Snap! From Chaos to Calm
by Julie Potiker
Archway Publishing

"We primates are hard-wired to worry and ruminate, but we need to reset after perceived danger to get back to our baseline ...a calm state."

Snap! is a methodology presented through an acronym. It stands for first softly touching oneself for healing, naming the emotion one is feeling, continuing to act by perhaps breathing deeply to induce a relaxation response and disidentifying with the situation, and finally being bold enough to praise and thank oneself for succeeding. The author describes how to apply this method of snapping out of the grip of anger, anxiety, grief, and one’s inner critic. Then, she expands to applying her method of snapping out of uncontrolled feelings that might arise from parenting stress, oversaturation by twenty-four-hour news coverage, political stress, and COVID-19. A list of thirteen “macro” approaches to handling strife and anxiety arising from the external world is followed at the end for internal work with a twenty-five mindful methods toolbox for dealing with out-of-control emotions.

Mindfulness arose out of modern Buddhism when some reinterpreted their faith in the semiotics of psychology, and Potiker recommends many authors who use this approach in modern psychological self-help books like this one. She provides a useful framework for dealing with difficult emotions, which makes this perhaps a read that demands revisiting. The book is written in accessible language with much reinforcement about using the author's method of calming the monkey mind. Potiker quickly notes that the wide-ranging scope of her approach should not be seen as a panacea but as a practical method. The Snap! method is a useful addition to the library of self-care and mindful approaches to achieving a balance between one’s emotional life and the demands of modern living.

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