Paths Are Made by Walking: Practical Steps for Attaining Serenity

Therese Jacobs-Stewart, Author Warner Books $35 (232p) ISBN 978-0-446-53067-5
Jacobs-Stewart, a psychologist and organizational consultant, provides a self-help program designed to combat the stress of modern life. Drawing on the latest brain research, she explains how a neural cluster (the amygdala) reacts to a threatening situation by triggering a fight-or-flight response. This neural response cannot, however, distinguish between real physical danger and an emotional threat based on unrelated experiences that leads to counterproductive reactions. For example, if your trust in someone close to you was once betrayed, you may regard the world with a suspicious attitude that will hamper not only your personal relationships but the ability to progress in a chosen career. According to the author, this and other negative thought patterns can be overcome by a series of mental exercises that she provides, involving acceptance, reflection and deepening awareness of emotional reactions. Largely based on the Buddhist practices of meditation and mindfulness, the progressive mental exercises are carefully and clearly described. The suggestions provided by Jacobs-Stewart, a psychologist and spiritual teacher, depend on setting aside a significant amount of quiet time for body/mind work and spiritual reflection. This program will appeal to those who want to understand and change their emotional reactions and to improve their relationships with others.
Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
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