Everyday Trauma: Remapping the Brain’s Response to Stress, Anxiety, and Painful Memories for a Better Life

Tracey Shors. Flatiron, $27.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-24700-1
“With a bit of effort and insight” it’s possible to train one’s brain to overcome trauma, according to neuroscientist Shors in her intriguing if somewhat out-of-touch debut. She writes that “our brains are designed to create stories... and often the stories we repeat are of our everyday traumas,” and by bolstering the brain’s ability to cope with those traumas, people—and women in particular—will find more well-being. To that end, she presents her “brain fitness program,” a combination of meditation and exercise to help the brain cope “with problems that are already present but also... those that are yet to come.” The program consists of a 12-item questionnaire, 30 minutes of meditation (20 minutes sitting and 10 minutes walking), followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise—the combination, she writes, is key. Shors’s research is impressive, and she effectively explains the complicated relationship between trauma and memory. But while she claims her method is intended to be usable by people “regardless of income or gender or race or age,” her instructions don’t take into account one’s specific abilities, needs, or amounts of free time, making the argument feel thin. It’s a fine introduction to the workings of trauma, though the program isn’t applicable to all. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/04/2021
Release date: 12/14/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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