Personal improvement and self-help with neuroscience

New insights in neuroscience provide many new avenues for self-improvement and healthy living. For decades books have been published on the topic of self-improvement, but we’ve selected a few of the most widely recognized books on self-improvement and the brain. At the same time, there’s a lot we don’t know about the brain, so beware of ‘neurobollocks‘! If you have a more specific interest in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, have a look at some books on that topic.

1. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley

Contrary to what the title may suggest, this is not a training manual for the brain. The book is a fascinating and convincing account of recent discoveries in brain neuroplasticity (i.e. its `pliability’) even into old age, and the amazing implications of such discoveries. Sharon Begley states, “Yes, the brain can change, and that means we can change.” For those looking for a magic bullet, she adds that it is not easy: “Neuroplasticity is impossible without attention and mental effort.”

2. The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being by Daniel J. Siegel

The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being is the first book ever to integrate neuroscience research with the ancient art of mindfulness. “Welcome to a journey into the heart of our lives. Being mindfully aware, attending to the richness of our here-and-now experiences, creates scientifically recognized enhancements in out physiology, our mental functions, and our inter-personal relationships. Being fully present in out awareness opens our lives to new possibilities of well-being.

3. Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being by Deepak Chopra

This book is a manual relating to the brain in a revolutionary new way, Super Brain shows you how to use your brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth. Deepak shows you how to take charge of your brain and let you take charge of daily challenges.

4. Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory by Neal Barnard

This is solid, usable, reasonable advice to achieve some important and specific goals, mainly maintaining your brain health as you age. This book discusses Alzheimer’s, but also includes a discussion of how to avoid or reverse general cognitive decline and function so you can boost your memory and recall in just a few weeks. The information in the book is science based, well presented, and a pleasant and easy read. Dr. Barnard has a wonderful sense of humor and is able to explain complex subjects clearly without talking down to his reader.