How the Body Knows Its Mind

The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel

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About The Book

“Beilock reveals one intriguing secret after another...That Beilock is supercharged with enthusiasm about her topic is evident and infectious” (Booklist, starred review).

The human body is not just a passive device carrying out messages sent by the brain, but rather an integral part of how we think and make decisions. In this groundbreaking book, Sian Beilock, award-winning scientist and author of the highly acclaimed Choke, draws on her own cutting-edge research to turn the conventional understanding of the mind upside down in ways that will revolutionize our lives.

At the heart of How the Body Knows Its Mind is the tantalizing idea that our bodies “hack” our brains. The way we move affects our thoughts, our decisions, and even our preferences for particular products. Called “embodied cognition,” this new science—of which Beilock is a foremost researcher—illuminates the power of the body and its physical surroundings to shape how we think, feel, and behave. For example, pacing around the room can enhance creativity; gesturing during a speech can help ensure you don’t draw a blank; teaching kids through body movement helps them learn better; walking in nature boosts concentration skills; using Botox could lead to less depression; and much more.

“Insightful, informative, and beautifully written” (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness), How the Body Knows Its Mind unveils a wealth of fascinating mind-body interconnections and explores how mastering them can make us happier, safer, and more successful.

About The Author

University of Chicago

Sian Beilock, a leading expert on the brain science behind human performance, is a professor in the psychology department at the University of Chicago. She has PhDs in both kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University, and received an award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science in 2011.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (January 6, 2015)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451626704

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Raves and Reviews

"How our bodies and minds work in tandem. Wide-ranging, informative and entertaining, especially for parents and educators."

– Kirkus

“The best kind of psychology book…a fascinating rompthrough a new field that body and mind are inextricably intertwined. Best ofall is the scientifically grounded advice on everything from helping kids learnbetter to becoming a happier person. This book will expand your mind and makeyour life better."

– Jean Twenge

"Through vivid stories and clear explanations,Beilock reveals how our bodies shape our thoughts and actions in surprising andcompelling ways. It's rare to find a first-class scientist who is also afirst-class writer; Beilock, lucky for us, is both."

– Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins

How the Body Knows Its Mind is a journey inthe direction less traveled: from body to brain, rather than the reverse,illuminating the surprising ways that our physical actions can change ourminds. From “laughter yoga” to Botox as a treatment for depression, to theimportance of finger dexterity for learning math, Beilock charts a wondroustour through the mind-body connection.”

– David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene

"Insightful, informative, and beautifully written, How the Body Knows Its Mind is a smart surprise that you won't want to miss!"

– Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

How the Body Knows Its Mind has helpful insights for everyone. It is a must-have in your home.”

– Larry King

“A very interesting and useful book. I recommend it!”

– Carol Dweck, author of Mindset

"How often do you read a book that is profound and also fun -- or that is full of surprises, but that also gives you that pleasant jolt of immediate recognition? Do a big favor for your body and your mind. Read Beilock's terrific book as soon as you can!"

– Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University, and coauthor of Nudge

“Beilock reveals one intriguing secret after another… That Beilock is supercharged with enthusiasm about her topic is evident and infectious.”

– Booklist STARRED review

How the Body Knows Its Mind is a tour de force that teaches us the revolutionary new science of how our own physical interaction with the world around us strongly influences our ability to learn and perform. I highly recommend it.”

– Michael Lardon M.D., author of Mastering Golfs Mental Game and Finding Your Zone

"In our quests to be more successful and influential, as well as happier and healthier, nothing has been so overlooked as the way we can use our own bodies and our environments to reach those goals. This book is life-changing. Read it now.”

– Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

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