‘Take Back Your Mind’ is accessible, very easy to read and provides a really useful ‘way in’ to understanding anxiety, the impact it can have on our lives and what we can do about it.
Despite the title – you don’t need to be in a state of anxiousness in order to benefit from this book, nor do you need to be interested in Buddhism. This is actually an important read for all of us, because it reflects the times in which we are living so accurately, shining a spotlight on an aspect of modern life that so many people struggle with, and yet which is often kept hidden for fear of repercussions.
The underpinning principles for the methods and techniques shared do stem from the Buddhist tradition, however they are presented in such a practical, relatable to everyday situations and scenarios kind of way, that you will be curious to try out at least some of them.
I particularly enjoyed the engaging chapter headings, such as; Who is it that’s suffering from anxiety? The trap of doubt. Stop fixating on what does not serve you. Taking your foot out of your mouth and the potentially controversial – Even your ex deserves your gratitude. These fired up my curiosity, leading me to interesting and often funny anecdotes, plus real life examples, tips and suggestions that I have already begun to try out with some degree of success.
The author describes the book as a ‘guidebook to working with your mind so that anxiety doesn’t rule your life.’ What I enjoy about this is that unlike so many other titles within the ‘self-help’ genre, it doesn’t promise a magic solution for overcoming all of life’s problems and it isn’t saying that whatever is happening can be completely eradicated. What this book does is help you to appreciate why there is so much about 21st Century life that can make us anxious. Some of the ideas discussed may challenge your thinking, giving you a different perspective, and in doing so, allowing you to be more objective about your experiences, thoughts and feelings – an approach we definitely aspire to practice here at 3b.
Beyond that, reading this book provides an opportunity for some reflection and realisation, taking both an individual and a collective position, highlighting our responsibility to ourselves and to others to seek out understanding, develop our compassion and to be true to ourselves.