking to you. there’s this mix between a personal and a more informative approach in this book. i mostly preferred reading the more personal bits because i think that’s where haig’s voice truly shines through. also i knew a lot of what haig was presenting so at points i was bored. that doesn’t mean that the book was boring or lacking in the knowledge department. i learned a lot of things from this book (such as edison not believing there was any reason to sleep) so the content was good. haig talks about how technology and the internet affects our mental health and at first i got kind of defensive, but then i realized that most of us have this gut reaction, even more when you spend so much time on the internet, but it’s wrong to ignore the toll that the internet has on us. i didn’t agree with everything he had to say, but i understood his points. the first 75% of this book, i was freaking out. my anxiety levels were high and everything was just kind of what the fuck, but then that last 25% was so comforting to me. i felt like haig was putting a blanket over my shoulders and saying yes the world is fucked but it’s okay you can make it through. more notes: - i really love the focus on recovery haig has put in both reasons to stay alive and notes on a nervous planet. - lists are so much fun - i cried like twice fav sections: 1. 24/7 catastrophe 2. Goalposts 3. Maybe 4. Six ways to keep up with the news and not lose your mind 5. How to be lonely 6. Reality versus supermarkets 7. Fiction is freedom

  17. 4 out of 5

    Didde Elnif

    Jeg kunne virkelig godt lide Reasons to stay alive og denne bog er i princippet en naturlig opfølgning. Men ... måske er den bare ikke rigtig for mig. Den har et stort fokus på, hvad internet og 'connectivity' gør ved os som mennesker, at ro, natur, kærlighed og dyr er godt for os og distraktion er skidt. Men det bliver utroligt frelst. Og en anelse neoliberalt. Det er hele tiden individet, der skal ændre sin adfærd, også når problemerne er strukturelle. Flere steder virker Haig også utroligt pr Jeg kunne virkelig godt lide Reasons to stay alive og denne bog er i princippet en naturlig opfølgning. Men ... måske er den bare ikke rigtig for mig. Den har et stort fokus på, hvad internet og 'connectivity' gør ved os som mennesker, at ro, natur, kærlighed og dyr er godt for os og distraktion er skidt. Men det bliver utroligt frelst. Og en anelse neoliberalt. Det er hele tiden individet, der skal ændre sin adfærd, også når problemerne er strukturelle. Flere steder virker Haig også utroligt privilegieblind: der er ikke andre på stranden, der tænker på, hvordan du ser ud i badetøj, kun dig selv, og hvis de gør, så er det jo ikke dit problem. Hvis et andet menneske ikke elsker dig, som du er og ser ud, så fortjener det menneske dig ikke. Tjaeh, tjoeh, i den bedste af alle verdener, men det virker lidt letkøbt for midaldrende, hvid mand at sige, vi bare alle sammen skal se bort fra strukturer. Og så er man lidt bagud på point i min verden, hvis man primært citerer typer som Steven Pinker og Sherry Turkle, når man skriver om internettet. Jeg savner (internet-)bøger, der nuancerer bedre, der tænker i reelle løsninger, for vores digitale fremtid. Men jeg er sådan set ikke i tvivl om at intensionen er god. Og at bogen vil være en dejlig forsikring for nogen: Det er okay at logge af og tjekke ud og kigge på stjernerne.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rain

    Matt Haig did it again. Everyone who knows me is aware that I read A LOT of fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, so few contemporary, and I rarely read non-fiction. I read to escape but non-fiction books are just too close to reality for my liking. Despite that, I devour Matt Haig's non-fiction books. Notes from a Nervous Planet is a sort of follow up to Reasons To Stay Alive—a book that means so much to me. Reasons to Stay Alive made me love Matt Haig so much. It is the second non-fiction book I honestly Matt Haig did it again. Everyone who knows me is aware that I read A LOT of fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, so few contemporary, and I rarely read non-fiction. I read to escape but non-fiction books are just too close to reality for my liking. Despite that, I devour Matt Haig's non-fiction books. Notes from a Nervous Planet is a sort of follow up to Reasons To Stay Alive—a book that means so much to me. Reasons to Stay Alive made me love Matt Haig so much. It is the second non-fiction book I honestly loved (the first is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom) and when I found out about Notes on a Nervous Planet, I was so excited for it. Matt Haig gives honest insight on mental health and he talks about the negative things in this planet with raw emotion on this book. He also talks about his own experiences and gives profound advice that I often think he can read my mind. Once again, I found myself highlighting almost every line of a Matt Haig book because his words are just SO BEAUTIFUL and my heart becomes so full when I read them. I also love that this book contains a lot of lists and chapters that are short but meaningful. There are a lot of problems addressed in this book too and I relate to most of them, especially when Matt talks about the effects of social media (particularly Twitter). Notes on a Nervous Planet made me think, sob and laugh. I know non-fiction isn't a genre for everyone but I hope you would all give Matt Haig's books a chance because they're thought-provoking and incredibly TRUE.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Martha Mae

    Devoured this in a single day. Deliciously yummy. Another Haig triumph.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Notes on a Nervous Planet is Matt Haig's somewhat sequel to Reasons To Stay Alive, in which he looks at the pace and panic of today's world and considers it through the lens of his own mental health issues, particularly anxiety. The style is very similar to the earlier book: short chapters with lots of lists and short sentences, emphasising his own suggestions and advice. The book has plenty of interesting thoughts and things to consider, particularly around technology and around how mental healt Notes on a Nervous Planet is Matt Haig's somewhat sequel to Reasons To Stay Alive, in which he looks at the pace and panic of today's world and considers it through the lens of his own mental health issues, particularly anxiety. The style is very similar to the earlier book: short chapters with lots of lists and short sentences, emphasising his own suggestions and advice. The book has plenty of interesting thoughts and things to consider, particularly around technology and around how mental health issues that cause people to act in less societally acceptable ways aren't having the stigma removed in the same way that other issues might be. The way Haig darts through his content feels pretty similar to the issues of the pace of the modern world that he highlights and questions the positivity of, whether or not this is intentional, and there's not much chance for reflection. A lot of his lists of advice and suggestions will be helpful to some people, and completely irrelevant to others even with similar issues; this is perhaps the nature of books dealing with mental health in general, as everyone is different. The experience of reading Notes on a Nervous Planet is a bit like reading a series of internet thinkpieces and Twitter threads, for better or for worse. It will undoubtedly be, like Haig's previous book on mental health, a lifeline for some people, but others may find it annoying and not actually saying anything new. If you enjoyed or needed Reasons To Stay Alive, it is worth reading this one to see what you think.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I hardly ever dnf a book. Now trust me when I say I know that this book is just like Haig's others; ones that I do like, The Humans is actually one of my all-time favourites. I stopped a little over 200 pages in and I realised he would be repeating the same messages over and over again, I got the gist and was to be honest irritated. He did hit a few aspects of modern culture on the head but at some points it came off like a middle aged man complaining about youth culture, which it is essentially I hardly ever dnf a book. Now trust me when I say I know that this book is just like Haig's others; ones that I do like, The Humans is actually one of my all-time favourites. I stopped a little over 200 pages in and I realised he would be repeating the same messages over and over again, I got the gist and was to be honest irritated. He did hit a few aspects of modern culture on the head but at some points it came off like a middle aged man complaining about youth culture, which it is essentially and there is a gap between what he thinks us youth understand about our own obsession with technology. Also if people really were stupid enough to make machines that can take over us I'll give this book 5 stars, to my understanding computers work off algorithms which people write. A computer can be smarter than a human but not smarter than humanity. I may sound ignorant, and I very much might be but I kept an open-mind and this is my opinion of this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Oscar

    Matt Haig is bloody wonderful. He just gets it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tom McLean

    I feel like I could write a Twitter bot that would generate this entire book. If you're the type of person who needs someone to tell you "It will be okay" a thousand different ways, then this is the book for you. I, like Matt Haig, also suffer from anxiety. But being told "it will be okay" only adds to my anxiety. I was hoping for a tool or an escape, but did not find it here. I'm glad Mr. Haig has found a profitable way to deal with his anxiety, by selling out his mantras.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Josefin

    I wanted so badly to love this book, not just because it's Matt Haig, but also because I like the idea of the topic, but sadly it wasn't entirely a book for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jaarwabrei

    It wasn't surprising for me that I would like this book, as I love Matt Haig's writing in general. However, I had one problem that may be an issue for other people, too. There were some paragraphs/chapters that could easily trigger panic attacks, and I think when writing about mental health you could be even more cautious or put a trigger warning there or something. But maybe it was only a problem for me as the issues he talks about (related to technology) are things I unfortunately worry about, It wasn't surprising for me that I would like this book, as I love Matt Haig's writing in general. However, I had one problem that may be an issue for other people, too. There were some paragraphs/chapters that could easily trigger panic attacks, and I think when writing about mental health you could be even more cautious or put a trigger warning there or something. But maybe it was only a problem for me as the issues he talks about (related to technology) are things I unfortunately worry about, too. This does also mean that this book was in general very helpful and I am grateful to have read it. I would really like to talk about these issues personally with Matt Haig as I have some conflicting views, but that does not mean I like the book less. I also think I have to read it at least a few times more, maybe when I'm in a better state myself. So if you are not super sensitive and are able to read, go and read it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

    Like Matt Haig’s previous book ‘How to Stay Alive’, ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ is recommended reading for…well, everyone. Our attention is slowly and surely being broken down into short segments and one of the largest culprits is the internet. The flow of free information and entertainment and social interaction has never been greater, and yet we have probably never been more miserable as a species because we have lost touch with how to live in the now. Haig manages to be approachable and down- Like Matt Haig’s previous book ‘How to Stay Alive’, ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ is recommended reading for…well, everyone. Our attention is slowly and surely being broken down into short segments and one of the largest culprits is the internet. The flow of free information and entertainment and social interaction has never been greater, and yet we have probably never been more miserable as a species because we have lost touch with how to live in the now. Haig manages to be approachable and down-to-earthas he delivers his thoughts and recommendations for living a less cluttered and over-stimulated life. An honest, heartfelt book that everyone should read.  

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joana Eyre

    "We have handed over our instincts to the hands of a clock. Increasingly, we serve time rather than time serving us." "When normality becomes madness, the only way to find sanity is by daring to be different. Or daring to be the you that exists beyond all the physical clutter and mind debris of modern existence."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ting Tong

    Haig provides an authentic first person narrative of how the world we live in is contributing to people feeling anxious and depressed. The development of social media and people’s unfortunate need to present themselves as something which is at a disconnect from themselves, comparing their real selves and bodies to other people’s highlight reels and communicating online rather than in person, means people feel dissatisfied with themselves and lonely. Consumerism and advertisements all around us a Haig provides an authentic first person narrative of how the world we live in is contributing to people feeling anxious and depressed. The development of social media and people’s unfortunate need to present themselves as something which is at a disconnect from themselves, comparing their real selves and bodies to other people’s highlight reels and communicating online rather than in person, means people feel dissatisfied with themselves and lonely. Consumerism and advertisements all around us aim to make us feel dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives so that we’ll buy their products; happy people are less likely to be persuaded to buy products they don’t want or need. The awareness of time and how we now serve it rather than it serving us; needing alarms to wake up for specific times and being trained from a young age to live in the future rather than the present makes us feel anxious and unfulfilled. The portrayal of horrific things in the media as viral news, our increasing work hours, lack of sleep and less time spent in green spaces in favour of shopping centres all overwhelm us and make us miserable. Haig provides advice on what you can do to be less anxious and depressed and provides an alternative view to the deterministic ideology of mental illness; everyone is affected in some way and you can do something to change it, if you want to.

  29. 4 out of 5

    booksofallkinds

    NOTES ON A NERVOUS PLANET by Matt Haig is everything you need and more to help connect with your anxiety and the million different things that can enhance and make it worse. It is a manual, a guide, an escape hatch, and the kind of book that should be carried in your bag at all times for easy access when you need it. From our constant connection to the world through social media and the internet in general, yes there are fantastic upshots of this, but there are also downsides which Matt expertly NOTES ON A NERVOUS PLANET by Matt Haig is everything you need and more to help connect with your anxiety and the million different things that can enhance and make it worse. It is a manual, a guide, an escape hatch, and the kind of book that should be carried in your bag at all times for easy access when you need it. From our constant connection to the world through social media and the internet in general, yes there are fantastic upshots of this, but there are also downsides which Matt expertly points out - devastation, pain, judgement, anger, terror is also just at our fingertips and for those of us who are anxious anyway, this is like a bomb waiting to go off. Matt Haig has written this book through his own experiences and so his words really connect with the reader. You can feel his honesty, his pain, and his hope for the future. There are great tips to help people step down from that anxious ledge and like everything in life, what works for one person doesn't mean it will work for everyone, but it's definitely worth a shot. ​ As pointed out throughout this book, 'Life is beautiful', and when you close this book you will feel that sentence come alive for you. I know I sat in the garden, closed my eyes, listened to my kids laughing as they played with my husband and I felt peace. Yes, life is certainly beautiful. But Matt also recognises that just because there are worse things happening in the world doesn't mean that anxiety and depression won't rear its ugly head and take over when you least expect it. The key is recognising it and the triggers that trip it, of which there are many in our modern world. NOTES ON A NERVOUS PLANET by Matt Haig is a book that should be read by everyone, and I mean EVERYONE! It oozes warmth, self-care, and wisdom and will help so many people see life and our world from a different perspective - I know it has changed me. It is a book that needs to be on every bookshelf in every home, in every town, in every county, and country and I highly recommend it. *I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robin Chan

    Read this review and much more on my blog This is an important book. Important not in the usual sense in this genre (self-development/self-help/personal growth, pick your name) that it makes you feel better after reading it. Feeling better feels good but it may not—often—be actually good for you. It is important because the message is important, and Matt Haig, one of my favorite writers, delivers it in a way only he can, although it may seem a bit off-putting at first encounter or scattered for s Read this review and much more on my blog This is an important book. Important not in the usual sense in this genre (self-development/self-help/personal growth, pick your name) that it makes you feel better after reading it. Feeling better feels good but it may not—often—be actually good for you. It is important because the message is important, and Matt Haig, one of my favorite writers, delivers it in a way only he can, although it may seem a bit off-putting at first encounter or scattered for some readers. Like Reasons to Stay Alive, this is a book about anxiety. But it is more than that. As you may deduce from the title, Matt makes the point that we are living in an age where anxiety almost defines us. Whatever your position in life, no matter your age, your gender, your job, where you live, how much money you make, what you have achieved, there is always something to be anxious about. It doesn’t help that technology is accentuating and even causing more anxiety because we are now always connected. And our relationship with our addition to our smartphones and social media causes a vicious cycle—the more we use them, the more anxious we become, and the more anxious we become, the more we distract ourselves by consuming even more. The best thing about this book and the way Matt writes it and presents the ideas is that it is always warm and personal. Admittedly a lot of the things discussed (addiction to smartphones, how the news and politicians are capitalizing on our anxiety, or we need to sleep more, etc.), we already know or at least have heard by reading other articles, other books or watching TED talks. But it is the way he says it: And it is an effort. It’s so bloody hard. There are days when I’d find it easier to talk North Korea out of its nuclear weapons programme than to talk myself out of checking social media seventeen times before breakfast. To see the act of learning as something not for its own sake but because of what it will get you reduces the wonder of humanity. We are thinking, feeling, art-making, knowledge-hungry, marvelous animals, who understand ourselves and our world through the act of learning. It is an end in itself. Yes, he still uses the words “humans” and “homo sapiens” a lot. If there is a common thread to all his books, I would argue that it is his penetrating and often hilarious observation of our absurd but very human behaviors as a species. In The Humans, he views it via the prism of an alien sent to slow down humanity’s advance. In How to Stop Time, he views it via a man who has the secret of having lived more than 300 years. In this book, for the first time he tells it as it is—via his own experience and struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. If you haven’t read the wonderful novel The Humans yet, do yourself a favor and read it. I discovered Matt by reading it and it has made it to my all-time favorite hall-of-fame books since then. In fact, after finishing this book, I am going to reread it again, I can imagine it will be even better the second time around after reading this one.

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