Thursday, June 26, 2008

How to handle stress effectively

The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More)
Ariane de Bonvoisin

How do you deal with change? With stress?

Although I have many fears, I’m proud to say that change isn’t one of them. Then again, little beyond my age and hairstyle has changed much over the years. I’d like to think that I handle change well, but I really can’t be sure.

Mostly, though, I hide from change (or even just stressful things in general), doing anything in my power to avoid dealing with the situation. When this isn’t possible, I’d like to say that I always deal positively, like by exercising or reading. Sometimes this is true, but I’m also liable to shove food and/or alcohol down my throat instead. Good times.

Ariane de Bonvoisin would probably look down on my binging, even if a good binge session is followed by a nice bout of cardio. Her book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More), outlines how to handle change effectively. Much of her advice, however, can be applied to any stressful situation, so if you aren't about to undergo change, don't write The First 30 Days off just yet.

I have to be upfront from the beginning and say that I generally don't like self-help books. I think most of their advice is common-sense, and I think that authors often prey on poor, gullible readers who, looking for a bit of hope in a hopeless world, buy such sage advice at unbelievably high prices. (Sylvia Browne, I'm looking at you, dear, even though there is a soft place in my heart for your gravelly predictions).

Tools for Life #1:
Be vague. Be very, very vague.

Thankfully, Ariane de Bonvoisin (what a great name. Is it unprofessional for me to just stop a second and remark on that? Say it aloud -- go ahead, I dare you. Ariane de Bonvoisin. Melodical, no?) is not among those those who sell bad advice at high prices.

For starters, her website contains a wealth of information on change without prompting you either to register or to pay to access the information. Secondly, The First 30 Days itself offers several distinct coping methods to help one understand (and even embrace) change. De Bonvoisin focuses on changing both one's mindset and behavior regarding change, and the techniques she advises to effect this change were practical (and, more importantly, genuinely helpful) and not of the "oh gimme a break" variety that I've found in other self-help books. Although I'm not exactly facing change right now, I did apply a few suggestions to a current stressful situation and found that de Bonvoisin helped me to rethink the situation in a new way.

In a nutshell: Whether you're facing a big change or a small one, The First 30 Days is a must. Even if you're not facing change, de Bonvoisin will help you better handle stress. And don't forget loved ones when the holiday season approaches -- The First 30 Days would make a great gift.

Bibliolatry Scale: 5 out of 6 stars

So, I'll ask again, how do you cope with stress? Leave your great ideas (including recipes for tasty cookies and brownies and even alcoholic beverages) in the comments.


JRH456 said...

you don't need any recipies to deal with stress... you just need to crack open a bottle of Shiraz... at least thats how I deal with stress... or happiness... or dissappointment... or... well just drink!

Bibliolatrist said...

I'm partial to the cab, myself :)

Bybee said...

Bowling is the pins after whatever/whoever is bothering you.

That book looks good.

Sharon M.Bidwell said...

I'm seldom resistant to change. Bad change is another matter but that's called life. Sigh. I've seen what being resistant to 'any' change can do to a person (very sad story) whereas I always recall a chinese proverb that goes something like "Without change there is no life."

Stress on the other hand, it's too easy to reach for a glass of wine. If I'm 'that' stressed my main problem is probably that I can't eat at a time when my body probably needs it most. Bingeing may sound bad but depending on the left of stress, your body may actually need more fuel to see you through. Seriously, read up on it. I'm not sure how I cope personally. Music is a great help and when the crisis is over I have a favourite place I like to visit to clear my mind.