Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Audie Award Nominee, Personal Development, 2013
You’ve heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. This book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience.
Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over 50 practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness. Just one practice each day can help you:
- Be good to yourself
- Enjoy life as it is
- Build on your strengths
- Be more effective at home and work
- Make peace with your emotions
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|Listening Length||4 hours and 55 minutes|
|Author||Rick Hanson Ph.D.|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 04, 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #39,653 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#159 in Buddhism (Audible Books & Originals)
#574 in Other Eastern Religions & Sacred Texts (Books)
#671 in Buddhism (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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The intro is well written and full of science and sets high expectations. The author does well to touch on so many subjects as they really are intertwined. The text on each article is well and good for an average person who doesn't have an issue with that topic.
Here is where the book fails. For a book that touches so many topics, its awfully thin. Each topic really has 0 or 1 exercise. Yes, the exercises are founded in neuroplasticity. But that's it, that is all there is. If you are struggling with perfectionism, is being told that the world is imperfect going to help you? If course not, even you know this well and have chosen not to accept it. This is the fundamental failing of the book: the lack of exercises and the lack of psychology within. All of the subjects would have been made better with a psychologist co-writing and some of their tools of the trade for each issue. Because I tell you what, no psycologist is going to merely tell you to accept the world is imperfect and ruminate on this. There are steps and exercises.
This book is really just cleverly marketed traditional advice passed off as fancy science. It is not helpful for anytime seeking self improvement.
The science behind the practices involves a simple principle: every time you use your mind you alter the structure of your brain. Everything you pay attention to, everything you think, feel and want, every time you react to what happens to you - all of these things sculpt your brain. Busy regions of the brain get more blood flow, and little-used neural connections wither away. "Neurons that fire together wire together" - every time you repeat any mental activity, you strengthen it and make it easier to become a habit.
What this means is that if your mind regularly focuses on worries, anger, or self-criticism, then your brain develops neural structures supporting anxiety, low self-esteem, and impatience with others. But if you regularly focus your attention on noticing that you're all right now, not taking life personally, cultivating gratitude, or letting go - then gradually your brain re-shapes itself to support calm strength, self-confidence, and inner peace. So, for instance, regularly taking the time for mindfulness pauses activates the part of the brain that puts the brakes on negative feelings, and thus lifts mood. Other practices, such as taking in the good, feeling safer, relaxing anxiety about imperfection, or filling the hole in your heart, support and increase your sense of security and worth, resilience, effectiveness, and well-being.
This book is very user-friendly. Each chapter title names a specific practice, and the rest of the chapter, which is never more than a few pages, tells you why to do it, and then how to do it. The practices themselves usually involve actions you take in your mind, such as reflecting, concentrating, or focusing your attention, and they only take a few minutes to do per day. But doing them regularly gradually re-shapes the brain to reduce stress and unhappiness, and to develop positive qualities. They're exactly like physical exercise; any single time you work out, not much changes, but over time your health and strength improve.
We all understand that we have to make effort regularly over time to do things like learning how to drive a car or play basketball, but we typically think the mind should just work fine on its own, without any effort or discipline. Rick Hanson shows us how some very down-to-earth actions can turn an unruly mind into one that is focused, strong, and happy. I recommend this book highly.