Mar 30, 2012

Book Review: Conscious Calm by Laura Maciuika

Title: Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry by Laura Maciuika, Ed. D.
Tap Into Freedom Publishing (October 26, 2011)
Genre: inspirational, health

Conscious Calm advocates self awareness as a means to combat stress and worry. The book explores Emotions - what they mean, how to recognize them, practicing having a comfort level with your emotions. It calls for deep breaths to control stress from the inside out, and focusing on the present, both Eastern methods of relaxation. Conscious Calm has its own methods - hitting the Pause Button on Motor Mind; taking Being Breaks from daily activity and from Autopilot, using Personal Power 180.  The book offers tips and exercises in each chapter.

Finding calm and greater centeredness requires awareness, especially when starting out in a more stressed or worried state.(ch. 1)

What I took away from the book: Conscious Calm emphasized to me that chest breathing may not decrease stress, may increase stress, and that only a series of very deep breaths that seem to fill your stomach and expand it, will work for calming and reducing anxiety.

What I also found interesting was a "Stress-Busting Power Tool" called EFT, developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig. The process involves tapping on specific parts of the head and upper body with your fingers, an Energy Psychology technique that is nevertheless controversial among practitioners. Another component of EFT is the Brain Balancing Section, where you use tapping, eye exercises, counting and humming to activate several different sections of the brain all at once. The controversial part of EFT for me is the calling up of your self defeating or negative emotions in the exercise, emotions which may intensify during the exercise and which must be confronted and  lessened with more tapping.  Personally, I would use the finger tapping to distract myself from whatever thoughts might be stressful. at the moment. The fact that you are also using several parts of your brain at once in the exercises I think of as a plus.

I can recommend this book for those looking for alternative ways to handle stress and worry. The book is well worth looking at.

About the author: Laura Maciuika, Ed.D. is a clinical psychologist by training and integrative healer in practice. Laura writes about and teaches practical ways to develop inner freedom for greater happiness and success. She lives in northern California. See Author interview with Laura Maciuika.

For other tour stops, author interviews, and reviews, visit Conscious Calm Book Tour

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book promotions and the author for a complimentary review copy of this book.


  1. This does sound rather interesting, but I'm not sure about the head tapping and humming, and I am not sure that you could do that in public, where most of my anxiety occurs. I might just have to read this book for the curiosity factor. Great review today!

  2. Hi Zibilee, and thanks for your interest and comment. I present EFT in a later chapter as one (potentially powerful) way to clear emotions out of the body. While tapping can seem like a creating distraction, it's actually a way to engage the neurology and energetic systems of the body to move emotions and shift cognitive perspectives. There are many short cuts and "stealth" ways to use it even in public if you choose! The main thing is: we often don't know what we are doing inside to make stress worse, and there are key choices we can make inside to make stress better.
    Thanks again for your interest!

  3. Sounds like an interesting approach to dealing with anxiety. I might have to check it out.

  4. My son and husband would tell you that I need this book big time!! Honestly, I need to find a better way to deal with stress....sounds interesting!


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