23 January, 2014

Sane New World: taming the mind by Ruby Wax [Clare Kitt, Massey Library]

Ruby Wax is a well-known US-born but London-based comedian. She spent many years fighting depression and going from one manic episode to the next. Desperate to break the cycle, she determined to find out why her brain and mind behaved the way it did. She had a mother who had her own problems, as many of us have, but the old tape kept playing in her head and she wanted to change it.

She somehow got into Oxford University (she's still not sure how) and earned a degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Here at last was the answer. She discovered that thoughts are just thoughts, they don't have to be listened to. The brain is plastic enough to change at any age, and mindfulness is the tool to use. Any negative thoughts can be ignored, or replaced with other more positive and beneficial ones.

Of course, it's not that easy, but becomes so with practice.
Ms Wax takes us through her own personal journey and shows us how to make our minds and thoughts our servant, not our master. She does so with her characteristic humour and vivacity. It is a well-written, easily-read book and I highly recommend it for anyone, not just those suffering from stress overload, anxiety or depression. 

Author: Ruby Wax
Publisher:  London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2013
ISBN:  9781444755732 (hbk.) 9781444755749 (pbk.)

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