Leave Your Mind Behind: The Everyday Practice of Finding Stillness Amid Rushing Thoughts

Leave Your Mind Behind: The Everyday Practice of Finding Stillness Amid Rushing Thoughts

by Matthew McKay
     
 

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We typically have little control over our thoughts, but we often invest them with a lot of authority—even when they contradict what our experiences tell us to be true. Take a moment right now and think There's a hungry grizzly bear sitting next to me. Chances are you didn't take that thought literally and run screaming from the room. But what if

Overview

We typically have little control over our thoughts, but we often invest them with a lot of authority—even when they contradict what our experiences tell us to be true. Take a moment right now and think There's a hungry grizzly bear sitting next to me. Chances are you didn't take that thought literally and run screaming from the room. But what if instead you had thought, I'll never get a better job, I'm boring, or No one loves me? Just like that terrifying grizzly, these more garden-variety thoughts are just words and pictures that pop into our minds. But often we take thoughts like these literally and let them trick us into avoiding the lives we really want to live.

Leave Your Mind Behind offers a collection of light-hearted practices readers can use to learn to observe their thoughts without getting caught up in them. Each practice is grounded in a component of the new acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) called cognitive defusion: the process of de-fusing or not identifying or becoming one with your thoughts. Sometimes downright strange—imagine yourself hearing your thoughts in the voice of a headless monster!—these activities don't seek to stop or control problematic thinking. Instead, they work to show readers how to observe thoughts without judgment and learn to live with the confounding and marvellous word-making, story-telling machine that is the human mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608825141
Publisher:
New Harbinger Publications
Publication date:
10/03/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
152
File size:
317 KB

Meet the Author

Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger Hurts, and ACT on Life Not on Anger. He has also penned two fiction novels, Us and The Wawona Hotel. McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Catharine Sutker is a freelance writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the coauthor of The Self-Esteem Companion and The Self-Nourishment Companion.

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