Book: Sane New World: Taming the Mind by Ruby Wax
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
About the book
We are born without a manual for the mind and society spend millions of dollars visiting shrinks and taking medication without understanding the way the mind works. If there was a manual for the mind, would you read it?
Ruby Wax – Comedian, writer, actress and mental health campaigner explains how our mind can threaten our sanity.
During her own journey with depression / anxiety disorders, she finds herself completing her masters from Oxford in mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy where she learns about psychology and neuroscience. This filled with her crazy mind adventures as a celebrity whilst battling mental illness.
Her message for us to overcome our mental madness is if we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world. This is a manual to help you become the master of your mind and not the slave.
“…the idea is to relate to thoughts as merely brain events rather that absolute truths. Thoughts are not who you are, they are habitual patterns in the mind nothing more and as soon as you see them that way, they lose their sting..”
I was about to abandoned this after listening to the first 30% of this novel but, I persisted and lucky I did. If you stick past all the sarcasm and poor jokes, Ruby eventually does a great job of explaining how the human mind works.
Some of the jokes are funny and specially to lighten the mood on a disaster mental health story, but unfortunately others may leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Her experience in psychology and neuroscience has paid off as she could clearly explain some difficult theories such as emotions, brain chemistry and therapies associated with mental illness in layman’s terms. Learning terminology that was explained, really help me understand the workings of the mind.
She shows some great techniques to manage the monkey mind and using CBT with mindfulness practices. She delves into step by step mindfulness techniques that can be used to help many situations. There are also stories of other and how they manage in tough situations followed by heaps of studies that show the benefits of these techniques.
This is a must read if anyone who is dealing or has family/friends with depression and anxiety. You get the inside view, the voice in the head and silly antics the mind conjures when people suffer from these disorders.
I found it difficult to relate to her personal life story, but she does a fabulous job of explaining the mind talk to a person who is suffering from mental illness. I think many will relate to this and will enjoy her descriptions.
“..thoughts aren’t facts. They are constantly changing patterns..”
More about Ruby Wax
Ruby is American born but residing in the UK. She has a history of being in front of the camera with experience in acting, comedy and television host.
As a role model for mental illness, her TED Talk uses energy and alternative humour to why we should put an end to the stigma of mental illness.