Ok so a few people have asked what has helped with my mental health. I haven’t had much success in therapy. I have tried so many things outside of therapy. I ended up just reading the books explaining the techniques that the therapists are going to use on me and using other resources. This doesn’t cover psychoeducation which was the other part that was important for me – but that will be a far longer post.
All of these have been important for my mental health – please note I have picked and chosen the parts that are good for me – and I don’t think they will work for everyone.
A main rule I have for any of this stuff is: Take advice you find helpful, discard that which you don’t.
Ok so as a heads up Philosophy has been the most important thing for me to learn there are a number of ways to engage with this – the area of philosophy I was most interested in was virtue ethics – and particularly the concept of Eudaimonia (which means to lead a good life). I love all philosophy though. I also think that social justice was a huge part of learning about what I needed to achieve some peace in my life so I am going to include some other books also.
Philosophize This! – Steven West – An excellent overview of the development of the field of philosophy – you can then dig in more to certain philosopher’s who you find interesting.
Stoic Meditations – Massimo Pigliucci – A short meditation on Stoic writing – I listen to these each morning on random as inspiration.
TV Show – The Good Place
Ok if you don’t want to dive into philosophy – this TV show is incredibly good at breaking down some of the important moral implications about being a good or virtuous person. It’s actually one of the best shows ever made – it can take a while to get into but there are so many great lessons in this show.
Self Help Books that helped me
These books are written from a religious/spiritual perspective – but I am a pantheist – the advice was helpful to me.
I’d recommend reading these in order – don’t do mindfulness without reading the risks involved if you are traumatised – I made this mistake before learning why it happens to be a bad idea. These books are for practitioners generally and do not go heavy into the application in some cases.