John Lindsay O’Brien’s How Emotionally Damaged Are We? is a gem of a book about a crucially important topic. Many of us are stuck in an emotional rut of our own making. We live, breathe, and repeat negative thoughts over and over again throughout the day. Because of this, we create what O’Brien calls the Normalcy Bias.
According to this bias, it is very difficult for us to change and try new things. It is even difficult for us to comprehend a new way of looking at our thoughts and emotions. We tend to think the same negative thoughts over and over, and we tend to stress ourselves out because of it. Our negative thoughts then cause negative emotions, feelings, and we stop living fully present in this moment. Instead, our negative thoughts flutter about constantly, and we live a life that is filled with negativity from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed.
In this book, O’Brien teaches us how to get out of this rut by letting go of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. This is the first step to emotional well-being. Before we can let go of our negative thoughts, however, we have to become aware of these thoughts. Once we recognize we can control these negative thoughts by monitoring them, our emotional emancipation is started. We will feel ultimate peace and happiness during these times to such an extent we will never go back to our old negative patterns of thinking again.
I recommend How Emotionally Damaged Are We? to anyone who is struggling with negative thoughts and feels stressed out all the time. We have more control than we think over our emotional destiny and well-being.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think laypeople and psychologists as well as philosophers alike will enjoy the book. It is truly a book for our culture and times.