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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works
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...
Published 7 months ago by Shackleton

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs an index and references; the part on cognitive behavioural therapy is the best
Overall this is worth reading; there is interesting and accessible information about the anatomy of the brain and details on brain chemistry. However, it is not always clear which of Ms Wax's anecdotes are true and which are embroidered, e.g. did her mother really use to say, "Who brings cookies into a building?" It's possible she really did but some of the other...
Published 8 months ago by J. Sawyer


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works, 20 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Kindle Edition)
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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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Ms Wax..., 6 July 2013
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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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156 of 166 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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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sane New World, 12 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Kindle Edition)
This is one of the most interesting " self help " books I have read recently and I have read many. Ruby Wax describes the workings of the human brain and describes the negative conversations that most people have in their own heads. It is a very accurate description and delivered with humor. I have read it several times now and laughed my way through even though it was dealing with a serious subject. It was very uplifting to know that Ruby herself has found some answers in the practice of Mindfulness. Her intelligence and sensitivity shine through in this book and it is not at all depressing! An uplifting and hopeful message. More from this author please! I will be waiting! Buy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs an index and references; the part on cognitive behavioural therapy is the best, 16 Aug. 2014
By 
J. Sawyer - See all my reviews
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Overall this is worth reading; there is interesting and accessible information about the anatomy of the brain and details on brain chemistry. However, it is not always clear which of Ms Wax's anecdotes are true and which are embroidered, e.g. did her mother really use to say, "Who brings cookies into a building?" It's possible she really did but some of the other things are clearly made up.

I would have liked references, especially for her claims regarding the benefits of mindfulness. I realise this is aimed at the layperson and goodness knows, I am certainly no intellectual, but it would be nice to know what studies this is based on. Also, I'd have liked to know where that Einstein quote comes from. Naturally I can look this up online, but as I have paid for the book, it would be nice to have the information included.

I would have liked an index, so that the second time she mentions a particular part of the brain, I can check back: with lots of Greek or Latin names, and several parts having similar (to me) names, it would have been useful to be able to look back easily.

The editor ought to have suggested/arranged this. The editor could also have changed 'i.e.' to 'e.g.' on those occasions when that was clearly what she meant.

Personally I find mindfulness exercises make me MORE anxious rather than less -- some people do -- so the interesting part for me was the section on CBT, and there are plenty of useful tips there. I especially like her idea that compassion for and curiosity about our fellow humans is the key to a contented/peaceful life/society.
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15 of 16 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
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It’s funny (if you like Ruby Wax’s sense of humour) and ..., 20 July 2014
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Kindle Edition)
Sane New World by Ruby Wax is part science text book and part memoir. Dotted between explanations of how the brain works are recounts of Ruby Wax’s own experience with mental illness, but you don’t need a degree in neurochemistry to understand the science bits, and you don’t need a degree in psychology to understand the mental illness bits. Sane New World is also an introduction to Mindfulness, the practice of paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way, a way of mastering your mind instead of being a slave to it. It’s funny (if you like Ruby Wax’s sense of humour) and accessible, fascinating and touching. Highly recommended. 4/5
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33 of 36 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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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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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILIANT, 6 Jun. 2013
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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34 of 38 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
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This review is from: Sane New World: Taming the Mind (Kindle Edition)
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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