Managing Stress: A Complete Self-Help Guide


160 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88908-617-6




Reviewed by Ruth Kennedy

Ruth Kennedy was a librarian and fitness instructor in Islington, Ontario.


These clear, detailed instructions on learning to cope with stress-related disorders can be followed with concentrated effort by the sufferer, to achieve beneficial results. In the first step, the reader learns to understand stress, does a stress evaluation score, and begins to manage stress. Personal planning techniques for improving self-awareness and self-control follow. Each technique is aimed at taking the worry out of worrying and learning to control the amount of worrying.

The next step is “progressive relaxation training,” which is learning to be aware of muscle tension and releasing it. Daily practice is necessary and the training period usually takes six to twelve weeks. Learning to release tension has multiple benefits — relief of tension headaches, pain, insomnia, and hypertension. The last step is ‘quieting and autogenic training,’ where great concentration is necessary, but is well worth the effort.

In addition, there are chapters on communication skills, assertiveness, nutrition, diet, exercise, managing harmful habits — all antidotes to stress. Each chapter has a list of health-related books for further reading. There are progress charts, evaluation and record charts, and work sheets to assist with every step. As stress is one of the illnesses of the 1980’s, this well-set-up training manual is welcome.


Neidhardt, E.J., Malcolm Weinstein, and Robert Conry, “Managing Stress: A Complete Self-Help Guide,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,