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A Calm Brain: Unlocking Your Natural Relaxation Systemby Gayatri Devi
Synopses & Reviews
A successful life doesn’t mean you have to experience chronic stress. Now, Dr. Gayatri Devi shows in A Calm Brain how you can cultivate an optimal mental and physical state of focused peaceful awareness by tapping into your body’s hard-wired natural relaxation system.
Our ancestors used the fight-or-flight mechanism to protect themselves from predators. We use it to fend off daily crises. In a world filled with too many toys, too much technology, and too many choices—how can we possibly keep up? Our bodies have been trained to react to the beeps and alarms of all our different technologies, be it the ever present cell phone, an angry text message, or a frantic voicemail. The result is chronic stress and a learned inability to relax.
With a warm, lucid voice, Dr. Devi shares stories from her medical practice of ordinary people—suffering from migraines, neck pain, gastrointestinal upsets, and sleep deprivation— trying to work through life’s difficulties. With practical advice she shows just how to promote a higher “vagal tone,” and delivers the best news yet: you don’t need more drugs. Here are the keys to more tranquil, productive, and enjoyable life.
Dr. Devi explores a paradigm shift in our understanding of the brain’s relaxation mechanisms. It is hard for our brains to talk our bodies into feeling calm, but our bodies have strong wiring that makes true enduring calm possible. The body does this through the vagus nerve, a powerful conduit that taps directly into our brain’s built-in relaxation system. This revolutionary science can transform your work life and your home life.
In a world filled with too many choices, oppressive technology, and relentlessly overbooked schedules—how do we achieve the calm we so desperately need?
Our ancestors used the fight-or-flight mechanism to protect themselves from predators. Today, we use it to fend off daily crises. The result is chronic stress and a learned inability to be calm which, in turn, makes it impossible for us to perform at our peak.
Now, Dr. Gayatri Devi shows how we can cultivate empowering, enduring calm by tapping into our body’s vagus nerve—and utilize our hardwired, natural relaxation system. If you are suffering from migraines, neck pain, gastrointestinal upsets, sleeps deprivation—or are just trying to work through life’s difficulties—Dr. Devi shows that you don’t need more drugs, you need A Calm Brain.
“For anyone who wants to take charge of the 21st century while remaining calm, focused, and productive—this is the book for you.”
—Henry S. Lodge, New York Times bestselling author of Younger Next Year
Dr. Gayatri Devi reveals the neuroscience of calm—the key to tranquility in the midst of our daily crisis.
Stress: The more success we have in life, the worse it seems to get, but in A CALM BRAIN Dr. Gayatri Devi presents a natural, reliable solution. This fascinating and eloquent book shows why the old left-and right-brain paradigm can't help you calm your body and mind. Life success occurs when our rational "top" and older, more connected "bottom" brains are working together. Calm, a sense of internal composure enabling us to function at the peak of our abilities, comes from the bottom up via the vagus nerve. It is the ideal mental state, fully allied with the body, allowing us to harness cognitive powers while maintaining a balance of emotions. When you’re calm, you’re in your zone, unperturbed by distractions or distress.
In a warm, accessible voice, Dr. Devi elucidates the neuroscience of calm and shares stories from her practice on New York’s Upper East Side, such as how a patient plagued with migraines managed to wean herself from pain medicine and how some straightforward adjustments to an executive's daily schedule lead to a better more productive life. More personally, she recalls how her grandfather was the mellow eye of the storm in a riotous household of Indian women. Chapters on the workday, sleep, men versus women, and parenting provide practical applications. The best news of all? You don’t need more drugs.
About the Author
GAYATRI DEVI, M.D., is a neurologist and the director of the New York Memory Services. Also a Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU School of Medicine, she has discussed neurology on CBS and NPR, and in The Wall Street Journal and Time, as well as on The Huffington Post. She is the president of the not-for-profit National Council on Women’s Health. She lives in New York.
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