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The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety
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The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  198 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Marrying Eastern techniques of meditation with traditional Western solutions of diet and exercise, celebrated psychiatrist Dr. Henry Emmons offers a proven plan to combat anxiety—without medication—that has helped tens of thousands gain inner peace and start enjoying life.

The debilitating effects of anxiety can affect your sense of well-being, health, l
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Touchstone
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This book was fine. It wasn't as interesting as The Chemistry of Joy, and it definitely wasn't as helpful or informative. It's clear that he's a professional psychiatrist and therapist, but it also seems like he's never had anything even close to a panic attack (not that it's necessary, but he seems only clinically familiar and not actually familiar with it). In fact, the information he includes about different forms of anxiety and its roots is brief and feels pretty empty.

I dislike that this bo
Christina Bouwens
Very helpful, important book on balancing chemistry naturally -- through diet, exercise, healthy supplements, mindfulness, and re-thinking new understanding of neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and gene expression. A positive reinforcement that who we are today doesn't necessarily have to be who we are tomorrow; we are less victims of our own biology than previously portrayed (think Freud...). As Dr. Emmons puts it, "we are resilient beings by nature. Everyone has a different degree of stress toler ...more
Eileen Ptacek
Not much new information, but the book did remind me that I need to meditate regularly for good mental health. My MD said not to take the recommended supplements except for B complex. Too little regulation of herbal supplements, in his opinion.
Feeling Good is another book on this subject and is very helpful for dealing with thoughts that cause anxiety.
Liked this so much, especially the meditations, that I'm ordering a copy for myself to own. I have to admit I skipped the chapter on supplements and found the food advice to be a reiteration of things I've already heard (Emmons believes in Pollan's food strategy - Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.) or common sense (Anxious? Perhaps you should cut down on your caffeine, hmmm?). I didn't mind hearing some things again though; I'm hard-headed enough that it can take several times for something ...more
This book has really helped me begin to find my way out of anxiety. The supplements recommended in the book work better than anything I have tried so far. As this book is about finding a balance between mind and body so you become more "resilient" to anxiety and stress, I feel that I will be referencing this book for a while to come.
A word of caution...I felt that the author of this book came off as rather arrogant (though perhaps he was just trying to establish a connection) with his repeated u
Part 1 "Build a Strong Foundation" is totally impractical for someone who's unemployed. He wants you to eat certain foods, avoid pasta, and take loads of supplements. RIGHT, like I can really do this right now. Part 2 "Awaken to Equanimity" would be easier for me to do but it's due back at the library & I don't have the $15 to get my own copy. He talks about mindfulness meditation but I have a book edited by Susan Piver, "Quiet Mind: A Beginner's Guide to Meditation," which can be a good sub ...more
A huge disappointment. Henry Emmons, if you wanted to write a book about nutrition, write a book about nutrition. If you wanted to write a book about Buddhism, write a book about Buddhism.

Just please, don't write a book directed at calming anxiety and turn it into a vague, non-supported clinical ha-blah of promoting your teachings.

Just, ah, God. I was reading this and got so distracted by my own thoughts asking myself to just kill me now.

Zero stars. Negative stars. Who published this guy anyway
As an individual with longstanding depression and chronic pain, this awesome Resilience Training Program espoused by Emmons et al simply, naturally works. After nearly 15 years of prescription sleep aids, I now fall and return to sleep with ease, safely and naturally, without meds. My sense of optimism and self-confidence has rebounded as I've relearned to trust that my body and mind tend toward wholeness and calmness with proper self-care and support. An awesome, evidence-based program that wor ...more
I will learn to relax if it kills me :)
After hopping from section to section in this book, I have finally read through all of it, and am happy to say that I do not have a true blue anxiety problem. I think I could be predisposed to have it in the future, but after reading the techniques in this book hopefully I can use them to keep myself healthy. Even if you don't have any anxiety issues whatsoever I believe that this would be a good read. Emmons has good advice on how to keep a healthy diet, an easily digestible explanation of brai ...more
Katrina Woznicki
I am interested in meditation and just finished this book yesterday. It's a quick read and the author/physician explains the science of hope and resilience, and offers very practical advice that is very accessible to readers of all levels, regardless of clinical backgrounds. There are different meditations to choose from, such as those that focus on feeling joyful for others or those that focus on releasing anxiety. I definitely felt this book has already had a positive impact on my at-home medi ...more
I suffer from pretty gnarly panic attacks/general anxiety. This book was recommended to me by two different doctors on two different occasions. Emmons provides a comprehensive plan to counteract anxieties using diet, supplements, and guided meditation. What I enjoyed most about this book was that there were no "filler" words. I have read many books on this subject (or general guidelines for healthy mental living) some of which feel a bit vague and forced at times. In this book, every page is val ...more
Experience Life
“Our world is unquestionably complex,” writes Henry Emmons in The Chemistry of Calm. “Much of the problem, though, lies not with how things have changed outside of us, but with our lack of a skillful means for dealing with a challenging world.”

Emmons’s book strives to give us those skills by offering start-right-now advice on how to quiet our runaway worries. Based on the eight-week Resilience Training Program Emmons developed, his guidance is holistic, covering nutrition, exercise, mindfulness,
My doctor, whom I love and adore, recommended this book to me in a discussion about my anxiety. Neither she nor I think my anxiety is bad enough that we want to start medication, and she hoped this book would help.

I mean, I guess it did a little. Emmons is a bit repetitive, because the reader is encouraged to read any or all of the chapters in any particular order. I'm planning on trying certain techniques, but suspect my anxiety will be better when I find a new job, since that is the root of a
This book is a great aid for those heavily burden with their anxiety and stresses that one endures in their everyday lives. I have always been an avid believer in non-medicated methods to trying to help your physical and mental ailments and this is what this book represents. Goes into depth on what kind of diet would help alleviate symptoms, basic physical activities that helps improve behavior and mentality and even introducing meditation as a deeper sense of thinking, reprogramming and of bein ...more
This is the first book I've read focusing on stress and anxiety so I chose to give it a three so I have something to compare to. I found this book easy to read other than a few scientific discussions. It discussed all aspects of creating a healthy and stress-limited mind (since some stress is actually good for you and necessary). Great information on healthy foods to eat, supplements to take, and exercises to increase the body's ability to cope with anxiety and stress. I would definitely recomme ...more
I was hospitalized for depression and anxiety. This book is a great resource to reinforce many of the techniques I learned from the group therapy in the hospital. I started taking some of the suggested supplements and practice mindfulness taught in this book. I'm recovering very well. I think it's a great and complete program. I highly recommend it.
Lauren Clough
I gave up about half way through. I thought the advice was great, however just not for my lifestyle. Maybe I will skim the rest someday.
I got this book from the library, but plan to go and buy a copy for my bookshelf! For anyone who suffers from any form of mild anxiety, or just looking for holistic therapy to soothe their overstressed mind, this is a great book. It not only includes mediation techniques, but also biological facts/findings, as well as natural herbal remedies.
Easy to read advice for handling anxiety. Influenced by both his psychology training and Buddhist leanings, this explains the effects of anxiety on the body and suggests important and do-able methods for easing anxiety. Numerous personal stories included. Meditation and exercise and diet are all key to good health. Go figure.
Laura Kaslow
I borrowed this from a friend and may need to go but my own copy to mark up so I can put some of his practices into place. I also want to read his first book "The Chemistry of Joy." If you are in a place of openness to mindful thinking, I highly recommend it.
Integrative, holistic approach to treating anxiety and stress. Really enjoyed it and will be following many of the suggestions.
This book really worked for me. It gave me strategies to calm my mind and get a good nights sleep.
Life changer. Very easy to read and informative.
Caitlin Boyd
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“as the military has discovered, if the amount of stress is great enough, anyone can be broken down by it.” 0 likes
“Recent surveys suggest that 25–30 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from a mental disorder, and that for most of them this is the direct effect of stress. Yet because of stigma, less than half of them seek help—” 0 likes
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