A Calm Brain: How to Relax into a Stress-Free, High-Powered Life

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Penguin, Jun 14, 2012 - Health & Fitness - 288 pages
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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.

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How to Relax


My Grandfathers Secret
The UnCalm Modern Brain
The Core Brain Architect of Calm
Getting to Calm from the Bottom
Why Ever Stress?
TopDown Judgment
The Mother of All Calm
The Stress of the Two XXs
Calm Parenting Is Possible
Weaving a Tapestry of Calm
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About the author (2012)

Dr. Gayatri Devi is a neurologist and the director of the New York Memory and Healthy Aging Services. A clinical associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine, she is the president of the not-for-profit National Council on Women’s Health. She lives in New York City.

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