Book Title: Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic and Worry
Book Author: Catherine M. Pittman & Elizabeth M. Karle
Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (4 out of 5 stars)
Synopsis: “Do you ever wonder what is happening inside your brain when you feel anxious, panicked, and worried? In Rewire Your Anxious Brain, psychologist Catherine Pittman and author Elizabeth Karle offer a unique, evidence-based solution to overcoming anxiety based in cutting-edge neuroscience and research.”
If you are looking for a book that is just going to provide strategies for how to overcome anxiety, this is probably not the book for you. However, if you are interested in both the neuroscience behind stress and anxiety and learning techniques to cope with those responses, then this is an excellent volume to read. Personally, I agree with the authors that it is often easier to overcome stress when you actually know and understand what is happening to your brain, and how it can manifest itself in physical ways. And while this book is very detailed, I think the authors did a good job of keeping everything easy to understand.
Numerous types of stress are discussed in this book, including the reasons that these types of stress occur and what parts of the brain are responsible for your response. If you’re anything like me, you are constantly trying to make logical sense out of your worry, but I learned from this book that there may not always be a logical reason behind your anxiety. In fact, you may not ever really know why you certain situations, thoughts, sounds, smells, etc., can trigger an episode of panic. The good news is that you don’t have to know. The authors go into great detail to describe techniques that you can use to essentially “rewire” your brain to avoid having stress responses. The book mainly discusses the two different parts of the brain that deal with fear and stress, the amygdala and the cortex. The amygdala is basically your body’s natural fear response system. Your amygdala often works without your ever knowing it, such as when you are driving and instinctively swerve out of the way to avoid hitting another car. The cortex, on the other hand, deals with worry and obsessive thoughts. For example, your cortex is to blame when you are constantly worrying about a possible outcome that will likely not occur. You may have one or both of these types of stress, and the authors provide useful “exercises” that can be used to deal with both of these types of stress.
If you’re reading this review, I’m guessing that you probably don’t care about all of these details though, right? What you really want to know is if the methods in this book really work. I think they could certainly help many individuals who suffer from stress and anxiety. These authors give insightful strategies to help with different types of stress responses, all of which are based on years of research. Your stress isn’t going to go away overnight having read this book, but it certainly may help you learn to cope with your anxiety when it does occur.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.