Mindfulness presents a path for reaching well-being and diverse tools, which help individuals to cope with life hurdles (Harvey, 2010). Dr. Robert Siegel is an expert and trusted therapist investigating mindfulness solutions, which he presents in The Mindfulness Solution – Everyday Practices for Everyday Problem. Consequently, the book offers effectual strategies on how to live a decent life and to become more focused on daily actions. It presents practical strategies that allow the integration of formal and informal mindfulness practices into individual’s routine in preparation for a certain circumstance. In addition to a self-help book, Dr. Siegel presents a downloadable audio web link of his recordings that contains mindfulness practices (Lunsky, 2010; Tirch, 2012).
The book is comprehensive and designed in a way that a reader will first acknowledge the first section and relevant chapters that address the needs of an individual at certain time (Siegel, 2009). It is divided into two sections. The first one offers a framework for the rest of the book. It contains four different chapters that offer an explanation of what mindfulness entails, the research angle of it, and both formal and informal mindfulness practices. In the first chapter, Dr. Siegel (2009) tries to convince the reader to consider the mindfulness concept as an approachable option. He argues that there are many life challenges, which are universal. Moreover, the author expresses this universality by giving a description of his mind and afflictions that he has had. To offer further illustrations, he shifts his attention to Fred and Wilma of Flinstones. What makes the book interesting is the fact that Dr. Siegel (2009) uses simple examples and humor to provide common experiences and ways in which he thinks human minds are recipes for a difficult life. In his research, Dr. Siegel provides self-reflection inventories, self-ratings and other examples of his past clients (Lunsky, 2010; Tirch, 2012).
The book offers readers step-by-step instructions on how to cultivate mindfulness. Siegel presents exercises on concentration and holding the breath (as cited in Lunsky, 2010). He offers diverse modifications regarding maintaining one’s breath and instructions on walking and eating meditation and the body scan. The first part of this chapter presents situations and the second one applies mindful practices in the latter. Dr. Siegel (2009) explains the issue and the reason why he considers the mindful approach an innovative solution to address and ease these problems. At the end of each chapter, the researcher reviews diverse formal and informal practices, which are helpful for a given issue, and a detailed case example that illustrates them at work. In conclusion, the author presents a list of both formal and informal practices with life preservers. The researcher also offers an example of the latter, where he asserts that an individual should adopt these tools when a situation is acute. He expects the reader to review the list and come up with a personalized practice plan that includes certain formal and informal practices and various preserves. He presents a direction at the end of each chapter in case an individual seeks further help (Harvey, 2010).
Siegel (2009) presents a solution to anxiety and worry. For instance, he acknowledges that each anxious experience offers an opportunity to practice approaches on how to increase human capacity. He further focuses on the aspects of sadness and depression and draws insights from the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy program. It includes other mindfulness practices from the program, for instance, a three-minute breathing space (Lunsky, 2010).
Mindfulness in case of physical pain is another important aspect presented by Dr. Siegel (2009), whereby he demonstrates his expertise and uses a program initially developed and known as “Back Sense.” He offers a description of his struggles with back pain and how he has succeeded in treating it via the incorporation of mindfulness. The back sense approach incorporates a combination of understanding a problem, resuming full physical activity and applying methods to overcome negative emotions. After a discussion on how to cope with back pain, Dr. Siegel analyzes digestive and sexual problems. In regard with the latter, he recognizes the significance of Masters and Johnson’s sensate focus treatment and further analyzes insomnia (Harvey, 2010; Lunsky, 2010).
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The mindfulness approach to diverse types of relationships is another focus of the book. Dr. Siegel (2009) presents a philosophical argument regarding interdependence and connection among all individuals and goes further to offer exercises that help them be mindful of themselves, especially when interacting with others. Besides, he asserts the sagacity of connection and disconnection between one individual and another. He gets a little bit specific and offers a discussion of mindful parenting and possible solutions and approaches. Dr. Siegel (2009) examines a mindful approach to diverse bad habits, evaluates mindfulness-based relapse prevention and puts into consideration different types of addiction, such as sex, technology and food (Lunsky, 2010).
The manual is different from other related books on the same topic and consists of diverse programs customized for end consumers, for instance, full catastrophe living with references to the books of Buddhists (Harvey, 2010). The study offers effective day-to-day practices for solving daily problems. It is significant to acknowledge that it aids an individual in addressing his/her problems and gaining knowledge of mindfulness (Lunsky, 2010; Tirch, 2012).
Siegel (2009) uses examples in the book obtained from past clients that have utilized highlighted techniques in certain situations. They had Dr. Siegel as their guiding therapist and attended formal practical yoga or meditation classes. It is significant for the reader to find enough support via the book and the audio files, so they do not get discouraged. Furthermore, they can be motivated to engage in a retreat or a formal class.
Readers that put into consideration the book come across some aspects of it, which they will appreciate, and it will be used as a resource for future references. The intention of Siegel (2009) is to allow readers to approach the book as a potential toolbox, but not prescriptively.
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