Friday, June 24, 2011

You Are Not Your Brain (and GIVEAWAY)

The title of this book kind of reminds me of that movie "Dinner For Schmucks" where it was mind power versus brain power. I don't know.. maybe that's just me.

You Are Not Your Brain- Jeffrey Schwartz, M.d and Rebecca Gladding, M.D.
You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life
Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

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.

I will tell you that the reason I picked this book to review is because I have a very unhealthy way of thinking when it comes to diet and exercise. I am extremely good at talking myself out of good behaviors and convincing myself that the bad behaviors are not only more fun and awesome, but will be better for me later on. Despite the fact thunder thighs are not my friend.

Basically everything in the book comes down to four steps:

Step 1: Relabel: Identify your deceptive brain messages and the uncomfortable sensations; call them what they really are.

Step 2: Reframe: Change your perception of the importance of the deceptive brain messages; say why these thoughts, urges, and impulses keep bothering you: they are false brain messages.

Step 3: Refocus: Direct your attention toward an activity or mental process that is wholesome and productive -- even while the deceptive brain messages are still bothering you.

Step 4: Revalue: Clearly see the thoughts, images, and impulses for what they are -- simply sensations caused by deceptive brain messages that aren't true and have little to no value.

Without going into a whole lot of detail about it (which is all explained really well and there are worksheets in the book for you to work through on your own) I will say I found them very helpful. At first the book started slow with me with a lot of precursor explainations that I didn't find relevant to me, but once it started talking about these four steps I was really interested. One of my favorite parts of this book is when it talks about biology is not your destiny. I find that people are so quick to rely on their biology to dictate their life versus trying to change themselves for the better. It's harder to change yourself but it's more rewarding.

The other part of the book I found really helpful is the discussion of positive versus destructive anxiety. I am a high anxiety person and I often have to talk myself into things I know I'll enjoy because my brain is constantly telling me negatives. It's a problem to say the least. But I really felt like I had a better grip as to why I have that inner struggle so often.

Overall, I found this book to be extremely helpful. If you are at all interested in learning about the brain, how to make changes in your life or both- this book is for you.

AND... maybe you could win it. That's right- I'm giving away ONE copy of this book to one of my readers (US/Canada only... sorry). All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address and I'll draw a winner on Monday!

If you want to hear what other tour stops had to say, go HERE.


E said...

I like books. And this one sounds interesting.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

"Dinner For Schmucks" is a movie on my want to see list and it is a reasonable long list as I never have the time to watch movies............ok
I know not the point of the post but thought you needed to know

The books sounds interesting and something I would be intested in but alas I live in Australia and will not be able to win it see my sad face...:(

Shirley said...

I think I would like to read this book. I have read a lot of books trying to "fix" me. I think that it would be interesting to learn how to shut the negative part of me up.

StephAbbott said...

Fascinating topic! I am intrigued and would like to learn how to deal with my inner struggle too. I could stand to learn a new approach to dealing with my anxieties. Greetings from the Lady Blogger Society!

Catherine said...

Hi Sara! I'm a first time visitor from the Lady Bloggers and when I saw the title of this post I thought it must be a joke of some sort- based on your blog name. I'm glad I kept reading because this books sounds relly interesting- especially the anxiety part. I've never thought that anxiety could be positive.

In case I win my email address is in my blog link. Thanks and I'll be back to read more!

Unknown said...

I think if I leave a comment, it comes with my email address, doesn't it?

Oh well... if it doesn't... But you and I have emailed each other before, so meh.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you found the book useful - hopefully it will help you deal with the unhealthy habits you want to work on.

Thanks for being on the tour!

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting!

Lady Goo Goo Gaga said...

This sounds like how I quit smoking by visiting a guy called "the mad russian" in boston - he retrained my brain to not want cigarettes without hypnosis....I don't get it - But i havent smoked in years!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting book! I may have to check it out! Anxiety sucks. :)