38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
A must-read book!,
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This review is from: The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living (Paperback)
I was introduced to this book by a friend who thought I would enjoy reading it. My first reaction was, “I already know a lot of ways to relax…I doubt there will be anything new that I haven’t already heard.” However, I soon discovered that this book on stress was different.
Instead of teaching about different relaxation methods, Dr. Sood takes the latest research from neuroscience, effective principles and practices from psychology, and wisdom from a variety of spiritual teachings then insightfully melds it all into a user-friendly daily practice that builds resiliency and fosters good mental health. As the back cover says, “…you learn skills that will help you develop deep and sustained attention, practice gratitude, compassion and acceptance, live a meaningful life, cultivate nurturing relationships, and achieve your highest potential”.
There are many components of this book that I particularly liked. First, I found the latest research on brain information to be very compelling, and I appreciated learning how our minds operate either in “default mode” or “focused mode”. After reading about this in the book, I began more carefully considering what my brain attends to, how and why it interprets what it attends to, AND how I can impact my attention. Understanding the evolution and function of brain and mind seems critical to creating the world we live in individually and collectively, and Dr. Sood’s explanation of recent research shines new light on why we tend to function the way we do, as well as how we can make changes for the better.
Secondly, Dr. Sood’s suggestions on ways to practice living with gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and higher meaning were straightforward and manageable for most anyone’s schedule. I found that practicing these simple principles daily is a hugely helpful mental health habit. And, if my mind falls into a “black hole”—a rumination about past or future—I can use either kind attention or joyful attention strategies (as discussed in the book) to help move out of it.
Lastly, the fact that this book does not promote one religion over another allows anyone to be open to learning the material in Stress-Free Living. Dr. Sood has uncovered the key ingredients found in the wisdom of any religion and has attached concrete behaviors to foster these ingredients in one’s self. This book is a modern day owner’s manual for humanity, and not only do I highly recommend reading it, I hope every person does!