- Wise Mind Living by Erin Olivo PhD
- Publisher: Sounds True
- Format: Paperback
Today, stress has become the single most common cause of serious illness. As a society, we find it easy to recognize its outward signs we are not so good at resolving the issues that generate it in our daily lives.
Erin Olivo PhD argues that it is not stress per se that we need to learn to deal with. It is the underlying emotional patterns that cause us to fall victim to the life-style that induces stress that really need addressing.
Olivo has developed a unique system for dealing with emotional imbalance which she calls Wise Mind Living. This approach has been developed through nearly 20 years of practical experience, working with patients using a combination of CBT, (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), mindfulness based cognitive therapy, mind-body strategies and a Buddhist philosophy.
She argues that, to attain a sense of balance and control over our emotions, we need to access a ‘Wise Mind’ state.
This is a condition that exists somewhere between what she identifies as ‘Emotional Mind’ and ‘Logic Mind’.
In Wise Mind Living the first technique for balancing the emotional nature is the increasingly popular technique of Mindfulness.
Here, she centers upon the joint process of meditation and breath control and advises you on the various pitfalls that exist of not remaining in the moment with exercises geared toward developing a state of mindfulness of thoughts and feelings.
Interestingly, Olivo then deals with the actual neurological processes that lead to emotional states of thought and being. Understanding the way that the brain works is fundamental to avoiding the cycle of emotions that, the author argues, can cause our emotional natures to continue to control our psyches.
Emotions manifest in many different ways. Olivo identifies what she refers to as the ‘Big Eight’. Love, Happiness, Fear, Anger, Sadness, Shame, Jealousy and Disgust.
All of these can manifest as physical symptoms if not resolved.
Given the immense problems that our emotions can cause us to experience, you might even question what beneficial part they play in our lives.
Olivo examines this question in some depth. She argues that they are not only useful, they are crucial to our survival as a species. She explores each of the Big Eight and identifies examples of how and when they are useful to our survival.
The main thesis of Wise Mind Living is that of promoting the idea of exerting a greater sense of control over our emotions rather than of being governed by them.
In the chapter that focuses specifically on this subject, the author examines extreme physical conditions such as heart-palpitations and severe headaches which can develop through poor emotional management.
Another key approach to reducing the anxiety that leads to these ailments is to avoid circumstances that might lead to emotional issues. This includes ensuring that you eat a balanced diet, reduce stress through exercise, sleep adequately and reduce consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
The mind plays such an important role in how our emotions form and no other influence is so great as that of our core beliefs. Erin Olivo examines the primary negative beliefs that most of us hold about ourselves and reveals how we can change them.
However, not every approach to resolving the emotional imbalances that we get into relies on changing how we think. The author believes that sometimes our emotional states and responses can be altered through what we do and the physical choices that we make in our lives.
Sometimes, all of these techniques fail us. This can be when we are trapped within circumstances over which we effectively have very little control. At these times, acceptance is required as an element of learning how to cope. Olivo offers specific tips and techniques that you can employ at such times.
Finally, the book winds up with the author’s own six-week course in Wise Mind Living. Each stage is contracted down into a week’s activities that you can spend working on the main points raised in the book.
Emotions have become something of a key factor in the health and well-being of spiritual-workers—individuals who are, by their very nature, sensitive to a wider range of psychological influences than most other people.
This is a book that will appeal to many such people as well as to anyone who feels battered and bruised by the sheer emotional drama of living life today.
The fact that the book also contains elements of what is recognized as one of the most calming philosophies in the World, namely Buddhism, adds greatly to the sense of peace and harmony that pervades throughout this book.
Taking a largely self-regulating and therapeutic approach to emotional rebalancing, this is also a self-help publication that, for once, actually accepts and integrates into its teachings the neurological characteristics of mood swings. This adds considerably to understanding the subject of and greatly empowers you towards making changes to your life that lead to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Rather than position itself as a typical sort of New-Age self-help manual, Wise Mind Living takes a much more grounded and pragmatic approach to emotional health than usually is the case.
It has been thoughtfully composed as a manual of instruction and the addition of the six-week workout at the end not only offers a powerful practical system of instruction. It works as a great summary for the key points of the book.
Wise Mind Living stands out as a powerful publication among a sea of amateur imitators. It is a rare example of the sort of personal instruction manual that genuinely helps and steers you toward a healthier mindset through the use of empowering techniques of emotional self-control.
Credit: Review copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.