Book Review: Stress is a Decision: 40 Simple habits to defeat stress and find inner peace. Prof. Dr
Stress is a major concern for many individual’s, which means it is also a concern for businesses and organisations that are serious about promoting a workplace that supports health and wellbeing. This is because stress has many negative impacts on wellbeing, health and productivity. Stress is a Decision provides 40 habits that can play a huge role in reduce the negative impact of stress.
Prof. Detlef Beeker wrote Stress is a Decision. He is a happiness and anti-stress researcher, coach and trainer based in Germany. Beeker has been involved in the anti-stress field for over 20 years.
Beeker uses a powerfully simply and direct method to get his message across, he provides 40 practical activities that can be used to reduce stress in individuals’ personal and professional lives. Beeker asserts the decision to reduce stress is as simply as developing some of the activities, provided, into habits. He even provides guidance on how to go about selecting and developing the habits of choice.
Beeker’s book provides an easy to follow approach that anyone can implement to reduce stress in their life. Further many of the activities can be integrated into organisational processes to promote health, wellbeing and thus productivity in the organisation.
For example the implementation of the habits #17 Pomodoro and #16 Move every 20 minutes, can be used by office workers to increase their focus and productivity whilst reducing stress and promoting health. Naturally the habits could be modified, a little, to better suit specific needs. Perhaps one could do 30 minute focus and 3 minute stand and stretch, or grab a cuppa, cyclically for each 2-3 hour work session.
What I loved was the simplicity and flexibility of Beeker’s approach. By highlighting the need for individualised selection of activities and habits Beeker created a system that anyone could use to reduce their stress. Once again I found the idea of taking ownership of one’s life by conscious choices very empowering.
At the same time what I struggled with was this very same simplicity. I believe this book is wonderful for anyone with stress. At the same time I believe it is over simplistic regarding the complexity of dealing with stress once it has reached the stage where by physiological damage has occurred. Once physiological damaged is present due to the intensity or duration of stress I believe we need to take this damage into consideration and adjust approaches for managing stress.
I am not saying any of the 40 activities will not help in such situations, however it is important to practice with care and consideration that one is now changing a physiological state rather than a state due to a choice.
Like when we break a bone, if stress has damaged the brain, we need to proceed with care allowing healing to occurring while developing or redeveloping stress management habits. Remembering it takes time to heal and strengthen neural pathways just as bones do.
I am directly referring to the issue, too often seen in our society, where we consider stress simply a matter of thinking habits. And thus it is always the fault of the individual. I don’t subscribe to blaming the individual. If someone has not learnt a skill that may not be their choice let alone fault, they may never have had the opportunity, and this is where this book shines. It provides practical guidance for developing effective stress management skills.
Is the simplicity and effectiveness of the activities provided for reducing stress. Follow Beeker’s guidance and reduced stress is very likely to settle in your life. Reduced stress is of great value for just about everyone.
Who I recommend this book for:
This very use practical and useful book is potentially very valuable for three distinct groups of people. First it is helpful for anyone who wishes to develop more effective stress management skills in their life. In addition it has potential for those responsible for developing procedures within any organisation that is serious about promoting health and wellbeing for their staff. Finally if you are a practitioner who has reasons to recommend stress management strategies this little book is likely to provide you with some new options. Enjoy.