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Notes on a Nervous Planet - Book Summary

Notes on a Nervous Planet - Book Summary

by Matt Haig

“An honest and human guide to coping with the modern world” – Guardian
“Matt Haig writes books like friendships you want to keep” – Jordan Stephens

"The world is real, but your world is subjective”

A short summary of ideas that I found most helpful:

Photo by Marvin Meyer / Unsplash
  • Disconnecting from technology(social media apps) can help reduce anxiety and depression.
    ”I stopped feeling worse… and after a few days, things began to calm.”
    “I began, in short, to feel free again”
  • Things we should do less on the internet:
    - “Click on articles I don’t really want to read”
    - “Compare my life to the life of other people”
    - “Feel the empty joy of likes…”
    - Googling symptoms
    - Limit the news
  • Technology progresses faster than we are used to. Our brain still has some “caveman” qualities and is not used to so many distractions, with this high level of alertness.
    “When progress happens fast it can make the present feel like a continual future….We are not encouraged to live in the present. We are trained to live somewhere else: the future.”
  • Check the history for mass hysteria, “a completely connected world has the potential to go mad, all at once."
  • Even with these fast technologies and the rise in life expectancy, we keep feeling we don’t have time. Slow down, be present, enjoy and “focus on the things we can do, rather than the millions of things we can’t ”

Photo by Madison Oren / Unsplash
  • Conditional happiness is that we cannot be happy if we do not get into the right school, have the right job, have more followers etc.
  • Beauty standards that make us unhappy:
    - Seeing everywhere images of beautiful people.
    - Solution to our “imperfections”.
    -“The pursuit of looking young accentuates the fear of growing old”
  • Love your imperfections.
  • We actually need less but we get manipulated by marketing to purchase more and more, to become addicted.
  • Panic attacks often appear in overstimulating synthetic environments. Go in nature more.
  • When we are in difficult moments, try to remember the good ones, and hold on to them.
  • According to studies, people sleep less than they used to. Sleep affects us negatively, causes a low immune system, and increases health problems and risks.
  • Even though there is so much connectivity around us we feel more alone. Edith Wharton “believed the cure for it wasn't always to have company, but to find a way to be happy with your own company.”
  • The importance of exercise and eating healthy.
  • Read for your mind. Escape.

Lao Tzu “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Note: Some pieces of information are left out of the book.
Get the full experience by reading it!