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You Are Not Your Brain Summary – February 2022

Author: Jeffrey M. Schwartz

Short Summary
You Are Not Your Brain (2011) teaches us that we can control our lives and change our bad behaviors. The author has guided the readers on how to get rid of bad habits through behavioral therapy. Moreover, the book has described the ways we can change our bad habits.
you are not your brain
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

The book You are not your Brain is written by Jeffrey M. Schwartz who is an American Psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity. In his famous book You are not your Brain, he has guided the readers to change their bad habits.

He has explained how neuroplasticity can help us to change our bad behaviors. Besides this, it can also help us in thinking positively. The book has explained the steps that need to be followed in order to change your bad habits.

You Are Not Your Brain Key Points

Change your behavior through neuroplasticity

First of all, the author is a neuroplasticity researcher, who has explained how we can change our bad behaviors through self-directed neuroplasticity.

Just as neuroplasticity changes the pathways in our brain, we can also use it and change our bad habits. We also have the ability to alter the circuits in our own brain, and you can do so on your own.

This indicates that even if you’re currently trapped with a few unhealthy behaviors, you can break them. The fact that your brain is wired in a certain manner does not mean that it defines you. By accepting that you are not your brain, you may begin to alter the physical structure within it such that it works in your favor rather than against you. This is what happens when you read stories like Christopher Reeve’s, the famed Superman actor, who altered his thinking after becoming paralyzed and finally was able to walk again.

Use Hebb’s law and the Quantum Zeno effect to change your bad behavior

The more you use one of your brain’s neuronal pathways, the stronger it becomes. Let’s imagine you’ve started a new job and need to take the bus every morning at 8 a.m. to get to work on time. The first week goes smoothly, but on Tuesday of week two, you arrive at 8:01 a.m. and miss the bus. Because you’ll be late and maybe yelled at, this causes you stress and anxiety. You smoke a cigarette to relieve stress while waiting for the next bus, and it works. Nicotine and movement provide a sensation of relief and help to relax you.

The quantum Zeno effect is the second concept. This significant quantum physics concept is based on ancient Greek philosopher Zeno’s arrow conundrum, which states that if a system is continuously observed, it can be frozen in its state.

 So, it means that if you are aware of your negative behavior and observe it frequently enough, Hebb’s law will be stopped in its tracks, giving you ample time to combat it. You may then rewire your brain with a better habit by intentionally changing your ideas and actions.

Step to break a bad habit

The author has explained 4 steps through which we can break a bad habit. They are aware, relabel, refocus and revalue.

The first step is to become conscious of your negative thoughts as they arise. This necessitates mindfulness, which can be learned, for example, through meditation.

The second step is to rename those negative thoughts. To put a line between you and your brain, you just alienate them.

The third step is to concentrate your attention on a pleasant activity, such as writing, conversing, or contacting a friend, to demonstrate that you can go about your business as usual even when negative thoughts arise

and the fourth step is to revalue your position from a loving and caring standpoint in order to change your self-perception.

Who would I recommend You are not your Brain book to?

The book You are not your Brain is highly recommended to all those who overthink a lot and negativity controls their brain and life. The book will help them get rid of it.