Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HOW TO STAY SANE  by Philippa Perry

HOW TO STAY SANE

By Philippa Perry

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-250-03063-4
Publisher: Picador

A self-help book for combating the stress of today.

Psychotherapist and member of the School of Life (“dedicated to exploring life’s big questions”), Perry (Couch Fiction, 2010) offers practical tips on how to maintain a rational mind and attitude in today's hectic world. She believes that most people with personality disorders fall into one of two groups—either living in chaos, bouncing from crisis to crisis, or stuck in an outdated rut of unyielding responses—and that all of us fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Perry presents a methodology on "how to stay on the path between those two extremes, how to remain stable and yet flexible, coherent and yet able to embrace complexity." By analyzing "how" we experience ourselves and the world, rather than wondering "why" we experience things in a particular way, we are better able to make adjustments in our lives. Consequently, the first step is self-observation. Once we comprehend how we are feeling and what we are thinking in any given situation, we are able to move on to understanding how we relate to others, enabling us to choose healthy relationships. Keeping our brains fit through physical activity, mental exercises and stretching our comfort zones enables us to remain flexible, connected with others and able to adapt to unexpected, often stressful, changes. Optimism is another cornerstone to a well-balanced lifestyle; a positive outlook offers health benefits, decreases stress, increases longevity and provides for more satisfaction in relationships.

Using stories from her therapy practice to illustrate her points as well as numerous exercises to conduct alone, with a loved one or within a group, Perry brings new light to a well-visited subject.