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Excerpt from Undress Your Stress

30 Curiously Fun Ways to Take Off Tension
by Lois B. Levy

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." --Henry Kissinger

People are not designed to keep pace with advancing technology. We cannot "innovate" our biology the way we speed up microchips and equipment. Fax machines, cellular phones, Pentium chips, the very things created to relieve us, are in fact enslaving us. The "office" now follows us everywhere. Stress and stress-related accidents cost American industry billions of dollars each year while the cost to individuals and their families is immeasurable. The solution does not rest within the realm of technology, it requires that each individual take action.

This book is a beginner’s guide to managing the speed of life. Each chapter stands on its own as a complete lesson in one of the techniques. The book can be read in any order, can be used one chapter at a time or read in its entirety in an evening. In a funny, light, easy-to-use format, the book presents a variety of stress management techniques that require 5 minutes or less. Some of the techniques will be familiar to readers while others are unique. For example, the chapter on breathing gives scientific information, anecdotes and a number of simple techniques, while the chapter on "Advanced Breathing" gives suggestions for the uses of screaming and groaning as relaxation methods. The chapter on Meditation gives information and incorporates a 5-minute relaxation script which you would expect to find in a book of this kind. There is also a chapter on crayons, coloring books and Tinker Toys, which could be surprise for most people. The intent is to create a guide that is fun and usable rather than onerous.

Most stress management programs use checklists, boring techniques and lots of research that nobody cares about. Someone who is stressed doesn’t have time for, or care about, all that. Most people who try a program drop it after a short while because it takes too much time, it’s not fun and they don’t see quick results. Undress Your Stress is a different animal entirely. The book offers an innovative approach to stress management. Nothing hard, nothing complicated, no equipment, little or nothing requiring more than 5 minutes, nothing fancy, all written in plain English with a touch of sarcasm, a dash of irreverence and a pinch of laughter, the perfect recipe for creating balance in a world gone "busy" mad.

The author, a management development consultant, has worked extensively coaching corporate executives on creating balance in their lives. She has purchased and read hundreds of books on executive development, stress reduction and time management, most of which sit unused on her shelves. She’s found little in these books that is of practical use with her clients, most of whom routinely work 12-14 hours a day in very chaotic environments. They have neither the time nor the attention span to embark on any "involved" stress management programs. They do, however, require techniques they can use "in the moment" to catch their breath. The book offers the same techniques she uses in her $10,000 a day consulting seminars. It was written as a way to reach people who don’t have the luxury of a personal consultant.

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Lois Levy Enterprises
Author of "Undress Your Stress"
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