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A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,743 Ratings  ·  151 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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Dannii Elle
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: health, pop-psych
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
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.

Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow. Wonderful book.
Zoe Phare
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
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
Louise Rebecca
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've done a lot of mindfulness through dialectical behaviour therapy and so I'm already fairly knowledgeable about the subject, but this book was still useful to me. It was also funny. I found it useful to read how mindfulness practice can help make long term changes, including to the brain. I practice mindfulness a lot and it's reduced my suicidal thoughts big time. Through reading this book I'm also hopeful that continuous mindfulness practice will make me stronger than my thoughts and stronge ...more
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: non-fiction, humour, other
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!
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
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.
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 sess
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, health
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
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
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
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
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.
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.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After a few months of occasional mindfulness practice I was fascinated to read about the neuroscience, cortisol, etc, and the effects of this stuff on ourselves. Ruby is very engaging. I had a few lightbulb moments.
Sally Edsall
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin by saying that I'm an unequivocal fan of Ruby Wax's mindfulness work & think her OBE for services to mental health is well deserved.

As Ruby herself says, she is talking to the 5% of the world's population which is adequately housed and fed and which has worked itself into a state of anxiety & frazzlement.

You may remember Ruby as a comedian on TV - I do. She also wrote much of Absolutely Fabulous with Jennifer Saunders. She's funny in my book.

What she also is is very very
Andrea James
If you're completely new to mindfulness and would like a book that is serious but doesn't take itself seriously then this is a decent one. I'd already experienced/practiced the particular system that she shares in the book, so for me so the how-to information on the method was less useful.

I suppose the book might be helpful for those who think that people with depression are "folks who seem to be just moping should just adopt a positive mindset". The author isn't a kumbaya-singing convert to med
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
"With a clearer, calmer mind you can think more creatively and productively. When your thoughts cause fear or anxiety, your mind gets clogged up and so you grab for safety and live on autopilot, deadlocked in your narrow view of the world.
....if you repeat your thoughts, they become an action. If you repeat an action, it becomes a habit. A repeated habit becomes a fixed persona. A fixed persona becomes your destiny.
When you mind is freed up you can access the many sides of you; we're much more
Oct 07, 2017 marked it as abandoned
I absolutely adore Ruby Wax, ever since I listened to her Ted Talks about addiction to hormones released by our brain and I've been exposed to her purely scientific approach to mental illnesses, my general outlook on my own mental health changed. I'm so fascinated with this very specific and still experimental brunch of knoweldge, that I looked into what the requirements to get a degree in psycology with a focus on neuroscience were (I never found out if I was too stupid to do it, but I think it ...more
Kate Woodroffe
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've just read Ruby Wax's book Frazzled. I also read her previous book 'taming your mind' and they have been life changing for me. As a person who's had depression with anxiety since I was 20 and a major post partum illness 5 years ago, I have lots of experience in the various ways to challenge negative thinking, anxiety, depression etc via therapies and medication etc. But these two books have given me access to the bit of the story that for me has been the missing link, and have done so in a w ...more
Ash Todd
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has more significance for me now as I have attended Mindfulness training and found it okay. 'Frazzled' has given me a new lease to make Mindfulness apart of my daily routine. I am encouraged that Wax's experiences illustrate how becoming Mindful is a process that does not occur over night. I am going to make more of a concerted effort to meditate and be in the present and be 'more kind to myself'.

Ironically, this book was recommended to me by a person who is not someone I particularly
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.4 for an all around hilarious self help book.

I was quite skeptical about the book when I got it because I have tried and failed to read a lot of books on mindfulness and I had no idea who Ruby Wax was to know if she did or didn't know what she was talking about. But the title called to me in a way the other yoga pose nirvana covers and titles didn't so I decided to give it a try. The introduction to what it is and how it works was great (and hilarious) and spoke to my sarcastically depressed s
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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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“Here’s what I don’t understand: if something called neuroplasticity is a hard, cold fact, why haven’t we, the masses, heard much about it? Why are we left sitting here with a measly fourteen shades of grey, when, if we’re talking about the brain, there are a trillion possible shades.” 1 likes
“Addiction Let’s make one thing clear: we’re not just addicted to drugs, sex or alcohol, we can also get addicted to our thoughts and feelings of panic, anxiety and despair. Just to get another hit, we might hunt for people who create those feelings we’re addicted to; we always find the perfect perpetrator. Some people can’t tell if they have a relationship with someone because they like them or just because this person keeps the chemicals they’re addicted to bubbling in their veins.” 1 likes
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