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The Myth of Stress

The Myth of Stress

Where Stress Really Comes From and How to Live a Happier and Healthier Life

Where does stress come from? Financial pressures? Looming deadlines? Conflicts at work or at home? For more than half a century, we’ve been told that stress comes from circumstances like these, that it’s a by-product of our ancestors’ fight-or-flight response to danger, and that the best we can do, given the fast pace of life today, is to breathe, try to relax, and accept that life is hard.

All of this, according to Andrew Bernstein, is wrong. Spurred by the death of several family members when he was young, Bernstein began a quest to understand the real dynamics of stress and resilience. He eventually realized that stress doesn’t come from your circumstances—it comes from your thoughts about your circumstances. More specifically, stress is created by a particular kind of thought that humans happen to excel at.

Seeing this, Bernstein realized that the antidote to stress—and the key to far greater resilience—is not exercise or physical relaxation, but finding these stress-producing thoughts and finally dismantling them. He created a process called ActivInsight that helps you—and the people you care about—do this on your own in just seven steps, often yielding life-changing breakthroughs in a matter of minutes.

Bernstein has been teaching ActivInsight to great acclaim in schools, not-for-profits, and Fortune 500 companies since 2004. Now he shares this technique for the first time with a wider audience. In The Myth of Stress, you will experience the surprising power of this new approach for yourself as you apply ActivInsight to a wide variety of today’s most common challenges, including:

weight loss • money • success interpersonal conflict • addiction • traffic divorce • heartbreak • discrimination • anger uncertainty about the future • loss of a loved one and more


With compassion, intelligence, and humor, The Myth of Stress offers a complete reeducation in the nature of stress, permanently changing the way you relate to challenges—at school, at work, and at home—in order to live a happier and healthier life.
Choose a format:
  • Atria Books | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439159453 | 
  • May 2010
List Price $26.00
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION TO PART TWO

In part 2, we’re going to work together on twelve commonly stressful issues, including money, success, interpersonal conflict, weight loss, and more. As we go forward, it’s helpful if you think of ActivInsight as a kind of exercise program. Instead of losing physical weight, though, you’ll be losing mental weight. And instead of building physical flexibility, you’re going to build your mental flexibility and resilience.

In a physical exercise program, you don’t do every exercise at once. The same applies here. The best way to get value from part 2 is to do one chapter... see more

Hear an Excerpt

About the Author

Andrew Bernstein
Photograph © Laura Rose

Andrew Bernstein

Andrew Bernstein is the founder of ActivInsight, a process that is rapidly changing the way individuals and organizations around the world understand stress and resilience. His clients include Johnson & Johnson, MTV Networks, WPP, Merrill Lynch, Coca-Cola, Genentech, Goldman Sachs, 20th Century Fox, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Wachovia, as well as nonprofits like Phoenix House and City Year. Bernstein teaches in the Executive Education division at the Wharton School. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and lives in New York City. More information is available at www.mythofstress.com.

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