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This Naked Mind

Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life
Narrated by: Annie Grace
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (181 ratings)
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Summary

Millions of people worry that drinking is affecting their health, yet are unwilling to seek change because of the misery and stigma associated with alcoholism and recovery. They fear drinking less will be boring, difficult and involve deprivation, and significant lifestyle changes.

This Naked Mind offers a new solution. Packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, it will open your eyes to the startling role of alcohol in our culture. Annie Grace brilliantly weaves psychological, neurological, cultural, social and industry factors with her extraordinarily candid journey resulting in a must-listen for anyone who drinks.

This audiobook, without scare tactics, pain or rules, gives you freedom from alcohol. By addressing causes rather than symptoms it is a permanent solution rather than lifetime struggle. It removes the psychological dependence allowing you to easily drink less (or stop drinking). Annie's clarity, humour and unique ability to blend original research with riveting storytelling ensures you will thoroughly enjoy the process.

In a world defined by 'never enough', Annie takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of alcohol and specifically the connection between alcohol and pleasure. She dispels the cultural myth that alcohol is a vital part of life and demonstrates how regaining control over alcohol is not only essential to personal happiness and fulfilment but also to ending the heartache experienced by millions as a result of second-hand drinking.

Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to the life you have been waiting for.

©2018 Annie Grace LLC (P)2018 Penguin Random House Audio

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Promotes ABSTENTION, not CONTROL!

Many have praised this book and with good reason. It’s well researched on the negative impact of drinking, both physically and mentally, so there is a lot about the book that is interesting and illuminating. It's also good at unpicking the failings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I liked its positivity about living alcohol free.

Unfortunately for me it didn’t deliver as a whole. Firstly, I feel that the title is misleading; ‘control alcohol’ suggests it’s going to help a drinker to moderate intake, but in the end the author advocates giving alcohol up altogether. Because I came to the book as someone who drinks a bit too much but not way too much, hoping it might help reduce my intake from around 25 units a week to 14, I found this irksome. I didn't want to give up drinking and I still don't. Half way through This Naked Mind I realised I was reading a book where the content didn’t match the way it was pitched. Like Annie Grace, I am a writer and for many years worked in marketing, and whilst I can appreciate ‘control alcohol’ will appeal to a broader readership than a ‘give up alcohol’ message, I came away feeling I had been misled.

I also found it jarring that the author describes herself as ‘a moderate drinker’ but says she was drinking ‘two bottles of wine a night’ prior to stopping, which isn’t my definition of ‘moderate’ - far from it! Nor was I convinced that she is a hoot sober. Grace may well be great company and funny (she claims to be both), but here perhaps the book might have benefited from more ‘show’ and less ‘tell’ - as it stands the writing isn't witty. In particular there is no irony and as a Brit I longed for some.

Perhaps most crucially of all, I was not persuaded by the notion of ‘cognitive dissonance’ as a motivation for abstention. As I understand it, the argument is that we are mentally distraught because we know alcohol has many negative effects overall, yet we are still drawn to drinking because we are conditioned to do so. I don’t disagree that western society heavily promotes drink, and I agree that we drink because we believe it is going to relax us and make us feel sexy, witty etc. However for many individuals the relationship with alcohol (as with other drugs) is very complex; it’s frequently used to numb anxiety, depression, grief and so on, and giving up may leave us very exposed other fronts. Being 'naked' all the time mentally is not that easy. Grace touches on these motivations but only lightly, whereas in my experience key to overcoming dependence is tackling these issues too. I’ve lost a partner to alcohol - he could not overcome these demons - and I can’t see that the cognitive dissonance argument is one that would have helped him to stop.

Furthermore, whilst perhaps there is something I failed to grasp, I believe living with cognitive dissonance is part of life. Uncertainty, ambiguity and conflicting responses to people, circumstances, experiences - in fact just about everything - are inevitable - not everything can be ironed out to resolve any sense of incoherence or discomfort. Otherwise it strikes me that we end up with a very black and white world, where anything that doesn’t make sense cognitively is ‘wrong’. Accepting conflicting parts of ourselves seems healthier and more pragmatic; I accept I have conflicting feelings about alcohol, just as I accept that I have conflicting emotions about my mother, my desire for chocolate and pros and cons of driving a car. I even have conflicting feelings about this book - part of me wants to give it 4 stars, part of me 2, so I’ve ended up with a compromise and given it 3!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Wow just wow

Felt like drinking was becoming a problem, friend recommended this book, cannot believe the impact it’s had, I’m now 9 days sober with no intention of drinking and this is coming from someone who drunk everyday.

Very powerful a must read if you believe alcohol is becoming a problem.

100% recommended a must read!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Changed me, didn't even know I needed to change.

I downloaded this, my first audible book, because it appeared on a feed on amazon, after I had drank to much yet again on a Friday night, I was bored of this and wanted to give me some tools to make better choices, well, I got better than that.
This book made so much sense I stopped drinking, the book made me questioned why I took this drug, so I stopped. It's like someone told me a something that I didn't know that made so much sense, and now I know I see it from a completely different angle, so why would I do that to me and take this drug that does nothing for me.
POWERFUL STUFF if you are the weekend drinking type, and bored of loosing the next day from tiredness, like me, hopefully this will help.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Awesome

Easy to listen to. Very informative and overall helped me to quit alcohol.
thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unconscious conditioning

Annie just hits the nail on the head.
I have listened to this book whilst partaking in Sober October and am truly amazed by the influence this book has had on me. Annie really does change the way that you view alcohol to the point where you just don't want to drink anymore.

This book in conjunction with Alcohol Lied to me, Craig Beck; has changed my life. I'm so excited about the future and getting my life back.

Thank you Annie! X

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THANKYOU

THANKYOU for this great book
I feel set free from previously held beliefs that controlled my drinking habits
Instead of feeling rubbish because I didn’t have enough will power now I know it’s not that at all!
Here’s to a long happy journey ahead
I previously stopped drinking for a year and it took me almost another year to get back to this point right now! I like that your book has follow up ideas and strategies for maintenance
Really great help

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Very repetitive...

The book starts well and is thought provoking even if it does purely state the obvious, it at least caught my attention. My problem with this book in the round is how repetitive it is, if the repetitive nature of the book was removed I’m sure it would only be a quarter of the length.

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I'm Free

If you really want to stop drinking, this is the way to do it, I've drunk almost every day for the last 15 years, and loads of, I'm now 10 days without a drink with no desire to do so, absolutely wonderful.

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Hugely helpful book

Fantastic book. Nicely read by the author. Really works at an unconscious level to match your conscious thoughts. Each morning I would wake up and ask myself ‘did I have a drink last night?’ And my answer would be a disappointing ‘yes’. To wake up each morning and feel disappointment is not how I want to start my day. Now I wake up and answer ‘no’ and feel pleased and happy with myself. I am now more in tune with my body and have way more energy then I have done for a long long time. I feel happier, more positive and productive and I can make clear decisions based on what I really feel not with a fuzzy head or under the influence of alcohol. This book has the power to completely change how you view alcohol and how you live your life. Even if you feel alcohol is in your control but it’s not something you want in your life each day then take a listen. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Effective

Strikingly effective method of teaching the reader to re examine their brains responses to drinking, and how to recalibrate the relationship they have with the substance. Similar approach to the Allen Carr method of giving up smoking (highly recommended also).