The human mind is a complex and wonderful thing. Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? And have you also wondered if there is a way you could be more happy or successful? The best psychology books can teach you all this and more.
Most of us are sometimes dissatisfied with our lives. Whether we have problems with relationships, success or just being happy, psychology has many answers. The following are some of the best psychology books to help us become more aware of why we behave in the ways we do. They also offer great advice and techniques to help us change our lives for the better.
I’ve included the best psychology books for happiness, success, self-development and relationships in the list below.
1. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard
Matthieu Ricard is Buddhist monk as well as a psychologist. Some people also call him the happiest person in the world. In this book, he shows that happiness is more than an emotion. It is a skill that can be developed. The book contains many exercises and techniques that can train the mind to recognize and pursue happiness and therefore, change the way we view the world.
2. The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
Positive thinking has been a big trend in psychology recently. However, Burkeman argues that relentless optimism isn’t always the best solution to our problems. He suggests that a more ‘negative’ path may actually work better and that we need to embrace failure, insecurity and uncertainty in order to be truly happy.
3. Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
This is arguably one of the most influential and best psychology books of all time. Csikszentmihalyi argues that we are happiest when we are in a state of flow. He defines this as when we are in a state of complete absorption in an activity. Csikszentmihalyi suggests we can use this state of flow to improve our work, relationships and leisure and to ultimately create a meaningful life.
4. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor
Shawn Achor argues that when we think success will lead to happiness, we have got it round the wrong way. In fact, the happier we are, the more successful we are likely to be. This is because when we are happy, we are more engaged, emotionally resilient, productive and creative.
So, we should put our happiness first if we want to be successful.
5. The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness by Dr. Steve Peters
Dr. Steve Peters uses an unusual analogy to explain how our brain works. He argues that we are often undermined by the ‘chimp’ in our own heads. This book can teach us to understand how our minds work and how to use this knowledge to improve our lives. The book can help us to overcome blocks and become the people we really long to be and live the lives we have always dreamed of.
Each chapter of the book explains a different aspect of how we function and offers exercises to improve our daily lives. It teaches emotional skills and practical habits that can change all aspects of our lives for the better.
6.The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by Charles Duhigg
In this book, Duhigg explains how habits work and how to get them to work better for us. Whether we want to become fitter, more productive, have better relationships or be more successful – it all starts with good habits.
Charles Duhigg takes us through a range of studies that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. The author presents a whole new understanding of human nature and shows how, by harnessing the power of habits, we can change our lives as well as transforming our businesses and communities.
7. The Relate Guide to Better Relationships: Practical Ways to Make Your Love Last from the Experts in Marriage Guidance by Sarah Litvinoff
This guide has been produced by the relationship counselling service Relate. They have over 60 years of experience in this field and have distilled this knowledge and experience into an effective guide. The book covers the issues many of us will face in relationships at times. It focuses on improving communication, working together to tackle problems and find out more about what makes your partner tick. It also has an excellent section on improving your sex life.
This guide is full of practical exercises that can help you overcome all kinds of relationship difficulties and create a strong and loving relationship.
8. How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo
David Richo is a relationship expert who uses the Buddhist concept of mindfulness to help us achieve more mature and successful relationships. This book covers many areas such as: mindfulness in relationships, how to be more loving and accepting, how to take care of our own emotional needs and how to accept others without the need to control them.
It’s a demanding book – but the rewards of this kind of work are worthwhile. This book can transform all the relationships in your life for the better if you are prepared to put in the work.
Psychology has come a long way in recent decades. Through thousands of studies and experiments, psychologists have begun to know much more about why we do the things we do and what can go wrong with our way of thinking.
These experts can help us understand ourselves and others better and show us how to live happier, more successful and more fulfilled lives.
We’d love to hear what you think are the best psychology books. Please share your favorites with us in the comments.