The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook

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Although the sheer size of this dense workbook might cause initial hyperventilation--280 full-size sheets of text--take heart (and a deep breath!): the many self-assessment tools and calming techniques presented in this fifth edition can help overcome anxiety and promote physical and emotional well-being. First introduced in 1980, the book received praise for presenting a comprehensive look at stress, its physical manifestations, and the multiple ways it can be managed. Twenty years later, its well-organized chapters on breathing, relaxation, meditation, thought stopping, and body awareness still guide the reader through copious self-help techniques to try and, eventually, master. Other chapters, including job stress management, goal setting and time management, and assertiveness training, focus on daily scenarios people often find distressing. Lessons in identifying key elements that trigger unpleasant responses and in reacting differently to these elements are designed to defuse perceived conflicts. For this edition, coauthors Martha Davis (psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara, CA), Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman (licensed clinical social worker with Kaiser Permanente Online), and Matthew McKay (clinical director of Haight-Ashbury Psychological Services, San Francisco, CA) have added topics on worry control, anger management, and eye-movement therapy. New diagrams and a more reader-friendly format should appeal to readers, despite a few typos and graphical mishaps. This is a valuable tool for therapists, their patients, and the stressed-at-large. --Liane Thomas

Since its first publication in 1980, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook has become the most indispensable resource for effective and up-to-date techniques for relaxing the body, calming the mind, and refreshing the spirit. Therapists recommend the book to their clients; readers pass it on to their friends. More than half a million copies have helped millions of people just like you take the edge off their stressful lives and find the peace they need to foster happiness and success.

The overwhelming popularity of this book is the result of its comprehensive yet simple and straightforward adaptation of all the most effective relaxation techniques. No other book offers easy-to-use, step-by-step instructions for using progressive relaxation, autogenics, self-hypnosis, visualization, thought stopping, worry control ? and the list goes on. If it means relaxation, it?s in this book.

Customer Reviews:

  • The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Book
    I have been waiting for a volume such as this all my adult life.
    It has become a treasured book already. Even though it has been in print for many years there is a reason that the authors and publisher have issued the 5th Edition -- it works!

    This book leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of techniques that will unlock the freedom from stress. I would encourage anyone to buy this fine work. It has helped me live a wonderful drug free life....more info
  • Good reference
    This book has lots of good ideas for dealing with stress. I have been able to find some that work well for me so I recommend this text....more info
  • Learning Meditation as a way to relax
    The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Woorbook - (New Harbinger Self-Help Woorkbook) My counsler suggested this workbook to me as I am going through tremendous stress right now and suffering from insomnia. I usually only get about 4 hours per night, and it had been that way for over 2 months. In the beginning of the workbook, they have a test that gives you a score to determine just how much stress that has been in your life over the past year. The highest number rating was 300. I scored over 1,000 !! The book begins very easy, teaching you to breathe and focus. I did this when I woke up at 2am in the morning when the house was quiet, and learned how to control my breathing. The book continues on to teach you how to meditate which is something I had never thought of. It works !! But, you have to be consistant and do the exercizes every day. I am not finished with the book yet, but I have already told my friends and family about it and should purchase it if they are going through a stressful period of time. I am glad my counsler told me about this workbook as now I can sleep all night using the breathing exercize's before I go to sleep. 5 Stars on this one...more info
  • Really great
    I am using this book as a part of a Self-care for Social Workers class and absolutely love it. One of the things that I really appreciate is the way in which the book begins with general testing and discussion, and then breaks down into different chapters that you can either choose to read or not depending on what your particular de-stressing needs are. I have already recommended it to my family and friends! You won't regret getting it! ...more info
  • Complete, easy to follow guides for reducing stress
    This book is wonderful for teaching people how to relax and cope with stress. It has practical exercises for learning the different techniques.
    Workbook covers such topics as: body awareness, breathing, progressive relaxation, meditation, visualization, autogenics, self-hypnosis, refuting irrational ideas, thought stopping, worry control, goal and time
    managment, assertiveness training, job stress management, nutrition, exercise and how to stay on track with a stress management program. I've had therapists tell me they use this book all the time in their practice. I'm currently using it as a guide for people in my Wellness Recovery Program. The exercises are easy to teach and practical to use. ...more info
  • Great practical, readable guide
    This book is nicely laid out. It starts with background information on stress. Then it gives you some tests to take that indicate how stressful your situation is, what is a normal level of stress, and what areas you might want to focus on first. The rest of the book is short chapters giving you the basics on various techniques you can use to manage stress.

    I don't normally like self-help books -- but this one is a gem. I refer to it often....more info
  • The best book in the field of relaxation & stress reduction.
    I am a clinical psychologist specializing in medical psychology and have used this book for over 20 years (since it's first edition)and my patients have consistently found it very helpful in learning the background of various aspects of relaxing their lives, and in putting the many exercises included in the book into practice that are needed to integrate relaxation and stress reduction into a person's lifestyle, which is of course the main goal. It has been a very helpful guide for my patients in reducing the signs and symptoms that they report when coming to me for treatment....more info
  • Fabulous
    This book is a wonderful resource for any clinician. No matter the reason a patient is coming in for therapy, I eventually use this book with him/her. The book is worth it for the breathing chapter alone. I really like the layout of the book. You can read the book straight through or just go to the chapter that is of importance for your patient (time management, etc.)....more info
  • Jess
    This book has the basic techniques on reducing stress, anxiety, fears, OCD to some extent, negative thinking, among other stress inducers. There is also a chapter on assertiveness training. The instructions are easy to follow. A really great book....more info
  • Helps put things into perspective
    I bought this book after realizing that I needed to take responsibility for the way I think to change my levels of anxiety. The quizes in the beginning were easy and showed me exactly what chapters would be helpful in treatments of those symptoms. I take time every day now to do the exercises learned in the book. I am a social worker who has a considerable amount of stress every day. I have offered this book to many of my fellow caseworkers to deal with the stress of our jobs. Some of the exercises sound cheesy but you will find that they do help! ...more info
  • Reliable, effective and diverse ways to address stress
    This workbook is excellent- specific easily understood instructions for different methods of relaxation: you will find something that will work for you: this is important because some workbooks are "one size fits all" and may not be helpful for everyone. ...more info
  • First Rate Advice
    The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis , Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning is a book that will help you overcome anxiety and encourage physical and emotional well-being. The book takes a good long look at stress and how you can learn to manage it. You will master breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques with the help of this book. The book also includes chapters on job stress management, objective setting and time organization, and assertiveness training. You will also learn other stress reduction methods including hypnosis and meditation to biofeedback and assertiveness exercises.

    After you read this book it may be a good time to consider reading my book entitled "The Enlightenment, What God Told Me After One Million Prayers, a Message for Everyone" (See Profile Above) There are lots of way to handle life's many problems.

    ...more info
  • A must-have.
    This is a very good book. Very easy to read, the book itself is written in a very straight-forward, clear and concise way, and it is in the same way that gives one (the reader) the key to live a stress-free life.

    I deeply enjoyed the layout of it, since it makes it easy to evaluate your own case/situation, and thus, how to work with your own level of stress.

    A very informative and helpful book. More books like this one should be written. ...more info
  • Doctor Recommended
    The Doctor Recommended this and Its WELL WORTH IT! Go for the hardback though if you have a choice!...more info
  • A worthwhile read
    This book is very straight-forward and easy to implement. The exercises are easy to understand. One may not get relief overnight, but it will help in the long-run, if you learn the techniques....more info
  • Excellent Book
    I started with an older version of the book and then bought this version (newest). I found the worksheets to be extremely helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to read it. It takes you step through step on how to help improve and change so you are in a better state of mind and functions. ...more info
  • Gaining Control of Stress
    The complex demands of modern life combine to create severe long-term effects on our health and happiness. Fortunately my therapist, author of several books, including Undoing Perpetual Stress, suggested I also follow techniques in this workbook. Both have been enormously effective in helping me learn how to gain control of my personal stresses. ...more info
  • Great techniques for stress reduction
    I really liked this book. It presented multiple techniques plus gave me the approximate time period it would take to learn the technique. I was able to fit my particular stress reduction and relaxation needs by taking a little "test" at the beginning. Since stress is a normal part of life, having techniques at my disposal, especially those I can do while still sitting in a meeting, are very helpful....more info
  • A bit overwhelming
    This book is packed with information -- which is great. But it can be a little overwhelming. I would recommend it for the amount of material covered, but I think it can make relaxation seem like a bit of a job. I have difficulty picking up various types of techniques (i.e. meditation) by reading. I think listening to a podcast or attending a class might be more helpful for those types of things. But it is a wonderfully thorough source of information on many types of relaxation techniques and, if nothing else, serves as a great starting point....more info
  • Highly recommended for stress relief
    Very informative and easy read. This book has great information for anyone who needs to learn how to better manage stress and how to use relaxtion techniques. I have even recommended to some people who I think need it!...more info
  • This is the one you want!
    I purchased several books on this subject hoping to learn all I could. This workbook had all the info the other books had and much more. It is also easily read and understood.I don't bother with the other books now-this is the one I return to and reference! ...more info
  • Empowering Workbooks to Create the Life You Want
    These workbooks which promote active participation in the creation of the life you want are very empowering. Self-reflection and action to engage in meditation, positive thinking and creative visualization are incredible tools to not only relax, and deal with stress but also to create the joyful life we all want. This is an excellent book filled with an assortment of tools to do just this. Similar to another I have been using... the Living The Secret Everyday series including a workbook and meditation CD has brought powerful changes in my life....more info
  • Good choices
    I am a therapist and regularly recommend this book. I like the variety of techniques it offers, as one technique may work for once client and not for another. It also has a chapter on dealing with chronic worrying, and an excellent, educational first chapter on stress and anxiety and how it affects us physically, emotionally, etc. My clients love this book. One recently told me it was like having her therapist "right there, all the time". They have sought experts in the various fields and of numerous techniques and theoretical orientations, which leave a nice balance of information from which to choose,use, practice, and get help....more info
  • Excellent and nearly essentail read...
    Anyone who works inside OR outside the home can asily benefit from educating themselves on the severity of stressors and how to handle them each the most effectively....more info
  • Stress Reduction Workbook
    This book is a wonderful guide to what too many people do too little of: stopping to relax. I think everyone should take a look at it and figure out how to make time to use it. Makes you feel more like stopping to smell the roses....more info
  • Awesome book
    I found this book to be very helpful both for myself and for the clients I work with as a therapist. It clearly describes how to do each of the different techniques with good worksheets to guide you, and it has so many different options, that you are bound to find something that is helpful for you....more info
  • WOW!
    I have been dealing with MANY extremely stressful situations within the last couple of years - and along with this depression, anxiety, fatigue, etc. has been very present in my life - this book was recommended by the 'woman to woman' website and I thought to myself well this is probably "JUST" another book, but to my amazement I couldn't put this workbook down - reading just the first couple of chapters has helped tremendously! I could hardly wait till I read the rest of the book. This workbook has helped me to take a breath, finally - It is a book that is simple reading and structured - those who deal with 'structure' best will love the way this book is laid out - TAKE A CHANCE AND GET THIS WORKBOOK, afterall if it's not what you want, re-sell it on AMAZON. This book will bless you.
    Thank you
    Debbie...more info
  • Excellent book for stress management
    As a holistic massage therapist and author, I recommend this book to clients for the stress reduction and management part of obtaining and maintaining good health. This book is very useful for learning an effective relaxation technique for a Skilled Relaxation practice. Plus, the tips and suggestions for stress management in everyday life have been very helpful to my clients. ...more info
  • The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook
    Very thorough workbook with great stress reduction ideas, techniques and self-analyzing of just what might work for the reader...more info
  • Good tool
    This book contains exercises that can be done as a lay person or professional, with groups or individuals - even on yourself. The exercises are designed in such a way that they can be customized to your need. I bought it to get a technique to use on my classmates and one guy got so relaxed, he actually dozed off! I think that shows the effectiveness of relaxation therapy! This is a good tool to get ideas and helpful exercises for personal or professional use....more info
  • Excellent Workbook
    Well written. A great how-to for beginners. Finally a self-help book that tells the reader "how" to do something rather than a diatribe of how wonderful the author is and why the information is important. Workbook is easy to follow. I'm very happy with it....more info
  • Stress reduction for dummies
    Sure we're all stressed a little now and then, but when the stress REALLY starts to build up and becomes too much, consider this little helper. An oversized volume (making it much easier to read), this book contains not one, but MANY different ways of reducing your stress- that's why its called a workbook. And this is precisely what makes this book such a gem- there's virtually something in it for everyone. If you don't like one technique, no problem, just go to the next chapter and try another one until you find one that suits you.

    A handy book that should help de-stress a lot of people, I give it 5 stars easy. Can also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for readers who have trouble getting motivated to do healthy things regularly- like practice relaxation techniques!
    ...more info


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