LIFE AFTER STRESS by Martin Shaffer


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One of the better stress books, with an interesting combination of topics. Besides the usual explanations (reasonably coherent here) of Hans Selye's findings about the General Adaption Syndrome (associated with our basic ""fight or flight"" mechanism), Shaffer offers tips on: the relaxation response; reducing stress at home and in the workplace; improving sleep, exercise, and nutritional habits; and boosting one's general outlook on life. He is quite adept at integrating specific physical symptoms with stressors (e.g., diarrhea is a frequent symptom of stress--because the body cuts off the blood supply to the intestines, stomach, etc., in preparation for a stress emergency, so the intestines clear themselves out). Suggestions for improving the tenor of the workplace borrow heavily--and profitably--from the time-management field: pace yourself, vary routines so that tedious tasks are not grouped consecutively, inject a positive note into a negatively charged environment by praising others. At home, the emphasis is on polishing communication skills; families that cope best are likely to exhibit ""open"" systems of communication, in which ""all family members have the right to discuss freely any issue that is of interest or concern without fear of reprisal or punishment."" (There are even hints on how to effect change without alienating others in the family.) A serviceable run-through on stress-prone personalities (Type A vs. Type B) and a ten-step program to increase resiliency (take charge of your life, become responsible, etc.) round out the effort. One of the few stress books worth recommending.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1982
Publisher: Plenum