Manage Your Stress: Overcoming Stress in the Modern World by Joseph ShrandManage Your Stress: Overcoming Stress in the Modern World by Joseph Shrand

Manage Your Stress: Overcoming Stress in the Modern World

byJoseph Shrand, Leigh Devine

Paperback | July 3, 2012

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This book aims to give readers a full understanding of the how and why of the human stress response. While once a vital ancient survival tool, our biological stress response may now be in overdrive when confronted by the modern world around us. Research has repeatedly shown that stress can cause physical illness if undetected and unmanaged.

And is not always your stress that gets in the way of your success and happiness. Usually it is someone else's stress that gets in the way of your success and happiness. What can you do to help someone else with their stress so you can both be more successful?

Dr. Shrand addresses the deeper biological and survival reasons we experience stress, exploring ways to relieve your own stress but at the same time breaking new ground when he demonstrates how helping someone else with their stress actually helps you to be more successful -- because you are seen as benefactor, a person of value.

The underlying biological roots of stress have to do with survival -- we feel stress when we worry we are inadequate to the task ahead of us. If we feel inadequate can we still retain our value to the group on which we depend, or will be cast out to fend for ourselves in a world of predators. Managing your stress in the modern-day world has to include managing the stress of those around you, and this book will show you how!

This book provides readers with psychological and physical strategies necessary to keep stress from undermining their health, their joy, and the happiness of those around them. These simple and practical strategies help relieve our stress, and the stress of those around us.

Dr. Joseph Shrand is an Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the Medical Director of CASTLE (Clean and Sober Teens Living Empowered), a brand new intervention unit for at-risk teens which is part of the highly respected High Point Treatment Center in Brockton, MA. Dr. Shrand is triple Board certified in adult psychia...
Title:Manage Your Stress: Overcoming Stress in the Modern WorldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.31 × 5.54 × 0.74 inPublished:July 3, 2012Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031260579X

ISBN - 13:9780312605797

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Read from the Book

chapter 1  A Response to Your World  For nearly a decade Jennifer supported herself and four kids as a shrimp-net maker. But after the oil-rig explosion in 2010 shut down Gulf fishing, Jennifer couldn’t find other work and was forced to accept charity for the first time. Her hardest moments came at Christmas when she had little to give her children. While things had been tough before, Jennifer recalls that her stress level was at least manageable. “If I only had to worry about my car breaking down here and there, I’d still be pretty happy,” she said.For all of us, stress comes in many different packages. Jennifer’s latest stress has been brought on by a sudden, negative change in circumstances. For others, stress comes on in a traumatic way such as a car accident or death of a loved one. But routine, chronic stress that is related to work pressures, family life, and other responsibilities can, in the long run, lead to serious physical and mental health consequences if not managed properly. And this kind of stress can sneak up on you quietly and gradually.If you’ve picked up this book because you’re thinking that stress may be getting the better of you—or possibly even making you sick—then you are in good company. As the ripple effect of the Great Recession is still being felt across the country, people are reporting both high levels of daily stress as well as acutely stressful events, brought on by the nation’s economic woes. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America 2010 survey, 76 percent of the respondents cited money concerns as the number one source of stress, followed by work at 70 percent, and worries about the general economy at 65 percent. Despite their awareness of the source, only a third of those surveyed said they were doing a good job managing their stress. And the majority of children whose parents endure very high levels of stress say there is a negative impact on their families.While it is inevitable that human beings are going to be faced with many types of stressful events throughout a lifetime—from traumatic events to daily irritants—what is not a given is how we respond to those events. We can reduce the impact of stress in our lives and on our health by understanding why we experience stress, what is going on in our brain and body, and how, in fact, we cannot live safely without stress.Your Perception of Stress TriggersMany people describe their stress in concrete and common ways such as work deadlines, rude drivers, argumentative coworkers, a stack of unpaid bills, being evaluated. The feelings you experience at these times tend to be negative, can put you in a bad mood, or even worse, make you angry and aggressive.But if you look at these scenarios as a third party or a medical expert, you would see how these instances are actually individual causes or sources of the stress experience. We call them stressors or triggers. In general, they come in two varieties:  1.   common, daily occurrences that grind down on your patience, or  2.   unexpected events that seem to conspire against you before you’ve even gotten to workYou feel like you’ve been mentally and physically put through the wringer and, in a way, you really have. Your body has reacted to the event of being cut off in traffic almost in the same way as if a rhinoceros had charged you. When you experience a stress trigger your heart beats quickly, your palms and body sweat, blood rushes to your face, and your breathing quickens. Some stress makes us just want to run away or hide. Other times people feel charged, ready to fight after the event has passed. Sometimes people feel exhausted by it, or overwhelmed. Whatever your instinctive feeling may be in those moments, it is what you choose to do right after that stress moment that can mean the difference between a ruined or normal day.All too often we continue to let our fear or anger from a stress trigger stew and feed upon itself. We focus on the event, replaying it, telling it to others. Few of us are taught that what is actually happening in our minds and bodies during a stress trigger is a perfectly normal and protective physiological event. Having the tools to cope and calm ourselves when we are confronted by either a chronically stressful job, or a sudden negative event will make a big difference when we experience the stress response.In order to understand why we respond to triggers—and it happens to all of us automatically—it helps to look at the human brain and the mechanisms that trigger our stress responses. This journey takes us deep into the central workings of the human neuroendocrine system, which is responsible for the delicate interplay between our brain and the chemicals and hormones that influence how we react and respond to the world around us. Once you begin to learn about why our bodies do what they do, you’ll see how stress is a useful partner in life. Without it, we could not have survived as a species. Copyright © 2012 by Harvard University