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First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
Cover of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
A New Journey Through Anxiety
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New York Times Bestseller

"Probably the best book on living with anxiety that I've ever read." – Mark Manson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Chinese believe that before you can conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful.

Sarah Wilson first came across this Chinese proverb in psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison's memoir An Unquiet Mind, and it became the key to understanding her own lifelong struggle with anxiety. Wilson, bestselling author, journalist, and entrepreneur has helped over 1.5 million people worldwide to live better, healthier lives through her I Quit Sugar books and program. And all along, she has been managing chronic anxiety.

In First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, Wilson directs her intense focus and fierce investigating skills onto her lifetime companion, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism of her own experiences.

Wilson offers readers comfort, humor, companionship, and practical tips for living with the Beast:

  • Cultivate a "gratitude ritual." You can't be grateful and anxious at the same time.
  • Eat to curb anxiety. Real food is your best friend.
  • Just breathe. Embrace the healing power of meditation.
  • Make your bed. Every day. Simple outer order creates inner calm.
  • Study fellow fretters to know thyself. Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. all struggled with anxiety.
  • Actively practice missing out. Forget FOMO, curl up on the couch, and order takeout.
  • Practical and poetic, wise and funny, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad souls who dance with this condition to embrace it as a part of who they are, and to explore the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.

    New York Times Bestseller

    "Probably the best book on living with anxiety that I've ever read." – Mark Manson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

    The Chinese believe that before you can conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful.

    Sarah Wilson first came across this Chinese proverb in psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison's memoir An Unquiet Mind, and it became the key to understanding her own lifelong struggle with anxiety. Wilson, bestselling author, journalist, and entrepreneur has helped over 1.5 million people worldwide to live better, healthier lives through her I Quit Sugar books and program. And all along, she has been managing chronic anxiety.

    In First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, Wilson directs her intense focus and fierce investigating skills onto her lifetime companion, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism of her own experiences.

    Wilson offers readers comfort, humor, companionship, and practical tips for living with the Beast:

  • Cultivate a "gratitude ritual." You can't be grateful and anxious at the same time.
  • Eat to curb anxiety. Real food is your best friend.
  • Just breathe. Embrace the healing power of meditation.
  • Make your bed. Every day. Simple outer order creates inner calm.
  • Study fellow fretters to know thyself. Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. all struggled with anxiety.
  • Actively practice missing out. Forget FOMO, curl up on the couch, and order takeout.
  • Practical and poetic, wise and funny, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad souls who dance with this condition to embrace it as a part of who they are, and to explore the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.

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    About the Author-
    • Sarah Wilson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety, which redefined the mental health genre, and I Quit Sugar, along with eleven cookbooks that have been published in fifty-two countries. Previously, she was editor of Cosmopolitan Australia, host of MasterChef Australia and founder of iquitsugar.com, an 8-week program that has seen millions worldwide break their sugar addiction. In May 2018, Sarah committed to giving all proceeds from the business to charity. She now builds and enables charity projects that engage humans with one another, and campaigns on mental health, consumerism, and climate issues. Sarah lives in Sydney, Australia, is an obsessive hiker and spent eight years travelling the world with one bag.

    Reviews-
    • Kirkus

      March 1, 2018
      An affecting memoir of coping with anxiety over a busy lifetime."I am anxious often," writes Australian TV journalist Wilson (I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook, 2014). "But it's kept in check if I don't get anxious about being anxious." In a pleasantly meandering narrative that mixes what the author characterizes as "polemic, didactic and memoir," she ticks off a long list of the many afflictions that she's suffered: depression, hypomania, bipolar disorder, bulimia, insomnia, and, ever since childhood, anxiety. In response to them, she writes, she's tried about everything, from various chemical amelioratives to neurolinguistic programming, Freudian psychotherapy, and even "sand play." All of those illnesses, she avers, were variations on the same theme: anxiety, pure and simple. And she's not alone; even though anxiety wasn't classified as a mental disorder until 1980, as many as 1 in 6 people in the First World suffer from it, and men in particular suffer from anxiety in greater numbers than from depression. The developed-world part is important, since Wilson later wonders whether anxiety may not be a bourgeois sort of problem. In whatever instance, she observes, the whole business is a mess: "Anxiety...it's befuddling and clusterfucky for everyone involved." Having sorted through what she can, the author then looks into various things that she's tried to deploy in order to ward off anxiety, from taking a long walk to trying to declutter a mental lifestyle that, as she memorably puts it, requires us to "keep multiple tabs open in our brains, which sees us toggle back and forth between tasks and commitments and thoughts. And all of it competes. And it clusters. And down we go in a hyper-tabbed tangle." Small wonder that she quietly hints that it may be time to try a few psychedelics.Those who endure anxiety will find Wilson's thoughtful, often funny self-analysis to be just the right companion and affirmation.

      COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Publisher's Weekly

      March 5, 2018
      Journalist Wilson (I Quit Sugar) borrows the title of this uplifting, earnest memoir from a Chinese proverb on the theme of acceptance: using one’s anxiety to find purpose, she believes, can make life beautiful. Wilson, one of seven siblings who grew up poor in the Australian bush outside of Canberra, suffered from anxiety for years (as well as from OCD, bipolar disorder, and Hashimoto’s, a disease of the thyroid) and here explores the condition from many angles, meandering, as she explains, “through disciplines and between polemic, didactic and memoir.” In the opening chapter, Wilson asks the Dalai Lama how to stop the internal “fretty chatter that makes us so nervous” (“There’s no use,” he says. “Impossible”). Later, she observes that the “correlation between creative contribution... and anxiety is well documented.” She offers simple tricks and practices throughout the book to reduce anxiety, including making one’s bed every morning and learning to meditate. Wilson also points out that anxiety can have some benefits: anxious folks, for instance, tend to be good planners. Amusing, practical, and filled with delightful asides, this book will appeal to anxiety-prone readers, who will find much to calm them in these pages. Agent: Stacy Testa, Writers House.

    • Mark Manson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

      "Probably the best book on living with anxiety that I've ever read, and I have (unfortunately) read many. Sarah is full of expert advice while remaining grounded and incredibly human. Her vulnerability is her strength. And after reading, it will hopefully be yours too." — Mark Manson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

      "A witty, well-researched, and often insightful book about negotiating a new relationship to anxiety." — Andrew Solomon, New York Times Bestselling author of Far From the Tree

      "Sarah's life mission is to help us all feel less lonely in our pain. These pages are filled with authenticity and clear direction for how to return to our spiritual truth." — Gabrielle Bernstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of May Cause Miracles

      "A tremendously entertaining, wise, and effective book on how to walk through anxiety and reclaim life. Sarah's battle and triumph over anxiety inspires and gives solutions that work. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful resides at the intersection of science and lived-experience. I know of nothing in the same league." — Xavier Amador, Ph.D., psychologist and founder of the LEAP Institute

      "An affecting memoir of coping with anxiety over a busy lifetime. [...] Those who endure anxiety will find Wilson's thoughtful, often funny self-analysis to be just the right companion and affirmation." — Kirkus

      "Uplifting, earnest [...] practical, and filled with delightful asides, this book will appeal to anxiety-prone readers, who will find much to calm them in these pages." — Publishers Weekly

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