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Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic Paperback – June 1, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is a welcome addition to the anxiety disorders field. Comprehensive as well as clearly written, it provides a wealth of information on the use of meditation and mindfulness practice in recover from anxiety difficulties.
—Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D., author of The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and Coping with Anxiety



"Dr. Brantley’s book is clear and warm. It takes the mystery out of meditation and explains how things that at first sight appear ‘ordinary’ are in fact very important. His extensive clinical experience and his empathy constantly shine through the book."
—Jonathan Davidson, MD, director of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Program at Duke University



"I think the book is fantastic and believe it will fill an important niche in the treatment of anxiety disorders. The information on the physiology of anxiety and the stress response helps to demystify the symptoms for readers, making their problem seem more manageable. Beautifully guided meditations anticipate and address the questions that anxious new meditators will have. The instruction to stay present with the anxiety is powerful and healing. I know I will be recommending it to my patients and colleagues."
—Holly B. Rogers, MD, staff psychiatrist with Duke University Counseling and Psychological Services



"As a psychotherapist and teacher of stress reduction, I find this book helpful to clients and clinicians, as well as to meditators wishing to deepen their own practice. Brantley gives practical and compassionate guidance to anyone seeking skillful ways to work with anxiety and panic."
—Allie Rudolph, LCSW, founder and codirector of the University of Virginia Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

From the Publisher

This is a major revision of the classic book using mindfulness to overcome anxiety. It includes information on the latest research into mindfulness, new step-by-step exercises, and new thoughts on taking daily mindfulness to deeper and more rewarding levels.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 2 edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572244879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572244870
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Murdock on April 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to help me deal with Social Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and depression.
This book could serve as a nice introduction to mindfulness meditation. The first few chapters detail some of the research that has come out concerning the impact of mindfulness on anxiety and anxiety disorders.
It was rather skimpy on some details; specifically, how one can tie all of this mindfulness into reducing or dealing with anxiety. The author takes up an entire one chapter - one - in dealing with this specifically.
Much of the book's content can be found in Jon Kabat-Zinn's wonderful book, "Full Catastrophe Living", which is also much more detailed. I recommend that the customer look into that book first, and then supplement his reading with this one second.
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This book is wonderful. I am only half way through, but it already deserves five stars. It is a great book if you take your time and do the work and pratice the "mindfulness". It can and will change your life. I have noticed during a very unexpected stressful day recently, that several times the word mindfulness popped into my head and I just centered myself in the moment instead of thinking of how behind I was and how mucy more I had to do that day. And at that point, I hadn't even really learned what mindfulness meant. Give this book a try. I don't think you'll be sorry.
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This is the Second Edition of this book; one I've been waiting for for a while. I saw the first edition of this book when it was loaned to me by a staffer at a "facility" I found myself in a while back and to say it helped me save my life would be a severe understatement. The simple concept of Mindfulness struck me like a ton of bricks. This is not a book to borrow from your friendly local library, this is a book to get and hold. A book to change your life. Very readable, almost a fun read, were it not doing so much change to my anxious mind in the process. Buy this book, read it, live it and get rid of that pesky anxious mind you've been living with all these stress laden years. It really does help make life fun again!
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Along with Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living, this is an indispensable book for anyone who suffers from GAD, SAD, or panic disorder. This is compassionate, pragmatic, deep therapy that has great power on its own and can be a great supplement to working with a therapist. There's strong current science behind it, and 2500 years of Buddhist practice. Very simply, if you learn to focus in the present you won't worry so much about the future, or beat yourself up about the past.
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A therapist had suggested I buy this book. I can honestly say that this the number one best book I have ever bought for self-help purposes. The techniques and practices taught in this book can be very powerful when used properly as described in the book.

Basically the author teaches us how to be mindful without judgment of what we feel as anxiety or panic. Instead of fighting away feelings of fear, the author tells us to invite and welcome these emotions, and watch them without any judgment. He describes how we should observe with keen detail the inner behavior of our body as though we are a detached part of ourselves. Imagine stepping outside of yourself and looking at what is going on inside you while you feel fear. You notice your heart rate increasing heavily, your breathing becomes shallow, etc. A normal person would try and fight off such feelings which makes him/her feel even worse. But instead you should simply allow it to occur and understand fully what's going on without judgment or any wish that the fear will disappear. If done properly, it's amazing but suddenly the entire fear process loses it's meaning and disappears. It's hard to describe, but somehow your body learns that it's causing these reactions like racing heart for no real rational reason...and it learns to stop behaving this way. Of course you can not have this as a goal when practicing mindfulness; the whole point is to observe with no goal or intention in mind.

I also bought another book along with this one, "Full Catastrophe Living", and that presents similar concepts as is in this book. Nevertheless I would still recommend to read this book (Calming Your Anxious Mind) before any other books.

If you're looking for further reading, I'd suggest these other books also:

-The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
-From Here to Here: Turning Toward Enlightenment by Gary Crowley
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Format: Paperback
Jeffrey seems earnest in his desire to help others which makes for an inviting read. His book touches a bit on some modern trends in psychology then ties those learnings to the Buddhist concept of mindfulness gained through meditation. If you want to get the benefits of mindfulness without having to learn or agree with some of the other principles of Buddhism this is a fine book. Unlike Eckhart Tolle, who has recently put out a best seller covering much of the same ground, Jeffrey's book is for people that want less wo wo and more substance in addition to instruction on how to get on the right path. I believe the best book I have read on this subject is still, "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Gunaratana. If you could only buy and read one I suggest Gunaratana. If you have time to read both then read both. In fact read many, along with your practice of course.
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