I started reading this book a little stressed as the review was just a number of things I had to get done before I left on holiday but I am glad I tackled the task when I did.
Accompanying the book are two CDs and the first one I listened to (more than once, I may add) resulted in me feeling totally relaxed having participated in two, ten minute long breathing and muscle control exercises designed to illustrate how stress and anxiety can be dealt with on a personal level. Hence, the book review was delivered on time and I jetted of a different person, well for a few minutes anyway!
The CDs are nothing short of amazing and if, for no other reason, I would have bought this book on the strength of these toots but in order to be a little more objective, please be assured that I also read the book!
For a piece of work I thought might overwhelm me with psycho babble, this tome was a pleasant surprise in some respects and a little disappointing in others.
-˜Treating stress and anxiety' is maybe not the wisest choice of words to put on a dust cover as it does not exactly shout out -˜buy me' but then again with a growing awareness of how the issues can affect people, the title might just be construed as being highly practical.
The book is a thoroughly comprehensive guide to providing the ins and outs of what constitutes stress and anxiety, its causes and possible solutions and although a fairly expensive resource, it could appeal to a wide a audience
Whether a counsellor trying to grasp an idea that might just help a jitttery patient, an HR practitioner seeking an aid to deal with an employee exhibiting the signs or even a medical professional seeking solace and confirmation of their diagnosis, the book provides a wealth of helpful material.
One of the few off putting elements however is that, at times, the content can border on the clinical with a large number of charts and diagrams referred to throughout that tends to cloud the issue slightly.
In many respects it could be referred to as a type of workbook because in essence it is a series of exercises through which someone could work in order to more fully understand the concept of stress and anxiety and what a suitable solution might be depending on the circumstances.
The content is a little repetitive with lists of issues being repeated at times in prose but in a way this may actually be a good thing providing comfort to those looking for explanations of why a certain characteristic might cause a bout of stress or- anxiety.
One of the things I took from reading the book was the wealth of issues that can affect people' stress and anxiety Levels and what can be done about them. Detailing issues such as being aware of diet casts a whole new light on the reasons why stress and anxiety play an ever increasing role in the workplace and society which makes for lighter reading in a book that is, at times, beyond the layman.
The authors, both of whom are psychologists, have focused on evidence based approaches and techniques that are supposed to help enhance quality of life which the sales blurb touts as being in straightforward, uncomplicated Language. However, as someone working in HR, I would find it hard to turn to this aide for help without having to spend a good deal of time beforehand researching the issue which, as any seasoned HR practitioner will know, is not a luxury that often comes their way.
That said though there are easy reading sections such as these focusing on issues as diverse as steep patterns mood swings and drug taking and how these various elements can contribute to stress and anxiety. One particularly helpful section of the book are the lists of resources providing support and guidance on the subject of stress and anxiety ranging from further reading matter to websites to be visited.
I would describe this particular book as stimulating and invigorating but one which must be picked up with some fore thought rather than just trying to find a solution to an age old problem that now has a label.
Now for those that want to join me in participating in relaxation techniques, take a deep breath and begin-¦