Mindsight - the benefits of mindfulness practise for relationships

What is mindsight? In the words of the author, Dr. Daniel Siegel, a renowned psychiatrist and teacher, it is a kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our minds…without being swept away by them.” Mindsight is essentially Siegel’s term for mindfulness meditation.


Mindsight teaches the power of focused attention and provides steps to apply it. Dr. Siegel guides readers through lessons in the brain’s areas, functions, and new discoveries in neuroscience, and then walks readers through case studies where focused attention was used to boost success and happiness.


The main lesson is that you can achieve well-being through becoming more responsive than reactive; observing and improving your behaviors and reactions, rather than being controlled by them. This is accomplished by practicing focused attention through meditative and mindfulness practices.


Dr. Siegel walks readers through the following techniques in the book:

  • Focusing on the breath –  The science is clear that focusing on the breath boosts health, lowers reactions to stress and increases empathy.
  • Wheel of Awareness – This is a meditation technique that Dr. Siegel created and used successfully in his career. The wheel provides varying focal points such as our senses, that we choose to bring our attention to.
  • “Stay With That” – This is a practice of noticing and naming your feelings without judgment. Naming your unpleasant feelings works because the parts of the brain that name an unpleasant emotion are different from the parts that feel it. Naming helps ease most emotional states. As many psychologists say “name it to tame it”.
  • SIFT – In this practice, Dr. Siegel teaches readers to focus their attention through the simple process of deliberately accessing your Sensations, Images, Feelings and Thoughts (SIFT). This is a similar technique to “Stay With That”.
  • Body-Scan – To do a Body Scan mediation, sit or lie down comfortably, find your breath, and then focus your attention on each part of your body, gradually moving from the top of your head to the tips of your to toes.
  • Walking Mediation – in Walking Meditation, the focus is an aspect of your movement, and the sounds and sensations coming from the environment.


  • The results of these practices are supported by the case studies and stories presented in this very informative and applicable book. It’s a great read for those interested in learning more about the brain, and how to harness the power of attention to change your brain and boost your happiness.

This review first appeared at https://www.happybrainscience.com/book-review-mindsight-by-daniel-siegel/ and was written by Scott Crabtree

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