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A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,982 ratings  ·  231 reviews

500 years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolvedto be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we're still swimming with the pond scum. If we don't advance our more human qualities then we're doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of

Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published January 7th 2016 by Penguin Life
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Nicole I haven't read Sane New World, but I can really recommend A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. It is very insightful and amusing at the same time. I …moreI haven't read Sane New World, but I can really recommend A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. It is very insightful and amusing at the same time. I am just starting How to be Human. I am hoping that it is as good as Frazzled. (less)

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Dannii Elle
I was very impressed with this book. I found it a witty, relatable and, constructive response to the author's own mental illness, and thought it deliver sound advice on how the reader could attempt to nurture their own. ...more
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: pop-psych, health
I'm not quite sure where to start with this review. I made a start on Mark Williams' Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world quite some time ago but got a bit bogged down, so when my doctor diagnosed me as a tiny compacted ball of stress and said I should look into mindfulness, I sagged at the thought of trying again with the Williams, in spite of its good reviews, then found this at a bookshop and thought I'd give it a go. And it's really very good. It's extremely rea ...more
Paul E. Morph
It's all a bunch of tree-hugging hippy crap!'
- The philosopher/poet Eric Cartman

But is it, Cartman? Is it really?

Now, I'm not normally one for all this New Age fiddle-faddle. Homeopathy is clearly bollocks, ditto for Reiki, and you can shove your crystals where the sun don't shine. Mindfulness, though...

...Well, as sceptical as I am (and, believe me, I am)from reading this book it seems to me that 'mindfulness' is just another way of saying 'be present in the moment, actually experience your li
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am contemplating doing the 6 weeks mindfulness course which is part of this book if anyone would like to join me? Always works better if you have an accountability partner (or two).
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I very much liked Ruby Wax's first book "Sane New World: Taming The Mind" which was a very interesting read insightful and funny but this tried to be all things to all women/men as a guide to mindfulness and so included chapters for teenagers and children etc, but for me it felt very much like a retread of her first book with some additional information specific to mindfulness and specific about her own experiences with mental illness which although interesting was not why I bought the book.

I'm not sure what to make of this one. As a novice to mindfulness, meditation and all that stuff, there was some useful information in there, but I had to dig through pages upon pages of stuff I didn't care about to get to it. I'd have found it a lot more useful had it stuck to the point: this is mindfulness, here's what it does, and here's how to get to a place where it can help you. Bam! Done.

As it is, there's so much "me, me, me" stuff peppered in there that it reads more like two books mashe
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow. Wonderful book.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I've never really understood or found the appeal of mindfulness. I've listened to podcasts, read other books, talked to people who do it but never understood the benefit of it. I find that most people write about the issue but never come up with a solution. Something I'm always looking for (even though I know there's no real solution for a mental health illness). I didn't really have high hopes going into this book but I do like Ruby Wax and thought I'd give it a shot as I'm on the lookout for a ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found it quite annoying to be honest. I mean, the tips were good and explanations were easy to understand. But the “humor” was not for my taste. Too speciesist and sexist etc.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well Ruby Wax clearly knows her stuff - this book combines her acerbic wit with her studies about the mind. I've enjoyed her comedy but didn't really expect this book to work. Drawing on her own personal experiences, it is a combination of anecdotes, simple psychology and some practical exercises to help bring mindfulness to life.

I probably wouldn't have picked up this book if it hadn't been recommended to me -- and I have to say that some of the exercises just don't work for me. I would like t
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A more structured follow up to Sane New World, with a little more 'science' behind it and a six week course of mindfulness exercises. As you would expect, it's well put together, funny and a occasionally little manic (just like Ruby). I found myself almost mouthing 'how does she know that I do this?!' in parts of it, which is actually a pretty cathartic affirmation that it's not just me that loses my absolute shit about things. Stupid trivial things...

I have yet to try the six week course, to s
Stefan Grieve
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, non-fiction
An insightful and wickedly funny look at mindfulness, but mostly the anecdotal look at the author's experiences with depresion.

This book, as well as being mostly a fun read (when it's not being raw and real about the authors more troubling experiences) is filled with interesting information about the brain and mind.

Sometimes I thought it almost breathed sadness then other times I laughed out loud. It was honest and true. Sarcastic but not spiteful. The only thing I would say is that it came off
Peach Berry
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Teaming her wit and humour with personal anecdotes on her journey to mindfulness - Ruby Wax tells it like no other. Funny, moving and full of information for those of us who struggle with our frazzled minds in a modern world
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Back in 6 weeks to let you know how the Mindfulness course in this book went!
Claire Tomonaga
A very interesting book but I think I made a mistake listening to the audio book rather than having a real copy. I loved hearing Ruby read but some parts of the more helpful parts were harder to follow when listening. I will look out for a paper copy.
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting and often funny take on the inner workings of modern western society, its expectations and how to deal with its lunacy!
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found parts of this book really easy to read, but faltered at chapter 5 and the mindfulness exercises. I'm conscious that the problem I had with this section of the book was that I was reading for leisure rather than as a deliberate decision to practice the exercises. As such, they were dry and interrupted the flow of the book for me. I ended up skipping this chapter and this allowed me to finish the book. I may well re-visit this section and work through the exercises when I feel able to do s ...more
Cheryl Whittaker
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great insight into how to be mindful, complete with a 6 week course to put into practice.
Cassandra Stevens
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This has given me a lot to think about and a lot to start practicing with. One day I hope to benefit from the instructions on parenting/children.

I think Ruby's perspective on this subject is addictive to read and has opened me up to trying methods I wouldn't of known about and to address my own thoughts.

Shes super funny, I like her internal monologue which she writes in this book and is renowned for saying out loud.

All in all a great read, especially if you struggle mentally and want to turn to
Lester Noel
Feb 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Started reading this a while back when I first started to practice being mindful. Ruby Wax does a good job of mixing the science of mindfulness with her own life in her own unique style
Mar 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Bit of a genre-bender this one. And I know Ruby Wax has gone through a lot of transformation from comic actress roots to Oxford psych scholar. Still, this is a self-examination &/or deprecation missive with hefty doses of behaviour psychology, self-awareness & brain science thrown in, so I'm saying it reads like the Stand-Up Spawn of the subjects' grand masters: Wayne Dyer and Russell Brand. Which, for a Saturday night, isn't bad company at all.

But stretched out over several reading sessions mad
Mariola Bochnak
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not bad but not amazing

It was an ok read - I found out few useful things but I thought it was more of. A therapy book for Ruby than a guide for me ...
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, 2016
I have already done some mindfulness and try to practice regularly. I watched an interview with Ruby Wax during the online Mindfulness Summit in October and was interested to read her book to get her perspective on things. She has a masters in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy so this is not a case of jumping on the bandwagon, she does know her stuff.

This is an easy read. She throws in some humour here and there, and also tells some personal stories of her journey. There is a 6 week mindfulnes
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book that brings rewards as you listen. There's a 6 week course in mindfulness in the middle, bookended by the author's experiences before and after her own Masters (don't you know!) at Oxford which brought her a realisation to the benefits. Wax was everywhere on telly when I was a teenager and I personally wasn't into her manic approach to comedy. That said she reads her book brilliantly and there was so much to enjoy. The final chapters around her personal challenge of a week long meditation ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Ruby makes a compelling case for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which she has taken a Masters in, and which I think is a better descriptor than mindfulness meditation, because as she says, you'll get the best out of the technique if you can do it anywhere, not just cross legged in silence. Also I think the word meditation sets expectations which can put some people off, (hello Mum), possibly especially that mindfulness takes time, but MBCT can be done in moments, and while you eat. Interes ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Like a lot of these self help books it can be massively improved by replacing the name for the technique it is promoting, in this case mindfulness and MBCT, with the phrase "sticking a cucumber up my ass". Once the concept is explained it gets a bit repetitive with each chapter merely restating the concept with advice on applying it, it is no surprise that the most interesting chapter is about the depression she suffered during the writing of the book, elsewhere it comes across as promotional gu ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was gonna give this 3 stars as there wasn't any new info for me but with Ruby's unique delivery, it will be one of those 'the right book for the right person at the right time' so i'll keep it in mind for future recommendations. And for someone so insecure that they head straight for the most popular person in the crowd in order to feel validated by making them laugh, she should frame and hang the picture of her and HH cracking up together in her living space and mind's eye as a reminder for h ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ruby Wax is a talented writer. She's witty and honest. Sometimes it appears that the honesty is a shield or coping mechanism. I was expecting more of a self help book about stress and slowing down and how to do it. The book was about her life, various anecdotes, and some science about our way our brains are wired. My key takeaway was the importance of mindfulness and being present and being in the moment. ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been interested in Mindfulness for some time but haven't really made the effort or taken the time to get into it. This quirky book has certainly spurred me on. I didn't find all of it relevant to my own circumstances but as a guide to how and why to try it , it's refreshing and enlightening. ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The bit I liked most was the description of a mindfulness bootcamp in Snowdonia - right at the end. But the rest of it I had difficulty with because I don't identify with Ruby Wax's view of the world: one where you are under endless self-inflicted pressure to compete.
But I AM interested in reading her book about her upbringing. Sounds like it takes dysfunctional to a whole new level.
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Ruby Wax arrived in Britain in 1977 to pursue an acting career. She says "I really could never find my niche. I was a terrible actress, I couldn't sing, I couldn't do characters, I couldn't do an English accent and I lived in England, so I was narrowing it down".

She met French and Saunders at a party and worked alongside them a number of times, on television in Happy Families, at charity events su

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