Book Review

By Covey, Bruce | Michigan Family Review, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Book Review


Covey, Bruce, Michigan Family Review


Book Review

Luskin, F. & Pelletier, K. (2005). Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness. New York: HarperCollins.

We live in an age and culture where the word "stress" has become a staple in our vocabulary. Stress has always been around, but in today's fast-paced world, it has gained much more attention. Since the early twentieth century, stress management has been the topic of many books. Each has had its own suggestions on how to ease the consequences of a stressful life. Stress can be dealt with in numerous ways; some are healthy, and some are detrimental.

Luskin and Pelletier observed in their practices as physicians that many of their patients' ailments were actually rooted in unmanaged stress rather than organic problems. As a result of their observations, they began looking for methods that could be easily taught to their patients. These methods could then be practiced by their patients anytime without medical assistance. In their book, Stress Free for Good, Luskin and Pelletier shared the ten life skills that they teach to their patients to manage stress effectively. The skills outlined in the book can be divided into two categories: physical and cognitive.

Among the physical skills, Luskin and Pelletier included learning how to take slow, deep breathes and to intentionally tense and relax the body's various muscle groups. These two simple techniques help to counteract the body's natural fight-or-flight response to any stressful event, whether there is actual danger or not. Another skill that they recommended is simply to smile. Although this practice may sound simplistic, smiling is an easy way for people to take control over stressful situations and elicit positive responses from those around them. …

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