Our interview with Ruby Wax

In an interview for the Mind Membership News, comedian, writer and Mind Ambassador Ruby Wax shares her experience of using mindfulness and why she’s determined to share the science behind it in her new book, How to be Human: The Manual.

Check out some of her interview below.

Ruby's interview is just one of the amazing features in this edition of the Mind Membership News including members own stories, expert adivce and mental health news.

If you’d like to read the full magazine and receive a further three editions of  throughout the year, as well as all the other benefits of being a Mind member,sign up today.

On mindfulness…

It’s about taking a thermometer of your mental state and pulling it out and saying ‘Is it average today, is it below average?’ but not judging yourself. The point of mindfulness is to be able to say ‘Where is my mind?’ It’s a discipline to be able to observe your own thoughts so you can manipulate through the world better. That’s a pretty good tool to have.

On using mindfulness to cope with depression

I can now tell, more or less, when something’s coming my way before it becomes the whole storm. You can’t wish depression away, but by not panicking and not thinking ‘Oh my god now I’m depressed’, you can help bear the pain because you’re not bringing it on. It leaves much quicker than when you start to panic. The storm does come though; you can’t ward it away. These things are chemical.

It’s about taking a thermometer of your mental state and pulling it out and saying ‘Is it average today, is it below average?’ but not judging yourself.

On writing her new book with a monk and a neuroscientist…

It’s pretty much a look at everything I wanted to know about. Like are we what evolution hoped we would be? Or where did it go wrong, and how come everybody is still reading these self-help books? The interesting thing about neuroscience and Buddhism is that they agree on the idea of your reality being problematic. There isn’t a ‘channel you’ that you can really trust. If you harp on your negative past, that becomes embedded in your brain and becomes who you are right now. I’m the first to say my childhood was horrifying, but if you keep repeating that story it defines who you are right now.

On neuroplasticity...

Everybody should understand this word – which recognises that the brain is always changing and being trained. It’s as important as knowing that the world is not flat. If people don’t understand that their brains can change, we’re doomed. You need to understand that you make the world, so change your brain and your world will change. This isn’t airy-fairy; it’s science!


Ruby’s new book, ‘How to be Human: The Manual’ is now available from Penguin Life.

For more information on mindfulness, read our resources here.

For more information on depression, read our resources here.  

If you have any questions about this article or Mind membership, get in touch with the team at [email protected]

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