You Are Not Your Brain Book Summary - You Are Not Your Brain Book explained in key points
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You Are Not Your Brain summary

Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding

The Four-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

4.5 (324 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

You Are Not Your Brain by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding is a guide to overcoming negative thoughts and behaviors by reprogramming your brain. It provides practical tools to break free from automatic thinking patterns and take control of your life.

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    You Are Not Your Brain
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Your brain sends you false messages, but you aren’t defined by them.

    Do you ever find yourself caught up in things you don’t want to be doing, or feel helpless when you “go” somewhere, emotionally and mentally, that you don’t want to be?

    We all experience these slips and it results from deceptive brain messages that breed false thoughts or harmful impulses, which lead us astray from our true goals and intentions. Not only that, but deceptive brain messages cause problems such as overthinking and anxiety.

    Consider one of the authors’ clients. He was a talented Broadway performer when his deceptive brain messages started to coerce him into believing he was unworthy of any good coming to him. Eventually, this led to him suffering from intense stage fright as well as fear of rejection for years.

    Aside from stemming from his childhood experiences, he was impacted by one specific experience when he was twenty years old: he froze in front of a famous Broadway producer. And since then, his brain had been ignoring his positive qualities and honing in on his imperfections.

    He paid attention to these discomforting false messages and, as a result, he started avoiding auditions completely – an unhealthy chronic response which only reinforced the messages in his brain that he was no good!

    But he isn’t defined by these deceitful messages, and you aren’t by yours either.

    Even though it may appear that we have no choice but to follow what our brain tells us, we must remember our biology isn’t our destiny.

    You aren’t fated to live a life based on your genes. You actually have the power to break through many of the obstacles you inherit by changing the way your brain works.

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    Key ideas in You Are Not Your Brain

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    What is You Are Not Your Brain about?

    You Are Not Your Brain explores our deceptive brain messages which program us to have harmful thoughts such as “I’m not good enough.” And it tells us how we can change this detrimental wiring by challenging these brain messages and focusing our attention elsewhere. In doing so, we can rewire our brain to make it work for us, not against us.

    You Are Not Your Brain Review

    You Are Not Your Brain (2012) is a thought-provoking book that challenges our understanding of the brain and offers practical strategies for overcoming negative thoughts and behaviors. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With its empowering techniques, it teaches readers how to rewire their brain and take control of their lives.
    • The book provides real-life examples and relatable stories, making the content accessible and compelling.
    • Through its engaging explanations of neuroplasticity and mindfulness, the book effortlessly captivates readers' interest.

    Best quote from You Are Not Your Brain

    Clearly, the brain can exert a powerful grip on ones life — but only if you let it.

    —Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding
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    Who should read You Are Not Your Brain?

    • Anyone who wants to deal with their negative thoughts effectively
    • Anyone whose brain could use some rewiring
    • Anyone who is interested in the practical implications of neuropsychology

    About the Author

    Jeffrey M. Schwartz is a medical doctor and research psychiatrist at the UCLA School of Medicine. His research focuses on the field of self-directed neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Rebecca Gladding is a medical doctor and was a clinical instructor and attending psychiatrist at UCLA. Her expertise lies in mindfulness, anxiety and depression.

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    You Are Not Your Brain FAQs 

    What is the main message of You Are Not Your Brain?

    The main message of You Are Not Your Brain is that we have the power to change our thoughts, behaviors, and lives.

    How long does it take to read You Are Not Your Brain?

    The reading time for You Are Not Your Brain varies, but it will take a few hours. However, you can read the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is You Are Not Your Brain a good book? Is it worth reading?

    You Are Not Your Brain is a valuable book that offers practical insights into understanding and controlling our thoughts. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of You Are Not Your Brain?

    The authors of You Are Not Your Brain are Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding.