We all need a bit more sanity in our lives

I am not really into self-help books as in my mind they normally have a connotation of a yellow press and a quite banal type of suggestions. Well, we either know all that or it is not really helping; I simply do not like wasting my time.

So what about the sanity then?

I came across a book called ‘Sane New World’ (Sane New World: Taming the Mind) quite accidentally when looking at new titles at Amazon. First things first, I did not really connect that it is THAT Ruby Wax. I am a curious person, and also being a selective one, I have decided not to trust the reviews and read a bit just to see what it is all about. I must say, I could not stop – her style is so infectiously fun and engaging, you simply forget that there is an author-reader relationship and you feel like you are talking to her here and now. It really feels awesome.

Apart from this glorious intro, let me just assume that the stuff explained in her book is potentially useful for all of us. We are hyper sometimes and in those moments of insane anxiety, especially if prolonged and intense, we are not doing any good neither for ourselves or to others around us. If anything, we are getting physically sick because of that.

Let’s explore how this book can be beneficial to us (apart from being a fun and extraordinarily gripping read).

First and important concept (again, not new, but very popular these days) is mindfulness. It is about intentionally paying attention in the present moment in a non-judgemental way. Ruby Wax underlines that thoughts are not your master but your servant! That is truly a key here.

She adds that thoughts are not who you are, they are just habitual patterns in your mind. Neurons connected to other neurons and that’s how you think you ‘believe’ in that thing. Nothing more. If you start looking at your thoughts this way, they will not be any more painful as they actually are.

When mentioning attention, this is a second key component here – in all meditation practices you are required to concentrate on your breathing, or smell something for a prolonged time. This is to teach you that being attentive to your life is an important thing here, as opposed to simply getting through it.

How this is all helpful you may ask. She mentions a method called ‘mindfulness-based stress reduction’, teaching patients that, by focusing in on their painful sensations rather than distracting themselves, they’d eventually notice that pain was not something solid, but a continuously changing landscape. It got me thinking that it is like facing the problem rather than avoiding it. Face it with courage!

How do you practise mindfulness?

Similar to my favourite meditation site (see my review here – Mind your head), it was recommended to use a set of exercises to focus on either a part of your body (physical senses), or a particular taste (i.e. melting chocolate), same with the smell, touch or sound, and just focus on the precise sensations, the weight, temperature, tingling or even nothing at all. Try that. How long before your mind grabs you back?

There are more practical exercises that she recommends to try, have a look at her book for more info. At most you will learn new things, will improvise and that is how your life becomes fresh and interesting.

I personally like how she concluded her work – her final word on this was that ‘only if you find something you love doing and then do it, is life worth living’.  Cannot agree more. What about you?

 

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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