“Notes On A Nervous Planet” by Matt Haig is a look at modern life and the stress and anxiety it causes. It is a look at how technology has taken over and left us feeling more stressed than ever before. Matt then tries to unravel how to survive in this new digits age where Twitter is king and robots are on the rise. Matt uses his own battles with mental illness to show a path through the mess of modern life.
This was another book that I had preordered and was waiting for expectantly. I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed this book a lot and found it an insightful look at how to deal with the rise of technology and it’s effects on our mental health. I liked that from the start Matt admitted he wasn’t perfect even though he was offering advice. This made the book more relatable. The book was personal although I liked that it had references to other writers and reports as well.
In this book Matt focuses more on his anxiety rather than his depression, hence the title. He puts his experiences into words better than I ever could and is highly relatable. In the book he discusses how with mental illnesses you can relapse and how, no matter what you try, it is not always avoidable. He take about how even doing the right things can lead to us feeling bad.
Matt’s book looks at “how can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad” and does a good job at coming up with some answers to this. He looks at the problems with the digital age and the developments in technology and offers simple, seemingly obvious, advice to have less, switch off and unload. He goes into more detail in his “how to” guides which are scattered throughout the book.
Matt also looks at how mental health and physical health are linked. Her makes the very valid point that mental health is part of our physical health so should be treated no differently. He even refers back to the past when it was considered that problem with our four humours would have a direct effect on our mental health. In fact it seems we have gone backwards in separating the two.
The structure of the book was something else I really liked. It is made up of short chapters separated into sections. It reminded me of a blog with lots of entries. Some of the sections are just lists which kept the book moving at a good pace and keeps you reading more. I also liked the quotes at the beginning of some chapters.
Overall I thought the book was great. It was humourous but with a serious side (please check out the robot therapy session). Matt’s style is unique but great. There are so many parts I want to quote from it. I would suggest everyone reads it.