Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sane New World: Taming the Mind by Ruby Wax

Feeling a little crazy at times is quite normal, according to Ruby Wax. And, she should know. Despite being an internationally recognised comedian known for her bubbly, brash extroversion, Wax has been plagued with recurrent bouts of depression throughout her life – except for the last five years.

So what changed? When her television career nosedived following a nervous breakdown, she decided enough was enough. Why pay someone else to ferret around in the most intimate corners of her mind, when she could try and fix it herself? At 52, Ruby Wax went back to school – to Oxford University, no less, and graduated triumphantly with a Masters in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy gave her the tools to challenge the endless stream of self-critical thoughts that made her continuously anxious. Wax now describes herself as a recovered ruminator. She has learnt to still her overactive brain by using techniques that focus on calming sensory experiences and turns the table on negative thoughts by challenging the false assumptions that cause them.

These tools are powerful stuff and have improved the lives of thousands of people, but they do take a fair bit of practice to master. In Sane New World, readers are entertained, inspired, and educated by a passionate advocate with first-hand experience. If Ruby Wax can learn how to calmly exist in the 21st century, you can, too. And, while it won’t happen overnight, this handy guidebook to a sane, less stressful life will speed you on your way.

Reviewed by Spot

Catalogue Link:  Sane New World

Ruby Wax's TED Talk on Mental Illness

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