Monday, August 13, 2012

The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Richard J. Davidson joins with Sharon Begley to present an in depth look at THE EMOTIONAL LIFE OF YOUR BRAIN, with the subtitle "How It's Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them." It's a big title for a complex subject examining what is described as "the most intricate structure in the universe." Or rather known universe, since there may be other brains on other worlds more complex. What is most revelatory about the audiobook, as narrated by Arthur Morey, is that it explains how much of our well being is associated with how we process input from the environment and circumstances. The circumstances themselves haven't  as much to do with this as our reactions, and our reactions result from the "emotional style" which dominates our processing mode. Resilience measures our recovery time from traumatic events; outlook the ability to maintain positive thoughts; social intuition reflects ability to understand nuances of interpersonal communication; self-awareness measures understanding of body/mind relationships; context sensitivity relates to an ability to recognize that mood is colored by one thing and not another (being able to separate the causes of one's emotions); attention is the degree of focus one can maintain. Each of these traits exist simultaneously in the brain, but in varying degrees in different people. They arise both innately and from the environment. Still, old patterns can be changed, and this book shows how. So if you tend to become bored easily, find yourself kicking the dog for what happened at work, or are thrown into a negative mood by some minor setback (which persists longer than it should) this book can help. Not only is it grounded in neuroscience, but it comes with tests to measure your own reactions to give a basis for understanding yourself and what is needed to change. 
Fantasy  or  Romance?

1 comment:

  1. I highly recommend this book because it shows the future of psychology. The implications for new treatments for psychological disorders by changing emotional styles is only in its infancy. Hopefully, others will embrace this method. The studies with experienced meditators gives evolutionary psychologists a boost by offering the promise of who we all can become.