Books on the Brain: Scientific Self-Help (Part 1)

Books on the Brain: Scientific Self-Help (Part 1)

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Every year, it seems there are more books merging science and self-help. I think this cross-over is fabulous because it allows non-scientists who have no desire to read scientific journal articles to access the powerful discoveries that scientists are uncovering every day.

Today and tomorrow, I will be reviewing three scientific self-help books. I listened to the audiobook of all three over the past few months, which I checked out from my local library.

Go to your local library! I didn’t rediscover the library until last year. I feel like everyone goes to the library when they are little, but then as they get older the library only seems like a place to study. Since I am done with school, the library is a place to find new, cool ideas. I love checking out audiobooks because the Pima County Public Library in Tucson offers two apps for listening to audiobooks: Overdrive and OneClickDigital. That way, you don’t have to fuss with the CD’s.

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

The first book I listened to was A Calm Brain by Gayatri Devi, M.D. I was reading this book back in January, along with another excellent book: Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt.


Dr. Devi reads the book herself and has a very soothing voice. In A Calm Brain, she leads us on a quest to discover the secrets of a calmer brain, through work with patients in her practice in New York, her own life experience (both her grandfather and her dog play starring roles), and scientific research.

She gets into the detailed anatomy and physiology of a calm brain, which was interesting to me but may or may not be to you. The premise of her book is that you can induce calm through the vagus nerve. (Learn the basics of the vagus nerve at Mental Floss: 9 Nervy Facts About the Vagus Nerve.) The book made me want to get an inversion table, like the one below; using the table for about 15 minutes a day can help calm the mind by calming the body. I give the book 4/5 stars.

IRONMAN Gravity 4000 Highest Weight Capacity Inversion Table

While, Dr. Devi has not given a TED Talk, she has wrtten an excellent article about memory in response to a TED Talk by Deb Roy that you can read in the Huffington Post.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: Books on the Brain (Part 2). It will feature books by Susan Cain and Amy Cuddy.


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Z.Y. DOYLE

Howdy! We are a two-sister writing team in sunny Arizona. We are authors, photographers, and Woof Trekkers. Read our blog for posts about food, positivity, pets, self-publishing, and travel.
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  1. […] Part 1, I discussed leveraging your local library for free books and audiobooks, as well as the […]

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