30 Days of Summer Reads: This is Your Brain on Joy

Jul 11, 2009Write!

This is Your Brain on Joy by Dr. Earl Henslin is a fascinating book about the brain, its chemistry and makeup and how that affects our lives and our moods. One of the interesting side effects the book had on me was imparting a sense of empathy for those in my life that have probably suffered from unhealthy brains. Instead of assigning guilt or blame, I’m better able to understand why they’ve acted the way they have. (And that has helped me in the forgiveness journey.)

It’s also helped me analyze myself, seeing some of my own brain-related issues.

But more than even those secondary benefits, I learned the power of being proactive in pursuing proper brain health—and I laughed when Dr. Henslin suggests creating a song list of happy songs to alter mood. I already do this!

Written in quirky, conversational tone, this book will help you understand the components of joy, how to pursue putting those into place, and how to finally move forward beyond past circumstances.

Of particular help to me was the appendix on PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and the use of EMDR therapy, which is something I’ll need to explore in the future. (It’s a therapy my counselor friend uses when she works with trauma victims in Africa). For anyone suffering from severe trauma with nightmares, sudden fear, unexplained emotional responses, this appendix alone may be the beginning of a journey of healing.