Have you ever wondered how it might be possible to personally and easily change your mood – or internal state? From feelings of mild sadness to deep depression and loneliness, our emotions and body state can, at times, severely impact our enjoyment of daily living. Living life to the fullest is, often, only a dream for some people who suffer from a distressed internal state. Has there been a time in your life that seemed hopeless and upsetting? Are you currently experiencing feelings that drag you down and rob you of joy? Would you like your “internal state” to be one of more happiness and calm?
Mindsight, the skill defined by Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, has the potential to free us from patterns of the mind that are getting in the way of living our lives richly and fully. In short, mindsight is a kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our own minds. It helps us to be aware of our mental activities without being swept up in them, enables us to let go of “auto-pilot” and engrained and habitual behaviors, and moves us beyond our ruts and stuck places. It lets us define our emotions and work with them in a kind and compassionate manner. Mindsight, once mastered, can be a truly transformational tool.
Furthermore, mindsight can be thought of as a sort of lens through which we can perceive the mind with greater clarity than before. Anyone, according to Dr. Siegel, can develop this lens and once we utilize it, we can better understand our own inner lives and the lives of others. Mindsight allows us to closely examine the processes by which we think, feel, and behave. And, Dr. Siegel continues, it allows us to reshape and redirect our inner experiences so that we have more freedom of choice in our everyday actions, future actions, and the quality of our lives in general. It is all about becoming socially and emotionally “intelligent”.
This book is a sheer delight to read, and uses everyday cases of everyday people to make the concept of Mindsight understandable and useable. Integrating ancient contemplative practice with contemporary neuroscience and psychotherapy, Dr. Siegel removes the confusion regarding the interface between mind, brain, and relationships with novel and profound descriptions of how we become who we are, what makes things go wrong, and how all of us can achieve optimal well-being by using our capacity for attention to change the very structure and function of our brains. His work has the potential to forever change the way we understand our relationships and ourselves.
Overall, I found Mindsight to be a deeply compassionate account of what it is to be human. This book has powerful lessons for doctors, for parents and educators, and for all of us who are trying to make sense of how we make sense of things. Dr. Siegel uses beautiful and often remarkable case histories to show us how we can change our minds, brains, relationships and even the course of certain mental illness. In The Developing Mind, Daniel Siegel illuminates how relationships sculpt and are sculpted by the brain. Mindsight is the perfect follow up, a plan of action for the wiser and kinder life that’s transformative yet easy to understand and should appeal to specialists and laymen alike – in fact, to anyone who wants to enrich their life, their children’s lives, and society.
As he clearly explains the intricate workings of the brain, Dr. Daniel Siegel shows how we can change our dysfunctional habits of mind and become more flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable. I fine this book a “must-read” for anyone who wishes to have a happy, more productive life.
To learn more, check out Dan’s TED Talk on Mindsight.