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Notes on a Nervous Planet

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A follow-up to Matt Haig's internationally bestselling memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a better life.

The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health in both positive and negative ways. Notes on a Nervous Planet collects his observations, taking a look at how the various social, commercial and technological "advancements" that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness. Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.

288 pages, Paperback

First published July 5, 2018

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About the author

Matt Haig

104 books32.5k followers
Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist.

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5 stars
15,762 (34%)
4 stars
17,136 (37%)
3 stars
9,346 (20%)
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794 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,957 reviews
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews992 followers
July 14, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Alexa Petre.
100 reviews15 followers
September 6, 2018
As much as I respect and appreciate Matt Haig, I cannot give more than 2 stars to this book. First of all, it's very messy, and although he even mentions in the book that he deliberately wanted to write a messy book, it actually feels like a bunch of blog posts cluttered together in a book, without much structure and flow to it, especially since he repeats himself numerous times throughout it. I just couldn't help thinking I was reading a bunch of shallow self-help articles, full of truisms and of dramatic short sentences, that didn't go into enough detail in order to be interesting or helpful. Plus the exaggerated amount of enumerations became irritating after a while. I appreciate the intention of writing a book to help people navigate through modern times easier, but putting together a lot of statistics, quotes and general findings from different other authors (without mentioning the exact sources in the footnotes, another big flaw) just makes the book feel like a pseudo-scientific bunch of random facts. I'm really sorry Matt, this was not your best, I think.
Profile Image for Nat K.
415 reviews155 followers
July 31, 2019
”The paradox of modern life is this: we have never been more connected, and we have never been more alone.”

Another gem from one of my favourite writers, which makes me realise why I love reading his books so much. Matt Haig has the innate ability to get inside your core and peel back the layers.

He makes you feel. He makes you think.

Whenever I start one of his books, the rest of the world falls to a blur, in slow motion. I become so engrossed in what he has to say, it’s as if time stands still. He writes of truth and hurt and feelings, and the discord so many of us feel in our oh-so-busy modern lives.

Inadvertently, he has become somewhat of a modern day sage with his wise words and observations. By being so upfront with his own struggles with anxiety and depression (via his previous book "Reasons to Stay Alive"), this book continues on the theme of the pressures we place on ourselves in the modern world, and if it is indeed worth it. We are bombarded with information overload from the time we wake up to the moment our head hit the pillow. No wonder our inner circuitry often snaps.

There's a beautiful snippet "A note from the beach" which is funny and cheeky at the same time. Effectively the beach has written an ode to us humans, about how we shouldn't obsess about who's "watching us" on the beach, about how we look, as no-one's really interested. They're all too worried about how they look.

"Reframe your idea of beauty. Be a rebel against marketing. Look forward to being a wise elder. Be the complex elegance of a melting candle. Be a map with 10,000 roads. Be the orange at sunset that outclasses the pink of sunrise. Be the self that dares to be true."

Penelope beautifully summed up this book by saying “…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 couldn’t agree more. And I really can’t say more. Just read it.

Matt, you have such a positive influence on so many people. I truly hope you read your reviews, because you’ll see how much you mean to people, and just how many lives you’ve touched 💕

🌿 💚 🌿 💚 Just be. 🌿 💚 🌿 💚
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
January 18, 2022
“Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Reading is love in action.”

Of all the positive ideas this book imparts, the importance of reading in a stressful and busy world is by far one of the most significant.

We are constantly bombarded by information from our phones and by screens. A book is simpler in many ways. It offers us an escape into one world, into one story and with no distractions or internet holes to fall into. Reading is a way to relax, destress and to help shut off anxiety – especially if the planet itself is the cause of our troubling thoughts.

Whilst Matt Haig isn’t suggesting we become ignorant to the news and the problems we face as a society; he is advocating for a filtering system for the media we chose to consume. Perhaps a limitation to the amount of time we spend on social networking websites is necessary and a degree of caution when browsing the internet. Books are in many ways, again, much better for us because they very rarely cause us problems and troubling thoughts. This, of course, depends on the books we chose to read, but I appreciated Haig’s arguments on how they can open our minds.

So how do we live a better life and navigate the nervousness of dealing with the modern world?

Read. Read. Read. It’s that simple.


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,292 reviews2,286 followers
April 28, 2023
This is the book which will make you think about the most useless things that we invest most of our time in. And we say we need more time everyday to do things that matter.

"There is a cliché about reading. That there are as many books as there are readers.

Meaning every reader has their own take on a book."

(Yes, this book too joins my best 2021 reads.)

The best non-fiction from the author and arguably my most favourite book of the new year, this one is life-changing.

We worry about a lot of things. Like constantly. About one thing or another. For nothing.

This book has so much power to bring you the arguments that you probably thought you would never need to make you see the inevitable 'nothing' in all the craze we are involved in everyday.

We want more. More social media engagement, more news updates, more and more for everything.

The book made me see how our lives are getting so chaotic day and night to the point of getting addicted to the screen which aggravates our ways of dealing with how we value ourselves with such unrealistic scales of likes, comments, following and such on social media.

I know it helps establish our jobs and it benefits us but the book argues if it's worth the way it's affecting our lives in a more negative manner most of the time.

This book will help you decide how to cut down all the useless competition and comparisons we are all so caught up in each day.
Profile Image for Swrp.
663 reviews
November 8, 2020
How can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad?

Matt Haig`s Notes on a Nervous Planet is all about providing to us, some sensible and practical solutions to the above complicated question.

"We are humans. Let's not be ashamed to look like them."

This concisely well-written book is must-read for all humans who have a brain and a mind.

Libraries aren't just about books. They are one of the few public spaces we have left which don't like our wallets more than us.

The importance of the reading habit is so very well described in this book. Books truly help us to remain sane and think right.

So, when depression slugs over me I close my eyes and enter the bank of good days and think of sunshine and laughter and turtles. And I try to remember how possible the impossible can sometimes be.

Matt Haig provides us few key and useful guidelines. It is important for all of us to understand and realize that mental and emotional illness is like any other illness, like diabetes or cancer. It need not be a shame or a secret. There is no need to feel guilty. Mental illness is not a weakness or a flaw. The pain of this illness is as and more painful than other illnesses.
It's all about being in the present moment!

Why do humans worry so much about a stranger's opinion?
Allow yourself just to be as you are.

“Be a map with 10,000 roads. Be the orange at sunset that outclasses the pink of sunrise. Be the self that dares to be true.

You can feel as removed from yourself as a packet of toilet roll is removed from a tree.
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,236 reviews26.6k followers
April 29, 2020
”How can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad?

Matt Haig has such a way with worlds and he is so good at being able to explain the reasons people might feel anxiety and depression in the world we are living in today. This read couldn’t come at a more perfect time for me because the world is unimaginably horrific these days and I really needed this. I enjoyed this one even more than Reasons to Stay Alive, and I just really love his writing so much.

”The future isn’t real. The future is abstract. The now is all we know. One now after another now. The now is where we must live. There are billions of different versions of an older you. There is one version of the present you. Focus on that.”

I love the section about time in this book because a huge part of my anxiety is never feeling like I have enough time to do all the things I want to do, and never feeling present in the moment because I’m always planning things for the future and thinking about the future. This quote really speaks to me:

“To enjoy life, we might have to stop thinking about what we will never be able to read and watch and say and do, and start to think of how to enjoy the world within our boundaries. To live on a human scale. To focus on the few things we can do, rather than the millions of things we can’t. To not crave parallel lives. To find a smaller mathematics. To be a proud and singular one. An indivisible prime.”

I just love Matt Haig’s writing, and he makes me feel so understood and normal with my anxiety about life and the future and the world. I really needed this book right now and I’m so glad it was everything I was hoping it would be.
Profile Image for jade.
489 reviews288 followers
February 20, 2020
dear matt,

i get it, you’re an anxious kinda guy. and our Internet Super Highway world where everything is Fast and Overwhelming doesn’t really help matters. neither does having beef on twitter with internet trolls so badly it makes your heart rate skyrocket.

so, kudos to you for getting it out there. mental health issues are not easy to talk about. and i fully agree with you that the way we access, share, and process information can pose a lot of difficulties. for both the neurotypical and the neurodivergent (and yes, the latter includes me).

i mean, we could talk endlessly about the Bad Effects of social media and we’d probably have a good conversation with a lot of mutual agreement. i’m not sure if that would make us part of an online echo chamber or not.


you put a lot of lists in your book. there’s chapters comprised of bullet points only. some are endless enumerations disappearing into big paragraphs; others lack context or discussion.

you also list goodreads as one of the Good Things about the internet.

so this is where i’m going to tell you to take your own advice, and not expose yourself to stuff online that makes you feel unhappy. because i’m going to rate your book, and i’m going to give it one measly star.

i’m sorry, man. you know what the most ironic thing is?

if i would’ve been a follower of, say, your twitter or your blog or your whatever -- and every once in a while, you’d have posted one of the chapters from this book as a blog post or a series of tweets, i probably would’ve liked SOME of it by clicking that heart button.

but presented together like this, your book beats against the shores of repetition to an irritating degree and adds nothing new to the current discussion about how to merge our physical reality with our online existence. and personal anecdotes, no matter how relatable, are a poor substitute for scientific research.

let’s try for a list of things that made me raise my eyebrow, to stay true to your style and all.

number one. it’s true that panic attacks happen more easily in places where you get overwhelmed. supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls -- you name it. however, i did not expect you to link the prevalence in panic attacks in supermarkets to the fact that supermarket foods are “unnatural”. you then can’t seem to decide whether these foods are “unnatural” because they have chemical additions or because they are Altered Psychologically so that we will be manipulated into buying them. anyway, the more unnatural the pre-chopped jars of garlic, the more often we as humans feel “derealized”. right.

number two. you mention that the uncertainty of whether you’ve “checked your privilege” makes you anxious. you then proceeded to wax poetic about a colorblind outlook (“imagine all of us as humans, rather than nationality/religion/race/gender”) as a happy-go-lucky antidote to overwhelming negativity. not once, but TWICE -- i quote, “don’t be blinded by the connotations of your name, gender, nationality, sexuality or facebook profile”.

strike one for checking that privilege, my friend.

number three. you also conveniently forget to examine almost ANY situation from a non-white, non-western perspective except for throwing around some stats that i cannot CHECK because you did not include any sources. and yet i’m supposed to believe that the whole planet is having a nervous breakdown because we are all, across the globe, working 12-hour days at jobs we hate and maxing out our credit cards with stuff we don’t need? strike two.

number four. you visit a homeless shelter where everybody helps out with cooking, cleaning, etc. and tries very hard to keep addictive stuff (drugs, alcohol) out. you say, and i quote: “It [the shelter] was like a distillation of the things that people need in life”.

(still number four.) i’m sorry, you went to a homeless shelter where people who lost everything and fought addiction and managed to build something meaningful for themselves while still technically homeless, and used that as inspiration porn for your whole online detox argument?? privilege, meet class intersections.

strike three, you’re out.

also, did you REALLY make me read the words “the guilt of privilege” with my own two eyes? really??

alright, i’ll bring this to an end before i start beating a dead horse. that said, we have a saying where i live: to kick an open door. it means stating the obvious in such a way that it’s entirely pointless, just like kicking a door that’s already open.

i feel that pretty much sums up your argument about stepping away from the internet and marketing campaigns when they make you unhappy. because, duh.

and where your personal anecdotes re: anxiety and nervousness may strike a nerve with those suffering from the same sort of problems, the rest of your observations remain wholly out of touch from the rest of the world in my point of view.

1.0 stars.
Profile Image for Penelope.
490 reviews114 followers
June 13, 2018
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!
Profile Image for Tom McLean.
24 reviews
July 10, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews3,003 followers
January 21, 2021
An ode to social media (by Matt Haig):

When anger trolls the internet
looking for a hook
it’s time to disconnect
and go and read a book

Can I get an amen on that?! Surely my lit-loving peeps felt that in the feels as much as I did.

My 2021 mission to conquer Matt Haig’s backlist led me to his second nonfiction book that deals with his mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, and panic disorders). Notes on a Nervous Planet was written in 2019, and if the planet was nervous then it must be rocking back and forth in the fetal position now. More than ever, we need books like this to remind us that we’re not alone in dealing with the stresses of modern life. Read a healing sentence - breath in - read an insightful sentence - breath out. Repeat.

Try it again. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. If you feel just a wee bit better now, then I have no doubt you’ll feel a whole lot better after reading this book.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Maede.
275 reviews396 followers
June 22, 2021

نمی دونم تا به حال چقدر براتون پیش اومده که به یک کتاب «نیاز» داشته باشید و انگار جلوتون ظاهر بشه
این کتاب در روزهای سخت و تلخ هفته ی آخر آبان ۹۸ به نجات من اومد، روزایی که کشورم و من ناامید ترین روزهامون رو در سکوت می گذروندیم

افسردگی و استرس هیچ وقت از من دور نبودند. «اختلال اضطراب فراگیر» اسمی بود که بعد از کمی مطالعه و پذیرش، روی نگرانی های بی پایانم گذاشتم. هرچند توضیح دادن استرس و اضطرابی که هیچوقت تمومی نداره برای بقیه آسون نیست، پس در موردش حرف نمی زنم. وقتی این کتاب رو شروع کردم انگار برای اولین بار کسی رو پیدا کردم که من رو واقعا می فهمید

نویسنده کتاب «مت هیگ» که سال ها با افسردگی و اضطراب زندگی کرده، حالا در مورد این نوشته که چطور باید در این جهان مضطرب زندگی کرد. و اینکه جهان مدرن چقدر این نگرانی ها، استرس ها و نارضایتی ها رو بیشتر می کنه. جهانی که لازم داره تو متصل، مصرف کننده و نگران باشی

من درحالی این ها رو می خوندم که یک ابر سیاه ناامیدی و نگرانی روی ایران ایستاده بود (و ایستاده)، نگرانی همه ی وجودم رو گرفته بود و باز روی لبه ی چاه افسردگی نشسته بودم. هرجمله اش انگار خیلی عمیقا برام قابل درک بود و راهکارهای کتاب انگار مهم تر شده بود. شرایطم واقعا سخت بود و کلماتش رو با همه ی وجودم می خوندم. نمیتونم توصیف کنم که این کتاب چه کمکی به من کرد و چقدر ذهن به هم ریخته ی من رو سامان داد. نمی تونم از متنش زیاد توضیح بدم، چون به قول خود نویسنده این کتاب هم مثل این دنیا به هم ریختست

خیلی اوقات شاید به نظر بیاد یک موضوع داره تکرار میشه، یا نویسنده دائما سعی می کنه بگه " همه چیز درست میشه"، ولی من شنیدن همه ی این ها نیاز داشتم

برای نویسنده در گودریدز پیام دادم و تشکر کردم، می خواستم بدونه این سر دنیا یکی رو از یک افسردگی عمیق نجات داده و ذهنش رو کمی آروم کرده. اگر مثل من هستید، یا این روزها و این جهان مدرن شما رو تحت فشار گذاشته، این کتاب رو بخونید که اگر هیچ راهکاری پیدا نکنید، حداقل یک نفر رو پیدا کردید که شما رو می فهمه

We need to carve out a place in time for ourselves, whether it is via books or meditation or appreciating the view out of a window. A place where we are not craving, or yearning, or working, or worrying, or over-thinking. A place where we might not even be hoping. A place where we are set to neutral. Where we can just breathe, just be, just bathe in the simple animal contentment of being, and not crave anything except what we already have: life itself.

Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
October 2, 2019
Thanks to Penguin for a free review copy!

I read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig during my 2017 relapse, and I devoured it. I absolutely love Haig’s writing style and the way he weaves anecdote into advice, and how closely our experiences relate. I especially like how in this book, he talks about how social media and technology can exacerbate anxiety, which is certainly true for me as well.

I was initially fearful that this book would be a preachy “just get off your phone” type of book, which isn’t what I was anticipating nor did I want to hear—because let’s be real, social media is fun and useful and literally one of my jobs. I quickly realized that despite his message of logging off, he was also all for social media in a nuanced way I think a lot of people tend to miss. I think Haig perfectly located the need to log off when the internet or the news or whatever becomes too much—or even just a clutch for boredom—but not when it’s a source of joy or fun. To see someone who sees technology as so dualistic instead of strictly good or bad was refreshing, so it made me a lot more willing to internalize his advice.

I underlined SO many lines in this book because Haig is a gorgeous writer, but also he includes a lot of quotations and makes a lot of great points of his own about technology usage, remaining unique, relinquishing stress, and other ideas to reduce stress born from technology. If you’re someone who struggles with internet usage and anxiety, this would definitely be a valuable tool to remind yourself of your worth in a technological environment that tries to remind you that you’re worthless as a marketing ploy. I loved the encouraging tone of it, and in the end, it was a great reminder to make sure I’m taking care of my mental health by not abusing my phone or Internet usage.
Profile Image for Marina Emad.
128 reviews38 followers
September 24, 2022
كتاب لطيف جدآ.. عجبني ان بيتكلم عن السوشيال ميديا وازاي بتأثر علينا وبتكون سبب كبير في القلق وبيشارك المؤلف تجربته ومعاناته🖤
"لقد آمنت أن علاج الوحدة لا يكمن دائمآ في العثور على رفقة، بل العثور على طريقة تجعلنا نشعر بالسعادة ونحن وحدنا. ✨"
Profile Image for André Oliveira.
169 reviews56 followers
September 12, 2018
A book about depression, panic attacks and how to deal with them. Or at least get better at it.

Obviously, it's about a lot more subjects but Matt Haig give us some advice on how to cope with the present lifestyle and how to accept yourself and the world we currently live.
Profile Image for Melina Souza.
357 reviews1,858 followers
July 9, 2020
Esse é o segundo livro de não ficção e sobre saúde mental do Matt Haig que leio.
Meu primeiro contato com esse autor foi com Razões para continuar vivo (em 2018) e desde então já sabia que iria querer ler tudo o que ele escrevesse. Ainda não fiz isso, mas continuo pretendendo.

Observações sobre um planeta nervoso é uma leitura marcante e muito difícil de não se identificar, afinal, todos vivemos no mesmo planeta que Matt Haig.

Esse é um livro que recomendo que você leia com marcadores e caneta por perto. É aquele tipo de livro que conversar diretamente com o leitor, que traz reflexões, identificações e que dá conselhos (conselhos de acordo com a experiência de vida do próprio autor).

Um livro favorito e que irei recomendar para todo mundo. Até para quem tem preconceito com esse tipo de leitura, afinal, precisamos ajudar a quebrar essa separação que o mundo reforça entre mente e corpo. Precisamos fazer com que falar sobre saúde mental não seja um tabu e nem traga desconforto. Precisamos mudar muitas coisas no mundo em que estamos vivendo e essa é uma delas.
Profile Image for Emily B.
426 reviews421 followers
April 13, 2021
A very accessible book written by Matt Haig.
I love the way it’s formatted and compiled of lists and short chapters.

The subject matter is very relevant and I found it explored issues and anxieties concerning modern life and social media that have been at the back of my mind for a while.
Profile Image for Ola Al-Najres.
383 reviews1,125 followers
April 4, 2021
بادئ ذي بدء ، مات هيغ ليس اختصاصياً نفسياً كي تكون له القدرة على كتابة بحث علمي وموضوعي عن مرض القلق الذي صار جزءاً لا ينفصل من حياتنا اليوم ، إنما هو يكتب من وجهة نظر إنسان مُصاب بالقلق و متمتع بقدرة على التعبير عمّا يعتريه في تلك اللحظات المشوشة ، لذا من كان يبحث عن تشريح علمي للمرض عليه أن يُسقط هذا العنوان من قائمته ، أمّا من كان ينشد الصُحبة و الشعور بأنه ليس وحيداً في التجربة فمات سيحادثك حديث الصديق للصديق .

الهلع ؛ القلق ؛ التوتر ، أصبحت هذه الحالات اليوم من سمات مجتمعنا المحاط من كل جانب بأساليب الحياة المعاصرة ونتاج التقدم الرقمي ، بل صارت هذه الحالات متبوعة بسِمات أخرى مثل الأرق ، والدونية ، والإحباط ، والتقوقع على الذات و غيرها من مظاهر سلبية ضربت جذورها عميقاً في تربة حياتنا .

يعتبر مات أن أسلوب حياتنا المعاصر هو أهم مسببات القلق اليوم ، فمواقع التواصل الاجتماعي توحي لمستخدميها أنهم أسهم في بورصة ، ترتفع قيمتهم بارتفاع عدد متابعيهم ، فضلاً عن زجهم بشكل غير مباشر لمقارنة أسوأ ما لديهم بأفضل ما لدى غيرهم ، ولا داعي لذكر وهم الاتصال بالآخرين في حين أن الوحشة والوحدة تنخر كل روح فينا ، و نظام التسويق الذي يواظب على إشعارنا دائماً بالنقص و بحاجتنا لاقتناء المزيد والمزيد ، بينما نحن لا نحتاج فعلياً سوى لتقدير الذات وفهم احتياجاتها ، و كل تلك التكنولوجيا التي تُبقينا مكبلين في بيوتنا يغزونا الأرق والتفكير المحتدم ونوبات الاكتئاب والإحباط ، بينما العالم ينتظرنا في الخارج .

و بالتمعن قليلاً بكلام مات ، عدتُ بذاكرتي إلى اليوم الذي قررت فيه الانسحاب من كل منصات التواصل الاجتماعي قبل عدة سنوات ، وكيف كان عامي ذاك مليئاً بالنوم الهانئ والصفاء الذهني والرضا الذاتي ، و برغم أنني ضربت بالحياة الاجتماعية عرض الحائط إلا أنني حظيت بسلام نفسي لا أذكر أنني حظيت بمثله طوال حياتي ، و بالمقابل ، بعد ذلك العام وحين بدأت أعود لوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي شيئاً فشيء ، تذكرت كيف بدأ الأرق يستولي على لياليّ ، و سُحُب اليأس والاكتئاب تكتنف سمائي من وقت لآخر ، و بل الأسوأ هي العدمية التي اجتاحتني مؤخراً وعبثت بكل معتقداتي ، فهل كُتب علينا ، بشر اليوم ، أن نختار بين سلامنا النفسي والعالم المعاصر بكل ما فيه؟؟

حسناً ، يحكي مات أنه هو نفسه لم يتوصل إلى الحل بعد ، لكنه ما زال يحاول ، رافضاً أن يسلّم نفسه للقلق هو الذي عانى ما عاناه مع مرض الاكتئاب منذ عدة سنوات ، و الأفضل من وجهة نظره ، أن نُرشد استهلاكنا التكنولوجي و أن نتعامل مع العالم الرقمي بوعي يقف دون الحدود القريبة من عالمنا الداخي وسلامنا النفسي .

في النهاية أتساءل ماذا كان سيحدث لمات لو أنّه عايش ما عايشه شبابنا العربي اليوم؟ وكيف سيتعامل مع قلقه على مستقبله التائه؟ في ظل الحروب والإرهاب و الفساد الحكومي والاجتماعي؟ هل سيبقى لأسلوب الحياة المعاصرة من أثر و هو محروم من أدنى مقومات الحياة ومحاوط بداعش وأشباهها من كل جانب؟

عذراً عزيزي مات هيغ ، قلقك هذا على حدته ، هو قلق المُترَفين .
Profile Image for Nadia.
270 reviews175 followers
April 30, 2019
This was my first encounter with the work of Matt Haig and I can see why he's become so popular. In his latest book, Matt shares his observations about today's 'nervous planet' we live on, overloaded with technology and social media connecting people all over the world, yet leaving them feeling alone. Based on his own experience, Matt offers advice on how to cope with stress and anxiety, how to value and appreciate the little things in life, but also how to accept ourselves and the fact that we are not perfect and to fail is absolutely ok.

You might not agree with everything Matt Haig says or does, but I think everyone who reads this book will find something in there that will speak to them or at least make them think.
Profile Image for Lauren Hartley.
145 reviews4 followers
September 5, 2018
As discussed in the book, everyone has different opinions on books and I loved Reasons to Stay Alive but this I found really boring.
This book was very rambly and induced stress rather than prevent it. I found his last book actually had a story to it whereas this was just quoting other books and repeating what they said. The amount of chapters and paragraphs which. Were. All. One. Word. Sentences. Drove me insane by the end!
Profile Image for Henk.
851 reviews
January 29, 2020
A wholesome book on self-care in the 21st century - 4 stars
You’ll be happy when people like you.
You’ll be happy when more people like you.
You’ll be happy when everybody likes you.

Digital detoxing and being happy in the 21st century
Matt Haig takes on how modern day life, with abundant choices and psychologist involved in marketing of almost any product, effects our state of mind.

It is very ironic that I listened to this book through Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/album/5o0Ptd...), commuting or at the gym, while the first topic Haig takes on is our mobile phone addiction. How information, change and choice has multiplied exponentially while our physical self and brains have changed little in 50.000 years. This first section of the book, with the musings on how capitalist society makes us feel perpetually unsatisfied and looking for the thrill of the new to sell more articles, made me think of Yuval Noah Harari his style of tackling big trends.

Particularly fun and illustrative was the observation that in the 16th century only around 40 books per year were published in England (fictional book club: what are we reading this year Cedric? Everything!) and how the number of internet users has gone from 16 million in 1995 (0,4% of the world population) to more than 3 billion people (51% of the world population) in June 2017. The world is changing ever faster.
He challenges the reader to develop a more healthy relationship with their phones and social media, and fills his story with snappy one liners (Facebook is the place online where everybody lies to friends, Twitter is where everybody tells the truth to stranger.) that made me think about my internet habits.

Mental health in relation to your surroundings
The problem was that i was viewing my own face through the prism of insecurity.
Haig is very honest about his own mental health and shares doable activities that might help anyone feeling less overwhelmed by the world: from watching the sea, the sky, walking in forests to yoga and focussing on breathing.
A lot can also be gained from mindset and not comparing oneself with another person (To be liked by everybody you’d have to be the blandest person ever) but to look for what according to you intrinsically makes the world better and focussing energy on that (Life isn’t about being be pleased with what you are doing but about what you are being).

I found this second part of the book interesting but less eye opening than the first part. Haig showcases the human contradictions and uncertainties in an eloquent manner, but a lot is derived from other writers or thinkers. Also his conveying of the (meta)panic about the feeling of panic was a bit too effective for my taste, in the sense that it made me a bit stressed from just listening to Haig reciting these experiences. Also the whole part of supermarkets being triggers for mental breakdown I couldn’t relate to as much. I also don’t know the set up, where quite a lot of chapters are lists, is the best: it sometimes felt a bit gimmicky to me (not to mention a cringeworthy, imagined conversation with a turtle on mindfulness).

Not to say that propagating a holistic approach to mental health, taking the environment and physical health into account, is not very important.
And I feel a lot of the techniques mentioned by Haig could really help in stabilizing your feeling of self as well as enable acceptance of self. It was almost therapeutic hearing Matt Haig saying that you are enough and how hard is to accept that you are not inadequate.

In that sense Notes on a Nervous Planet is almost like an intimate, deep conversation with a good friend around the topics you almost never talk about in day to day life.

Overall I liked the book, and will go around recommending this to colleagues, if only for the following wholesome, thought provoking one liners:
Working in an aspirational environment almost equates to the feeling of failing

Aim not at getting more stuff done, aim at having less things to do

Be kind to yourself

Reading is love in action

You will be cool when you are dead

Remember that many people feel like you

You are conditioned to want more
February 24, 2021
This is a brilliantly efficient book, cherry picking the themes Matt explores in his fiction and condensing them into a less-than-300 page primer on mental health and how the world we live in today contributes to the widespread anxiety and depression on our 'nervous planet'.

Haig details how we are all basically encouraged to be constant consumers--whether through technology or just in a traditional capitalist sense and how that can lead us to essentially forget the core of our base humanity. He also discusses the cycle of wanting and how that can lead to a feeling of never being truly satisfied. Perhaps my favorite of his devices in this book are a series of lists and reminders for how to get back to the basics of being human---stop. breathe. unplug.

This is a perfect companion piece to Reasons to Stay Alive which also ties in the impact of the external world and as always, provides a frank and accessible look at mental health coupled with some fantastic advice.

Thank you, as always, to Matt Haig, for being just the sort of authentic, honest, and open mental health advocate the world needs. 💗
Profile Image for Nada.
149 reviews75 followers
July 15, 2022
من أعظمِ فوائد الكتب هو شعورنا بالعزاء، أننا لسنا وحدنا في هذه المعاناة أيّاً كانت، وأنّ هناك من يمرُّ مثلنا بحالاتِ الفوضى و التشتتِ وفقدانِ السيطرة..

مهم و توعوي لكلّ شخص مرّ او يمّر بنوباتِ قلق أو هلع أو إكتئاب، و لا يزال الامرُ غامضاً ومُرعباً له ، هذا الكتاب "بداية" جيدة "للفهم" ..
المشكلة الأولى كانت تكمن في اولى تجاربي مع القلق والإكتئاب  وعندما يصاب الفرد بالمرض النفسي لأول مرة، يتخيل أن حياته ستستمر بهذه الطريقة للأبد، وكان هذا أمراً مرعباً جداً بالنسبة لي، لم اكن ارى أيّ طريقٍ للنجاة"

" لا توجد مدينة فاضلة، بل هنالك الحب والعطف و المحاولة وسط الفوضى لجعل الأشياء أفضل مما هي عليه، ولإبقاء أذهاننا متفتحة في عالم يريد في معظم الأحيان ان يغلقها"

" لم اتمكن من العثور على أي شئ يشعرني بالتحسن، ثم بدأت بملاحظة أن بعض الأشياء بإمكانها ان تشعرني بشعور أسوء : تناول الكحول، التدخين،. الموسيقى الصاخبة، الحشود"

" لقد تعلمتُ أنه مهما كانتْ الرغباتُ شديدة، إلا أنّ الندمَ بعد إشباعها سيكونُ أشدّ"

" معرفتك للأشياءِ التي تضرُّ بصحتك النفسية تُسهّل عليك مهمة حماية عقلك"

" كلما ازداد نجاحك، كلما سهل عليك الاحساس بالاحباط، والفرقُ الوحيد هو أنه لايوجد احد يشعرُ بالأسى عليك إن شعرتَ بالإحباطِ وانت ناجح "

" مارِس اليوغا ، من الصعبِ أن تشعرَ بالقلقِ إن كان جسدك مسترخياً"

" عندما تشتدُ عليك الأعباء ، حاولْ المحافظةَ على روتينٍ يومي"

" إن شعرتَ بأن صحتك النفسية ليستْ على مايرام ، فتعامل مع نفسك وكأنك مصاب بمرضٍ جسدي، قُمْ بفعلِ ما تحتاجه للتحسن ، لا تشعرْ بالعار ، لا تقمْ بالسيرِ على ساقٍ مكسورة "
Profile Image for Mehrnaz.
144 reviews93 followers
August 23, 2020
Notes on a Nervous planet

این یکی از دقیق‌ترین و مناسب‌ترین عنوان‌هاییه که دیدم یک نویسنده روی کتابش گذاشته. همونطور که عنوان گفته این‌های یادداشت‌هایی درمورد اضطراب هستن.
اولین باری که شروع به خوندن کتاب کردم حس کردم که اینا دقیقا شبیه یادداشت‌های روزانه‌ی خودِ من هستن. مخصوصا روزهایی که با تِمِ "خودیاری و امید به بهبود" می‌نویسم.
این یادداشت‌ها خیلی پراکنده و نامرتبن! بعضا نامه‌هایی به فرم نوشته‌ها صفحه‌های اینستاگرامی از "ساحل" می‌بینید(به طور مثال)؛ که براش مهم نیست فرم بدن شما چطوریه و چی پوشیدید. اون هم خودش پر از شکل‌ها و فرم‌های مختلفه!!

یادداشت‌های یه آدم غیر متخصص مثل خود من که خواسته سر از چیزهایی دربیاره که براش اضطراب‌زا هستن. کاملا مشخصه که نویسنده روی هر مورد "اینترنت" رو گشته و کلی مقاله خونده و سعی کرده در انتها نظرِ مستقل خودش رو بده. نظری که مثلا در مورد آینده‌ی هوش مصنوعی که با فیلد من مرتبطه برام به وضوح نادرسته! نظری که میفهمیدم از خوندن یه سری مقاله حاصل شده، اما این مقاله‌ها در یک جهت خاص رفته و لزوما نظر افراد سرشناس یا نظر با پشتوانه‌ی علمی و یا منطقی نیست!

از پراکندگی یادداشت‌ها گفتم، نه؟ اینکه روی موضوعات مختلف اعم از ترس از پیر شدن، فشار برای داشتن ظاهری زیبا که توسط شبکه‌های اجتماعی تعریف شده، اخبار و... یه بررسی سطحی و یه نظریه‌پردازی سطحی‌تر برای آروم‌سازی ذهن‌های مشوش انجام شده. بعضی صفحه‌ها فقط چند کلمه توشون پرتاب شده!!

Things that are faster than they used to be
Political events.
The thoughts in your head.

در این میان، نویسنده هر یکی دو صفحه در میان از جملات قشنگ با قابلیت هایلایت شدن استفاده میکنه، که بله بعضا میتونه مفید باشه اما من یادگرفتم که درمان‌های سطحی زودگذره و بهبود نیاز به بررسی عمیق و ساختاریافته داره.

And so, when I am well - but stressed - the things that make me feel a little bit worse are often the things that make me feel much worse when I am ill. What you learn when you are ill, about whst hurts, can be applied to better times, too. Pain is one hell of teacher.

این کتاب می‌تونه خیلی مفید و دوست‌داشتنی باشه. کتاب‌های ساده و سطحی میتونن حال آدم رو بهتر کنن. ولی این اتفاق برای من نیفتاد( خیلی دوست داشتم که بشه و واقعا تلاش کردم). و این مشکل اصلی من با این کتاب بود. هربار که این کتاب رو میخوندم ضربان قلبم بالا میرفت و اضطرابم بیشتر میشد. چرا؟ چون این یادداشت‌های یک ذهن پر از اضطرابه و ذهن من هم کاملا با این افکار آشناست. انگار که در حال تغذیه افکار پر اضطرابم بودم و بدتر اینکه راه حل‌ها برای ذهن من کافی یا منطقی نبودند. بین ریویوهای با امتیازهای پایین برای این کتاب گشتم و متوجه شدم که حس من اگرچه در اقلیت هست ا��ا غیر شایع نیست. بالاخره همین نظرهای متفاوت هست که محیط اینجا رو آزادتر و زیباتر میکنه.
کتاب رو ناتمام در جایی که نبینمش(بله دیدن جلد کتاب و یادآوریش هم برای من اضطراب‌زا بود!) رها کردم.

پ.ن. بین یک ستاره و دو ستاره شک دارم. یک خیلی کمه ولی وقتی انقدر با کتاب مشکل دلشتم و بعضی جاها به نظرم کتاب نبود؟!
پ.ن. نمی‌دونم چرا عنوان رو نوشته بودم تیتر. :|
Profile Image for Salma.
59 reviews39 followers
October 8, 2022
في الحقيقة أنا لا أفضل هذه النوعية من الكتب، والتي تندرج تحت مسمى التنمية البشرية ،اذ أنني أعتبرها اشبه بالإرشادات التي كانت تضعها "وزراة التربية والتعليم" على خلفية الكتب والكراسات في سالف الزمن

صحيح أن هذه الكتب قد تفيد البعض وقد يكون لها بعض الأثار الإيجابية، لمن يحاول ويبحث عن حل لمشاكله النفسية ،بعيدًا عن الأنظار وعيادات الأطباء

فقد يقوم القارئ باتباع الخطوات والنصائح ،والتمارين التي يكتبها المؤلف ،صاحب الخبرة، والذي من المفترض أن يكون متخصصًا في هذا المجال ، أو ربما يكون أيضا قد مرٌ بتجارب مماثلة
إلا أنني لا أعتقد أنها تكون علاج مثالي أو شافٍ ،أو أنها في الأساس اختيار موفق لمن يعاني أي خلل نفسي،وهذا لأن الأمراض النفسية كثيرة وشائكة ،بل ومتشابهة، وقد يختلط على القارئ ويجد أنه بعد الإنتهاء من القراءة ، لديه شك من إصابته على الأقل بثلاثة أو أربعة أمراض نفسية، وقد احسست عن نفسي بهذا في بعض الكتب التي قرأتها

وعن هذا الكتاب ،ارى أن العنوان بعيد كل البعد عن المضمون ، فالكتاب تجربة شخصية للكاتب لا علاقة لها بكوكب الأرض ، وإن كان قد تكلم بصيغة الجمع في بعض أجزاءه،لكن هو لم يضيف جديد فكلنا نعرف أن العالم أصبح مهووسًا بالهواتف الذكية ،والتطبيقات الحديثة ، وبرامج تعديل الصور والفلاتر
بل وان كل شخص يعرف و يمتلك ولو قدر معقول من الحكمة، فيما يجب عليه فعله.. من إعتدال في استخدام كل هذا ،والعودة للطبيعة ،وحب الذات وعدم تحقيرها ،او مقارنتها بالغير. فمن الطبيعي أننا نعرف كل هذا

في النهاية، أنا أعتبر هذه الكتاب تجربة شخصية عادية ،قرأنا مثلها عشرات المرات ،الكتاب بسيط وسلس ،يقرأ للتسلية فقط وعن أسلوب الكاتب ،أرى أنه أسلوبه بسيط،يفتقر عنصر الجذب ،تكررت بعض الجمل بلا داعي، واعتقد أن عدد الصفحات كان من الممكن أن تختصر لأقل من ذلك، فقد شعرت بالمط والتطويل والتكرار .

من الإقتباسات التي أعجبتني

(أصبحت مشاعر المجموعة هي مشاعرنا الخاصة )

إنك تكتب كتاب عن القلق وفي ذات الوقت تتصفح الانترنت لتصاب بالقلق.

عندما يشعر البشر بالغضب ،ينتشر الغضب من حولهم.

لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين
لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين
لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين
لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين
لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين
لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين
لا تقارن نفسك بالآخرين.

والحق ان هذه هي أهم نصيحة نشكر الكاتب عليها وهي أساس عذابات البشر منذ بدء الخليقة،منذ قابيل و هابيل .
Profile Image for Trin.
1,782 reviews558 followers
November 10, 2022
I read this because I have been anxious as hell (gosh I wonder why?) and a glance at the early chapter on goalposts (with their tendency to keep moving) felt helpful. But oh boy, did the warning bells start ringing early -- building to Kill Bill level sirens.

I have a lot of sympathy -- of empathy -- for Haig's history of anxiety and depression, but the privilege on display in this book is just off the charts. If I catalogued every boneheaded thing he said in this book, we'd be here for days, but (paraphrased) highlights include: "Just unplug for a while!" (I have a job?) "Hey, I know it's natural for women to hate their bodies, but did you know men hate their bodies now too?" (Lots to unpack there.) "I once visited a homeless shelter and it was very inspiring." (...Dude.) But my absolute favorite has to be (not paraphrased):

Imagine, for instance, if there had been social media and camera phones during the Second World War. If people had seen, in full color, on smartphones, the consequences of every bomb, or the reality of every concentration camp, or the bloodied and mutilated bodies of soldiers, then the collective and psychological experience who have expanded the terror far beyond those who were experiencing it firsthand.


Okay, so. You're imagining an alternate history of WWII where smartphones existed to document the Holocaust, and your first thought here is that it would have been traumatic for the global witnesses? Not that this could have helped stop the atrocities? Not that part of why the Nazis were able to slaughter eleven million people is that they were able to do much of it in secret (or "secret"; people did know)? ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE? LISTEN TO THE WORDS COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.

I can't even take the time to rebut this seriously, because I have already taken more time to think about it than Matt Haig did.

Runner up: the "Imagine" chapter (written before the celebrity "Imagine" video, but about as cringe), wherein Haig says, "Imagine if we had a day where we called human being human beings" and then spends two pages essentially letting us know that he "doesn't see color." I can't with this book.
Profile Image for Doug.
1,983 reviews703 followers
November 30, 2018
3.5, rounded up.

I really, REALLY liked Haig's previous 'self-help' book, Reasons to Stay Alive, even though some found it corny and simplistic. Reading this sequel, I could see why that feeling might be valid this time round. A prime reason why the previous book made an impact, is that it hewed more closely to Haig's personal history, as he shared autobiographical stories from which he gleaned his insights - here, there are far fewer such examples, so it just seems like a stream of platitudes - some of which are profound, some of which extract a feeling of .... 'well, duh'! And some of which seemed awfully repetitious (e.g., do we really need to be told the virtues of peanut butter on toast twice?). Still, anyone struggling (as I do) with a panic disorder, anxiety or the feeling like the world is far too stressful, can find much to like and take away from this quick and often entertaining read. It never hurts to hear that it isn't necessarily YOU!
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546 reviews145 followers
October 7, 2022
لا تغرق في بحر من الجمل التي تبدأ "بماذا لو " ..
لا ترهق عقلك بتخيل نسخ أخرى منك في أكوان متوازية حيث نقوم بإتخاذ قرارات مختلفة.
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