Reviewed by Kate Brody Adams

As someone who is frequently stressed out and anxious, I have tested just about every activity possible in order to relieve tension, none of which have had lasting effects. I’ve tried meditation, hypnotherapy and yoga, but to no avail. Thus, I was skeptical when I began to read yet another book claiming to provide me with the tools to “tame tension” by changing my thought process in regard to anxiety and discovering my “inner reserves of strength and vitality” so as to “make new, healthy connections to the world around [me].” However, when I actually began to read through it, I realized the book is unique in that it not only outlines ways in which you can begin to acknowledge, locate and eventually overcome your stress, but also provides the reader with workbook exercises to utilize immediately in order to combat feelings of anxiety. Wheeler offers real and useful tips and, if you take the book seriously and actually put her suggestions into practice, your well-being might indeed improve.

Wheeler suggests it is helpful to begin keeping a journal to supplement the readings and support your own developmental process throughout the book’s progression. She provides the reader with exercises such as “Evaluate Your Stress Symptoms” and “Building Happiness” that are followed by healthy ways to cope with each aspect. She explains the physical health benefits of managing to stress and the power of changing daily behavior in order to experience life-long effects of stress reduction.

A section of the book that truly caught my attention examines the ways in which stress can increase your risk for disease, depression and early death. Learning about the ways in which stress harms the body’s immunity and health habits made me realize the necessity of changing my mental and physical reactions toward anxiety. As Wheeler says insightfully, “It is up to you to exert whatever control you can to make your life as peaceful, generous, and as happy as it can be.”