Matt Haig is an author I have admired for a while and I am the owner of several of his books including How To Stop Time which I loved and chose as one of my favourite books of last year. But my latest review is of one of his non-fiction books, Notes On A Nervous Planet.
In Notes On A Nervous Planet, we explore life in the 21st century and how certain aspects can have an impact on our mental health and wellbeing. This is something I have been considering more and more in recent years, and as someone who has struggled with their own anxiety and sense of self worth recently, it felt like the right time to give this book a read. And I am so glad I did. I sometimes find it hard to describe to people why I feel down, or how I feel I am lacking in certain areas, but after reading this book, I felt a little less alone. Amongst the issues discussed are the advances in technology and presence of social media, along with the pressures in society to look a certain way, or to reach particular milestones. And along the way there are plenty of tips and advice on how to address these pressures if they get too much, to help us feel grounded, and appreciate the things we have rather than the things we don’t, or feel we should have. Reading this book made me feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I feel it is a book that is well worth a read for anyone in a world which can sometimes feel overwhelming.
I found Notes On A Nervous Planet to be a rewarding and fascinating read which I finished in only a couple of sittings. And its format with a series of shorter chapters, lists and notes make it an accessible read, one which you can dip in and out of when required. It certainly has the feel of a book that you would want to return to, to refer to certain sections which may be particularly crucial to the reader. I have a couple of sentences in mind that I know I will return to, which perfectly capture the feelings of anxiety I experience, and may help me to overcome them. I always enjoy Matt Haig’s writing and this book is no exception, and I thought it was beautifully written and insightful. I feel that Notes On a Nervous Planet is an important book, one which provides an honest account of living in a modern world whilst suffering from mental illness. But whilst I think it is a great read for anyone who has struggled with mental health, it is also worthy of a read for its warmth and its wisdom, as Matt Haig tries to make sense of our complicated world, and how we can learn to focus on the beauty and simplicity of life.