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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and lots of good advice
Ruby uses just enough science, personal anecdotes and humour to make this book easy and worthwhile reading. It's full of common sense and advice for life in the 21st century. I'd recommend it to anyone who suffers from anxiety or would class themselves as an excessive worrier. If nothing else this book will give you some laughs!
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. T

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag
The sections of the book in which Ruby Wax reflects on and recounts her personal experience are both moving and informative and certainly helped me to understand better what it is like to suffer from depression. However, I found the other sections rather annoying in their tone and at times I felt my mind lurching into the world of the untamed mind rather than the tamed...
Published 15 months ago by m e lockyer


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and lots of good advice, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
Ruby uses just enough science, personal anecdotes and humour to make this book easy and worthwhile reading. It's full of common sense and advice for life in the 21st century. I'd recommend it to anyone who suffers from anxiety or would class themselves as an excessive worrier. If nothing else this book will give you some laughs!
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Ms Wax..., 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
Brilliant Book. I read it with Ruby's voice in my head which made it easy and amusing. I wish she had written this book when I was 14, it would have saved me years of heart/head ache.. A must read for those who want to find out more about themselves and those around them. Thank you Ms Wax, I am only sorry that you had to suffer first in order to get tothis point in your life...
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149 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Owners Guide to the Mind, 7 Jun 2013
By 
Donald Scott (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
I've read a lot of books about neurology, psychology and psychotherapy. Just put this one down having finished the last page. This one is a bit special because it has been written by someone who writes from the heart, with an honesty that's compelling. It has been said that there is no owner's manual that comes with each brain. This one provides a pretty good idea of what to do if you feel that your own brain is not quite getting you through your life the way you'd like. Highly recommended. I've always liked the author as a comedienne... I like her even better as an author and educator.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works, 20 Sep 2014
I wish I'd known ages ago that with simple training you can change how you feel by changing your thoughts which changes your brain physiology and anatomy. She backs it up with empirical evidence based in science and research.

What I love about the techniques is that you're not trying to overrule or change unwanted or negative thought patterns (think positive!...yeah, like that's possible if you're feeling traumatised, stressed or depressed, and she proves why it isn't possible to tackle it that way as well). It's done using simple awareness and focussing exercises. Sounds too easy doesn't it? well it is easy and I'm personally flabbergasted at the amazing results I've experienced already.

Like a lot of people I've tried various self help books and manuals and had counselling for my issues but none have been as effective as this approach. It's completely changed my perspective on how we tend to view thoughts as the self and defining rather than 'brain events' as she describes.

If you've explored your own issues but still find your mind, thoughts and mood hostage to them then I can't recommend this book highly enough to you. It works and the science backs it up so I guess that's why it works.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILIANT, 6 Jun 2013
This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
this book is a gift to the world. it's a helpful book without being a 'self help book.' funny, insightful and a revelation. it makes the most impossible concepts accessible for everyone and will help anyone understand the intricate workings of the brain and the responses we have to life. a must have for anyone trying to navigate their way through all the madness. major thanks to miss wax...
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine, helpful, insight into the world of depression & anxiety., 14 Jun 2013
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
I read a newspaper article by Ruby Wax in which she spoke about her re-direction into the world of Mindfulness training/psychotherapy as a result of her own experience with mental health issues. I had something of a light bulb moment as much of what she said I could apply directly to myself. Ruby spoke with such down to earth common sense, no psycho babble, and her wicked sense of humour helped break down some of the more serious aspects of depression and make the subject approachable, accessible. As a result of the newspaper article I was inspired enough to buy her book and download:-

'Mindfulness; A Practical Guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Prof. Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman'.

Ruby's book is split into sections which she uses to explain differing levels of anxiety/depression and describe what's going on in your brain to keep you awake at night, feel agitated or alter your mood, etc. Doesn't read like a psychotherapy textbook, it's hugely entertaining, and has an excellent balance between the serious and the 'not quite so much'.

Mindfulness training is obviously what Ruby's promoting because it worked for her though I'd never heard of it. I'm no professional and have no real knowledge of psychotherapy but; I was so inspired by Sane New World: Taming the Mind and Ruby's experience with Mindfulness I began the eight week course (as mentioned above) a fortnight ago. It's too soon to go into massive detail and tell you it's a miracle cure, I don't want to mislead anyone, I'll only say that re-training your mind is hard work and you need to apply yourself to the practice. The meditation exercises, for me, had an immediate, relaxing effect and the theory of Mindfulness is helping me understand my own inner turmoil.

One of the main benefits of reading Ruby's book isn't just to learn about Mindfulness training. She's reaching out and sharing her own emotions and experience to encourage other people with depression/anxiety disorder (or any other mental illness) to open up and talk about it. There's no shame. The book's massively informative but it's also sad, warm and funny and you don't have to be suffering from depression to read it. Mindfulness is a great tool to use if you're leading an incredibly busy life and want to find an oasis of peace inside yourself.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Wish this book was published a decade ago, 18 Oct 2013
By 
Y. Bakunina (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
Of course, that's not possible as neuroscience is only just beginning to understand how our brains work. Still, this book is invaluable to anyone and everyone. Intuitively, I always knew that stress is the root of all evils, that meditation and mindfulness help me to calm the mind as does yoga but no meditation or yoga teacher has ever explained to me the physiological principles behind mindfulness. Ruby Wax does more than that. She ascertains that we are all crazy and helps to navigate to the sane shores with clarity and uncanny humour. To me this is the best and most profound book I've read in a decade.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the depressed, 27 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Hardcover)
After following the eight week course outlined in Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic worldI was desperate to tell as many people as possible how wonderful Mindfulness is and what an impact it is having on my life. In the same week as I completed the course I discovered that by some wonderful coincidence Ruby had written her own book on the subject. Not only that but it was not some celebrity 'bandwagon' exercise but a serious contribution to the topic, based on her own experiences and her studies at Oxford University with the very professor who designed the course I'd just completed.
Ruby explains, with her characteristic humour, the latest scientific understanding of how the human mind works. She laments the fact that we don't come with a user manual and points out that we instinctively behave as if we were still hunter gatherers - hence all the shopping!
The good news is that we can rewire our brains and don't have to be trapped by our genes or our history. I can vouch for this with my own experiences. It was interesting to read the scientific proof. I would have liked to see an appendix with references for the studies she quotes. The absence of this in my kindle version is the only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars.
It's a shame, although probably inevitable, that those interviewing Ruby about the book want to concentrate on her own history because you don't have to suffer from depression or any other mental illness to benefit from practising Mindfulness. Whilst Ruby explains how it helps her she also provides a comprehensive list of studies and examples that show just how much benefit it can bring to any human being.
I hope many many people will read this book and be inspired to undergo Mindfulness training. If they do the world will be much better for it.
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146 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want A Happier Life? You'd Be Crazy Not To Read Sane New World. Yes, I Do Mean That., 10 Jun 2013
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What's the one thing we all say when asked what we'd wish ourselves or our children and loved ones? A happy life. This excellent book isn't just for those people with a mental health diagnosis. It's a book for any human being who wants a happier life. A manual for improved life quality - improved thinking, feeling and behaviour. I want to send one each to all our children.

Here's a modified something I wrote on Ruby Wax's website (www.rubywax.net) today.

"I'm glad the Irish Sane New World Tour went so well. My work hours were reduced from 36 to 12 per week when I had to have time off for an episode and the doctor's certificate showed 'bipolar depression'. That's a 2/3 cut in my salary. We moved area and I now work from home doing something I love. But mental illness can still hit us in the pocket and lower self-esteem further in this way, as you mention in SNW. The law definitely needs changing. We can never have too many people being open and honest about their experiences.

I'm now told by my e-reader I'm at '94 of 150' and thus at Part 4 of Sane New World. Although I took two NHS Mindfulness courses, the brain part was only explained in that we can change our thinking and thus feeling and behaviours. There simply wasn't the budget or time on the NHS to go into that detail and we concentrated on the actual practice.

So, at very long last, someone has explained for me in layman's/Joe Public human terms what scientists and scholars actually know, from all the research we have up to now (and clearly more needs doing), about our brains and minds. I knew Mindfulness was doing me good, making life richer and me more content, but the info in SNW's been a revelation to me. How complex is the brain! No wonder it's taking time to work it all out. And each brain is unique. So Ruby's down-to-earth and often funny and recognisable explanations helped me see why I've been stuck with certain thoughts, beliefs and attitudes for too many years.

I've had to read some parts twice - which gave me priceless ah-ha moments galore - and look up a few words but you've made this topic so accessible for those who want to do something about their mental health/thinking/life problems but may not understand why Mindfulness (and mindfulness-based CBT) is worth learning and practising and sticking at. For ANYone!

One practical course of Mindfulness would be great, if daily practise follows. Doing a course, then forgetting about it probably wouldn't help. A course or other complementary works such as Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Williams & Penman - based on Kabat-Zinn's work - and then practising daily, begins to pay dividends. I wouldn't be writing this if I doubted it. I don't do many reviews. I have to feel very strongly. And this is fundamental stuff to help with our lives.

Of course there are crappy and traumatic times; Ruby Wax doesn't deny that (especially by being open in the book about her own struggles) - but we can observe those times, thoughts and feelings with mindful practice, and recover in a healthier way than the negative things we often do, beating ourselves up, being unkind to ourselves, overloading ourselves to breaking point, etc. This book has explained to me what's going on; how with Mindfulness I'm rewiring my brain to positive effect. I was honestly at the point where I couldn't afford NOT to.

We are human and fallible. Perfection we can never have but, using your book and the Mindfulness-based options (books/courses/cds and more) out there, we can improve our quality of life. And I think that's the best gift those of use with mental health issues can give ourselves. Thanks for making it all a lot clearer for me. :-)"

I don't always meditate daily (I can manage short ones quite well, even 5 minutes!) but I do try and consciously do a few daily things (washing up, anyone? Walking the dog?) in a mindful way, paying attention. Everyone will have their own preferences.

If you struggle with life, that the habitual negative thoughts you have affect your self-worth/your emotions and feelings/your behaviour and how you live life (anxious/suffering depressive/anxiety symptoms/obsessive thoughts and behaviours) and you sincerely wish to change this, well then, say no more, you are very human and Ruby's written a funny, accessible manual to help.

Life can only improve with this stuff. It *can* be happier if you want. But if your painful comfort-zone is the one you want to keep, you go ahead. You're welcome to it. But don't say I never tipped you the wink! ;-)
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny book with a very important message, 21 Oct 2013
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Ruby writes about mindfulness in a way that actually makes sense. Her open and honest account of her own mental illness adds a layer of reality and truth sometimes missing in more zen like approaches to mindfulness.
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Sane New World: Taming the Mind
Sane New World: Taming the Mind by Ruby Wax (Hardcover - 6 Jun 2013)
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