Ruby Wax talks mindfulness and lowering anxiety levels in her one woman show
PUBLISHED: 09:53 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:53 22 April 2014
Rising to prominence as a comedian, writer and interviewer with an unashamedly brash style, Ruby Wax has been a firm fixture on TV screens across the nation for years.
She has now completed a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at Oxford University and written a number one bestselling book, Sane New World: Taming the Mind.
Following worldwide success since its publication last year, Wax is touring the UK with her one-woman show, Sane New World, based on the book, which explains how our own minds can jeopardise our sanity.
Speaking about the tour, Wax joked: “People stand up, so that’s a good sign, and they’re not leaving so that’s good. I love it. It’s unbelievable, and then I sign the book after the show, so I get to talk to people.
“Most of them have read the book and they are just grateful that I wrote it in a funny way.”
Using knowledge from her degree and personal experience of depression, Wax addresses the self-critical and negative thought processes that can lead to us feeling stressed and anxious, and explains that to break the cycle we need to understand how our brains work and retrain our thinking.
“It’s about how your brain works and to understand the machine that’s inside of you,” she says of the show.
“We know so much about how the world works, but so little about how our own minds work.
“It’s like having a Ferrari on top of your head, but no one gave you the keys.”
Wax has said in previous shows that when you have a negative thought or experience, the brain’s neurons (nerve cells) are affected. She says some people are unable to break the cycle and get out of that loop and that is why the habits that cause the negative thought processes need to change.
“First of all you have to be aware of how you’re reacting because when you are aware it starts to change,” she said.
“It’s about breaking your habits and you can only do that once you know what your habits are.”
The book and tour explore the make-up of the brain and how it can be changed for the better using techniques such as mindfulness cognitive therapy and keeping a diary of emotions.
The show uses laughter to engage audiences with the complex subject matter it is dealing with and Wax believes this is important.
“I can only write comedy. I can take a serious subject and translate it,” she says.
“The audience are laughing, but they are also leaning forward and saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’, and I think it might be a new way of doing comedy.”
The tour will go to America in September and Wax says that she hopes it will be going “all over the place”.
It comes to the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on May 4.
For tickets and information visit orchardtheatre.co.uk.