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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

101 Ways to Find Calm By Rebekah Ballagh

'How are you feeling?'

It’s a question we’re often asked but may struggle to answer honestly in today’s increasingly fast-paced world. Thankfully, bestselling author Rebekah Ballagh returns with 101 Ways to Find Calm - how to use your body to soothe your mind. 

'Many people feel like their body isn’t peaceful to live in and their lives are a source of overwhelming triggers and trials, it doesn’t have to be this way,' says Rebekah.

A healthy nervous system doesn’t have to always be calm. It’s normal to experience the full range of human emotions, says Rebekah. However, a well-functioning nervous system can effectively manage tricky emotions and is able to restore equilibrium. She shows us how to safely feel and process our emotions.

Rebekah’s latest book is packed with simple, science-backed tools for everyday resilience. Her influences include breath work, meditation and yoga. 

After some five-finger breathing, a burrito wrap, an ear massage, a brain dump, a body tap or a mindful bite, you will certainly feel more centred and able to refocus when you feel overwhelmed. 

I was delighted to discover the practice of mindful photography - a way to focus on life’s details and glimmering moments. 

'Take close-up pictures of little details you notice, such as fabric, insects, flowers or plants. See if you can notice any interesting textures, light, shadows or angles. Immerse yourself in the present by using your phone/camera to bring your focus back to the details around you and your senses.'

Often, I find myself doing exactly this, and I’ll continue, appreciating its positive impact! This book is super handy, and I’m sure I will dip in and out as I trial different tools, discovering which works best for me in a range of situations. Rebekah’s trademark illustrations clearly show each activity with a short description, followed by simple step-by-step instructions.

Each of the tools is accessible and brief; you can literally flip open to any page and experiment. Better yet, many of the tools are interchangeable, working across a range of emotions. The real challenge, as Rebekah suggests, is incorporating at least one tool into each and every day! And if somatic therapies and polyvagal exercises are new to you, there’s a useful glossary, too.

As with her previous books, Words of Comfort is as engaging to read as it is informative.  It’s perfect for anyone wanting to better understand and process their emotions. 

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy

Allen & Unwin


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