Friday, April 13, 2012

Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom From Stress and Worry by Laura Maciuika

Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom From Stress and Worry by Laura Maciuika
Tap Into Freedom Publishing
ISBN: 978-1937749026
Published Oct 26, 2011
Trade paperback, 180 pages

I think the title of this book accurately conveys its topic: achieving calmness in a conscious way. The author stresses throughout her book the need to pay attention to and become aware of our thoughts and emotions so as to learn to control them to release stress and worry.

As I read the book, I realized a few things. The most important one is that breathing is extremely important in handling stress. I knew this already, but Dr. Maciuika speaks extensively of using good breathing techniques to calm the mind and body. She emphasizes it's one of the most powerful tools we have. The next tool the author stresses we use is Being Breaks, that is taking time throughout the day to take a break and practice deep breathing in a relaxed manner, and becoming aware of our breathing while removing the bad energy from our running overactive minds.

If I learn to use these two tools I know I will be less stressed. It seems so simple, but it can be hard because the more one takes time to break the cycle of “doing” that keeps us too busy to feel our emotions, the more our emotions will surface and we will have to deal with them. Once we've mastered this (no easy task!) then we are in control of our minds and can feel less stressed, more energized and peaceful.

I think Dr. Maciuika is definitely on the right track about how we can change our old habits of dealing with stress by giving us useful tools: engaging our breath, taking Being Breaks, changing the direction of our thoughts, and EFT—Emotional Freedom Techniques. (For more info on EFT, see my review of EFT for the Highly Sensitive Temperament by Rue Hass) These are all tools that give us internal control without the use of drugs. Breaking old habits that may mask difficult emotions, though, is not easy and may require professional assistance. However, I do believe that becoming aware of the strong mind/body connection and respecting this connection by going back to the basics, like breathing properly, is a first step that can lead to healing.

This book is easy and quick to read with short paragraphs with spaces in between each paragraph. I would have preferred more case studies or examples, because I like learning through illustrations. They drive the point home better than several paragraphs that seemed repetitive. I also think that the text needed some editing. For example, the last sentence of chapter 8 was incomplete (p.94). The book cover is perfect, though, with the flower alluding to the idea that changing is a process like the birth of a new flower.

If you want to learn more about energy psychology and stress reduction techniques that are empowering, you will enjoy this book that presents the information in a simple step-by-step format.

Also 10% of all proceeds from the sales of Conscious Calm support the international humanitarian work of Embracing the World, a group of not-for-profit charities supporting communities with food, shelter, education, healthcare, and livelihood in over 30 countries.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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