You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

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by Jeffrey Schwartz, Rebecca Gladding
     
 

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Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal

Overview

Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from OCD, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions.

For the past six years, Schwartz has worked with psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding to refine a program that successfully explains how the brain works and why we often feel besieged by bad brain wiring. Just like with the compulsions of OCD patients, they discovered that bad habits, social anxieties, self-deprecating thoughts, and compulsive overindulgence are all rooted in overactive brain circuits. The key to making life changes that you want-to make your brain work for you-is to consciously choose to "starve" these circuits of focused attention, thereby decreasing their influence and strength.

As evidenced by the huge success of Schwartz's previous books, as well as Daniel Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, and Norman Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself, there is a large audience interested in harnessing the brain's untapped potential, yearning for a step-by-step, scientifically grounded and clinically proven approach. In fact, readers of Brain Lock wrote to the authors in record numbers asking for such a book. In You Are Not Your Brain, Schwartz and Gladding carefully outline their program, showing readers how to identify negative brain impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using research based on patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, U.C.L.A. psychiatrists Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain) and Gladding have developed a program that helps patients literally change the brain pathways that lead to unhealthy behavior-from obsessively checking e-mail to self-hatred to drug addiction. Aspects of their common-sense scientific approach include: understanding how the brain works; understanding what constitutes a "deceptive brain message;" acting as one's own Wise Advocate by analyzing the effects of any choice and picking the one likely to lead to a positive result; setting and prioritizing goals, and more. Success depends on the patient's innate ability to reason and focus on healthy alternatives to the preferred or automatic behavior. Changing one's will can essentially change the brain, the authors argue, and the methods will work as long as the desire to change is there. Though Schwartz and Gladding add a fascinating self-actualizing component of choice and control, readers may have trouble grasping the more science-heavy passages, such as why addiction happens at the cellular level or neuroscience theory.
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From the Publisher
“A testament to mind over brain ... It's the truth of the matter that sheer willpower can truly make you break free.”
—Leonardo DiCaprio

“Operating on the highly rational perspective that we are not our brains, but rather, substantial free agents who exercise control over our brains, Schwartz and Gladding develop a simple, yet profoundly insightful approach for developing a flourishing life.  The result is truly life-giving, and it will bring healing and hope to all who read it and practice its wisdom.”
—J.P. Moreland, author of The God Question

"How can the brain, which is just a complex network of interconnected nerve cells, give rise to consciousness and to thought? Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and Dr. Rebecca Gladding argue, persuasively, that the mind actually has massive causal effects on the functioning of the brain. In other words, you can not only change the way you think, feel and behave through conscious effort when you're upset, but you can also change the programming and chemistry of your brain. A compelling and important message."
—David Burns, M.D., author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

“The idea that we can deliberately and systematically change our brains with our minds was once thought ridiculous.  But now, largely due to Jeffrey Schwartz and his UCLA research on neuro-plasticity and OCD, this once revolutionary idea is well accepted.  Rebecca Gladding and Jeffrey Schwartz adapt Schwartz’s extraordinarily successful program for a mainstream audience giving simple, self-directed tools to help achieve greater happiness, emotional balance, and overall well-being.”
—Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101516119
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/09/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
159,535
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“The idea that we can deliberately and systematically change our brains with our minds was once thought ridiculous. But now, largely due to Jeffrey Schwartz and his UCLA research on neuro-plasticity and OCD, this once revolutionary idea is well accepted. Rebecca Gladding and Jeffrey Schwartz adapt Schwartz’s extraordinarily successful program for a mainstream audience giving simple, self-directed tools to help achieve greater happiness, emotional balance, and overall well-being.”
—Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child

Meet the Author

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., is a research psychiatrist at UCLA School of Medicine and a seminal thinker and researcher in the field of self-directed neuroplasticity. He lives in Los Angeles.Rebecca Gladding, M.D., is a psychiatrist specializing in anxiety and depression. She recently was Medical Director of the UCLA Adult Inpatient Eating Disorders Program. She lives in Los Angeles.

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You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well-thought-out theory and methods for gaining the upper hand in one's inner life, relationships and worldly activities. A gem for anyone who cares how they feel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heard an interview with Rebecca Gladding and downloaded this book. It is clear, concise, uses great examples and is easy to read. I can imagine it applying to both sophisticated, self-reflective thinkers and people who are more concrete in how they view themselves and life. I like how it reenforces the message(s) over and over again, using the techniques they describe to build new thought patterns. With each segment this gets reiterated...I can almost feel new neural networks developing in my brain. I can see this as a means of encouraging clients in my psychotherapy/psychopharmacology practice to empower themselves to change how they view themselves. It's a great method for people with learned helplessness. I'm buying three more to loan out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very analitical book that goes slowly and covers all the bases that someone with OCD-like tendencies would appreciate. I re-read the book, and like all mental changes, will need a real commitment to follow the four steps toward changes. Even if you don't follow through with all four steps, this book will give you insights on changing your own behaviors and ways of dealing with compulsions that WILL help you. It may finally give you a way to help yourself and not depend on others to "fix" you. The authors view this as a modifiable thought process, not a disease or illness that needs outside intervention to "cure", but they do allow that some psychiatric conditions can not be helped by this method. Very well researched by smart doctors who don't seem to let their egos get in the way of helping people deal with real issues.
Mandy Dominguez More than 1 year ago
This book is helping me recognize the thoughts that are impulse. Worth your time.
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A book well worth your time. Have experienced many AH HA moments. I have found an experience of space between my awareness and thoughts, a pause that invites both hope and infinite possibility.
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