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There is no simple set of instructions that can guarantee sanity, but if you want to overcome emotional difficulties and become happier, psychotherapist Philippa Perry, author of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, argues that there are four cornerstones to sanity you can influence to bring about change.
By developing your self-observation skills, examining how you relate to others, breaking out of your comfort zone and exploring new ways of defining yourself, Philippa demonstrates that it is possible to become a little less tortured and a little more fulfilled. How to Stay Sane is at once a brilliant explanation of our minds and a profoundly useful guide to facing up to the many challenges life throws our way.
Discover more inspirational guides from The School of Life series: How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric, How to Worry Less About Money by John Armstrong, How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff, How to Thrive in the Digital Age by Tom Chatfield and How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton.
Lumping the insane into two broad groups those who "lurch from crisis to crisis" and those who "have got themselves into a rut and operate from a limited set of outdated, rigid responses " Perry (Couch Fiction) explains how to "stay on the path between those two extremes." Right off the bat, it's clear her intention is not to transform the clinically crazy into functioning members of society; rather, this brief book is aimed at everyday folks struggling to "remain stable and yet flexible, coherent and yet able to embrace complexity." Perry, a psychotherapist, explains that people who maintain sanity have changed in four areas: "self-observation," relationships with others, coping with stress, and telling stories. The author addresses each in as many chapters, wherein she discusses related topics as diverse as biology, learning styles, the effects of exercise, and a Wagner opera, as well as illustrative case studies. Folks seeking further guidance will find more than 30 pages of practical "exercises" , as well as a list of suggested reading. Though Perry's approach can sometimes be difficult to follow, her inviting tone (complemented by lighthearted illustrations throughout) and friendly prose make this an accessible addition to the School of Life publications. Illus.