Do you want to understand and control your stress level? The CENT Stress Book
 

Are you feeling pressured and stressed?  Do you want to get relief from the constant strain of too much pressure at home and/or at work?  If so, this book can help you.  Now you can learn how to reduce and control your stress level, and to have a happier life.

Chill Out: How to control your stress level, and have a happier life

Dr Jim Byrne

"In very simple terms, stress is about having too many pressures, or too much pressure, in your life combined with inadequate coping resources - and feeling very unpleasant emotional and physical feelings about that pressure.  According to one dictionary, stress is "a pressure or tension exerted on an object", in our case, a human; or "a state of mental or emotional strain".

If you want to be successful and happy, then you have to know how to switch off your "fight or flight response" when it is triggered inappropriately.  (You cannot run away from a work or relationship challenge.  And you cannot fight a traffic jam or justified bill for house repairs).  If you want to avoid failure and unhappiness, you must learn how to avoid freezing when social pressures build up.  To summarize these statements, we can say: You must know how to manage your stress level, if you want to be happy and successful, at home and at work.

Chill_Out_cover_1.jpgThis book presents a comprehensive, multi-modal approach to stress management, which takes account of mental stress, physical stress, and environmental stressors.

It's designed to help you, if you are suffering from anxiety or panic, or angry outbursts, or feelings of personal defeat, or unpleasant physical sensations because of excessive pressures in your life. 

It describes eighteen different strategies for stress management, drawn from Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT); and from mainstream stress management theory and practice.  It also takes account of the Stoic and Buddhist traditions of mind management; and modern cognitive psychology.  If stress is ruining your life, and you want to change for the better, then this is the book for you. 

It is written in such a way that you can begin by studying just one or two of these effective stress management strategies, so you do not overload yourself with new tasks to perform.

You can buy this book, from this page, in one of two formats: Paperback, or Kindle ebook.  

~~~

In the bustle of life: In the pressure of decisions, peace has become a luxury.  Take it when it comes, and cherish it.  It gives you the time to breathe.  It gives you rest and hope and life.  Pam Brown

~~~

"If a barking dog leaps at you, you will automatically respond by fighting or fleeing - or sometimes freezing.  But you cannot run away from most things in life, such as: frustrations at home or at work; a loss that has already happened; an irritating phone call at work; perceived possibilities of future threats to your income; piles of work on your desk; current unemployment; a traffic jam; or (very often) other people's bad behaviours towards you.  And you cannot solve most of your problems by responding aggressively!  (It is a myth that anger pushes you to get what you want.  Mainly it messes up your relationships and your life.)"

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The purpose of this book is to teach the reader what stress is, and how to combat it. It is written in the form of a self-help manual, with spaces for self-reflection exercises within chapters, and at the end of each chapter. However, it could also be used by counsellors, counselling students, and interested others, as a means to learn, understand and present the CENT approach to Stress Management in counselling, coaching and therapy contexts.

The book is based on more than fourteen years experience by the author in using a range of eighteen techniques and strategies to help hundredds of individual counselling clients to reduce and control their stress level.

Over the years, Dr Byrne has collected a set of testimonials from clients who have benefited from this system, testifying to the efficacy of using these techniques in combination with each other.  (See the Testimonials page on this website).

~~~

Quotation: 

What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare...  No time to turn at beauty's glance, and watch her feet, how they can dance... William Henry Davies

~~~

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This is what the e-book cover looks like:

To purchase a copy of this 144 page book (206 pages in the paperback format), please go to one of the following outlets:

♣ For a Paperback copy - from £7.30, to order from the US store, please order from Amazon.com, by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148003505X

If you are based in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk.***

If you are based in Europe, please choose from: Amazon Germany*** ; or Amazon France*** ; or Amazon Spain*** ; or Amazon Italy***.

~~~

For a Kindle copy, at GBP £6.31 (including VAT), please go to the Amazon outlet that provided your Kindle device, from the following list:

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level. and have a happier life* from Amazon.com***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* from Amazon.co.uk***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* in Europe, from:

Amazon Germany***

Amazon France***

Amazon Spain***

Amazon Italy***

~~~

Foreword

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This book contains a comprehensive self-training program in stress management.  It will help you to restore your sense of ease, relaxation and happiness.  It sets out to explain what stress is, how to assess it, map it, and control it.  You will encounter a range of techniques and strategies designed to increase your coping resources for dealing with the stress in your life, at home and at work, and in the wider world.  If you only learn one or two of those techniques, that will give you a minimal level of protection from stress.  If you learn half a dozen of them, that will be like training yourself in the martial arts before going into battle every day.  But if you learn a dozen or more, then that will be like putting on a suit of armour to protect yourself from external pressures.  You will have enormous resilience in the face of life's pressures.

You can use this book by reading it from cover to cover, and doing each of the personal reflection activities as you come to them.  Or you can choose to go straight to a particular chapter that you think you might find most helpful.

~~~

There are too few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

~~~

"The third edition of the stress book is really quite different from the second edition.  The self-assessment and stress mapping sections in Chapters 1 and 2 are new, and the tables and charts are much clearer, being in GIF format, rather than Word format.  Although it covers the field of stress management comprehensively, it does so in language most people can understand, and using techniques almost anybody can practice."

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The more you read and re-read this book, and the more you apply the techniques described here, the more your coping resources will increase, and the less will you be affected by the fixed stressors in your life.

It is advisable to end your engagement with this book by constructing an action plan, as described in Chapter 10.  If you want to maximize your chances of reducing your stress level, you should apply yourself diligently to implementing your own, personalized action plan.

~~~

"If you learn some of the techniques in this book, you will be able to enjoy life much more at home and at work, as you get your stress levels under control.  You will no longer need to lash out at those people who put pressure on you, or to give in to every demand that life throws at you.  You will begin to develop a sense of real mastery in your life."

~~~

BookCoverPreview.jpgThis is what the paperback cover looks like.

To purchase a copy of this 144 page book (206 pages in the paperback format), please go to one of the following outlets:

♣ For a Paperback copy - from £7.30, to order from the US store, please order from Amazon.com, by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148003505X

If you are based in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk.***

If you are based in Europe, please choose from: Amazon Germany*** ; or Amazon France*** ; or Amazon Spain*** ; or Amazon Italy***.

~~~

For a Kindle copy, at GBP £6.31 (including VAT), please go to the Amazon outlet that provided your Kindle device, from the following list:

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level. and have a happier life* from Amazon.com***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* from Amazon.co.uk***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* in Europe, from:

Amazon Germany***

Amazon France***

Amazon Spain***

Amazon Italy***

~~~

Work is not always required of a (wo)man.  There is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.  George McDonald

~~~

The stress response

stressed.man.1.jpgStress is aroused when an external stimulus (such as a loud noise, or a hairy animal) causes your body to switch on your so-called sympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as your "fight or flight response".  Once the threat or other source of arousal has passed, it is normal for the other side of the autonomic nervous system - the parasympathetic nervous system - to kick in, and return your body to a relaxed state.  Stress problems arise when this parasympathetic compensation does not occur, normally because your perception is that the threat/ danger/ frustration etc., has not gone away.  Your body is still aroused for action, and you are probably (non-consciously) "telling yourself", or "signalling yourself", angering or anxiety-arousing statements/ images/ attitudes which keep your nervous system overly-aroused.  Therefore, if you want to get your stress problem under control, it is important to know how to switch your sympathetic nervous system off, which amounts to the same thing as switching your parasympathetic nervous system on. 

There are several techniques that you can learn which will do that, and I will present you with reasonable outlines of most of those strategies below, so that you get an immediate sense of hope, and an immediate set of activities which you can begin to incorporate into your life.  I will then return to more general issues, and more complex issues, later.

~~~

"If you use them as recommended, you will find the stress-mapping exercises in Chapter 2 to be particularly helpful in tracking down the problems you need to address.  And the reflection exercises at the end of each chapter are also very good for reinforcing your learning.  Simply by taking a little time every day to write in your stress journal, following clear, specific advice, you will begin to get on top of those dreadful feelings of distress and lack of control."

~~~

stress-management2.jpgBut first I want to emphasize that I don't want to overload you with work in this book.  I suspect you are already overloaded, and I want to encourage you to take your time to get into this book, and to slowly and gradually look at, and work with, the techniques that I will be presenting below.  Therefore, I suggest that you do not try to work on more than one technique each week.  Try to select a few techniques that work best for you, and work on those over a period of weeks.  If you find you cannot fit one technique per week into your busy life, then spread each of them over two weeks.  Or use whatever timescale works best for you.  But do not overload yourself with new challenges.  Balance is the key to a stress-free life.  Especially balance between work, rest and play.  And gradual change is often easier to implement than sudden big changes. 

~~~

"In the past, readers of this book have reported that they got their lives back under control; that they were able to salvage careers that were in trouble; and to enjoy socializing with their families once more.  The main case study describes the life of a badly stressed man who was so close to the edge that it was difficult to imagine him getting his life back under some kind of control.  But against all odds, he did make huge strides towards turning his life around."

~~~

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To purchase a copy of this 144 page book (206 pages in the paperback format), please go to one of the following outlets:

♣ For a Paperback copy - from £7.30, to order from the US store, please order from Amazon.com, by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148003505X

If you are based in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk.***

If you are based in Europe, please choose from: Amazon Germany*** ; or Amazon France*** ; or Amazon Spain*** ; or Amazon Italy***.

~~~

For a Kindle copy, at GBP £6.31 (including VAT), please go to the Amazon outlet that provided your Kindle device, from the following list:

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level. and have a happier life* from Amazon.com***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* from Amazon.co.uk***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* in Europe, from:

Amazon Germany***

Amazon France***

Amazon Spain***

Amazon Italy***

~~~

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.  Elizabeth Lawrence

~~~

Introduction

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Stress is a major problem in the world today, partly because of the high speed of modern life, the level of economic insecurity, and the disruption of the work/life balance.  People also experience stress resulting from a loss of certainty and control, and a lack of guiding values.  It is common to read of stress contributing to physical disease and mental health problems.  It contributes to the breakdown of marriages, and to domestic violence and child abuse.  It makes people unhappy at home and at work.  Millions of days of work are lost each year through stress related illness.

How can you begin to get control of your stress level; to learn how to relax and be happy; and to have some more control over your life?

The first three steps are:

1. To define stress, so that you understand it, in all its forms.

2. To understand the causes of stress.  If you do not know what causes it, you will not know what to do to reduce or eliminate it.  And:

3. To learn how to deal with the causes of stress; to combat them; to reverse them or neutralize them.

~~~

"If you apply the exercises in Chapter 4, you will find that you are much more relaxed in mind and body, and that you feel increasingly happy.  Life feels so much sweeter when you get your stress under control.  Remember the carefree days of childhood, when the sun shone and time stood still.  This kind of pleasurable feeling can return to your life."

~~~ 

Defining stress

Under this heading, we have identified three steps.  We recommend that you develop a formal definition of stress; develop awareness of some of the sources of stress in your own life; and learn how to measure your personal stress level.  This will be covered in Chapter 1 below.

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Suppose we went at a slow pace... to feel our bodies, play with children, look openly, without agenda or timetable into the faces of loved ones...  Suppose we took time each day to sit in silence.  I think if we did those things, the world wouldn't need much saving.  Donella Meadows

~~~

Understanding the causes

There are a limited number of categories of causes of stress, including:

   (a) Environmental causes - like pressure of work;

   (b) Physical causes - like physical tension; and:     

(c) Mental causes - such as the way you interpret those pressures which bear down upon you, at home and at work.

Chapter 2 will show you how to explore those causes in your own life.

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~~~

"If you are feeling angry and irritable much of the time, you will be surprised at how well you can learn to discipline your mind, which will change your behaviour and your problem management approach.  This in turn will result in an improved quality of life.  My readers report that their families are very pleased at how much their relationships change, over a relatively short period of time."

~~~

Stress_book_cover3.gif

To purchase a copy of this 144 page book (206 pages in the paperback format), please go to one of the following outlets:

♣ For a Paperback copy - from £7.30, to order from the US store, please order from Amazon.com, by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148003505X

If you are based in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk.***

If you are based in Europe, please choose from: Amazon Germany*** ; or Amazon France*** ; or Amazon Spain*** ; or Amazon Italy***.

~~~

For a Kindle copy, at GBP £6.31 (including VAT), please go to the Amazon outlet that provided your Kindle device, from the following list:

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level. and have a happier life* from Amazon.com***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* from Amazon.co.uk***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* in Europe, from:

Amazon Germany***

Amazon France***

Amazon Spain***

Amazon Italy***

~~~

I leave this notice on my door, for each accustomed visitor: ‘I am gone into the fields, to take what this sweet hour yields. Reflection: you may come tomorrow'.  Percy B. Shelley

~~~

Defusing stress

Once you have learned to define stress, to develop awareness of the sources of stress in your life, and to know your own personal stress level, you then need to take action.  And we recommend that you take action on three fronts:

(a) Managing your mind;

(b) Managing your body; and:

(c) Managing your environment (including your relationships, at home and at work).

This is discussed in Chapter 3.

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Eliminating physical stress

Chapter 4 will teach you five techniques for eliminating stress from your body, and optimizing your relaxation response, which switches off the stress response.

Any one of these five techniques might be enough to break up the sense of unbearable pressure in your life.  Any two together would be most likely to make a huge difference to the quality of your life.

~~~

"Until you read Appendix C of this book, you may have little idea of how to change your behaviour.  Habits are difficult to break.  But with this approach, you will be able to begin to make sustainable changes, and you will realize you can turn your life around.  In order for any system of stress management to work, you must learn how to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.  This book works on all three levels."

~~~

Reducing mental stress

Chapter 5 will teach you eight techniques for increasing your mental resilience in the face of stress from any source.  Some of these can be started immediately, and involve little or no cost.  Again, if you begin with one or two of these techniques, that might be enough to calm your mind, and restore your sense of relaxation and ease.

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Managing environmental stressors

Environmental stressors range from noisy neighbours, overwork, financial difficulties, relationship problems, long and difficult commutes to and from work, and so on.  Chapter 6 will teach you five ways to control your environment better, and thus to reduce your environmental stressors.

Some of your environmental stressors may be difficult, or nearly impossible, to change; but many others can be managed, if you just learn how.  The five techniques taught in Chapter 6 are all perfectly possible for you to learn and to apply in your life.  If you begin with one or two, and build up slowly, you can master much of your external environmental pressure.

~~~

"There are two highly detailed case studies in this book which will help you to consolidate your learning about the mental, physical and environmental stress management techniques which you will be learning".

~~~

Stress_book_cover3.gif

To purchase a copy of this 144 page book (206 pages in the paperback format), please go to one of the following outlets:

♣ For a Paperback copy - from £7.30, to order from the US store, please order from Amazon.com, by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148003505X

If you are based in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk.***

If you are based in Europe, please choose from: Amazon Germany*** ; or Amazon France*** ; or Amazon Spain*** ; or Amazon Italy***.

~~~

For a Kindle copy, at GBP £6.31 (including VAT), please go to the Amazon outlet that provided your Kindle device, from the following list:

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level. and have a happier life* from Amazon.com***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* from Amazon.co.uk***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* in Europe, from:

Amazon Germany***

Amazon France***

Amazon Spain***

Amazon Italy***

~~~

Chapter 1: What is Stress?

We recommend that you develop a formal definition of stress; develop awareness of some of the sources of stress in your own life; and learn how to measure your personal stress level.  So let us begin.

Distinguishing pressure from stress

Two individuals who are under exactly the same level of pressure - in terms of workload, responsibility, etc., will not both experience the same level of stress.  Why not?  Because we always ‘frame' (or interpret) our experiences in the light of some decisions made in the past; and our decisions are shaped by our past experiences, which vary from individual to individual.

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‘Framing' our experiences is like looking at the world through tinted lenses, which can be changed from moment to moment, from a positive colour to a negative colour, and vice versa.  If our way of framing an experience - our interpretation - is very negative, then we are likely to have strong negative feelings about it.  When we adjust that frame, and see it through a more realistic lens, then our negative feelings decline in intensity.  We go from feeling stressed to only feeling concerned, or sad or irritated by the same negative experience that was earlier stressing us to our limits.

From this description of framing and re-framing of experiences, you will have gathered a very important feature of the problem of stress.  Stress is not a ‘fixed entity', like an iceberg, or a mountain.  It is rather more variable than that.  

...

... in plain English, if you want to manage your stress level better, you need to learn a range of coping strategies and techniques which could serve as resources which will reduce the impact of fixed stressors on your life.

~~~

That's what this book sets out to teach you.

~~~

Stress_book_cover3.gif

To purchase a copy of this 144 page book (206 pages in the paperback format), please go to one of the following outlets:

♣ For a Paperback copy - from £7.30, to order from the US store, please order from Amazon.com, by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148003505X

If you are based in the UK, go to Amazon.co.uk.***

If you are based in Europe, please choose from: Amazon Germany*** ; or Amazon France*** ; or Amazon Spain*** ; or Amazon Italy***.

~~~

For a Kindle copy, at GBP £6.31 (including VAT), please go to the Amazon outlet that provided your Kindle device, from the following list:

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level. and have a happier life* from Amazon.com***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* from Amazon.co.uk***

♥ Buy *Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and have a happier life* in Europe, from:

Amazon Germany***

Amazon France***

Amazon Spain***

Amazon Italy***

~~~