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Mental Traps: The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life
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Mental Traps: The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  576 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Mental Traps is André Kukla’s immensely enjoyable and down-to-earth catalogue of the everyday blunders we make in our thinking habits, how these traps can affect our entire lives, and what we can do about it.

Ever find yourself putting off even relatively minor tasks because of the many other little jobs that you’d have to tackle first? Or spending far too much time worryin
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Anchor Canada (first published September 15th 2006)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Eleanor Thorel
May 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
I'm afraid I found Andre Kukla perseverating on his own compartments of mental traps and eventually found it a mental trap reading it.. ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Buddhist saying goes like this: our happiness and our sorrow are both the product of our thoughts and nothing else.

And this is exactly what this book concentrates upon, but with a more pragmatical approach. The question is not about happiness, but rather about the clutter of thoughts that we constantly have, which does not benefit to our mental health (eventually to our emotional state also).

Mental traps are typical to the Western mind and Andre Kukla does a great job at demolishing absurd ta
Fiona Lee
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for over thinkers, like myself. Identify these mental traps: persistence, amplification, fixation, reversion, anticipation, resistance, procrastination, division, acceleration, regulation and formulation. Solution given to avoid these mental traps. Overall, interesting psychological, self-improvement book.
Rachel Pieters
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed, non-fiction
I actually didn't finish this book, admittedly. It seemed interesting and I got a few chapters in, but then it started to seem confusing and repetitive. I could no longer remember which trap was which as they all sounded similar to each other. I gave up. Great idea and probably some great info in there, but pretty hard to stay in. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I don't like it very much. Well, I don't know why actually, but it keeps repeating unnecessary things many times so that is three stars for those annoying words. ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Overthinkers, perfectionists and worriers
I'm giving this a 4 because it's very clever and insightful... but almost in an annoying way. :P By the end of it you feel like you're wandering around overthinking overthinking. It does contain some useful advice but I don't think I could ever follow all of it. Even if you just pick and choose a couple of applicable points that probably would make a noticible improvement to your life though, so if you are an overthinker it is worth reading.

Having said that, the advice is quite difficult to foll
May 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Descriptive and well-written about the various traps and how to spot them. However, I feel that the advices on how to overcome these mental traps aren't too practical or useful. To summarise the author's advice in a sentence : "do the right things at the right time and at the right pace"

..How exactly? If correcting for one trap sets the path towards another trap?
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At times, it can be hard to read through this book, however, if you put in a bit of effort you will find it very useful. This book will make you think about what you think and why you think what you think... :)
It helped me to understand some of my mental flaws/traps, which I believe made me a bit wiser and calmer.
I believe the book is a bit underrated.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it because I'm an overthinker and it gave me a lot more to overthink about. ...more
Anna Mezhova
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Good description of mental traps (especially relevant to type A personalities), but next to nothing in terms of dealing with them.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
So the first 2/3 - 3/4 of this book was fairly facile and 101 level cognitive distortion stuff, and if you've spent any amount of time in the self-help world or trying to talk yourself out of anxiety there won't be anything new here. It doesn't bill itself as anti-anxiety or self-help, and largely avoids the language of mental health altogether (except for a passing nod at depression occasionally), and seems rather to be aimed at someone who may not have as much experience thinking of themselves ...more
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
It was ok. I think the last third of the book was the most interesting/useful. It really should have been called 'the evolutionary path of a mental trap' because that's really what it is looking at the contents at a high level.

Everyone suffers from a configuration of the mental trap described in the book- and while it does a good job describing it, it does a poor job addressing the reality that modern life promotes all of these bad habits - im sure the author could label that reasoning with a m
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, audio-books
The content of this book is drawn from many sources, including philosophy, psychology, religion, science, and most importantly, the self. This book will knock you on the head to wake you up from ignorance. Ignorance of your own thoughts, which makes you less productive and redundant. It has a potential to change lives radically. a MUST read.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Make you think more consciously"

We use our brain to think all the time without realizing the many needless and effort-wasting mental traps: Persistence, amplification, fixation, reversion, anticipation, resistance, procrastination, division, acceleration, regulation and formulation. Reading this book might not make you think smarter, but definitely more consciously, attentively and alive.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was alright, quite repetitive, but made some insightful points. Definitely not geared towards people with mental illness.
Mindful Reader
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
I don't think I'm an overthinker, really.

And I would have organized the book into chapters that presented the problem, then the proposed solution, rather than describing all the problems and having one "solution" chapter at the end.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Difficult read, you might say trying to stick with this and finish it was a mental trap. No real solution for over thinkers presented other than counting your breaths and trying to clear your thoughts.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Not an easy book. After the first read, I had to go back and read it again.
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Quite an enjoyable book. Some parts I felt I might have to re-read, but readable nonetheless.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best psychologigal idea I had ever read in my life. Strongly recommended.
Nicholle Blaine
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
This was short. I should probably be reading my adolescent psych assignment but I do not want to.
Robert White
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
it's about mindfulness
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting observations about the games we play in our minds. I enjoyed the insight, but it was too much description and not enough answers as to how to cope.
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
The problem with this book is that it ends up being its own mental trap. The writer really belaboured the point too much towards the end and ruined it.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
it's not an action plan. the book makes you think of mental processes and their impact on your life and emotions. ...more
Eugene White
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recomended this book for people who lose their focus too often, or have a lot of attention span.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Too repetitive … the book was a mental trap in itself
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book on how our thinking is our greatest obstacle.
Rodion Krivoshein
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
The last chapter is kinda boring and could be skipped.
Otherwise very helpful guide to finding and getting rid of your unnecessary struggles.
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