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MacMillan

How We Break: Navigating the Wear and Tear of Living (How to Live Series, 2) by Vincent Deary

How We Break: Navigating the Wear and Tear of Living (How to Live Series, 2) by Vincent Deary

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Drawing on cutting-edge science and intimate personal stories, an essential and paradigm-shifting book for readers struggling with fatigue, burnout, stress, and trauma―and for all of us who sometimes feel like we have been pushed past our breaking point.

In How We Are, the health psychologist and author Vincent Deary explored the process of habit and change in everyday life. In How We Break, a deeply compassionate and illuminating exploration of suffering, he examines what happens when we are pushed to our limit.

Deary is a practitioner health psychologist who also works in a fatigue clinic and specializes in interventions that help people cope with whatever life has thrown at them. The big traumas in life, he points out, are relatively rare. Much more common is when too many things go wrong at once, or we are exposed to a prolonged period of difficulty or precarity. When we are subjected to too much turbulence―when the world shrinks to nothing but our daily coping―we become unhappy, worried, hopeless, exhausted. In other words, we break. Breaking, he shows us, is embodied, as our physical and mental distress are linked, and happens when the same systems that enable us to navigate through life become dysregulated. But if we understand how the turbulence and overwhelm of life affects us, then we have a better chance of overcoming the challenges.

Drawing on clinical case studies, trailblazing scientific research, intimate personal stories, and illuminating references from philosophy, literature, and film, How We Break offers a consoling and deeply felt new vision of everyday human struggling, and it makes a bold case for the power of rest and recuperation.

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