Book Reviews and Links Benson, M.D., Herbert and Proctor, William, The Break-out Principle, 2003.

While Benson’s earlier books focused on the benefits of eliciting the relaxation response to enhance health and well-being, with this book the authors describe a biological trigger that can convert conflict into high performance.

Brain research, they say, shows that traditional meditation techniques can trigger bursts of creativity, productivity, self-awareness and athletic performance. And there are a number of other triggers that can work just as well as meditation, including laughter, repetitive motion, prayer, altruistic activity and stimulation of the senses.

As a simple example of a Breakout, the authors describe a novelist faced with a seemingly insuperable roadblock in her plot. To get through the barrier, she left her desk and walk-jogged to a nearby seaside vista. As she gazed at the water, an insight popped into her mind, and she was able to move her plot along. The authors explain how you can trigger Breakouts, whether you are alone in your office, undertaking an athletic challenge, or leading a group meeting.

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