Snap! From Chaos to Calm

Julie Potiker

Publisher: Archway Publishing Pages: 212 Price: (paperback) $14.99 ISBN: 9781665731928 Reviewed: October, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

In this useful volume, a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher offers her SNAP! system: two actions and three mental processes done in sequence that can quell anxiety, confront grief, and avert a parenting crisis, among other common, recurring stresses.

SNAP! stands for “soothing touch,” “name the emotion,” “act,” and “praise.” The author posits that if you’re feeling frustrated, mad, sad, or hopeless, among the host of emotions that are generated by the world we live in, you should start with a snap of your fingers before you lay your palm on your head, heart, belly, wherever tension lurks, “for a release of calming oxytocin and endorphins.” This starts a process of confronting the feeling and choosing to use any number of mindfulness methods (meditation, journaling, being of service) to counteract it. It ends with positive self-talk and healthy rewards.

The nine chapters address, among other challenges: anger, anxiety, “inner critic work,” shame, and guilt. Included are the author’s poems, a mindful methods toolbox, and references to scientific proof of the efficacy of mindful self-compassion.

Like a good friend, author Julie Potiker shares her own experiences (missing her mom on a special holiday, aging without surgery, a horrible day at the ER with her daughter) with a healthy dose of humor, such as: “Do something that brings you joy…. For me, this [is] setting my Pandora radio station in the car to the Carol [sic] King station, or what my husband affectionately calls ‘vagina radio.'”

Potiker is full of creative ways to take care of oneself, from mindfully chopping fresh, colorful vegetables for a comforting, healthy soup to taking a technology holiday to arranging flowers. The Introduction explains the system concisely; individual chapters focus on how to use it to face down specific issues.

For those looking for quick, practical actions to avoid a meltdown, grab this book and SNAP! out of it!

Also available in hardcover, ebook and audio book.

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