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Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day

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Research shows we are missing 50 percent of our lives. Why? Because we aren’t paying attention. From the constant buzz of your phone and the lure of your media feed to your unrelenting, all-encompassing, and evergrowing mental to-do list—the demands on your attention have never been so severe. The result is an escalating crisis, where we feel mentally foggy, scattered, and Research shows we are missing 50 percent of our lives. Why? Because we aren’t paying attention. From the constant buzz of your phone and the lure of your media feed to your unrelenting, all-encompassing, and evergrowing mental to-do list—the demands on your attention have never been so severe. The result is an escalating crisis, where we feel mentally foggy, scattered, and overwhelmed. Remarkably, the solution to our attention crisis has been right here in front of us the entire time. Acclaimed neuroscientist Amishi P. Jha, PhD, has dedicated her life’s work to understanding the science of attention at every level—from brain-imaging studies in the lab to field-testing soldiers, firefighters, athletes, healthcare and business professionals, and students. Her mission has been to scientifically determine how we can harness the full power of our attention to better meet all that life demands. Dr. Jha expertly guides readers through fascinating research, debunking common assumptions and offering stunning new insights into where presence and purpose really come from. Peak Mind reveals remarkably easy to adapt, flexible, 12-minute-a-day exercises to lift the mental fog, declutter the mind, and strengthen focus so that you can experience more of your life. About the author: Amishi P. Jha, Ph.D is professor of psychology and director of contemplative neuroscience at the University of Miami. She leads research on the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, and resilience. She has spoken at TED.com, the World Economic Forum, and NATO, and has been covered by Scientific American, the New York Times, NPR, and Forbes.


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Research shows we are missing 50 percent of our lives. Why? Because we aren’t paying attention. From the constant buzz of your phone and the lure of your media feed to your unrelenting, all-encompassing, and evergrowing mental to-do list—the demands on your attention have never been so severe. The result is an escalating crisis, where we feel mentally foggy, scattered, and Research shows we are missing 50 percent of our lives. Why? Because we aren’t paying attention. From the constant buzz of your phone and the lure of your media feed to your unrelenting, all-encompassing, and evergrowing mental to-do list—the demands on your attention have never been so severe. The result is an escalating crisis, where we feel mentally foggy, scattered, and overwhelmed. Remarkably, the solution to our attention crisis has been right here in front of us the entire time. Acclaimed neuroscientist Amishi P. Jha, PhD, has dedicated her life’s work to understanding the science of attention at every level—from brain-imaging studies in the lab to field-testing soldiers, firefighters, athletes, healthcare and business professionals, and students. Her mission has been to scientifically determine how we can harness the full power of our attention to better meet all that life demands. Dr. Jha expertly guides readers through fascinating research, debunking common assumptions and offering stunning new insights into where presence and purpose really come from. Peak Mind reveals remarkably easy to adapt, flexible, 12-minute-a-day exercises to lift the mental fog, declutter the mind, and strengthen focus so that you can experience more of your life. About the author: Amishi P. Jha, Ph.D is professor of psychology and director of contemplative neuroscience at the University of Miami. She leads research on the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, and resilience. She has spoken at TED.com, the World Economic Forum, and NATO, and has been covered by Scientific American, the New York Times, NPR, and Forbes.

30 review for Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I generally star my reviews and move on due to the sheer number of books I go through as a librarian. However, this one got my attention after being contacted privately. I received an email on Sept 21, 2021 stating “We're reaching out to you because we noticed that you recently rated Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day:..” and they wanted to verify that I actually meant to star it and not just add it to my shelves. Um, what? When I went to check, it turns out I I generally star my reviews and move on due to the sheer number of books I go through as a librarian. However, this one got my attention after being contacted privately. I received an email on Sept 21, 2021 stating “We're reaching out to you because we noticed that you recently rated Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day:..” and they wanted to verify that I actually meant to star it and not just add it to my shelves. Um, what? When I went to check, it turns out I had rated it...3 months previously in June of 2021! To make it even more odd, the title’s description field now stated “NOTE: DUE TO BOOK UNAVAILABILITY PRIOR TO OCTOBER 19, 2021 RELEASE DATE, PUBLIC REVIEWS OFFERED PRIOR TO THIS DATE ARE NOT VALID.” I’ve no idea what the author or publisher or their rep is up to but, having been at this site for over 12 years now, let me tell you, this isn’t how it works. Any reader that receives ARC’s knows how this works and assuming we don’t is ridiculous and makes you look foolish. I actually wasted my time to check and yes, my feedback was sent through NetGalley in May 2021. My original rating was 2 stars. Since it took me longer than “Investing 12 minutes a Day” to uncover their shady behavior, it’s now 1 star.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fred Leland

    Outstanding Research and Book: Developing Awareness and Focus of Effort in Rapidly Changing and Uncertain Conditions The work and research in mindfulness written about in “Peak Mind” by Amishi Jha is something I believe will help cops (I am retired cop with 32 years and post retirement still training cops) make more effective decisions while handling crises on the street. The work in this book is much needed In Policing, making them more effective and safe. I have been talking about mindfulness m Outstanding Research and Book: Developing Awareness and Focus of Effort in Rapidly Changing and Uncertain Conditions The work and research in mindfulness written about in “Peak Mind” by Amishi Jha is something I believe will help cops (I am retired cop with 32 years and post retirement still training cops) make more effective decisions while handling crises on the street. The work in this book is much needed In Policing, making them more effective and safe. I have been talking about mindfulness making a big difference in preparing cops through better awareness over the past couple of years since I began using mindfulness techniques myself. This book has the research and science behind what my intuition and practice was showing me ( better awareness, better decisions, better courses of action, and better adaptability). I could go on but I will digress and just say, I am excited about this book and it’s benefits in making cops and those they serve more effective and safe. Thank you for all your efforts and for this book. In my humble opinion “Peak Mind” is a must read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Too much time is spent getting to the meat of the matter and too little nourishment is presented to make this read worth the time invested. A total disappointment! My thanks to NetGalley and Harper One for allowing me access to this book which I had hoped would be helpful. The book is scheduled for publication on 10/19/21. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are freely given.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cori Widen

    I’ll spare you the meandering: mindfulness practice positively influences focus and attention. So do that.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Keith Akers

    I've been doing meditation for decades now, and was already aware of the practices mentioned, which will also be quite familiar to many long-time Buddhist (and other) practitioners. I'd been following the meditation advice to follow your breath, and then if your mind wanders, to bring it back to your breath. BUT this book was really helpful in one key way. She points out that a "wandering mind" is NOT a defect in your attention abilities. It's a feature, and an important survival tool. It means I've been doing meditation for decades now, and was already aware of the practices mentioned, which will also be quite familiar to many long-time Buddhist (and other) practitioners. I'd been following the meditation advice to follow your breath, and then if your mind wanders, to bring it back to your breath. BUT this book was really helpful in one key way. She points out that a "wandering mind" is NOT a defect in your attention abilities. It's a feature, and an important survival tool. It means you probably won't get eaten because a tiger surprised you; you'll be constantly checking the outside world, mentally taking your focus away from whatever task you're working on to let it survey the immediate surroundings checking for signs of trouble. In other words, instead of trying to keep your focus on the breath (and feeling somehow inadequate if it wanders), try to keep bringing your naturally wandering mind back to your breath, and count it a success if you do bring it back. So we shouldn't curse our minds for their forgetfulness when they wander; rather we should praise our minds when you notice that it's wandered. So I was grateful to have this one piece of advice totally turned me around, and have the way your attention works --- and the things that degrade your attention as well --- spelled out in non-technical jargon. I was able to recognize, as "mindfulness based attention training," a number of types of Buddhist meditation, including Zen and Vipassana (and probably others, those are just the types I've heard of). Core practices include "Find your focus," i. e. bring your attention back to your breath; "body scan," i. e. mentally observe your body from bottom to top; and "river of thought," i. e. watching your thoughts, emotions, distractions, as they float through your mind, without getting caught up in them. She uses these techniques to deal with ADHD type symptoms when you just can't focus your mind on what you want to focus on. She devotes an entire chapter, early on, to "kryptonite," things that tend to damage your attention and cause you to lose your focus. Stress, poor mood, or threats are three especially volatile forms of kryptonite. One odd thing (from a Buddhist perspective, at least) is that she was using these techniques to help Marines do their job in the military! So obviously this techniques does not imply any particular type of morality of nonviolence. But she does cite one case where attention helped avert an accidental attack on civilians who had been misidentified as enemy military. So I don't see how meditation by itself gets you to the five Buddhist precepts, or any other particular ethical teaching, though obviously it probably helps you on such a path. Another odd thing is that she thinks that you can do this on only 12 minutes a day! Most meditation groups I've been to have meditation periods of 20, 25, or 30 minutes, or maybe even longer. One significant negative: there's no index.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sam Moen

    I was excited after seeing the title and the mindfulness approach. There is nothing new to this book. It repeats mostly studies from other books. If this is your first time reading about meditation it would be a good place to start. Not much in practical advice and written by an academic. Too many words and got boring. I love the concept of this book and the overall message. When I saw it was 9 hours long on audible I should have trusted my instincts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve Brock

    As Stevo’s Novel Ideas, I am a long-time book reviewer, member of the media, an Influencer, and a content provider. I received this book as a free review copy from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review. This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 11/7, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet and Stevo's Novel Ideas. Are you here right now? Is your focus on this page? Or is it roaming elsewhere, to the past or future, to a worry, to your to-do list, As Stevo’s Novel Ideas, I am a long-time book reviewer, member of the media, an Influencer, and a content provider. I received this book as a free review copy from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review. This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 11/7, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet and Stevo's Novel Ideas. Are you here right now? Is your focus on this page? Or is it roaming elsewhere, to the past or future, to a worry, to your to-do list, or to your phone? Jha helps us maintain our focus and concentration for longer periods of time with 12-minute exercises that increase the brain's ability to stay attentive to our immediate surroundings. Most important to me are those which help me be a better listener. Instead of fighting with distractions, she tells me to "pay attention to my attention" by practicing mindfulness techniques that have a high rate of success. This is a great resource that I will be referring to again and again. Find more Business Books of the Week on my Goodreads Listopia page at https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9..., and find many more recommended books on my Amazon Influencer page at https://www.amazon.com/shop/stevo4747 or by searching for me on Google.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Good book with real practice applications and guiding activities woven in. A little repetitive but a good read. The back of book has a sample guide with meditation and awareness activities.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Bennet

    Some interesting ideas, but really, really needed more editing - Would be a much better book at half the length. TLDR - Mindfulness meditation is the only thing they tested that will improve your focus, minimum effective does is 12 minutes / day for 4 weeks.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julia Hotmer

    Peak written by Amishi Tsa is an amazing book and one that hones in on the behind the scenes explanations as to how our brains function and what are the key components of mindfulness and focus. Amishi walks you through techniques on how to improve your focus, that are easy for everyone to try. I heard Amishi Tsa on Joe Rogan's Podcast recently and had to immediately run out to get the Audio Book. This book will not disappoint anyone that is interested in improving their focus, resulting in obtai Peak written by Amishi Tsa is an amazing book and one that hones in on the behind the scenes explanations as to how our brains function and what are the key components of mindfulness and focus. Amishi walks you through techniques on how to improve your focus, that are easy for everyone to try. I heard Amishi Tsa on Joe Rogan's Podcast recently and had to immediately run out to get the Audio Book. This book will not disappoint anyone that is interested in improving their focus, resulting in obtaining your Peak mindfulness.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

    This book is an account of a researcher's work to scientifically measure benefits of meditation on attention. I found her vocabulary for referencing states of mind beneficial to my understanding of attention and practical as well. She is inspiring in her reasoning and I absolutely adore her. It is curious to me that she did not specifically talk about the type of people who are referred to as having ADD/ADHD, but she might just be on another level with her understanding of attention. She didn't This book is an account of a researcher's work to scientifically measure benefits of meditation on attention. I found her vocabulary for referencing states of mind beneficial to my understanding of attention and practical as well. She is inspiring in her reasoning and I absolutely adore her. It is curious to me that she did not specifically talk about the type of people who are referred to as having ADD/ADHD, but she might just be on another level with her understanding of attention. She didn't go there. She says the benefits of mindfulness meditation have positive effects on all people. And it is hard to argue with her 12 minutes a day prescription. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for encouragement with meditation as an aid to focus. This is not strictly a how to guide, more of person's life work and story wrapped up with insight. It is a popular science type book that feels like what a wonder friend would be like if they were turned into a book. You get a little bit about her life and work but also her beginner’s guide to getting started so you can benefit in your own life. I hope she writes another book as I would love to hear more about her thoughts on attention.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Blaschik

    I found this book fascinating and I can't wait to get to work training my attention. Explaining the brain's attention system, and presenting her research with the US military and then some in an easy to digest way, Jha explains why mindfulness for just 12 minutes a day can hone your attention. My biggest takeaways: "Here is the bottom line: if you engage in mindfulness training, you will feel better, but not simply from the practices alone. The practices will build your attentional capacity and t I found this book fascinating and I can't wait to get to work training my attention. Explaining the brain's attention system, and presenting her research with the US military and then some in an easy to digest way, Jha explains why mindfulness for just 12 minutes a day can hone your attention. My biggest takeaways: "Here is the bottom line: if you engage in mindfulness training, you will feel better, but not simply from the practices alone. The practices will build your attentional capacity and that will help you fully experience moments of joy, thrive in demanding circumstances, and successfully navigate moments of crisis with a reservoir of resilience." "A peak mind is not about striving to get somewhere else. It's simpler, more elegant, and doable. I think of it like a triangle: the base is the present moment, and the sides are two forms of attention--one side, receptive attention so we can notice, observe, and be, and the other side, concentrative attention so we are focused and flexible."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Malena

    I’m a current yogi and a retired correction officer. While I wasn’t new to mindfulness before reading Peak Mind, I was new to the concept of training your attention. As a retiree with ample time on my hands, I still feel as though I’m never in the present moment. I’m watching TV, on my phone, planning what I’m going to eat for dinner, thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow— anywhere but here. Peak Mind captured so eloquently not only the importance of being in the now here, but also, in th I’m a current yogi and a retired correction officer. While I wasn’t new to mindfulness before reading Peak Mind, I was new to the concept of training your attention. As a retiree with ample time on my hands, I still feel as though I’m never in the present moment. I’m watching TV, on my phone, planning what I’m going to eat for dinner, thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow— anywhere but here. Peak Mind captured so eloquently not only the importance of being in the now here, but also, in the accessibility of this mental mode. An ability to be in one moment and then the next is not just achievable by Buddhist monks or those who have reached a higher being. It’s available to me, the retired correction officer. I only wish Dr. Jha wrote this book a few years back so I could have applied these principles when I was working at Greenhaven. I can’t say enough how much I recommend this book!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Birk

    I was pretty sure I had some improvement to make regarding my ability to focus. After reading the description of this book I dived in and was happy to discover not only how much improvement I needed but also the skills necessary to make some positive changes. The whole premise rests on the ability to practice mindfulness. The author is very credible and gives good examples, case studies, testing methods and a good set of skills and tools on how to practice mindfulness to the end of improving con I was pretty sure I had some improvement to make regarding my ability to focus. After reading the description of this book I dived in and was happy to discover not only how much improvement I needed but also the skills necessary to make some positive changes. The whole premise rests on the ability to practice mindfulness. The author is very credible and gives good examples, case studies, testing methods and a good set of skills and tools on how to practice mindfulness to the end of improving concentration, thought patterns and making sense of your wandering mind. I found the explanations of her testing methods a bit lengthy and kept wanting to get to the meat of the actual practices I could start using. She provides a 4-week regimen which mostly involves just 12 minutes per day of mindfulness practice, claiming that one should notice results after the first week if not sooner. I found this book helpful and very much look forward to starting my mindfulness practices next week.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vera

    I always shunned mindfulness as something reserved for the spiritual types. In my mind wasn't relevant for someone like myself, who is far removed from any kind of spirituality. Yet, this book converted me into mindfulness practice. I started meditating regularly, and I am starting to see the results. I am more focused, more present and more concentrated on what matters to me. I still have a lot of work to do to make it a regular part of my life, but now I know WHY I need mindfulness training in I always shunned mindfulness as something reserved for the spiritual types. In my mind wasn't relevant for someone like myself, who is far removed from any kind of spirituality. Yet, this book converted me into mindfulness practice. I started meditating regularly, and I am starting to see the results. I am more focused, more present and more concentrated on what matters to me. I still have a lot of work to do to make it a regular part of my life, but now I know WHY I need mindfulness training in my life to begin with. The scientific approach to mindfulness, the in-depth research, and the personal stories to back it all up convinced me about the value of mindfulness to my life (which I believe was the primary goal of the book) In short, the book is a great read for sceptics who think that mindfulness doesn't apply to them.

  16. 5 out of 5

    TheMiamiYogi

    I’m a yogi and have appreciated mindfulness and meditation since I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in Baptiste Yoga two years. Before reading Peak Mind, I only practiced body-based meditation, which means I used my body as my entryway to the present moment. Importantly, I only practiced a few times a month because I really struggled to make the time to meditate. After reading Peak Mind, I have taken Dr. Jha’s advice and committed to meditating for 12 minutes every single day. I feel refreshed I’m a yogi and have appreciated mindfulness and meditation since I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in Baptiste Yoga two years. Before reading Peak Mind, I only practiced body-based meditation, which means I used my body as my entryway to the present moment. Importantly, I only practiced a few times a month because I really struggled to make the time to meditate. After reading Peak Mind, I have taken Dr. Jha’s advice and committed to meditating for 12 minutes every single day. I feel refreshed, alert, and finally like I am making the most out of the present moment, rather than being everywhere else but in the now here. I am so grateful to Dr. Jha for so clearly elucidating the ease with which we can meditate and reach a “peak” mental mode. I hope she’ll write another book soon!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hannes

    This book is my book of the year. It gives the most concrete tools and clearly explained workings of the mind. There are many studies, many examples and different theories on how to perform best and also on how to be. The author takes out a lot of fluff from the general, mainstream ideas on mindfulness saves you reading many wellness myths. I would have liked to have more examples but throughout the book and the title is a bit too goal oriented and seems to be aimed at top professional performer This book is my book of the year. It gives the most concrete tools and clearly explained workings of the mind. There are many studies, many examples and different theories on how to perform best and also on how to be. The author takes out a lot of fluff from the general, mainstream ideas on mindfulness saves you reading many wellness myths. I would have liked to have more examples but throughout the book and the title is a bit too goal oriented and seems to be aimed at top professional performers when it’s use is also in the household and in everyday life. The ending got a little repetitive although there was much needed encouragement.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lois Keller

    One of the worst non fiction books I have ever read. It’s a ton one off references “I did this and it worked for me this one time”. Mindfulness is a valid technique and the methodology mentioned here definitely has value, it’s just packaged here like a pyramid scheme “try it in these 3 easy steps!” What was the final straw for me was the multi paragraph “while I am not a trauma psychiatrist…” description that then goes on to say how meditation can help trauma. There’s actually a ton of evidence s One of the worst non fiction books I have ever read. It’s a ton one off references “I did this and it worked for me this one time”. Mindfulness is a valid technique and the methodology mentioned here definitely has value, it’s just packaged here like a pyramid scheme “try it in these 3 easy steps!” What was the final straw for me was the multi paragraph “while I am not a trauma psychiatrist…” description that then goes on to say how meditation can help trauma. There’s actually a ton of evidence supporting that (I just read the body keeps the score) but the author comes off as a tele preacher instead of a scientist. Pass on this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jan Hrdina

    Very well put together and well written - oscillating between research results, interesting real-life stories and straight-to-the-point meditation excercices. After all the "spiritual" books, it was this super-skeptical evidence-based one that finally convinced me to give a chance to the regular daily meditation. Very well put together and well written - oscillating between research results, interesting real-life stories and straight-to-the-point meditation excercices. After all the "spiritual" books, it was this super-skeptical evidence-based one that finally convinced me to give a chance to the regular daily meditation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Thurston

    Antidote to the Current Moment & our other moments. I liked that the book had a strong focus—improving our attention and awareness. Between stress about Covid and too much Zoom, my attention feels completely shot on many days. I’d let my meditation practice weaken over time. This book has motivated me to strengthen it once again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sadie-Jane Alexis Nunis

    🌟🌟💫 What obviously started with good intentions, ended up falling flat. There were some decent parts, I enjoyed it when she shared about personal stories, etc. The irony was that to finally get to the tail end when it covered ways to invest, it took way too long to get there and focus went elsewhere.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charuta

    Brilliant work by @amishipjha Along with technical explanations she’s done a wonderful job of apt analogies and personal examples from daily life activities such as card games or TV show plots that demo the functionings of our attention. I took several notes from this book to implement into my life in order to inculcate mindfulness and improve my attention span.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Costanza Alessio

    Definitely a must read!! An accessible way to learn about the science behind meditation and the changes it can bring in everyday life. Highly recommended for everyone, from expert meditators to people who are just getting started.

  24. 5 out of 5

    AMAN SHARMA

    This book can be summarized in one page. After halfway through the book, I lost interest and jumped straight to the exercises which are itself not new. Anyone which some exposure to meditation practices will be aware of these practices. I was reading it for more deterministic scientific findings.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is an excellent book! It’s really well written and researched. I first heard about the book through an interview and wanted to know more about what it takes to have a peak mind. I was not disappointed and I cannot wait to get working on my mind’s ability to focus and grow!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Martin Bortnick

    This is one of those books that I wish I could buy for everyone!! The author is a leader in the science of attention and mindfulness who has tested the science with military personnel and first responders. I highly recommend this book which I will be using as a reference all my life!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tyson Gaylord

    If you're looking for a way to get the most out of your life, this is the book you want. If you're looking for a way to get the most out of your life, this is the book you want.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    I highly recommend this book. I read the book and reiterated it by listening to the audible. It’s unfortunate that the author did not read the audio version book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anti Erisalu

    You'll have to start from somewhere, do the half of the time you want to do for starters. You'll have to start from somewhere, do the half of the time you want to do for starters.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michał Korba

    Pretty good position if you want to practice Mindfulness practice

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