Cover Image: Brain On!

Brain On!

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a very handy book for someone who struggles with their energy levels at work, concentrate, anxiety etc. It lays out many of the common pitfalls and ways in which you can take action to function in a happier, positive and more productive state.

Was this review helpful?

A wonderful book. Highly recommended. You will enjoy reading it. Written in a very engaging prose. Nowhere would you feel being stuck or bored. Pick it up if you get a chance. Thanks to the author for a review copy.

Was this review helpful?

This book sounds and looks more serious and scary than it actually is. And I would, honestly, recommend it to everyone after the age of 15.

For some reason, I thought "Brain On!" would consist of very scientific-sounding information, that would be hard to consume due to its complexity, and I was mentally preparing myself for this, and... it's not. To be fair, the book is based on scientific stuff, but this is the book you can easily give to an older teenager or a young adult and they most probably will understand everything, moreover, it will be actually extremely useful to them for the rest of their life.
"Brain On!" is about how to take care of yourself, be more productive but in a healthy way, and set better goals. Deb Smolensky took a simple generalization and summary for what is actually happening, called it "brain on" and "brain off" and looked at our day-to-day, mostly at work, from this perspective, Generalization worked, because sometimes you don't need big words to explain the complex matter, because people are already struggling so it's better to make it easy to understand.

Is any of the ideas in the book revolutionary? No, but it is a perfect combination of approaches to support yourself, your health, and your brain. I will go ahead with 5 stars, as there might be nothing that made me do "wow!" but it's simply great and contains everything I might need or would expect this book to provide me with.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

“Brain On!” is a self-help guide by Deb Smolensky that emphasizes personal growth and individual mental wellness in the workplace. The book details a concise series of strategies for improving one’s mental health, including fostering a strong, healthy, and resilient mindset.

Was this review helpful?

The biggest take away from this book is that our brains were designed for primal threats, to keep us safe. The author suggests ways that we can begin to observe our brain processes, notice when they are hijacked and find ways to redirect and conserve brain energy. This book is aimed at. Leadership in the workplace, but it is also applicable to teachers in the classroom.

Was this review helpful?

After reading Deb Smolinsky's' book I had a better understanding on how to become more aware of when I am in Brain Off mode.

When I say this book as an option to review and what the topic was about, I could not wait to get my eyes on it and read. Brain On! is an easy to follow non-fiction book about how our brains are automatically programed to switch on and off when needed, especially on off mode.

The author provides basic and practical journaling exercises to become aware of when our brain goes into a panic. I was amazed at how the author was able to explain how our brain works in such a simple format without getting to scientific about it.

Aside from enjoying the journaling prompts, it was refreshing to see the transparency that the author brought with her own personal experiences of what she struggled with, like Uncertainty and Autonomy. And, I must say, that among others, those are my weaknesses too. There was a "Brain Check" that I felt had nothing to do with the topic, and a passage about pre-historic people being around at the time of the dinosaurs, lol! I wanted to look up more works from Deb, and I can't wait for the next book!

Was this review helpful?

"Brain On!" is about being more aware of how we're reacting to people and situations. The author's goal is for everyone to stay calm and ration and avoid being emotionally hijacked. Made me think of Spock. The advice was very focused on a business setting, and the last third of the book was specifically for leaders, the HR department, and the company culture. The leaders are told that emotions are contagious and that you can remove obstacles for those under you or trigger your workers to shut down, so you need to be constantly "brain on." No pressure there...

I was disappointed that how the brain works was described only in very general terms. She mentioned dozens of books whose ideas she was passing on but didn't refer to scientific studies. This book was also not about mental fitness but self-awareness. Her basic premise was that you're usually 'brain off' (sometimes described as responding to situations as if under threat or controlled by your primitive brain or your subconscious is driving your responses or being overwhelmed or emotionally hijacked) while you want to be 'brain on' (driven by your thinking brain, rationally analyzing at the situation, focused, and energized by what you're doing). The varying definitions of brain off made some of her statements seem absurd, like you can't use your thinking brain at the same time as you're in the threat response, yet you're supposed to use your thinking brain when feeling anxious to see if you have a rational worry.

The first third of the book was about why you need to be 'brain on' due to external and internal obstacles at work, etc. The next part was a detailed, step-by-step description on how to set doable goals so you can stay focused and be productive. She also pointed out how to look for your strengths and what you like to do so you're energize and enjoy your work. A short section talked about "brain fitness" but contained a couple questions to ask to see if you're brain on or off and a phrase to repeat to get 'brain on' again, suggesting naming the emotion you're feeling, and some breathing exercises to calm and focus yourself. She also suggested tips like get a good sleep, take a 20 minute nap, take breaks to move around or talk to a friend. The book wasn't really what I expected or needed, but it might be useful to business leaders.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this self help book. The background on neuroscience was fascinating. It is not a very unique topic, but the author approached this work with a clear understanding of the human brain. Could definitely be helpful for teens struggling to focus in class.

Was this review helpful?