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You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taki ng Control of Your Life Kindle Edition
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A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from OCD, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions.
For the past six years, Schwartz has worked with psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding to refine a program that successfully explains how the brain works and why we often feel besieged by bad brain wiring. Just like with the compulsions of OCD patients, they discovered that bad habits, social anxieties, self-deprecating thoughts, and compulsive overindulgence are all rooted in overactive brain circuits. The key to making life changes that you want-to make your brain work for you-is to consciously choose to "starve" these circuits of focused attention, thereby decreasing their influence and strength.
As evidenced by the huge success of Schwartz's previous books, as well as Daniel Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, and Norman Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself, there is a large audience interested in harnessing the brain's untapped potential, yearning for a step-by-step, scientifically grounded and clinically proven approach. In fact, readers of Brain Lock wrote to the authors in record numbers asking for such a book. In You Are Not Your Brain, Schwartz and Gladding carefully outline their program, showing readers how to identify negative brain impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives.
alwayswellwithin.com/2011/06/13/you-are-not-your-brain-book-review-and-giveaway/ --Reader Sandra Pawula --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
"Operating on the highly rational perspective that we are not our brains, but rather, substantial free agents who exercise control over our brains, Schwartz and Gladding develop a simple, yet profoundly insightful approach for developing a flourishing life. The result will bring healing and hope to all who read it."
--J. P. Moreland, author of The God Question.
"This book will be very helpful to those who want to improve their outlook and quality of life. As this book shows, and most every musician knows, You Are Not Your Brain. The Heart and the Spirit are the source of real creativity. The brain is a vehicle to express that creativity."
--Kenny Burrell, National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and Professor of Music and Ethnomusicology, UCLA
"Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and Dr. Rebecca Gladding argue, persuasively, that the mind actually has massive causal effects on the functioning of the brain. In other words, you can not only change the way you think, feel and behave through conscious effort when you're upset, but you can also change the programming and chemistry of your brain. A compelling and important message."
--David Burns, M.D., author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
"Largely due to Jeffrey Schwartz and his UCLA research on neuro-plasticity and OCD treatment, the once revolutionary idea that we can systematically change our brains with our minds is now well accepted. Gladding and Schwartz adapt that program for a mainstream audience giving simple, self-directed tools to help achieve greater happiness, emotional balance, and overall well-being."
--Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B004XFYRMA
- Publisher : Avery (June 9, 2011)
- Publication date : June 9, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 3148 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 382 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #104,554 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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I had a habit to overanalyze things like conversation or how the others might make an opinion about me. While making a new relationship I used to get anxious (worried about what if I was rejected). I was bombarded with repetitive thoughts about a conversation. I would never get to any conclusion about any event. I was not able to take a stand on issues.I would either be passive or be aggressive with people due to this.
What my boss or co-workers think of me.I lack the confidence and did not have proper boundaries in a relationship. People used to make fun of me I was not able to confront them ( I thought I would hurt their feelings). I neglected my own feeling at the cost of others. I also was terrified about the future as events are uncertain in life.
It took me some time to know that, my brain might be the issue ( Brain lock-2005 a prior book helped me ). Brain lock did not help me much as I found that, When the thoughts come, we are supposed to relabel, but it had no guideline about it.
The refocus step in brain lock made sense as it would involve doing something new. I got to know that I must not make the thoughts to go away as it is counterproductive
Brain lock does not deal with Pure O thoughts, where you get a thought to stab your loved one when you are in front of the knife.Or if you are with your baby on a balcony, you get a thought that you might throw him out. Or the baby might slip from your hand.
Brain lock had a concept of the Impartial spectator, It takes a while to understand who the person is. I kept on going in circles about it. Finally, I found out that this impartial spectator is the one who will neither laugh or cry at any of your life incidents. He will just make a note that a promotion has happened or you have lost your job.He will also not make any comment about the event.
I would go in circles trying to figure out my obsession and compulsion.I was not aware that my compulsions are mental.Obsession could be any thought about myself were there would be some risk or loss associated with it.
But I was introduced to mindfulness and I got aware of "Should" Statements and thoughts are not facts. I took psychotherapy for OCD in New York. A lot of articles from Dr. Steven Phillipson. I was fortunate to have few group sessions with him. I had a one on one with one of his student Doctor. The Doctor told me to practice Mindfulness Meditation ( CDs from Jon Kin bat Jin). I did all this, my rumination decreased a lot. I knew that I have to be in the present moment to have good mental health.I was put on medication for anxiety and depression way back in 2001.I was now able to taper the medication.
NOW HOW THIS BOOK HELPED ME.
I got the kindle version of the book and I read it for some time, I liked all the concept and they all made sense. But the change happened when I bought the audible version of this book. With Audible this book chapters were as good as sessions with a therapist. Although you cannot ask questions while reading. But It makes a lot of sense. It would have taken me a year to understand and make sense of this book. Because I get very less time to read and to make sense you have to connect the dots.
This book as the concept of deceptive message unlike obsessive though it gives you clear guidelines about it This book has two sections
It imparts the knowledge about how habits are formed and the biology behind it ( Self-referencing center Uh -oh center ). The author has dropped the corresponding biological names like pitumen in Brain lock. Which is really nice as we need to know the function name and not what it is called in the medical world. This book add's the concept of Wise Advocate and true self, which helps us understand what a deceptive brain message is.
Part 2 of the book is you will actually learn the skills. I was always having issues identifying a deceptive message, but this book has guidelines about a way to confirm it. Mindfulness is integrated. You actually have to do mindfulness meditation, but there NEED's to be few audios for guided meditation.I was doing guided meditation for years, this book tells me that the meditative session will help me to refocus when I am in an analysis bout or stop analysis to begin.
The next concept is progressive mindfulness which I have not practice. But this book is the best book for the price for anxiety. The topic of depression is touched by the author. Depression also needs a lot of education. I would recommend uncommon knowledge site.
There are other programs like Mindfulness-based Cognitive therapy which has mindfulness guided meditations. I feel both MBCT and this book is a way to go.
I learned that all have problem some difficult and some uncontrollable. Problem-solving skill is a key skill for humans to improve their quality of life.
Now I learned that every day we will have thoughts about a ton of problem. This book says what you do that count and not how you feel or think. Now I am learning to live with all my problems without getting into any problem-solving.
Example: My problem getting a raise.What I can do is 1) Work for 8 hours a day. 2) Deliver my work as per the requirement 3) relax and meditate.
I would get thoughts about the raise, but there is no point in doing analysis as to what might have gone wrong.
I can do a controlled [ 30 minute] brainstorming with my friends in six months or a year to find out and learn new things. This would help me to use my imagination in a positive way.
Thus I feel the urge to ruminate would be there, but I would not give in.This book thus gives me confidence that I would get better.
The understandings from this book have enabled me to rapidly see when my brain is sending messages that simply are not true in terms of my objective reality, and makes it much easier for me to redirect my attention to something that calms me down. I'm a long term meditator so do have a baseline level of mindfulness that folks new to the practice wouldn't have, but this book has taken my practice to a whole new level as I'm far less likely to be sucked into the unhelpful messages from my brain now that I really understand what's going on in there. It is so liberating to be able, for example, to be exposed to smells that in the past resulted in my brain going ballistic, without no more than the slightest hint of fear now. It is also incredibly liberating to be able to rapidly let my brain know that there is nothing to fear in situations that in the past I was seriously hijacked by the messages coming from my brain, and fear escalated rapidly to the point of me actually losing sight of the fact that my objective reality was totally safe in the moment.
Another benefit I've had from working with this book is that I am much less likely to be tipped out of my grounding when working with methods such as Wholebody Focusing to heal trauma. Where in the past I would have struggled to stay with intense emotions arising when working on my own because my brain was sending "there is something wrong" messages at a huge rate of knots, I can now rapidly tap into the understandings from this book and know that my "Uh Oh Centre" is sending false messages and I can bring my "Assessment Centre" (as the authors helpfully label different areas of the brain) online to calm things down, enabling me to stay with what is arising, which in turn enables my brain to process unresolved emotions from the past. This is powerful stuff.
The authors really made it clear that neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to change) is happening all the time, no matter what choices we are making. Each time we repeat an unskilful behaviour we thicken the associated neural networks. So the key is self-directed neuroplasticity, and that's what I've been seeing in abundance in my life since starting to work with this book. The authors stress that it's hard work to keep doing their four step process over and over but well worth it. I've found that the process can be expedited much more rapidly in many cases by combining the author's understanding with a self-help method known as EFT or Tapping (which in my opinion is one of the most powerful tools out there these days for tapping into self-directed neuroplasticity). I've seen rapid change in issues that have been stuck for a long time in my life through combining the learnings from this wonderful book with the EFT method.
I very much appreciate the authors having put this information into such a readable and useable format. This has been a life changing book for me and this review is being posted with a lot of appreciation for the powerful information it contains.
Update: While I learnt lots from this book, there has been a book published since which goes much more into the PTSD side and explains more about what this author calls "defective brain messages". I highly recommend the newer book "Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment" instead of this book now, for anyone with PTSD. It goes much further into the neuroscience behind PTSD, and explaining why we react the way we do; and has a much wider range of interventions than this book.
Top reviews from other countries
my son had emotional worries following a dog bite to the face. without knowing about this book, I told him that you are not your brain. you are what controls your brain in order to help him control his flash backs.
some time after I stumbled upon this title and had to buy it.
this is truly a life changing book....