Here are some interesting quotes from the piece:
"Having taken a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and counselling and a master’s in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), the comedian has written a book about neuroscience that’s also an odyssey through her own mind.
Sane New World is an exploration of the make-up of the brain, the chemicals it produces, and how it can be changed for the better using strategies such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), deliberately breaking old habits or keeping a diary of your emotions."
"...the Priory where she was an in-patient.
Medication has helped, but not cured her.
And she had so much therapy that she says she grew sick of her own story. But eventually her researches into mental health led her to discover mindfulness."
"...she researched everything that might help her with her condition – which is why she studied psychotherapy before deciding it wasn’t for her. In 2009, she took a mindfulness course. This standard eight-week programme requires dedication and homework from participants. As well as weekly meetings of up to three hours, you’re supposed to spend 40 minutes daily observing the sensations in your body and carrying out mundane activities, such as tooth-brushing, with total awareness. Which must have been a tall order for Ruby, I suspect.
‘It was agony,’ she admits. ‘It’s like starting to go to the gym. Your brain isn’t disciplined so you have to do the exercise.’ But she found, to her amazement, that it helped her gain some control over her errant brain (which she compares to a bucking bronco)."
"Do her friends notice the difference? ‘I guess so. I feel as though people like me more rather than being scared of me. I listen to them, and people love to be listened to, whereas before I would just show off and hope they liked me,’ she says.
Ruby still meditates daily – usually just after she wakes up, but on the move if she has to – ‘in a taxi, on the Tube, always before a show to get my cortisol levels down. I do it for half an hour, but just a few seconds makes a difference. Paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way changes the chemical make-up of the brain,’ she explains."