Where does stress come from? Financial pressures? Looming deadlines? Conflicts at work or at home? For more than half a century, we’ve been told that stress comes from circumstances like these, that it’s a by-product of our ancestors’ fight-or-flight response to danger, and that the best we can do, given the fast pace of life today, is to breathe, try to relax, and accept that life is hard.
All of this, according to Andrew Bernstein, is wrong. Spurred by the death of several family members when he was young, Bernstein began a quest to understand the real dynamics of stress and resilience. He eventually realized that stress doesn’t come from your circumstances—it comes from your thoughts about your circumstances. More specifically, stress is created by a particular kind of thought that humans happen to excel at.
Seeing this, Bernstein realized that the antidote to stress—and the key to far greater resilience—is not exercise or physical relaxation, but finding these stress-producing thoughts and finally dismantling them. He created a process called ActivInsight that helps you—and the people you care about—do this on your own in just seven steps, often yielding life-changing breakthroughs in a matter of minutes.
Bernstein has been teaching ActivInsight to great acclaim in schools, not-for-profits, and Fortune 500 companies since 2004. Now he shares this technique for the first time with a wider audience. In The Myth of Stress, you will experience the surprising power of this new approach for yourself as you apply ActivInsight to a wide variety of today’s most common challenges, including:
weight loss • money • success interpersonal conflict • addiction • traffic • divorce • heartbreak • discrimination • anger uncertainty about the future • loss of a loved one • and more
With compassion, intelligence, and humor, The Myth of Stress offers a complete reeducation in the nature of stress, permanently changing the way you relate to challenges—at school, at work, and at home—in order to live a happier and healthier life.
Bernstein, a former protégé of self-help guru Byron Katie and a consultant to Fortune 500 corporations, thinks stress is produced not by external circumstances but by mistaken thoughts. He has developed the seven-step ActivInsight program to combat these thoughts and banish stress and related feelings of depression, despair, anger, and frustration. Really a form of cognitive therapy, ActivInsight involves framing a should statement that expresses your stress (they should agree with me), evaluating the feelings that accompany it, and then framing its opposite, no matter how counterintuitive it sounds. One must then set out to prove the counterstatement (I should be here [in drug rehab] because I need help) and examine again the feelings it elicits and the actions it could lead to (e.g., participation). Chapter by chapter, Bernstein takes on various stress-inducing thoughtsI should weigh less; I should be successful; I shouldn't have done thatand shows how to let the air out of them. His program seems to involve formulaic thinking rather than genuine self-examination, and to ignore the plain truth that certain situations (like losing a job) are indeed stressful. (May 4)Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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