on January 2, 2014
Life in the 21st century is tough – new technology, constant change, more choice and extra pressure all add to our stress levels. And when you’re stressed or tired your insecurities increase – so breaking that cycle feels impossible. But help is at hand: this book will show you how to beat stress and become more positive, relaxed and productive.
Dr Jessamy Hibberd and Jo Usmar draw on the latest cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) research to show you how to develop coping strategies and learn practical techniques to deal with stress and anxiety quickly and effectively. From reducing worry and boosting energy to breathing and mindfulness techniques, this helpful little book will make your life more serene, stress-free and fulfilled.
Chapters include: Relaxation exercises, Work-life balance, Eating well, Exercise and fitness, Stress management, Dealing with anger, Overall health, Overcoming anxiety.
This Book Will Make You Calm is an interesting and refreshing take on anxiety books. I am by no means an expert on this, seeing as I’ve read a whopping total of two books on anxiety, but I found this to be quite enjoyable, despite its serious subject matter. It’s also filled with useful titbits, and is presented in such a way that it’s easy to follow.
It explains anxiety in such a way that it’s easy to understand. We dive deeper into stress and all its symptoms, negative thought processes, and relaxation exercises. The book is neatly separated into chapters, such as ‘Understanding Stress’, ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’, and ‘Take A Deep Breath’. After every chapter, they sum up all the information presented in a neat little square. The book uses modern language combined with a healthy sense of humour, which always gets you bonus points in my book. Here’s a “fun” way of looking at anxiety:
“Annoyingly, anxiety doesn’t just pop up, wave and then disappear. It tends to hang around like a persistent wasp at a BBQ.”
On top of that, it’s an interactional book. In the beginning, you’re given a checklist with all the anxiety-related symptoms you could possibly be having. You might not even realise that they are anxiety-related, but they’re there, e.g. forgetfulness, not looking after yourself, etc. Then, after every chapter, there’s an assignment, such as trying out a breathing technique they’ve explained, or trying to visualise your happy place.
It requires you to really analyse your anxiety from a logical point of view. You think about all the situations that have caused you stress recently, and then look at it from different angles. What were you feeling physically, what were you feeling emotionally, what was going through your head, and what were your actions? This way, it gets more scientific rather than emotional, and I thought that was a really good method. Another example is to practice positive thinking, such as “I can cope with this” and “I’m getting better”.
It’s also given me the motivation to pick up yoga, which I’ve now been doing for over a month, and am determined to keep going. Other things I do (not necessarily inspired by this book, but worth mentioning) is keep a journal on all the times I’ve left the house, go for walks or bike rides, and I’ll be taking up jogging very soon.
Last but not least, I’ve written down all the bite-sized information squares in a notebook, and I like to look at them every once in a while. They remind me of the most important bits in the book. Here are a few examples:
“Making relaxation a priority in your life will permanently change the effect of stress on your body.”
“Facing your fears and dealing with problems head-on will build your confidence and convince your sceptical brain that you can do things and you can cope.”
So all in all, I thought this was a really good one, and I’d recommend it to anyone suffering from anxiety.