Human Performance and Achievement Resources
red line
Home Articles & Publications Directories Link Directories Topics Directory Specialized Interest Directories Performance & Productivity Blog Search
Book Recommendations: The Top 10 Books for Stress Management Related Resources

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook
by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

If you could only buy one book on stress relief/stress management, this would be the one. As a psychologist, I have been recommending this book for over twenty years. In addition to recommending it, I actually used its techniques and exercises in therapy sessions. Now in its 5th edition, it is as fresh and comprehensive as ever. This compendium of techniques is indeed a workbook, but reminds me of a cookbook, filled with delicious "recipes" for relaxation and relief.

All techniques and exercises are clear and well-explained. In addition to the depth of explanation, there is a wide breadth of coverage. It would be a rare person who could not find at least one technique that worked for him. Most of the techniques with work very, very well for most people.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff--and it's all small stuff
by Richard Carlson

I like's description of this book better than my own...

Got a stress case in your life? Of course you do: "Without question, many of us have mastered the neurotic art of spending much of our lives worrying about a variety of things all at once." Carlson's cheerful book aims to make us stop and smell--if not roses--whatever is sitting in front of our noses. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... offers 100 meditations designed to make you appreciate being alive, keep your emotions (especially anger and dissatisfaction) in proper perspective, and cherish other people as the unique miracles they are. It's an owner's manual of the heart, and if you follow the directions, you will be a happier, more harmonious person. Like Stairmasters, oat bran, and other things that are good for you, the meditations take discipline. Even so, some of the strategies are kind of fun: "Imagine the people in your life as tiny infants and as 100-year-old adults." The trouble is, once you start, it's hard to stop.

The Relaxation Response
by Herbert Benson

I was in grad school when The Relaxation Response was first published, and I remember what a stir it caused in both the medical and the psych communities. I had already started meditation practice as a result of being a martial artist (Karate) and was quite happy to see the medical profession had discovered that a mind technique had a powerful influence upon the body. The Relaxation Response was the ground-breaker for the development of the mind-body medicine movement.

Since mind-body medicine has advanced in acceptance over the years, if you weren't around at the time or involved in a related profession, it would be difficult to appreciate how long that acceptance took, and what a hard, high hill mind-body techniques had to climb for that approval.

Over the years, the book has been updated and reissued, and it remains current and convincing in its description of how and meditation is one of the most effective tools for stress management and relief.

Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness
by Fred Luskin and Kenneth R. Pelletier

The book is easy to read book and provides simple, good-sense, quick techniques that work well. The stress-reduction strategies are well-supported by research and fairly well-known. However, despite the probability that you have read about or heard about the techniques before, the authors' explanations and examples are superior to that in much other literature in the subject. They provide not merely an overview, but examples and specific methods of practice. Indeed they make it clear that practice, practice, practice is the secret to success. And, as the full title suggests, they cover ten solid ways to reduce stress.

Anger Management for Dummies
by W. Doyle Gentry, PhD

The most harmful -- indeed, fatal -- stressor is anger. If your stress involves a considerable amount of anger, whether or not you behave in angry ways, it is urgent and essential that you find ways of reducing it. Now. Anger kills. In many, many ways. Not only will it make you ill (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, ulcers, etc.), but it causes accidents in the workplace and on the road -- where you might cause the death of others. Anger Management for Dummies is a good start for getting a handle on your anger, or understanding better what your angry loved one needs to help him or her.

The author is a clinical psychologist with more than forty(!) years of practice and research. At the time he wrote the book, he was Director of the Institute for Anger-Free Living in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was the Founding Editor of the Journal of Behavioral Medicine and is considered a pioneer in the fields of health psychology, behavioral medicine, and anger management. The "Dummies" series can really get some well-qualified authors. Not only is the author an expert many times over, he is able to communicate his expertise to the average guy.

In his book, Dr. Gentry describes specific anger management methods. He helps you develop skills to control and manage anger. He helps you understand the causes of your anger so that you can prevent angry episodes from occurring, act calmly and rationally, and feel better in situations that usually cause anger.

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff At Work
by Richard Carlson

Another in the "Don't Sweat" series, this book takes on the specific issues of the workplace. As you might expect if you've read his others in this series, Carlson provides his compassionate, positive and sensible views to the conflicts and concerns (internal and external) that most of us encounter in our working life. Although his examples focus on the office, the essence of the experiences can be adapted to apply to other work environments. His book adds to my continuing refrain that productivity and performance rely extensively upon stress management. Ever clear and ever practical, Carlson demonstrates about a hundred ways to reduce your stress on the job.

Stress Management for Dummies
by Allen Elkin

Yes, another "Dummies" book. I recommend the series for everything it covers. The publishers choose writers who have experience and expertise, of course, but what is even more important, their writers have to be able to be clear, concise and cover their subject in exactly the right amount of depth and broadness.

Allen Elkin, as a clinical psychologist and director of New York's Stress Management and Counseling Center, has the expertise to do all of that. Moreover, he treats the subject with a light touch of humor in just the right places. The book is fun and a pleasure to read. If the clarity and simplicity weren't already imposed by the familiar "Dummies" format, the book would still be easy to understand and apply to real life as well as being an easy read.

How To Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons
by Albert Ellis and Arthur Lange

I am basically a cognitive behaviorist both by training and choice. So I naturally have a bias toward the psychologist often called the "grandfather of Cognitive Behavior Therapy." (However, Cognitive Behaviorism is broader that Ellis' Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.)

Ellis and Lange teach you how to manage your thinking to better manage your feelings and behavior. They show you how to analyze your feelings and behavior to discover the thought processes behind them so you can identify the illogical, unreasonable or unfounded beliefs that cause your anxiety, anger or depression. By changing your thinking, you can replace your harmful beliefs and feelings with beneficial ones. The process is effective and therapeutic, but the experience is closer to a training program. I've always found Ellis' methods to be simple and efficient.

How To Reduce Workplace Conflict And Stress:
How Leaders And Their Employees Can Protect Their Sanity And Productivity From Tension And Turf Wars
by Anna Maravelas

The book description begins "An alarming 88% of Americans cite hostility, desk-rage, and workplace incivility as top concerns." But the book cites even more hair-curling statistics, such as the AAA report that intentional driver-to-driver violence has increased by 51 percent over the last 10 years. And that 30 percent of the murders of people over 60 years of age are committed by family members.

There's no doubt that conflict and stress are rampant in society, and no place more so than the workplace. this book is designed to both management and employees protect themselves and their companies' performance and productivity against workplace stresses and hostility. It helps you learn to manage frustration, alienation, anxiety and the growing sense of helplessness so many experience at work. It teaches how to leverage you internal strengths and reason-ability to prevent difficult relationships or situation from turning into real conflict or actual physical danger. Even better, it helps you turn such relationships and situations around in ways that create a more positive environment.

It empowers you to be an agent of change in the workplace.

10 Simple Solutions to Stress: How to Tame Tension And Start Enjoying Your Life
by Claire Michaels Wheeler

Claire Michaels Wheeler, who is both an MD and a Ph.D., uses cognitive behavioral therapy, mind-body medicine, and positive psychology as the basis for her ten easy-to-understand-and-apply-solutions to your daily stresses. Not only does she help you assess and manage stress, she also offers advice to help you be healthier and happier. It may be a quick read, but you'll want to read it more than once. Easy and immediately useful.


Reduce Stress. Improve
Performance. Meditate.
Mandalas For Meditating

Home Articles & Publications Directories Link Directories Topics Directory Specialized Interest Directories Performance & Productivity Blog Search

Website and contents ©1997-2011 C.S. Clarke, Ph.D. (Except where otherwise noted. Articles and content from other contributors are copyright to their respective authors.) All rights reserved.