Posted by: bluelion | July 12, 2016

Let’s read… about ‘taming your mind’

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Ruby Wax: Sane New World – Taming the Mind (Hodder & Stoughton, 2013)

I didn’t know who Ruby Wax was but it was made clear in the text early on that she was a comic writer, actress, stand-up comedian of some fame in the UK. I didn’t expect this book to be so sciencey. It is about mindfulness, based on thorough research. Very scientific, and highly entertaining at the same time. Recommended to everyone with an interest in psychology, neurology, mindfulness and great humour. I think this could be the mindfulness book for men, as it rejects every new-agey blah blah and insists on looking at the scientific evidence instead.

She is very brave, honest and open about her depression, with a great deal of self-irony. Then it is a bit surprising how sciencey it gets. It is still very casual and funny but very accurate and detailed on the science part, too. She is describing all the parts of the brain, the hormones, different therapies, even gives exercises to do. (She got a degree from Oxford in this!) So does this book substitute therapy or training?

I like her sense of humour, how she’s not afraid of making fun of herself. Her hurrying situations are described in the style of the best comedy. I have a friend who does this, it’s hilarious.

However, at times I felt the scorn was too much on people who think differently or believe in other things. I know it’s not that funny but some respect for others was missing. Then again, she says, this method (i.e. mindfulness) is not THE answer, the only way. It works very well for her but might not work for others. There is a whole section describing other methods. The important thing is, Wax says, that you should “tame your mind”.

There were a few errors towards the end, a word twice in the sentence (they must have changed word order and left one there), a ‘who’s’ instead of ‘whose’ on the very last page, and there was a sentence in ‘summation’ that I couldn’t make any sense of. They must have been in a hurry (ha), as these are all the mistakes I found, and they are all at the very end.

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Responses

  1. […] Man, I really don’t want to relive these. Somehow embarrassing moments came more readily to my mind. (I know, there is some science there, they are very emotionally charged and the amygdala helps to remember them forever so we can avoid being in the same situation ever again – thanks for the explanation that really sticks in my mind, Ruby Wax!) […]

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