This week is the second or first, in my case, week of work in 2017. With every new year there's a lot of resolutions made, areas that we want to improve or things we want to change. I feel that for me I want just to focus on less and the practice of minimalism.
I am an introvert, shy and that also made me feel insecure, so much so that I thought I had a problem. It turned out that was just my brain playing tricks on me. During all these years I have been reading a lot about psychology and how the brain works. It's good for my career as a designer and it's even better for all the questions I have in my head. Last year, I went through a very traumatic experience that definitely created some scar tissue, not physically but mentally. One book that really opened my eyes and I believe it's a great book recommendation is the You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding MD.
There are so many things about this book that made me see and deal with some of my thoughts quite differently. Through 4 simple steps, which I won't reveal here, the author illustrates through examples how most of the time, our brain fills in the gaps and create wrong scenarios. That ends up creating anxiety, insecurity and even depression. It's an amazing book and I highly recommend it. I read it but the audiobook version might also be worth it because this book is one that I will revisit at least 2 or 3 times per year.
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 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.
Schwartz works with psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding to refine a program that successfully explains how the brain works and why we often feel besieged by overactive brain circuits (i.e. bad habits, social anxieties, etc.) 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.
You Are Not Your Brain carefully outlines their program, showing readers how to identify negative impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives.