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The Breakout Principle: How to Activate the Natural Trigger That Maximizes Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity, and Personal Well-Being

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Would it surprise you to learn that to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem, you need to get up and leave the room? A walk in the woods will help you finish your novel? Humming can make you a better tennis player? Or completely giving up is the way to succeed? In The Breakout Principle, the bestselling author of The Relaxation Response delivers the ultimate self-help prin Would it surprise you to learn that to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem, you need to get up and leave the room? A walk in the woods will help you finish your novel? Humming can make you a better tennis player? Or completely giving up is the way to succeed? In The Breakout Principle, the bestselling author of The Relaxation Response delivers the ultimate self-help principle -- simple instructions to activate a powerful biological trigger that converts conflict and confusion into clarity and extraordinary performance, a state athletes refer to as "the zone." More than three decades ago, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School began research into why some people are devastated by stress while others thrive, turning it into brilliant achievement. Now The Breakout Principle reports the discovery of an easy-to-access inner switch that increases mental function, enhances creativity and productivity, maximizes athletic performance, and enriches spiritual life. The same internal mechanism that improves a tennis serve or golf putt strengthens your speaking skills, makes you a better negotiator, and fosters inner peace and belief. Dr. Benson and coauthor William Proctor explain the cutting-edge science behind the phenomenon in accessible language, clearly describe the four distinct phases of the Breakout, and provide simple, step-by-step instructions on how to activate the Breakout "trigger." Compelling case histories and information on how to incorporate Breakouts into daily life are woven throughout the book. Dr. Benson's previous discoveries have helped millions reduce the harmful effects of stress. The Breakout Principle now reveals how to maximize your untapped abilities and powers.


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Would it surprise you to learn that to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem, you need to get up and leave the room? A walk in the woods will help you finish your novel? Humming can make you a better tennis player? Or completely giving up is the way to succeed? In The Breakout Principle, the bestselling author of The Relaxation Response delivers the ultimate self-help prin Would it surprise you to learn that to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem, you need to get up and leave the room? A walk in the woods will help you finish your novel? Humming can make you a better tennis player? Or completely giving up is the way to succeed? In The Breakout Principle, the bestselling author of The Relaxation Response delivers the ultimate self-help principle -- simple instructions to activate a powerful biological trigger that converts conflict and confusion into clarity and extraordinary performance, a state athletes refer to as "the zone." More than three decades ago, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School began research into why some people are devastated by stress while others thrive, turning it into brilliant achievement. Now The Breakout Principle reports the discovery of an easy-to-access inner switch that increases mental function, enhances creativity and productivity, maximizes athletic performance, and enriches spiritual life. The same internal mechanism that improves a tennis serve or golf putt strengthens your speaking skills, makes you a better negotiator, and fosters inner peace and belief. Dr. Benson and coauthor William Proctor explain the cutting-edge science behind the phenomenon in accessible language, clearly describe the four distinct phases of the Breakout, and provide simple, step-by-step instructions on how to activate the Breakout "trigger." Compelling case histories and information on how to incorporate Breakouts into daily life are woven throughout the book. Dr. Benson's previous discoveries have helped millions reduce the harmful effects of stress. The Breakout Principle now reveals how to maximize your untapped abilities and powers.

30 review for The Breakout Principle: How to Activate the Natural Trigger That Maximizes Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity, and Personal Well-Being

  1. 5 out of 5

    The

    This book was fine, but they basically took 200+ pages to say what could have been said in about 5 pages: When you want to solve a problem or get to a higher level of performance, work very hard, then take a break to do something relaxing or monotonous, and you'll tend to have a bit of an epiphany. Good advice, but not an entire book. This book was fine, but they basically took 200+ pages to say what could have been said in about 5 pages: When you want to solve a problem or get to a higher level of performance, work very hard, then take a break to do something relaxing or monotonous, and you'll tend to have a bit of an epiphany. Good advice, but not an entire book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jarred Alexandrov

    I discovered this book after reading "The Relaxation Response" also by Dr Herbert Benson (which I also highly recommend). I found this book fascinating in that it gives practical, in-fact, scientific/biologic evidence for "self-help." I have read many self help books. In addition, my father wrote 3 self-help books and was a well-known motivational speaker. So, I've seen the behind the scenes of the self-help world and attended many workshops as presenter and as an attendee. Benson claims to have I discovered this book after reading "The Relaxation Response" also by Dr Herbert Benson (which I also highly recommend). I found this book fascinating in that it gives practical, in-fact, scientific/biologic evidence for "self-help." I have read many self help books. In addition, my father wrote 3 self-help books and was a well-known motivational speaker. So, I've seen the behind the scenes of the self-help world and attended many workshops as presenter and as an attendee. Benson claims to have discovered "The Ultimate Self-Help Principle". He also claims that it can be proved scientifically and biologically, which are big claims! He was convincing to me on most of his claims, and he presents them in an easy-to-understand way that makes for quick reading and an eagerness to implement his advice. I will leave the details of the ultimate principle and what the breakout response is to the book itself, but I have to say that I related very much to the content. I especially found myself applying many of the ideas to my own life. Particularly, I was struck by his descriptions of stress/struggle that precede the breakout. I have struggled to understand stress and struggle for the past 15-20 years and in some ways, I feel like it has been a dominant force in the path my life has taken. If you feel you need to learn more about stress, you can by reading this book. My biggest take-away was that stress and struggle are greatest before the breakout. So all the stress and struggle is not for nothing, though it can go to far if not "released." Benson gives many practical suggestions for triggering this release that anyone can try and see for themselves the results. Bear with me, but I thought it would be useful for potential readers (and yes, myself) to give additional commentary about the "Six Peak Experiences" that Benson describes as arising naturally from employing the Breakout Principle. 1. The Peak of Self-Awareness - This experience hit home for me in that as my life has changed quickly and substantially over the past few years, I've been very introspective about my life and my place in it. To be honest, I've kind of all been like, but my struggle had intensified recently. Thankfully, from reading the "Relaxation Response" I've been able to make some drastic progress by employing daily meditation and mindfulness techniques. I had tried these many times in the past, but for some reason the "release" occurred toward the end of December 2019 and the "breakout" is in progress. As part of this, I am writing in a journal nearly every day, with surprising insights, better clarity of childhood experiences, and a more holistic view of my life trajectory. 2. The Peak of Creativity - This experience is one in which I probably was the furthest along and had actually employed many times before (without recognizing it, or understanding the progression, science, or biology involved). It is interesting to know there is a proven process when needed for creative solutions, which come up frequently in business and life. I now feel I can more systematically find a creative solution when needed. 3. The Peak of Productivity - This experience is the one most focused on a group experience and is useful for understanding how teams, families, organizations, etc can use the Breakout Principle for group solutions. If you are working on a team, this chapter will reinforce the need to share the findings of this book with others. I hope to be able to spread-the-word within my office so that we may find increased productivity and efficiency through the Breakout process. 4. The Peak of Athleticism - For me personally, this chapter was less about triggering a higher level of athletic accomplishment and more about the realization that the health, diet, and exercise journey I have been on is in the "breakout stage" without me even knowing it. I have struggled all my teenage and adult life with my physiology and physical body. These struggles have been tough for me, especially being unusually thin for most of my life. Additionally, I've had a lot of body and muscle pain, as well as bad posture for my adult life (probably a result of stress). From an exercise and diet stand-point, I thought I was doing OK by exercising regularly and heating pretty healthy (avoiding sweets, soda, snacks, fast-food), but I was never able to get to a point where I felt confident in what I was doing. This struggle went on for many years until mid-2019, when the "release" occurred and my "breakout" started. I am probably still in the beginning stages of the breakout, but it has been powerful none-the-less. The release occurred by finding a mentor who could direct me on how to improve my physical (and mental) being. From there I was able to implement a healthy diet that yes, is strict, but is also wonderful and healthy. I cook 95% of all meals I eat each week and pay attention to the labels and intakes of everything. Most of the diet change has been influenced by a book called "Genius Foods", which I also highly recommend and will review at some point. My exercise routine has also changed and is now focused, planned, measured, and enjoyable (and easily repeatable). The combination of improved diet and exercise have been very fulfilling so far. There are too many benefits to describe in detail, but the largest benefit I can feel is an marked decrease in body "inflammation." This decrease has allowed my physiology to change (better posture, less muscle plain, healthier gut, clearer thinking, less fatigue). If you struggle with inflammation and it's many unrealized or under-reported consequences please take the time to do some research! 5. The Peak of Rejuvenation - This experience was very interesting and personal for me. Benson claims that this peak can improve many medical conditions, including anxiety and depression, which have been present in my life in different degrees for a long time. Of course, these lead to additional medical problems I have also experienced including the physiological issues I mentioned above, but also acid re-flux, and tonsillitis. Thankfully, the "release" trigger for me has been pulled and all the symptoms from these have been eliminated or dramatically reduced. I don't believe I've yet completed the break-out, but am on the right track. Many readers will find this chapter interesting and applicable to their own life. Nearly everyone has a form of non-communicable disease that this chapter is geared towards helping with. 6. The Peak of Transcendence - This experience is the one that most people, including myself, are probably mired in the "struggle" phase. Benson provides many examples that are useful for the reader. The ultimate advice is centered around finding your guiding principles as an individual, which for some can probably take a life-time. Personally, I have struggled and am currently struggling with this. It is interesting that now I see this "struggle" as just the beginning of Breakout process. It is not something to stress about or force. At some point the "release" will come and the breakout will be triggered. I hope you've enjoyed this review and will give a shot at reading this book. The only reason I gave this 4 stars vs 5 stars is that the book would be more comprehensive with additional information from "The Relaxation Response." I believe the reader will have a better experience with the details from that book, so the ultimate success of the Breakout Principle is somewhat reliant upon an understanding of the relaxation response, which you must read in another book to get a full understanding of. Benson does recap it and reference it in this book though for those who want to dive right in. One last note is that Benson's credentials are outstanding. This is not some motivational speaker, or master sales-person writing. This is one of modern medicines most respected figures, who backs up his claims with medical research, studies, and peer-reviews. Please don't fall for the motivational speaker scam and trust an expert instead!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Not exactly what I was expecting. However, there is much to gain from the book. I found that my own personal "transcendence" and spiritual journey as well as my personal study of stress and success line up with the principles of the book. Not exactly what I was expecting. However, there is much to gain from the book. I found that my own personal "transcendence" and spiritual journey as well as my personal study of stress and success line up with the principles of the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Benson and Proctor apply science to what many of us have discovered quite by accident without the help of books. For me, the "break-out" moments often occur during a long and brisk walk in a park across the street from my house. Or during a kayak adventure on a lake or river near my cottage. The authors explore how biological triggers can help spur creativity and problem-solving. In my estimation, the book dwells just a bit too much on the "inside baseball" scientific/biological principles. And Benson and Proctor apply science to what many of us have discovered quite by accident without the help of books. For me, the "break-out" moments often occur during a long and brisk walk in a park across the street from my house. Or during a kayak adventure on a lake or river near my cottage. The authors explore how biological triggers can help spur creativity and problem-solving. In my estimation, the book dwells just a bit too much on the "inside baseball" scientific/biological principles. And I must confess that I didn't quite make it to the end when "transcendence" and the "power of intrinsic belief" were explored. In all candor, I believe these chapters would have lost me. But I do think "The Break-Out Principle" broaches -- or at least reinforces -- some helpful strategies for fostering creativity and problem-solving.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Higgins

    Good info. Incredibly repetitive. In all honesty, I did not entirely complete it, but close enough. I was almost there and then I just couldn't take it. I even started listening to this as an audiobook at 1.5 speed to save time. Really, this could have been paired down to a pamphlet type booklet the size of the ever selling "It Works". The book itself could be used as a repetitive activity in the stage of creating a breakout:) Also, who continues to use the male pronoun exclusively when not talking Good info. Incredibly repetitive. In all honesty, I did not entirely complete it, but close enough. I was almost there and then I just couldn't take it. I even started listening to this as an audiobook at 1.5 speed to save time. Really, this could have been paired down to a pamphlet type booklet the size of the ever selling "It Works". The book itself could be used as a repetitive activity in the stage of creating a breakout:) Also, who continues to use the male pronoun exclusively when not talking about a specific person or scenario in the 21st century? Whether or not this bothers an individual personally (see what I did there Dr. Benson?) it makes the info and the writer sound very dated. I appreciate very much the work and contribution to mind/body research and application that Dr. Benson was at the forefront of with "The Relaxation Response", but this has too much filler.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lora Shouse

    This was a very interesting book. The principle is very plausible, and something I think I have experienced once or twice. It seems pretty easy to try, and something you could actually consciously do. The idea is that when confronted with a seemingly insoluble problem, it is possible, by breaking the stress pattern that the insoluble problem puts you in you can think (or act, or live) “outside the box” and find a solution where you thought there was none before. This general principle has been app This was a very interesting book. The principle is very plausible, and something I think I have experienced once or twice. It seems pretty easy to try, and something you could actually consciously do. The idea is that when confronted with a seemingly insoluble problem, it is possible, by breaking the stress pattern that the insoluble problem puts you in you can think (or act, or live) “outside the box” and find a solution where you thought there was none before. This general principle has been applied to work problems, relationship problems, sports performance, health issues, and spiritual quests with good results. The book gives several alternative ways of reaching these “breakout experiences,” and explains at least part of what happens when this occurs. I found this book on Scribd.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Tavares

    Ohh man. This book repeats the same thing over and over again... I am only half done and already considering breaking my own rule and not read it fully. It gets boring.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Louise Kelly

    A little dated , but from the guy who coined the term the relaxation response. A favorite of my Jesuit meditation instructor.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sambasivan

    Powerful psychological model which was proven scientifically as well. How to get more by giving up? The break out from routines gives one inspirational moments that help achieve peak performance and do the seemingly impossible tasks. Go for it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terri O'Brien

    In the Breakout Principle, Dr. Herbert Benson provides a solid background on the physiology of mind-body states that support expanded creativity. He states that we can achieve these highly productive states by following steps to sever prior thought patterns. Although some people might find it a bit bland, the book provides numerous tools to play with for expanded creativity. Some reviewers criticize the author for his treatment of spirituality, but I believe the fact that he shares his perspecti In the Breakout Principle, Dr. Herbert Benson provides a solid background on the physiology of mind-body states that support expanded creativity. He states that we can achieve these highly productive states by following steps to sever prior thought patterns. Although some people might find it a bit bland, the book provides numerous tools to play with for expanded creativity. Some reviewers criticize the author for his treatment of spirituality, but I believe the fact that he shares his perspective makes his views transparent, and provides another access point for spiritual people I give this book five stars because I think the author provides a lot of detail about states of flow and how to reach them that is not found in many other books. This is a very good book for anyone who wants to develop the capacity to stimulate creative thought on demand. It's also a great information for creativity coaches and life coaches who want to help their clients reach success. As for myself, I intend to experiment with his ideas and see what works!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen Banks

    I like that this book validated what I have already been practicing myself and with clients in my group yoga classes or in individual counseling. I think that physiological principles will be vital in the future of helping professions and as folks continue to explore biological and spiritual edges.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Waseem

    This book was interesting, yet very basic and not exactly something ground breaking to the point id think id like to read a whole book about it - i dont want to be overly critical, but you will get the idea on the idea if you check out fellow dissapointed reviews which are not as sympathetic lol Waseem http://www.WaseemMirza.net This book was interesting, yet very basic and not exactly something ground breaking to the point id think id like to read a whole book about it - i dont want to be overly critical, but you will get the idea on the idea if you check out fellow dissapointed reviews which are not as sympathetic lol Waseem http://www.WaseemMirza.net

  13. 4 out of 5

    M. Brown

    On the back it says, "Believe it or not, sometimes the only way to succeed is by completely giving up." After days of slogging through the author's theories, studies and, (yawn) trigger descriptions, I decided to give this book up. Success! On the back it says, "Believe it or not, sometimes the only way to succeed is by completely giving up." After days of slogging through the author's theories, studies and, (yawn) trigger descriptions, I decided to give this book up. Success!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Eh... it's an interesting look at the biology of epiphanies (or breakouts as the book terms them). If that subject is highly interesting to you, check it out. If not, stay away. It probably hasn't changed my life or anything. Eh... it's an interesting look at the biology of epiphanies (or breakouts as the book terms them). If that subject is highly interesting to you, check it out. If not, stay away. It probably hasn't changed my life or anything.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This book was terrible. Please don't read it. I can summarize the entire book with: Take a break when you're stressed out and faith is good. There, now you don't have to read it. This book was terrible. Please don't read it. I can summarize the entire book with: Take a break when you're stressed out and faith is good. There, now you don't have to read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Edgcomb

    Informative and enlightening but I became bored by the end of it. Great read though on enhancing your creativity and how to provide breakouts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    This book has a really interesting premise but gets really repetitive really fast. I understand he's just trying to show many examples of achieving a breakout, but it really started to wear at me. This book has a really interesting premise but gets really repetitive really fast. I understand he's just trying to show many examples of achieving a breakout, but it really started to wear at me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ty

    This book although strange, felt authentic and informative. I suppose it still may be, but even after trying hard to apply the principles, I found it very easy to forget it all together.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Belliveau

    Pedantic and self-serving.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Martine

  21. 4 out of 5

    Visible

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dsholtes

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomson Roy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tanishabhuyan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bgalv3

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tiana Warner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaret Burkett

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