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7 Principles for a Stress-Free Life

Grand Harbor Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

“Unwind” your stress by taking charge of your response to it.

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Stephen R. Covey’s influential business book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, inspired this stress-management manual. Health management professor Dr. Michael Olpin and his former patient Sam Bracken, who overcame childhood abuse and homelessness, show you how to change your reactions to stress. They teach that most stress comes from within, which means you can learn to “unwind” your stress and take charge of your response to it. They discuss seven paradigms you can change to control stress in your life. Each chapter includes sidebars and questionnaires to help you identify and work on your dominant paradigm. The last chapter lists specific techniques for managing mental, physical, emotional and spiritual stressors. getAbstract recommends this short, insightful guide to anyone seeking more peace of mind.


Understanding Stress

Stress is a part of life. Some stress is beneficial, but prolonged chronic stress is harmful. Take a holistic approach to changing the basis of your stress, not its symptoms. Rather than “managing” stress, you can identify its causes and reframe your thinking. Your thought patterns may be winding you up and stressing you out. Your internal reactions – not external circumstances – often generate most of your stress. This is good news, because it means you can learn to “unwind” and take charge of your reaction to stress.

Short-term stress helps by serving as a motivator and alerting you when something is wrong. Stress keeps you alive in hazardous situations by increasing your heart and breathing rates, the blood flow to your muscles, and your sensory awareness. These physiological mechanisms make up the fight-or-flight response to stress. Your body responds to a perceived threat, takes 30 to 90 seconds to consider whether to flee or fight, and then returns to a natural state of homeostasis. Your body can’t function well in a chronic state of stress.

To see if you suffer chronic stress, complete this assessment. Sit and relax a while, then find...

About the Authors

Dr. Michael Olpin founded and leads the Stress Relief Center at Weber State University where he teaches health management. Sam Bracken, who wrote My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change, co-founded the nonprofit Orange Duffel Bag Foundation to help at-risk youth.

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