I updated my stories highlights this weekend to include some of the books I’ve been reading lately (all at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, and personal development) and as result got a lot of questions about each one. So, I’m throwing it back to my nerdy book report days (I used to LOVE writing book reports) and including a little overview of my top recommendations for true mindbody healing.
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is by far one of my favorite reads of all time, and that’s a bold statement. Van der Kolk has dedicated his extensive career to working with and understanding how trauma is encoded in the body, and how our traumatic experiences literally re-wire our brains (specifically areas linked to pleasure, trust, engagement, and control). Throughout the book, he demonstrates how we can reactivate these areas through a combination of neuroscience, mindfulness, yoga, and play.
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine
This book is dense, but fascinating. It’s also a classic in body-based psychotherapy. The book outlines the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them, utilizing our innate instinctual capacity.
In an Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine
I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet but it’s next on my list. It’s based on the idea that trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but rather an injury caused by fright, helplessness, and loss that can be healed by engaging our ability to self-regulate high states of arousal and intense emotions.
The Healing Self by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi
This is the ultimate self-healing manual. Together, Chopra, a leading expert in integrative medicine, and Tanzi, a Harvard neuroscientist, offer new ways of increasing the body’s immune system by stimulating the brain and our genes through the power of our minds.
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
This book needs little introduction. Brene uses a powerful combination of personal story and science-based research to transform the way we think about struggle, vulnerability, and courage to propel us towards more meaningful, thriving lives.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.