Self-care is a powerful, evidence-based medicine for the mind.
Mental health is the driving force behind every decision we make—how we live, work, and love. Many of us suffer from depression and anxiety, which impede our choices and quality of life, and despite the proliferation of prescription drugs, the numbers are growing across the globe. But there is another, proven way to achieve mental wellness, beyond antidepressants and talk therapy. Practicing psychiatrist Gregory Scott Brown believes that mental health begins with actionable self-care.
The Self-Healing Mind is a holistic approach to emotional and psychological healing that focuses on how evidence-based self-care strategies can be used to improve and sustain mental health. Dr. Brown challenges the current state of mental health care and the messaging around it, showing us how to move past outdated notions of “broken” brains and chemical imbalances. While he agrees that prescription drugs and talk therapy in many cases are important for healing, his personal and professional experience has taught him that lifestyle interventions are also key to sustainable mental wellness.
Dr. Brown’s clinical philosophy supports an integrative approach that combines conventional treatments (medication and psychotherapy) with what he calls the Five Pillars of Self-Care: breathing mindfully, sleep, spirituality, nutrition, and movement. These purposeful lifestyle practices, backed by science and proven in his clinical practice, can be adopted by everyone. Dr. Brown’s advice and insight put the power of healing back in your control.
Psychiatrist Brown debuts with a commonsensical and empathetic manual for improving mental health with lifestyle changes. Pulling from neuroscience, client stories, and mindfulness, the author outlines the "five pillars of self-care" breath work, sleep, spirituality, nutrition, and movement opining that they are essential for "living with purpose, balance, contentment, and hope." To illustrate the connection between sleep and mood regulation, the author tells of how a client became uncharacteristically irritable after developing a late-night online poker habit, but recovered after he started logging off earlier and keeping a strict sleep schedule. Eating right can improve mental health, the author contends, urging readers to drink matcha instead of coffee and to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Brown also encourages readers to meditate or pray, citing research that found Tibetan monks can quiet disruptive mental processes through meditation. The author brings a refreshing candor by sharing his struggle with depression, and though his advice to eat, sleep, and exercise won't surprise many readers, Brown's research elucidates why these tried-and-true strategies work. Straightforward and sensitive, this volume has some worthwhile insights. Agent: Joy Tutela, David Black Agency.