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The Body Keeps the Score, By Bessel Van Der Kolk
- In this masterpiece of a book, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk discusses the physical imprints and downstream effects of trauma. He also puts forward numerous strategies for healing physiological wounds from the past.
- Reading The Body Keeps the Score radically changed the way I think about the root causes of human behavior.
- This is the book’s current rating on Amazon:
- “We now know that trauma compromises the brain area that communicates the physical, embodied feeling of being alive.”
- “Our great teacher, Elvin Semrad, actively discouraged us from reading psychiatry textbooks during our first year. (This intellectual starvation diet may account for the fact that most of us later became voracious readers and prolific writers.) Semrad did not want our perceptions of reality to become obscured by the pseudocertainties of psychiatric diagnoses.”
- “She moved the electrodes from my temples to my left brow, and I started to feel sharp and focused. She told me she was rewarding beta waves in my frontal cortex, which accounted for my alertness. When she moved the electrodes to the crown of my head, I felt more detached from the computer images and more aware of the sensations in my body. Afterward she showed me a summary graph that recorded how my brain waves had changed as I experienced subtle shifts in my mental state and physical sensations.”
- This was written in 2016, but it’s still very relevant
- “Over the past eight years, Google search rates for anxiety have more than doubled.”
- “Searches for panic attacks are overwhelmingly concentrated in less educated, poorer parts of the country, particularly Appalachia and the South.”
- “Americans have also become increasingly terrified of the morning. Searches for “anxiety in the morning” have risen threefold over the past decade. But this is nothing compared with the fear of night. Searches for “anxiety at night” have risen ninefold.”
One Year Anniversary Highlights
- I just went through all the Sunday Newsletter posts from the past year, selected my favorite pieces of content, and put them on the page linked to above.
- This site gives great show notes for many of the world’s most famous podcasts.
- Some of the notes included on the site can be a bit difficult to figure out if you haven’t already listened to the episode. However, this is often not the case. Also, these notes are very useful if you have listened to a podcast episode and would like to get a little refresher its key points.
The site’s notes on a few of my favorite podcast episodes from the past year:
YouTube Channel I’ve Been Enjoying: Danny James
- (The first one takes around 25 seconds to really get going)
Anger often stems from the inability to see the world from another’s perspective.
If, over the course of my life, I had tried to find an answer to every question that came to my mind, I would have spent little time doing anything else.
Whenever I hear someone make a large, sweeping statement about the general nature of life or reality, or how the world works, I ask myself these questions: Can you think of any counter examples? Can you think of any instances in which that is not the case? Has the evidence ever suggested otherwise?
How many people have you studied very deeply? If you want to change your perspective on the human condition, increase this number.
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