Reclaim Your Brain: How to Calm Your Thoughts, Heal Your Mind, and Bring Your Life Back Under Control
December 28, 2015
Joseph A. Annibal, M.D., takes us on a tour of the brain to teach us how to calm the waters there.
With the new year upon us, it is time to start making New Year's Resolutions. If you feel like you're spinning your mind's wheels constantly without ever getting anywhere, if you're often mired in negativity or anxiety you can't seem to escape, perhaps it's time you try to Reclaim Your Brain.
In Reclaim Your Brain: How to Calm Your Thoughts, Heal Your Mind, and Bring Your Life Back Under Control, Joseph A. Annibali explores what he calls the "busy-brain phenomenon." You can probably relate right away, because it seems we're all always busy these days, living in a 24 hour news cycle, with work able to ping us at any time through the small computers we still insist on calling phones. If there's not work to catch up on, there's the clarion call of social media, the desire to keep up with old friends and family sated temporarily by seeing pictures of their families and learning what they ate for dinner. It's all easy to get caught up in, and it adds up to a life in which we give our brains less "down time" than ever before. But "busy brain," while being exasperated by this modern reality, wasn't caused by it, and it goes deeper than that:
A busy brain is more than just a description or a feeling. A busy brain literally is just that: It functions less effectively because of its own excessive activity. It can’t do a good job selecting the best course to take because it can’t shut off all the mental chatter urging other ways to go. Consequently, a busy brain may lose the ability to solve problems because it’s going off on too many wrong or unproductive paths.
Many people suffering from a busy brain have an actual condition exasperating it: anxiety, ADHD, depression, substance abuse, OCD (the list goes on and on), but that is not always the case. Sometimes we just have a hard time turning down the volume of our own thoughts, feel like (as one person in the book artfully puts it) we "have three radio stations playing" in our head "at the same time," or just feel like stuck in a loop of thoughts and anxiety we can't put an end to. When that happens, it helps to understand why:
When you feel stuck, with your mind going around and around in a loop you can’t seem to get out of, it may be because an area of your brain called the anterior cingulated is overactive, locked with its pedal to the metal. When you wrestle with anxiety, it may be because another area in your brain called the basal ganglia is over-active, revving in high gear. Negativity, anxiety, mood disorders: all of these can be illuminated by understanding how key brain areas function. Understanding what’s literally happening in your busy brain is key to slowing it down, to taming the chaos.
The personal development field is filled with books and techniques that help us do better at work, navigate relationships and manage our time more effectively. Annibali gets us to something deeper and more fundamental—literally how our brains work—that will help us do all of that. Using his thirty years of experience as a board-certified practicing psychiatrist and trained psychoanalyst, combined with his scientific knowledge of the brain's physical functions, Annibali offers a great blend of human empathy and technical understanding that results in simple techniques to tamp down the anxiety and activity in our brains and come out thinking more clearly and cleanly on the other side:
In Reclaim Your Brain, I show you how to rewrite your negative stories, how to slow down your brain with mindfulness techniques, how to create healthier relationships, and ultimately how to bring your brain and life back under control, all of which increase the likelihood for success and joy in life. We’ll also explore how to manage conditions that contribute to busy brain, such as anxiety, mood problems, ADHD, stuckness and OCD, addictions, and emotional trauma.
Annibali tells us that, "according to a comprehensive survey conducted by the National Institute for Mental Health, more than half of Americans are expected to develop a mental illness in their lifetimes. Calming your busy brain reduces the chance that things will get worse." Reclaim Your Brain gives you the “tools of mind management” that can help keep your brain in balance, and rebalance it should it go out of the alignment you desire.
But you don’t have to have any illess or condition to make use of this book. You simply need to have a brain, and a desire to know how it works and how to make it work better. He offers solutions for everyone and anyone that will "help you feel better, perform more productively, experience less stress, and be more fulfilled in life.”
To do all that, Annibali takes you on a tour of your brain that is both fascinating and fruitful.
We have 20 copies available.