Robson presents numerous tricks of the mind to move us forward, including visualization and reframing our beliefs about progress ... The reader may be surprised at the counter-intuitive, science-based ideas Robson has for managing insomnia, depression, anxiety, and illness ... Robson does an excellent job of balancing change theory with practical ways readers can improve their lives by reframing experiences and generating positive expectations. Each chapter ends with a summary of major points and take-away messages that will shift your expectations on the spot. Whether you’re looking to make major or minor changes in your life, this book will help you leave the starting gate with positive expectations of success.
... one of Robson’s many strengths as a chronicler of science is to take what might seem familiar and show – to his own evident excitement, as well – just how much deeper the rabbit hole goes. You knew about the placebo effect. But did you know it often works, a little mind-bendingly, even when the patient knows they’re taking a placebo? ... While the book abounds in compelling anecdotes, Robson’s central point is that the expectation effect isn’t an amusing psychological quirk, but a fundamental aspect of our interactions with reality ... Robson is aware of the objection that this might all sound like a paean to positive thinking. He rejects that claim: the expectation effect concerns specific outcomes, not a general effort to feel good ... The result of marinating for a while in this outlook is surprisingly transformative.
At times this self-help element feels like an afterthought. Thinking about how I hope to feel at the end of a run isn’t going to persuade me to get off the sofa ... In other parts it is more successful ... In this era of endless Covid restrictions, taking back control is something that many will welcome.