2016: A Year in Books!

This is a post I had originally published in the end of 2016 with my reading list.

2016 was filled with action at all levels for me, since I’ve moved city, I’ve started a full speed job, I’ve implemented new routines in my daily life, I’ve started my youtube channel and I’ve finally released Skin at Heart. It was a year filled with ups and downs (just like life!) and some of the books I’ve read had an important role during this phase. I believe these books can be helpful and inspiring for everyone and they address important issues regarding our health that we’re usually too busy to consider.

So here are some reading suggestions that can be a Christmas gift for yourself or your loved ones:

The Essential Life Book

This book was a suggestion given to me when I first started with essential oils. The more you use the oils, the more you love them and the more you want to know about them. The Essential Life book is a wonderful guide for everyone who wishes to go deeper in the essential oils world and have a guide with a direct relationship with everything you can use the oils for, from house cleaning and cooking to treating diseases or for supporting physical and mental wellbeing. The book is huge and very complete and it is one of the bibles of the essential oils knowledge.

Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing

Emotions & Essential Oils is a complete book on how to address emotions with essential oils usage.

In the introduction we have a testimonial of how emotional issues can and were addressed with essential oils and we have a few indications on how to use the oils for healing emotions. Then we can read oil through oil the main emotional benefits that each oil can promote. We also have a chapter with oil blends and then we have an index with emotional issue and which oils can we use for it. This is an inspiring book that everybody should have in order to promote wellbeing through the usage of essential oils.

Spark Joy

I’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter by Marie Kondo last year and it made quite an impression on me. It really inspired me to organize my space and my objects using the Kondo method. I’ve always loved space organizing and that book made me be even more aware of the importance of minimalism. It is better to have few things that are useful and that we love than to have the spaces packed with stuff.

Spark Joy is more focused on the importance of surrounding ourselves with objects that we love. Only through loving, respecting and being thankful to the objects we use everyday can we fill our life with joy. Both the objects and the spaces we move in have an important role in the way we feel, so we should acknowledge that and have an attitude towards it that will ultimately spark joy into our lives.

Earth’s Forbidden Secrets

A friend of mine told me about this book. I had no idea what I was about to read but I just couldn’t stop. Some will call it a daydream of dangerous ideas or even conspiracy theories. I would say: give a chance to this book. In the first part you’ll feel like an Indiana Jones, searching for the facts in the midst of chaos. Some of the theories presented are very interesting, others are just amusing. The way the author wrote the book will – at the very least – make you laugh. You may feel a bit irritated with him at times, but you will not be able to let go of this book until you’ve finished reading it.

True or not, one thing is for sure: Humanity’s History needs a real good look at. Perhaps it’s time that we stop playing around with degrees and instituted timeframes and start looking beyond and actually acknowledging the pieces that don’t seem to fit the puzzle. We may not get an answer, but at least we can have an open mind towards the past and therefore towards the present, which may hopefully take us to a better future.

The Art of Non-Conformity

Another friend of mine borrowed me this one and said I had to read it. I was a bit skeptical but as I went through it I was addicted in the reading and just couldn’t stop. Chris Guillebeau takes us into his own life journey and inspires us with his unconventional strategies for life, work and travel.

In the daily lives we live in we often feel trapped in these economical societies and loose sense of meaning. Chris gives us good tips on what to ask ourselves and how to find out what really matters to us and step out and do it, no matter how hard it may seem in the established community models! He challenges us to keep on dreaming no matter how outsider we may feel, because the price to pay to let it go is higher than the risk to take in doing it. Plus: you feel like you’re reading a friend!

The Hormone Cure

In this book Dr. Sara Gottfried guides us through the hormones and explains the important role that they have in the human body. She addresses the main functions of each hormone, why it is so important to have them balanced and how to achieve that with natural methods. She also addresses the main hormone imbalances, how to treat it and how to avoid or minimize it. The book is very detailed which means it may become a bit overwhelming at times, but it has an accurate insight in hormones.

Even though this book is more feminine it is addressed to everyone since we all have women in our lives and it is undeniable the major role of hormones in every human being life and particularly in women’s lives.

Man and His Symbols

Man and His Symbols is the last work undertaken by Carl Jung. It’s divided into five parts, four of which were written by associates of Jung: Marie-Louise von Franz, Joseph L. Henderson, Aniela Jaffé, and Jolande Jacobi. The book seeks to provide a clear explanation of Jung’s complex theories for a wide non-specialist readership. Through the analyses of dreams and their symbology, Jung goes deeper into the human mind and this book helps one understand their own unconscious better as it learns to drop fears and read subliminal inner signs that can be found in dreams or overall symbolic elements of the human mind and the human societies.

I am currently reading The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious which addresses Jung’s most exciting ideas: the concept of “archetypes” and the hypothesis of a collective unconscious.

The Happiness Advantage

A friend of mine borrowed me this book from Shawn Anchor and said she was quite inspired by it. I was curious to read it since we had earlier been discussing on the topic. The book guides us through Anchor’s investigations on happiness and it reaches out some interesting conclusions, such as: positive emotions are contagious, smiling affects our brain towards a positive mood and since we are biological programmed to mimic others feelings, smiling is also contagious.

The book is divided into seven principles: all interrelated but separated into chapters to be clear to understand. Anchor explains each principle and he gives tips on how to implement these principles in one’s own life.

L’Art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less

This book was offered to me by a couple of friends: two enlightened people whom I’m very fond of. It is a book about minimalism and how to declutter one’s life from stuff and fill it with life and joy. To simplify one’s life it the path for having a deeper connection to the experiences we are meant to live in this life and in the book Dominique Loreau shows us easy and effective steps to be a minimalist and implement the art of simplicity in all the areas of life in today’s societies.

Period Repair Manual

Dr. Lara Briden is a Naturopathic Doctor with 20 years experience in hormonal health. Dr. Briden created this guide to healthier periods using natural treatments, such as diet, nutritional supplements or herbal medicine. It is a practical manual suitable for women of every age. Once again this is a more feminine book, but the main issues of this book concern everyone and by reading this book men are more aware of feminine hormone issues and are therefore more capable of understanding and even helping the women in their lives. Some of the topics are: how to come off the pill, what your period should be like, alternative contraceptives to drug induced hormone medicines and treatment protocols for specific period problems such as PCOS, PMS, heavy periods, endometriosis, just to mention a few.

Since a lot of women nowadays have been pushed towards medicines such as the pill and are exposed to highly toxic diets and life styles it is common that they don’t know what their period should be like and what can they change in their daily habits to achieve healthier periods. This is the book we should have all read when teenagers and I highly recommend it to all my friends: it’s never too late!

Change Your Brain Change Your Body

Change Your Brain, Change Your Body shows you how to take the very best care of your brain and how your brain directly influences your body. With fifteen practical solutions involving nutritious foods, natural supplements or positive-thinking habits Dr. Amen reveals things such as reaching and maintaining the ideal weight, soothing the skin, reducing stress, sharpening the memory, increasing the willpower to eliminate cravings and addictions, avoiding depression or elevating the enjoyment one takes from life.

This was definitely one of my best readings from 2016 because Dr. Amen gives easy and direct tips for one to change habits towards health. He also gives numerous examples from brain scanning along his years of medicine practice and the impacts that things we don’t even imagine may have in our brain and consequently in our overall health. A book for a healthy body in a healthy mind or, in this case, a healthy brain for a healthy you inside and out!

Yoga for Everyday Living

A friend of mine offered me this book for my anniversary this year. I practice yoga and meditation and this book is a good guide both for beginners or medium level practitioners since it has some useful information about the postures and about the breathing exercises. As in everything in life: practice makes perfection, so no matter how hard some postures may be or how difficult may seem to meditate, the more we train the more our mind and body will be able to achieve the health goals we set up for ourselves.

This book was special because it was a symbol of a friendship path together and it also represented the set up of daily routines that fill life with balance and joy. And the best thing was that I had a special surprise when I opened the first page 🙂 Thank you!

The Microbiome Diet

A good friend of mine gave me this book saying how inspiring it was towards one’s eating habits and how much that affects us. And it really is! Some of the conclusions that the book presents seem to make a lot of sense to me. Gut health is very important for an overall wellbeing. Last year I read the insightful Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders recommended by the same friend, which was the first book that made me realize how much we are literally what we eat.

The Microbiome Diet states that the secret to healthy weight loss and to feeling healthy, energized and joyful is in the gut. The microbiome is a whole inner world that lives within the intestines: beneficial bacteria that help us extract the nutrients from food, balance mood and sharpen focus, since it has a direct impact in our metabolism, our hormones, our cravings and – according to the book – even our genes. The Microbiome Diet also has information on how to reset the metabolism and free oneself from cravings and uncontrollable appetite through a three phase plan.

The Happiness Track

I am currently reading this book. I have seen it in the 2016 books list from the Greater Good Institute (that I follow after attending The Science of Happiness Course with them back in 2015). Emma Seppälä takes us to the fails of the success requires stress formula and why that doesn’t doesn’t seem to be the secret for a happy life, that instead of managing our time better we should manage our energy better.

According to the index the qualities addressed are: full presence: staying in the moment; resilience: bouncing back from setbacks more quickly; calm, rest, self-compassion: treating ourselves like we would a good friend, with support and care rather than self-criticism and compassion: giving to others in need. I am quite curious to read through all of them!

That said, these were my main readings of 2016. All these books inspired me in different ways and I highly recommend their reading to anyone who is interested in such subjects. I hope you enjoyed this post and you share it with people in your life who might be interested or who might benefit from reading these books.

Happy Readings!

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Published by Natalia Costa

I love laughing out loud, sharing wellness is one of my greatest joys and communicating from integrity is key to me. I believe that being playful in an emotionally charged planet is the secret to enjoy the ever present synchronicity. The journey is the destination!

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