The Naked Mind, By Annie Grace
Reviewed by Sophie Burgess
The Naked Mind by Annie Grace is a book to help understand the pros and cons of drinking alcohol. The purpose of the book is to try and help temptations of drinking alcohol in a social situation, whilst also thinking about the underlying psychological reasons you might be drinking. She talks about you need to understand yourself and your goal in drinking. Is it drinking less? Is it you want to only drink once a week instead of multiple times? In the first part of the book she talks about conscious and unconscious learning of alcohol, and why you might feel a sort of ‘pain’ when trying to become sober. It is an interesting chapter about the power of the mind, and it is the first step of understanding why alcohol can be dangerous psychologically. This approach is a mind over matter approach, that if you can visualise success without the dependence of alcohol then you can help work towards skipping out on beers at the pub.
In the next chapters, she talks that we have to find the problem of why you might have a problem with going overboard on a night out. As a lot of people say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem – as she discusses various ways that we might push the blame onto other things rather than ourselves. She discusses that we might blame the genes, or even that the taste of alcohol is what is at fault. We come up with excuses like it helps us have more courage, to ‘loosen up’, to have better sexual relations, to have less anxiety. But in the reality of all the perceived advantages, these things are just blurring the fact that there is an underlying dependency on alcohol.
Overall, it is an interesting book that helps rationalise the thoughts or justifications that we might have for alcohol, how we might be able to spot an addiction, and how we may begin the process of drinking less – and what we might do in terms of relapse. I recommend this book if you might try to justify drinking with your friends on a night out, or if you simply want to try to cut down on your intake.
Have you read this book?