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Stress Less: The New Science That Shows Women How to Rejuvenate the Bodyand the Mind Hardcover – September 23, 2010

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The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
When the best option is to let go of the life you planned for yourself and find a new path, a world of possibilities can surprisingly open up.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her first book, journalist Singer argues that, while everyone is dealing with stress these days, the burden falls on women, particularly female baby boomers, who "essentially invented the Superwomen syndrome." Through extensive research and interviews with prominent scientists, the author examines stress as a genetic enemy and reveals the neurological and biological mechanisms that tie stress to aging. As we age, telomeres, the "chromosome life-savers" that govern the repair of DNA, erode as old or damaged cells are replaced; life-style factors such as smoking, diet, exercise, infection, and stress contribute, but studies have sown that the damage can be reversed. Singer refers to the most recent science as motivation for employing tried-and-true remedies for coping with stress, like meditation, sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Singer, who has covered the science and health beat for over 30 years, has an accessible approach to difficult material, employing personal stories as a way into her lessons. Though these stories often feel overly functional, the message behind them is clear: if women stress less, they can turn back the clock.
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"We can modify our responses to stress, which benefits not only our well-being but even our genes. In Stress Less, Thea Singer shows us how. Do more, age less. Highly recommended."
-Dean Ornish, M.D. Founder & President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute and New York Times bestselling author of The Spectrum

"This book is a gem. Beautiful science and practical, helpful, life-changing information."
-Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

"Stress Less is a wonderfully engaging compilation of all the most recent scientific findings about stress. Full of wise suggestions, fascinating studies, and impressive examples, it's a book that could change your life and your health. It's done both for me."
-Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling author of Finding Your Own North Star

"Stress Less is a very readable and practical guide to counteracting stress that should be read by men as well as women! The book is also full of up-to-date scientific information."
-Bruce McEwen, author of The End of Stress As We Know It

"With lyricism and wit, Thea Singer plumbs revolutionary science to reveal the latest ways to slow aging -- from the inside out. Stress Less will change the way you see the world, and yourself in it."
-Pamela Redmond Satran, author of How Not to Act Old

"Well-written and accessible, Stress Less gives readers insight into the many ways that people can control their own aging. Singer summarizes a wide array of empirical studies in an accessible yet scientifically accurate fashion which she spices up with her own personal reflections. Readers can take brief diagnostic tests to find out their own levels of stress and, just as importantly, can learn simple and specific ways to reduce the stress in their daily lives through such empirically validated methods as exercise, diet control, sleep management, and social support. Enjoyable, informative, and perhaps even life-saving, this book is a must-read for midlife women seeking to live longer and better."
-Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst and author, The Search for Fulfillment: Revolutionary New Research That Reveals the Secret to Long-Term Happiness

"Thea Singer has done a marvelous job researching, translating, and disseminating scientific knowledge on an extremely important, difficult, and debated topic: the new science of stress and aging. She has a great way of expressing complex concepts -- not just succinctly and to the point but also with humor and panache. What an instructive -- and enjoyable! -- read."
-Zofia Zukowska, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Georgetown University Medical Center

"Stress Less is a contemporary, complete, and accurate summary of how the body deals with stress. Written with wit and humor, the book offers advice that applies to both women and men of all ages, and could well serve as a companion for introductory courses for future doctors and scientists."
-William Thomas Thach, Jr., M.D., Professor of Neurobiology in the Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Neurology, and Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press (September 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594630607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594630606
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I'm hooked on this book.
And, what I really like about it is that it gives you very clear ways that you can lower your stress levels and improve your health.
It offers valuable, scientific, information in a digestible manner.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on December 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In case you're tired of hearing "Diet and exercise!" over and over again, Thea Singer's engaging style presents a very convincing argument about the benefits of reducing stress to live a healthier, longer, more fulfilling life. Reporting research beginning with 1911 up to the present, she shows that right down to the tips of our DNA strands (telomeres), stress causes shortened telomeres, belly fat, confused thinking, poor memory, and faster aging.

As we learned back in seventh grade science, when cells divide, or undergo mitosis, they replicate themselves exactly. But when strands of DNA in our cells divide, scientists have discovered that the telomeres, little tips of each strand, don't divide. They have to split themselves in half and give some to one DNA strand and some to the other. That's what contributes to aging, obesity, wrinkles, gray hair, weak muscles, and pain in our joints. The older we get, the more our cells divide, and the shorter the bits of telomeres become.

But listen up! Those telomeres can be bulked up, reversing aging in some cases or just slowing down the process for the rest of us. Reducing stress appears to be the key in every study. In addition to the research data about how our bodies deteriorate from stress, Singer gives us additional research to show how to reduce stress and regain our health. One way is to exercise, but not in a stressful way. Having to complete a physical fitness regimen can be very stressful, but Singer shows through documenting research how to exercise in a healthy way.

Singer also shows us how diets can cause stress: we have to count calories, weigh and measure our food, or purchase meals high in salt to make up for lack of flavor from fat.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MALIBU READER on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a really interesting book due to the science Thea Singer covers. And, what I really like about it is that it gives you very clear ways
that you can lower your stress levels and improve your health. Its really great to actually understand the reasons why we should be doing
certain things. And, she tells the story in a really accessible and nice way. I highly recommend this. And, don't think its just for women,
it has information for men too.
Its great!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Megan Honor Pesch on January 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim after hearing the author on CNN and have not been able to put it down since! I was delighted at how fun "Stress Less" was to read. Thea Singer strikes the perfect balance making this topic both accessible and educational. As a woman in the medical field I am sometimes leery about books that claim to tell the reader how to manage stress, but this book lives up to it's promises! It does a great job of explaining complicated experiments in a way that is easy to understand without scarifying scientific accuracy. Singer writes about stress in a way that is applicable to her readers unique lives. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding how stress impacts their bodies and how to reduce stress in their daily lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rlweaverii on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

Let me explain what led me to review this book, and you will see the qualities--for me--that make a great book. First, I looked the author's credentials: 30 years of writing about health and science, writer for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Herald. Contributor to Natural Health and The Nation, among others.

For the second thing that led me to review this book, I looked at her "Selected Bibliography," which occupies 44 pages of the book and which is filled with high quality books, sophisticated journals (e.g., Scientific American, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, The Journals of Gerontology, Tends in Cognitive Sciences, Human Ecology, Psychology and Aging, among many other outstanding resources). Each source was presented with impeccable accuracy. This book truly represents outstanding research.

Singer's writing skill, too, is succinct, contagious, engaging, and easy to read and comprehend. This is not an erudite scientific treatise but a warm, friendly book written to and for readers. Her examples are excellent and well described, her targeted tests at the beginning of each chapter in the book (8 total) are scientifically proven measures of assessment and offer ways at the end of each one to calculate and interpret your score.

This is, indeed, the kind of book to which I am attracted. It offers valuable, scientific, information in a digestible manner. There is some technical material, to be sure, as the following sentence will attest:

"What the two discovered was the enzyme telomerase, which synthesizes telomeric DNA, dabbing additional repeats of the TTAGGG sequence onto shortening telomere ends, making up for the ones that get lost during division or otherwise .
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