A Book To Live By: Notes On A Nervous Planet

Notes On A Nervous Planet is a book written by Matt Haig, not too scrutinise our daily routines or the ins and outs of society but too open our eyes on how society itself is making us more nervous and anxious people. How over the years we’ve become more self-conscious of our appearance as well as our reliance on our phones and social media. I thought I would introduce the underlying topic of the book and talk through some of the aspects of our lives which can help increase or decrease our emotional state and anxiety.

‘How can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad?’ – Matt Haig

As much as life now is advance and growing, in all kinds of way – technologically, politically, environmentally – we have to be caution than ever, trying to not overwhelm ourselves with attempting to do everything in such a short time span. By understanding what overwhelms us and all those invisible threats that keep us on our toes than maybe we will know how better to navigate in the world around us. But we also have to understand that MAYBE happiness isn’t something we need to buy or search for, maybe its feeling content with what you already have and not live life thinking about what you need but appreciating what you have achieved and what that could lead too.

‘It’s such a weird thing for young people to look at distorted images of things they should be’ – Daisy Ridley, on why she quit Instagram

We live in a world where there is a day/night cream, serum or other product which will apparently help you look younger and beautiful, help stop wrinkles and make you youthfully radiant. We’re bombarded left, right and center with all these new treatments which force us to believe that we have to look a certain way, which is resulting in both women and men trying to consistently improve their appearance. Instead of trying to stop the inevitable, because EVERYONE ages, we should instead embrace those wrinkles, stop living in the future and focus on the now but especially don’t fear something which you’ll regret fearing, there’s no point worrying so much about something, that it consumes you.

‘The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had’ – Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

Social media has become such a big part of our lives, so much that we are constantly updating our statuses or checking our feed every few minutes. We become so emotionally connected with our social media accounts, that it not only influences our day-to-day interactions with the people around us but it also has an emotional effect on our mental state. We are so concerned with the amount of likes, retweets or comments that we get which internally leads to us being emotionally affected by that response.

I can’t say the any of the things above don’t apply to me because they do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to find a balance between our time on and off our social media accounts. So here are a few things to try and follow:

  1. Don’t hate-follow
  2. Don’t worry so much about missing out on things
  3. Don’t put your life on hold for the internet
  4. Take into consideration that people are much more than there social media accounts.

But more importantly don’t compare yourself to other people!

‘Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything it is because we are dangerously near to wanting noting’ – Sylvia Plath

We are constantly being ‘sold unhappiness, because unhappiness is where the money is’, we are constantly being told by brands, adverts, magazines and even social media that we can be better than who we are, that we can somehow change and to do so we have to invest in this new product or buying a new outfit will make all the difference. As Matt Haig says ‘we need to build a kind of immune system of the mind. Where we can absorb but not get infected by the world around us’.

‘There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self’ – Aldous Huxley

Matt Haig has written a master piece of a book, and delved into so many aspects of our lives which are more affected by the world around us then we expect it to be. If I were to recommend one book to someone this year it would definitely be this one! Even if you don’t go out and read this book, I hope that by reading this blog and having a little insight into what the book is about book, you will be more aware of how the world around us affects our emotional and physical state and the easier we will find it to understand how to feel like we have more control over our lives and emotions. Most importantly, spend time on the things and with the people that make a significant effect on your life, even if that means having to let go of all those restraints that are holding you back.

Love Sharuni xx

//28th October 2018//

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