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From sci-fi to psychology: The 7 books to read to rewire your brain

·3-min read
Hands holding book in air against blue sky
There's nothing better than a good book. Here's some to add to your list. (Source: Getty)

It’s a new year, but most of 2021’s challenges have stuck around and it’s left workers depleted and unmotivated.

An additional 2.1 million people have decided to forgo New Year’s resolutions in 2022, due to the last two years’ unpredictability.

The reality is that learning a new habit is hard: it takes 66 days on average.

Reading a book is a lot easier.

Yahoo Finance spoke to three careers, leadership and workplace experts for their tips on the best books to read to take control of your happiness and mental health in 2022.

Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It: Ethan Kross

Executive coach and peak performance expert: Shadé Zahrai

“This best-selling book is a total game-changer and one I’m constantly recommending others to read, especially if you have an interest in psychology and human behaviour!” Zahrai said.

“Author Ethan Kross, an award-winning professor and one of the world's leading experts on controlling the conscious mind, has written a really fascinating compilation of research, compelling stories and real-world case studies that help you understand what’s really going on in your mind and why your negative self-talk can tank your health, sink your mood, and make you cave under pressure.

“The book is also jam-packed with actionable, tangible tools to help you master your mindset and make your inner voice work in your favour. Highly recommend this one - and if you do read it, make sure you take notes!”

How To Do The Work: Dr Nicole LePera and Atomic Habits: James Clear

Management consultant and CEO at ASPL Group: Kris Grant

How To Do The Work offers readers the tools to shift behaviours and reclaim their lives.

“It’s easily the most empowering book that I’ve ever read - it’s a game changer,” she said.

“[It’s] amazing, and the best thing that you can learn is that the power to change is within yourself and Dr Nicole LePera provides the guidance on how to do the work.”

Grant also suggested Atomic Habits as a must-read for people looking to improve their workflow and “shift their mindset”.

The #1 New York Times bestseller presents a framework for improving the formation of habits, drawing on neuroscience.

Grant shared one key takeaway from the book: “When you talk about changing habits - which everyone talks about in the new year - just try to change one habit.”

“If you start changing one habit and you’re focusing on it, journaling about it, it’s a lot easier to measure yourself on that one than trying - and failing - to do a whole list.”

Something fun: Romance, historical drama, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy

Work futurist at Atlassian: Dom Price

“The honest one, is that if people want to be happier, healthier and wealthier, I'd strongly recommend they DON'T read any business books,” Price said.

“I think we're full to the brim of advice, hacks, must do's, Top 5 tips, and eternally cheesy motivational quotes that make me cry with emptiness.

“What I'd love for people to do to rewire the brain, is either just sit and let the mind wander, or if you do insist on reading, try some fiction. I spent my summer break heavily invested in crime novels (David Baldicci), drama, some sci-fi, romance, comedy (Ben Elton), and law (John Grisham).

“It allows my brain to exercise in a fun way, and is a genuine recharge from the crazy reality of pandemics, lockdowns, border closures and burnout. Trust me, invest in letting your mind have some fun. Solve a crime. Cry at a burgeoning romance. Demand a retrial. Immerse. It’s worth it.”

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