Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life” as Want to Read:
You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  485 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He
...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 9th 2011 by Avery (first published May 19th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You Are Not Your Brain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You Are Not Your Brain

Blink by Malcolm GladwellOutliers by Malcolm GladwellPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyFreakonomics by Steven D. LevittThe Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Greatest Psychology Books
133rd out of 395 books — 678 voters
XVI by Julia KarrThe Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins GilmanYear of Wonders by Geraldine BrooksThe Year of the Flood by Margaret AtwoodThe Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Titles that start with X, Y, or Z
107th out of 303 books — 84 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,551)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jesse Bowers
Nov 18, 2012 Jesse Bowers rated it it was amazing
Not a book for people wanting to learn about the brain, but for people who struggle with OCD, anxiety, and depression, you will find this book a powerful tool.
Sara Strand
Jul 14, 2012 Sara Strand rated it liked it
I will tell you that the reason I picked this book to review is because I have a very unhealthy way of thinking when it comes to diet and exercise. I am extremely good at talking myself out of good behaviors and convincing myself that the bad behaviors are not only more fun and awesome, but will be better for me later on. Despite the fact thunder thighs are not my friend.

Basically everything in the book comes down to four steps:


Step 1: Relabel: Identify your deceptive brain messages and the un
...more
Daniel Ionson
Dec 20, 2014 Daniel Ionson rated it liked it
I love this book for the data that it gives. SDN: "Self-directed neuroplasticity" was a complete life-changing piece of knowledge for me.
However, I hate the style used in the writing of this book. It comes across as very "self-helpie" in the worst kinds of ways.

So, if you go into this book forewarned of that style, the knowledge you gain is exciting and helpful.
Melody
Apr 02, 2012 Melody rated it did not like it
I've been on a neurology kick, and picked this up at the library based on the credentials of the author. I thought it would not be a typical self-help book, even though the cover sure looked like one. I should have turned it over and noticed that one of the blurbs on the back was from Leonardo DiCaprio, noted neurology researcher movie actor.

I guess that was a good example of a deceptive brain message, because this is a self-help manual with all the smarmy examples one might imagine. Abby thinks
...more
Aggie
May 30, 2012 Aggie rated it it was amazing
If you are doing inner work, this book is a must read. Seeing the prison is paramount if you hope to escape.
Vanessa
Aug 24, 2012 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I'm not crazy for the gimicky title and much of the material has been in other books but it's the overall content of this book, the message and the concrete help the author offers that I'm loving. It's the neurobiological how-to of inner-bonding (Margaret Paul's Inner Child healing process) that I am always trying to distill for myself and other people. This book illuminates how to differentiate between the wounded part of us, what Schwartz calls "deceptive brain messages" versus the loving adul ...more
Iain
Mar 03, 2015 Iain rated it liked it
I liked this book and it has a lot of good advice for coping with "deceptive brain messages" - that negative inner dialogue you sometimes have with yourself that holds you back from doing something or makes you reach for another glass of wine to cope after a stressful day.

There's quite a lot of repetition in the book, which is why it didn't get a higher rating from me, personally, but I can see why it's there. It's designed to be repetitive to drum into you the four steps recommended to deal wit
...more
Eric
Aug 29, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing
READ THIS BOOK! Excellent book! Although very redundant (it could use a ruthless editor to delete redundancy and dumb analogies), it has changed my life for the better. This book has empowered me. It just clicked with me and I "got it" instantly. It has given me a new direction.

The very simple point that clicked for me was this: Your brain and your mind are two different things: your brain fires connections and your mind thinks/analyzes/decides. Sometimes your brain sends your mind wrong impulse
...more
Hlyan Htet Oo
Dec 16, 2015 Hlyan Htet Oo rated it it was ok
I wonder how this book even became a book. A fairly long article can do the work of it. The reason it deserves two stars instead of one is the 4-step solution, the main point of the book, is good and the book may also be interesting to people who are patient enough with unnecessarily long and repeated information.
Fred Zimny
Jan 06, 2016 Fred Zimny rated it liked it
Your brain sends you false messages, but you aren’t defined by them.

Brain wiring makes habits hard to change and causes intense, uncomfortable sensations.

The mind’s ability to change the brain, called self-directed neuroplasticity, enables you to rewire your brain to work for you.

There are Four Steps to dismantle the associations between unhealthy thoughts and habit.

Step 1: Relabel by identifying your deceptive brain messages and call them what they really are.

Step 2: Reframe your deceptive thou
...more
Lesley
Sep 14, 2012 Lesley rated it liked it
Great read for do-it-yourself life coaching. Once you realize your brain is continuously sending you messages for all the wrong reasons (e.g., habits), you are able to readjust those destructive thoughts by calling on the mind for reconstructing the reality and presenting healthier responses. Interesting theory but will take some practice in awareness and differentiation to fully implement. However, I found the approach very valuable and refreshing.
Ellie
Jul 17, 2015 Ellie rated it really liked it
Well, if Leonardo Dicaprio digs this dude...

In a nutshell, this is a guidebook of dealing with triggers (and the negative thoughts/emotions/habits/urges that accompany them) and living though them by using "the four steps": To Relabel (calling what the thoughts, sensations, urges are in one word with no judgement), to Reframe (why these feelings, thoughts, and urges are in there in the first bloody place), to Refocus (be active in something while being mindful of these feelings and emotions), an
...more
Kelly
Jan 05, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok
I read a synopsis of this book in a magazine, which was really interesting. However, it turned out to be a self-help book which turned me off by immediately introducing an internal "wise advocate". I'm marking this "read" so I don't try to pick it up again.
Kirk Hanley
Nov 21, 2015 Kirk Hanley rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed in this book. There was some good information, but I feel like it was not presented as effectively as it could have been. Jeffery Schwartz has a four step process for changing your thinking, but he doesn't get to the meat of it until a third of the way through the book. And because the steps are so interrelated, he jumps back and forth between them in chapters where he is purportedly concentrating on a single step. And while I normally like a lot of real world example ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Excellent ideas, poor editing! I have been reading several books on how we can make use of neuroplasticity so that we learn better habits and get rid of bad ones. I have great respect for the author and his contributions in the field of OCD studies as well as other fields of brains research. His book has the right ideas, indeed, they are excellent but it is poorly edited. This book should have been edited in such a way as to get rid of all redundancy. In fact, this book could have been cut by ha ...more
KC
Jun 21, 2011 KC rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
You Are Not Your Brain is a wonderfully written self-help book by two prominent neuroscience researchers. Many years of research have culminated in their theory to help people stop listening to the deceptive messages produced by their own brains and become the person they want to be instead.

Do you have any bad habits that you wish you could just stop doing? These include excessive worrying or anxiety, eating or drinking to cope with stress, caring too much about what other people think, and mor
...more
Farrah
Jun 26, 2011 Farrah rated it liked it
You Are Not Your Brain is a book that teaches the reader how to recognize deceptive brain messages and how to change their relationship with those messages. The book could be a source of empowerment to an individual following the 4-steps (relabel, reframe, refocus, and revalue) because it tells them they have it in them to be capable of whatever it is they are facing. Those who’ve experienced stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed will be able to take something away from the book and it’s 4 ...more
Julene
May 28, 2012 Julene rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
The beginning of the book is engaging, the further into the book I read the harder it was to read. It is a do it yourself psychology book that integrates cognitive-behavioral with the new brain science and mindfulness giving four steps to work with many stuck patterns typical of OCD, or a way to rid ourselves of unhealthy habits that are wired into our brains. The concept is simple, the process to rewire challenging and I think better to do with a live counselor than with a book.

The explanation
...more
Kai Sousa
Nov 22, 2013 Kai Sousa rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Kai by: Therapist
There were so many things that I didn't like about this book that I just couldn't seriously recommend it to anybody.

1. The section on how to deal with depression and fatigue are at the BACK of the book. Don't I have to get over these things just to pick up the book? Shouldn't this be at the beginning?

2. The introduction reads like an infomercial.

3. The seem to completely ignore the origins of the issues and perceptions of their case study patients and go straight to "Let's learn to look at this
...more
Ariel
Sep 16, 2013 Ariel rated it really liked it
Mindfulness For Dummies!

A very helpful book that illustrates exactly how to get rid of bad habits through mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy. The accessibility of the writing is both the strength and weakness of the book as it makes it easy for anyone (especially the distressed demographic the book is aimed at) to get comprehend and begin applying the '4 steps' to their lives immediately, but will also inevitably leave some people feeling patronized as a result of seeing brain parts
...more
Laura
Jul 01, 2011 Laura added it
We all have habits, or other things about ourselves that we would like to change. Whether it is eating too many coffee shop muffins, checking your email fifty times a day, buying too many books (clears throat), or something more serious like alcohol addiction or depression. I know I have plenty of habits I would like to change. In fact, I've struggled with my weight my whole life, and I've been on every imaginable diet. One thing I haven't ever tried is reading a self-help book, but when I read ...more
Linda
Aug 10, 2011 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't even think I've made it to chapter two yet, and already I feel the need to pontificate. Not a good sign.

Never mind the deadly earnest tone of the audiobook narrator, I wanted to quibble with the author before I even started to listen. As a matter of fact, I *am* my brain. If you don't believe me, have yours surgically removed, then get back to me.

The author has cast the brain in the role of enemy. I kid you not-- your devious, nasty brain is the cause of all your problems. Who's the hero
...more
Robby
May 27, 2013 Robby rated it it was amazing

<><>><><>>>><><><><><><><>Spoilers for Inception follow<>><><><><><><><<><><><><><

"An idea can grow to define you or to destroy you."

You Are Not Your Brain, as I like to call it, Inception: The Book, first of all because it is written by Jeffery A. Schwartz, the Howard Hughes expert who worked on the movie, The Aviator. Jeffery helped Leon
...more
Lara
Sep 30, 2011 Lara rated it liked it

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
You Are Not Your Brain

Bad Habits? I definitely have more than enough of those. Unhealthy thinking? Unfortunately, yes. I struggle with that, too.

Sometimes I wonder why I can't control my actions as well as I would like. Self-discipline and moderation have always been a little elusive to me. I have my moments, but I also have my moments, if you know what I mean. It seems like sheer willpower should be enough to break bad habits and establish the ones that my heart really w
...more
Nicole
Jan 21, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This book was very insightful. I recommend reading this with a notebook handy to do the exercises and take notes. I highly recommend this to everyone to read!

This book goes over what deceptive brain messages are (fade messages), and how we can overcome them by changing the wiring in our brain. Mainly, the deceptive brain messages we get were instilled in us in childhood. Our brains were missing something we needed to possible decifer our true emotions, retiring our brain to handle them different
...more
Michael Sanjaya
May 28, 2015 Michael Sanjaya rated it liked it
Good books in explaining how brain activity affects person's habit. Learned new terms like Zeno effects which really helpful to remind a person who are in a midst of eliminating habit or instil one.

Although the given examples are very much typical issues in society, however it sounds fictitious which makes the credential of the examples in doubt

Overall: still a good book to read
Jason
Dec 02, 2015 Jason rated it liked it
You Are Not Your Brain is a DIY psychology book that integrates cognitive-behavioral with recent brain science findings and mindfulness.

I found it less readable or impressive than Emotional Life of the Brain by Richard Davidson or Emotional Chaos to Clarity by Phillip Moffitt.

Basically, I was put off by the defining of "...the amygdala, insula, and anterior cingulate as the warning center of the brain, or what we like to call the Uh-Oh Center." The author's appeals to neuroscience are totally un
...more
Michelle
Jun 10, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, work
This book offers solid ideas for changing the habits that most impair a person's ability to live a happy life -- all backed by a considerable amount of science. So why am I not raving about it? I'm not sure. The four-step solution Schwartz offers comes across as simple in concept but complicated in practice. Each step has a full chapter or more dedicated to it. I listened to it on tape, so maybe it's the narrator or the writing or both that make it come off a little flat. In summary: the informa ...more
Robin
Jul 31, 2012 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: therapy, 2012
If you put aside the excess wordiness and repetitiveness of the author there is a good gem of an idea underneath.(I would have rated it higher if the writing was clearer.)

Being able to see that your thoughts (your brain) are not actually who you are can be an extremely eye-opening experience (akin to mindful meditation in my mind). The fact that the writer offers hope and simple ways to see these negative thoughts/behaviours as old patterns and be able to start to change them is great.

If you sc
...more
Frederik
Aug 09, 2015 Frederik rated it really liked it
If one wants to get a basic understanding on how behaviour and human actions are linked this can be a good introduction. And not only to change habits but also just to understand how things relate and are built up.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 51 52 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
  • Honoring the Self: Self-Esteem and Personal Tranformation
  • Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick
  • Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide
  • The Neuroscience of Change: A Compassion-Based Program for Personal Transformation
  • Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destruc tive Behavior
  • How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration
  • Psychic Intelligence: Tune In and Discover the Power of Your Intuition
  • Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth
  • Getting Real: 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life
  • Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power
  • Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD
  • Why Isn't My Brain Working?
  • The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions -- Today
  • The Gift of Adult ADD: How to Transform Your Challenges and Build on Your Strengths
  • Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done
  • This Book Has Issues: Adventures In Popular Psychology
  • Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness
2229
M.D.,
Research Psychiatrist,
Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences,
University of California, Los Angeles
More about Jeffrey M. Schwartz...

Share This Book



“Psychologist and mindfulness expert David Richo, Ph.D., has focused on how these healthy connections are formed and what is needed to keep them alive. He describes the “5 A’s” as the qualities and gifts we all naturally seek out from the important people in our lives, including family, friends, and especially partners. What are these 5 A’s? • Attention—genuine interest in you, what you like and dislike, what inspires and motivates you without being overbearing or intrusive. You experience being heard and noticed. • Acceptance—genuinely embracing your interests, desires, activities, and preferences as they are without trying to alter or change them in any way. • Affection—physical comforting as well as compassion. • Appreciation—encouragement and gratitude for who you are, as you are. • Allowing—it is safe to be yourself and express all that you feel, even if it is not entirely polite or socially acceptable. What Richo is describing, in essence, are those genuine needs we have that form the basis of secure, healthy relationships. The 5 A’s are what we all should have received most of the time from our caregivers when we were growing up. They are also what we want in our adult relationships today. In his book How to Be an Adult in Relationships, Richo compares and contrasts the 5 A’s with what happens in unhealthy or unequal relationships.” 1 likes
“Let’s begin with a quotation from mindfulness expert and teacher Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. It beautifully encapsulates what deceptive brain messages are, what they do to you, and how they keep you from following the path of your true self: We see life through a screen of thoughts and concepts, and we mistake those [thoughts] for reality. We get so caught up in this endless thought-stream that reality flows by unnoticed. We spend our time engrossed in activity, caught up in an eternal pursuit of pleasure and gratification and eternal flight from pain and unpleasantness. We spend all our energies trying to make ourselves feel better, trying to bury our fears, endlessly seeking security.16 To phrase it another way: We spend a considerable amount of our time engrossed in following deceptive brain messages until we begin to see them for what they are and value our true emotions and needs.” 1 likes
More quotes…