We typically have little control over our thoughts, but we often invest them with a lot of authority, even when they contradict what our experiences tell us to be true.
Take a moment right now and think there's a hungry grizzly bear sitting next to me. Chances are you didn't take that thought literally and run screaming from the room.
But what if instead you had thought, l'll never get a better job, I'm boring, or no one lovesme? Just like that terrifing grizzly, these more garden-variety thoughts are just words and pictures that pop into our minds.
But often we take thoughts like thses literally and let them trick us into avoiding the lines we really want to live.
''Leave Your Mind Behind'' offers a collection of light-hearted practices readers can use to learn to observe their thoughts without getting caught up in them.
Each practice is grounded in a component of the new acceptance and cpmmitment therapy (ACT) called cognitive defusion: the process of de-fusing or not identifying or becoming one with your thoughts.
Sometines downright strange-imagine yourself hearing your thoughts in the voice of a headless monster!- these activities don't seek to stop or control problematic thinking.
Insread, they work to show readers how to observe thoughts without judgment and learn to live with the confounding and marvelous word-making, story-telling machine that is the human mind.
Mckay, is a professor of psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and author of more than 30 professional psychology and self-helf books, which have sold a combined total of more than 3 million copies.
He is-founder of independent self-help publisher, New Harbinger Publications. He was the clinical director of Haight Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco for twenty-five years.
He is the current director of the Berkeley CBT Clinic. An accomplished novelist and poet, his poetry has appeared in two volumes from Plum Branch Press and in more than sixty literary magazines.
His most recent novel, ''Wawona Hotel'', was published by Boaz Press in 2008.