Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life" by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding

368 pages

Jeffrey Schwartz, a leading neuroplasticity researcher and author, and psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding put their minds together to figure out how brain wiring works against us when it comes to bad habits. They studying OCD patients as well as people with social anxieties, self-deprecating thoughts, and all sorts of compulsions. Then they came up with a four-step program to rewire the brain by consciously choosing to weaken the circuits that create the bad habits, decreasing their influence and strength. In this book, they share what they learned through their research and outline their plan for creating more positive and productive thought processes.

The authors do a very good job of explaining their research to laypeople, and their work makes a lot of sense. There isn't necessarily anything earth-shattering, I don't think, but they do offer some good strategies for dealing with bad thoughts and strengthening positive thinking. Of course, as with any self-help book, their plan won't single-handedly revolutionize the mind of someone with a serious mental problem, but it probably can help people with mild anxiety or compulsive behavior, and it could be helpful as part of a bigger treatment plan for someone with a serious issue.

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