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Mindfulness for Unravelling Anxiety by Richard Gilpin


Anxiety is a state many of us know only too well and Generalized Anxiety Disorder is on the rise globally.


Mindfulness for Unravelling Anxiety helps loosen the knots and tangles of anxiety and explores the ways we can break their stifling bonds through better understanding of the root of the problem - the mind.


Richard Gilpin - a counsellor, cognitive behavioural psychotherapist and meditation instructor - shares frank personal anecdotes and therapeutic insights, revealing how mindfulness can create a path for us through anxiety. With wisdom and clarity, he guides readers through the transformative practice of mindfulness meditation.


Gilpin offers some tried and tested ways, both ancient and modern, for embracing and working through anxiety.


As he states in the introduction, it is “part road map, part toolkit, part inspiration for the journey”.


He has worked with people suffering with all recognised types of anxiety disorders for the past decade. His knowledge gained from his work, as well as his own personal story of anxiety, gives the book authenticity.


While he has an MA in Buddhist Studies, and the book does draw on these teachings, it is not overly evident until the reader is well into the book.


It is packed with lots of tips and advice, with practical ideas people can take away and use immediately.


Gilpin also dives into the biological history of anxiety, and how it has morphed from a fight for survival into worrying about the future. For those of us that do always dream up the worst case scenarios, it was a nice reminder to stop and notice the now.

One thing that was missing however, was an understanding that merely ‘being mindful’ may not be enough for some of us. While he doesn’t rile against medication, there’s also nothing mentioned of it, so it might feel like to some that they’re simply not trying enough with mindfulness if they also need to use medication.


Regardless of the omission, as Gilpin states, “anxiety is part of the fabric of existence”. It is an interesting and very valid way of looking at anxiety.


For those who want to embrace their anxiety and try to work with it, this book makes for a great starting point.


Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Allen & Unwin, RRP $14.99

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