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The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living Paperback – December 24, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This practical, can-do guide, written by a positive-energy medical doctor at the Mayo Clinic, offers clear steps to take to decrease the bad kind of stress. As Sood notes, “Good stress motivates you, preps you for a challenge and gives you extra pep.” Bad stress is caused by “excessive workload, lack of control, and lack of meaning.” To cope with negative pressure, Sood highlights the principles of stress-free living: gratitude, compassion, acceptance, higher meaning, and forgiveness. Each principle gets a chapter. So do “tribe” (family and friends) and “relaxation and reflection.” Sood also provides his “seven-point program for increasing energy”: eating healthy food, sleeping seven to eight hours a day, keeping company with good people, avoiding news overdoses, following an exercise routine, doing something meaningful each day, and thinking good thoughts for others. Just reading Sood’s lucid, commonsensical recommendations is a start to eliminating negative stress. --Karen Springen

Review

"Dr. Sood has put together a simple, secular and structured program that is anchored in science, is free of rituals and dogmas, and is accessible to everyone. This book can change your life."--Dr. Andrew Weil

"An important innovative approach to well-being, one we all should know about."--Dr. Daniel Goleman

Booklist, 1/1/2014

“This practical, can-do guide, written by a positive-energy medical doctor at the Mayo Clinic, offers clear steps to take to decrease the bad kind of stress…Just reading Sood’s lucid, commonsensical recommendations is a start to eliminating negative stress.”


Taste for Life, February 2014

“Offers an innovative approach to mindfulness and well-being.”


Chatelaine.com “10 Best Health Books of 2014,” 2/3/14


Spirituality & Practice, 3/1/2014

“Dr. Sood has come up with a rather amazing affirmation of a contented life.”

Taste for Life, May 2014
“Dr. Sood offers simple solutions to relieving stress in our day-to-day problems…This 10-part guide can help readers find peace and achieve their goals toward creating a healthier and happier life.”

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (December 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738217123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738217123
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished reading “The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living.” It was not your run-of-the-mill self-help book. While other books have offered to help me meditate, reduce stress, or become healthier, most of them required me to steal large amounts of time from my very busy day. While I know I need to make changes in my life, current obligations don’t allow me the time (or the finances) to step out of life and meditate for hours a day. Dr. Sood’s approach is different. Rather than remove ourselves from our daily issues, he asks us to use them as opportunities to get out of “default mode”, focus joyfully on the present, re-frame our interpretations, and find ways to be grateful for what we have.

This well-researched book discusses why our minds wander, why we tend to dwell on the negative, how that affects our life, and what we can do about it. I found the book simple to understand. However, please don’t mistake simple for easy. Many of us have spent years becoming who we are. It may take us years to become who we want to be. If true, that person will be years away until we actually start the work of becoming. Dr. Sood’s simple exercises and practices made it easy to start right away and simple enough to integrate into my everyday life.

This book is absolutely full of useful insights. However, I think the biggest lesson I learned from reading “The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living" is that the most important emotions are gratitude and compassion. Focusing on them doesn’t mean you cannot strive to improve yourself or your situation. Far from it. Instead, it means you should be kind to yourself and those around you. Enjoy the journey as much as the objective.
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Format: Paperback
I was able to read Dr. Sood's book over the holidays. What a blessing to have his wisdom over this stressful holiday time and also after what has been a stressful year for me personally. Dr. Sood's stress management approach is evidence based, in grounded in the most recent scientific knowledge and is practical for the modern everyday living. His anecdotal and personal stories also make this book very real and relevant. He has so many words of wisdom that are shared throught that book that are based on his personal journey and learnings that set this book apart from others. These words of wisdom and everyday tips for training your attention and daily interpretations have helped me live with increased gratitude, meaning and joy. I spend less time in my head in black holes of thought and am enjoying time with family and friends as I meet them with compassion, acceptance, love and forgiveness. I will share this book with my family members so we can take this journal to living more stress free together. Thank you Dr. Sood for sharing your collective wisdom and helping so many with shifting attention and everyday perspectives.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this book by a friend who thought I would enjoy reading it. My first reaction was, “I already know a lot of ways to relax…I doubt there will be anything new that I haven’t already heard.” However, I soon discovered that this book on stress was different.

Instead of teaching about different relaxation methods, Dr. Sood takes the latest research from neuroscience, effective principles and practices from psychology, and wisdom from a variety of spiritual teachings then insightfully melds it all into a user-friendly daily practice that builds resiliency and fosters good mental health. As the back cover says, “…you learn skills that will help you develop deep and sustained attention, practice gratitude, compassion and acceptance, live a meaningful life, cultivate nurturing relationships, and achieve your highest potential”.

There are many components of this book that I particularly liked. First, I found the latest research on brain information to be very compelling, and I appreciated learning how our minds operate either in “default mode” or “focused mode”. After reading about this in the book, I began more carefully considering what my brain attends to, how and why it interprets what it attends to, AND how I can impact my attention. Understanding the evolution and function of brain and mind seems critical to creating the world we live in individually and collectively, and Dr. Sood’s explanation of recent research shines new light on why we tend to function the way we do, as well as how we can make changes for the better.

Secondly, Dr. Sood’s suggestions on ways to practice living with gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and higher meaning were straightforward and manageable for most anyone’s schedule.
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Format: Paperback
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from demanding circumstances. Since most of us are challenged in life in by these type of circumstances, most of us have experienced stress. For myself, the anxiety of future possible challenges and the memories of the past ones, robbed me of being in my present day life. I was a prisoner of future catastrophes and a trauma victim of the past. Dr Sood's guide was the most effective and the most healing therapy that I have experienced. The book explains the science of stress and then provides a guide to brain and heart strengthening exercises that help to create an optimistic, realistic and resilient brain. My ability to enjoy my life by being more in the present moment ~ with attention, gratitude, compassion, acceptance, higher meaning and forgiveness ~ has not only given me more life in my life but also more joy. I still am aware of my demanding circumstances, I still am aware of my challenges ~ but now I have powerful tools to guide me to a resiliency that is healthier for me and those I love. I am so grateful to Dr Sood for his work and this book.
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