Hellen's Reviews > Din väg till mindfulness: Steg för steg i åtta veckor

Din väg till mindfulness by J. Mark G. Williams
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really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, self-help

It was last summer when I got this book from the "please adopt me or I will be destroyed" bookshelf at work. I got it because 1) it was free, 2) this edition looks gah-lorious, and 3) because I was in the market for learning about mindfulness.

Mindfulness, I always feel I need to explain whenever I mention it, is about meditation, yes, but are the techniques without the spirituality. I know even with this distinction a lot of people will turn on their heels, as I did for the longest time. And even after getting past the name it may require some patience occasionally for those allergic to anything remotely spiritual (like myself). A friend mentioned she didn't get past week one because she couldn't get over how silly the "raisin exercise" was. This is an exercise where you observe something edible carefully and extensively, and ultimately eat it. I tried to convince her to give it another try, but she refused. And besides, she said, she had other techniques for relaxation. Which after describing them to me, turned out to be all mindfulness techniques under another app name. What I'm trying to say is, go into mindfulness open-minded. And more specifically, go into this book open-minded, because this 'un is a good 'un.

So I don't really read anything with titles such as "get in touch with your inner..." or books with stones, water or cupped hands on the cover. What I liked about this book is that it is immediately relatable (specific examples of stressful situations), that it refers to science in a way I like (specific studies, instead of vague "science has shown....!" references), and that it's very self-conscious. The problem I find with a lot of books introducing ACT-based therapy, which alongside mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a common evidence-based way of treating anxiety, that they always talk about how evolution has made our braaaaains too gooood at defeeeending itself! Because your brain does those things! When it evolves! And that's why you're anxious now! Which is really a good thing! But it's like too much of a good thing! Etc. Just unnuanced blab to give the therapy some rationale, but it's really not very correct. However, in this book I think the issues that can grow from certain coping mechanisms in combination with societal pressure is described with much more nuance, and avoids sweeping statements about evolution this and evolution that.

So, for the 8 weeks itself. The idea is that you complete the program week by week. Now I... didn't complete it. I did some weeks over several months and I definitely benefited from it. Even just the breathing exercises from the first weeks have been a great help with falling asleep. There were some simple realizations, such as my thoughts not being me. Are you reading this, ACT books*? Rationalizing without mentioning evolution! Amazing, I know. I liked the mindful walks, which is also an exercise from one of the first weeks. The other things just required some discipline, which I was lacking. But the nice thing is that this book addresses lacking discipline and concerns such as "my thoughts kept wandering off during this exercise" (which is me, always).

I will be going back to this book to try and make some exercises a daily thing. I can really see the potential for getting an overview over my thoughts and the ability to shut the high-CPU ones down when not being productive or even true (the computer metaphor really stuck with me).Lastly, this book just looks really nice.

*(sorry, ACT is totally cool and evidence-based, but I've had some crappy experiences with it lately)
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Reading Progress

July 13, 2015 – Shelved
July 13, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 13, 2015 – Shelved as: non-fiction
July 13, 2015 – Shelved as: self-help
November 16, 2015 – Started Reading
May 5, 2016 – Finished Reading

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