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A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby…
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A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

by Ruby Wax

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911191,171 (3.46)5
Recently added bychippstevenson, LauraCW, tomekpel

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» See also 5 mentions

I stumbled into reading this book quite by accident. A friend and I booked to go and see Ruby Wax last week as part of her tour of this book, and we ended up doing selfies and getting books signed by her in the break.

Ruby Wax has reinvented herself this past decade from the ballsy (and often cutting) TV presenter and comedienne into a mental health guru of sorts. Hats off to her, she went back to school and got a Masters degree from Oxford University in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Her shows still have a lot of her old trademark humour, but they're based on the premise of intellectual discussion around certain factors of mental health, and the combination of the two worked. This one was all about the positive impact mindfulness can have on stress.

I'll preface this book review by saying I'm not really into mindfulness. Actually, I'm not into it at all. BUT - I do believe in it, because when we do even 5 minutes of meditation at the end of my yoga class I open my eyes at the end and feel like I've had 8 hours sleep. What was interesting in the show and in the book was Wax's comments about how science has shown how mindfulness has a physical benefit on the brain, reducing your future stress responses to stress (if that makes sense).

Unfortunately I liked the show a lot more than the book. There was a big chunk in the middle on a 6 week course of mindfulness activities which I just wasn't that interested in, and also the chapter on parenting babies and very young children was irrelevant as mine are both past that stage. Whilst Wax is quick-witted and amusing in real life, I feel much of that comes down to her unique comic delivery, and somehow the same humour fell flat in print. I was conscious of someone trying really hard to be funny through their writing. It's like someone trying to be cool - if they're trying it's not working. She's also evidently pulled a lot of the gags from the book into the show, which in retrospect made me feel like she'd been a little lazy in earning my ticket fee.

Whilst Wax obviously knows her stuff in this area now, she's never going to shake her old persona, and somehow it's difficult to buy into the ideas she's putting forward when she's delivering them laced with her trademark biting sarcasm and the baggage of her own mental hang ups which never seem too far away.

3 stars - interesting in parts, but felt too commercially driven for my liking. ( )
  AlisonY | Jun 2, 2018 |
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I'd like to thank Maddy, Max and Marina Bye, Mark Williams and me.

Oh, and my husband, Ed, though I wanted to just keep it with 'Ms'.

And also my editor, Joanna Bowen (but that really ruins the idea).
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500 years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolvedto be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we're still swimming with the pond scum.… (more)

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