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Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Practical Solutions for Improving Your Health and Performance Paperback – July 30, 2019
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― Christopher Germer, Ph.D., Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
"Inna Khazan brilliantly integrates two approaches, mindfulness, and biofeedback. A truly readable book―anchored in science―that explains how biofeedback enhances the self-regulation of the body and how mindfulness is the cognitive emotional approach for acceptance and resilience. This combined approach anchors the concept that mind/emotions/body are one. It is skills NOT pills. This is a MUST book for students, therapists, and anyone interested in reducing symptoms, optimizing health, and promoting resilience. It provides pragmatic practices that anyone can do at home or at work to increase well-being; since health is the integrating of learned health-promoting skills into daily life."
― Erik Peper, Ph.D., Professor at San Francisco State University, author of Biofeedback Master-An Experiential Teaching and Self-Training Manual and Fighting Cancer, produces the blog www.peperperspecti
"Dr. Khazan is a master at taking complex subject matter and turning it into a readable, step-by-step manual that can be valuable for almost anyone interested in self-improvement. This book, Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life, covers recent developments in fields as diverse as Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback to Mindfulness-Based Interventions, and translates scientific findings into useful daily skills. A wonderful resource for both clinicians and patients."
― Richard Gevirtz, Ph.D., BCB, Distinguished Professor, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University
"Dr. Khazan provides an intuitive step-by-step guide for building resilience and emotional flexibility. She demystifies biofeedback and mindfulness, systematically teaches invaluable skills that don’t require equipment, and explains how we can apply these new skills to challenges like anger, depression, and pain. If you’ve always wanted a clearly written and engaging introduction to biofeedback and mindfulness for clients or students, your wait is over! This amazing book has earned my highest recommendation."
― Fredric Shaffer, Ph.D., BCB, BCB-HRV, Professor of Psychology, Truman State University, and Director of the Center for Applied Psychology
"The concepts offered in this text have changed the way I approach my practice and opened new ways of understanding the body in relation to emotion."
― The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter
"An ideal introduction to biofeedback as a diagnostic and treatment approach to wellness and mental/physical performance in daily life...a complete and comprehensive DIY instructional guide and manual that would be an ideal selection as a curriculum text on the subject. Expertly written, organized and presented, the book is thoroughly 'user friendly' and highly recommended for both community and college/university Health & Medicine collections in general and Biofeedback supplemental curriculum studies in particular. "
― Midwest Book Review
About the Author
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (July 30, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393712931
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393712933
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #460,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I've found myself actually reading it in a bit of a "backwards" fashion: by opening a chapter relevant to what's troubling me, and reading about that specific condition or issue, and then following the links to earlier chapters to practice specific recommended techniques. For reference, here are the chapters dedicated to human conditions:
Stress and Performance
Anxiety and Fear
Sadness and Depression
Shame and Guilt
As you can see, anyone can find something useful and applicable to them -- whether it's to help with some of the things many of us are struggling in everyday life, or to simply improve our performance, both at work and at home.
What I find particularly useful, is Dr. Khazan's voice and the way she suggests reframing issues. In the past, I've read a ton of books that boil down to "don't think those kind of thoughts" or "don't do that." But, as Dr. Khazan says, "If your intention is to get rid of certain thoughts or emotions, or to change the way you feel right at that moment, you are likely to continue getting stuck. Any skill you employ has to be used with the intention of choosing a healthy and helpful response to the difficult experience, with the focus on what is most important in that moment and which response is in your best interest."
That above quote was an "aha" moment for me, and the book is filled with such moments and very useful suggestions. For example, instead of trying to get rid of unwanted emotions, the book recommends certain techniques, including "labeling".
What's especially wonderful about this book is that it's incredibly well researched. Every technique, every suggestion, is supported by a foundation of studies, but is laid out in such a way that a layperson can use them.
For example, on labeling, Dr. Khazan says:
"This skill [of labeling] accomplishes two very important goals. First, naming your unpleasant experience gives you some emotional distance from the experience -- you and your experience are not the same. You are a person who is having an unpleasant experience, not unpleasantness itself..... Second, giving a name to your emotional experience actually changes the neurological pathways within your brain at work at that moment. Typically, strong emotions are associated with activation of the amygdala, the fight-or-flight center of the brain, triggering a cascade of physiological and emotional reactions, which often lead you to feel overwhelmed and unable to respond in a helpful way. Imaging studies have shown that giving a name to your emotional experience, a skilled called "affect labeling," significantly reduces activation of the amygdala and increases activation of the areas of the brain that are important in choosing most helpful response to difficult emotion."
I hope the above excerpts also give you an idea of the kind of clear author's voice throughout the book.
I got an advanced copy of the book, and I've learned quite a lot about the human physiology from it. As I continue reading and re-reading and making notes for myself, I continue discovering just how applicable and wonderful this book is. Totally recommend!
Briefly, I have 15 years of experience in biofeedback as a user and distributor; I've read dozens of books in this genre, attended multiple workshops and belong to the appropriate professional organizations. As a reseller of a variety of biofeedback equipment, I talk with a range of people from novice, new-to-biofeedback home users to 40 year biofeedback/neurofeedback experts.
This book applies to 90%+ of the biofeedback-interested to the biofeedback-experienced professional.
The content provides background knowledge, practical applications, useful tips, research and real world examples. Because Dr. Khazan writes in a cohesive style with ample reiterations and continuations of concepts woven from chapter to chapter, our ability to understand is effectively accentuated. The book also provides a bevy of extra materials like charts, worksheets and meditations; many of these resources have links for us to download versions.
Is it hard to read?
No. The book is easy to consume. It's type, headings, narrative boxes, lists, diagrams and other materials seem to be expertly applied for easy skimming or 100% digestion. The step by step instructions with real life examples anchor the principles.
I particularly noticed a judicious, apt usage of italics for phrases or concepts which grabbed my attention - as ideas I thought were important, often with me wanting to 'follow up' on the term. Most of these italicized terms are further defined within the paragraph or page to follow and also receive an entry in the index for cross reference.
In addition, as a research geek on the subject of biofeedback and all things related to our mental powers, the studies quoted in the content sparked many questions for me; often these were answered or links provided in the paragraph or page to follow. There is also a bibliography of all the research - a boon for me! I believe this is the essence of good teaching of subject matter.
Can the reader understand and apply the knowledge?
The chapters start with a vignette example of a real life problem to which the chapter applies the principles; most chapters have the same 'biographical avatar example' used to conclude the chapter to round out the application.
Where does this book fall short?
The book seems to end abruptly. The addition of an epilogue or a final chapter which ties all the material together seems to fit the strategic layout of this book. A summary chapter to reiterate the overall strategies and techniques of mindfulness and biofeedback would be very useful. I understand this is not a story, but more of an easy reading how-to textbook. Still, it seems like something was missing as I went from the final chapter to the Appendix.
For this, I considered dropping my rating to 4*. However, because of the immense level of pertinent, practical and tactical materials, not even including the extra downloads of audios and worksheets available, I'm compelled to push it back to 5*.
My highest praise comes from how I use a product or a book. I'll re-read this book numerous times as I use its content to provide better biofeedback and mindfulness instructions for my clients, including using it as the backbone for a new webinar series on biofeedback.
Do you, will I, recommend it? Yes, I've already shared the value and sent the Amazon link to multiple new and old clients. (I've actually bought a Kindle copy to go along with my softcover book, too.)
In the end, this book provides everything that the author intends. You will learn the why and how to use biofeedback as a true tool for a full spectrum of issues. Dr. Khazan teaches us that biofeedback is more than relaxation or self-awareness; it is the next evolution of self-regulation.
Top reviews from other countries
Inna Khazan gelingt es mit anschaulichen Beispielen und ohne große Umschweife die verschiedenen Biofeedback Parameter (Atmung, Herzratenvariabilität, Muskelspannung, Temperatur und Hautwiderstand) zu erklären und deren praktischen Nutzen bei den häufigsten Problemen unserer modernen Welt. Im zweiten Teil widmet sie sich der Achtsamkeit und verschiedenen (Meditations-) Techniken, wie diese mit und ohne Biofeedback sinnvoll eingesetzt werden können.
Nicht nur zum Enstpannen, wie sie korrekt betont, sondern für eine bessere Selbstregulation, um allen Herausforderungen des Alltags gewachsen zu sein.
Ein wirklich sehr empfehlenswertes Buch mit lockerem Schreibstil und verständlichem Englisch. Eine Deutsche Version wäre natürlich großartig.