The author has spent most of his working life in universities. He has also worked in the United Nations and local and central governments. This book is the product of many years spent teaching in universities in three countries with different cultures. At the freshman level (first year) he encountered many students who had problems settling down to university life. They brought their troubles to him and over the years and he learned a lot about what worried them, including their increasing levels of stress as exams approached. At higher levels, those studying for their Ph.D.s were often under immense pressure, which was sometimes family-based, sometimes financial, and, towards the end, always concerned issues of time. Listening to their concerns, giving support and advice and helping them to make the necessary adjustments provided much of the practical material for this book.
Although the learning side was based in academia, the practical advice applies to the world in general.
The focus is on practical ways to deal with stress i.e., what you can actually do to help yourself. You are told what you can do to gain immediate relief from stress and help you to unwind quickly. Emphasis is placed on each person’s unique individuality which means that when suffering from stress we all have a wide variety of palliative and curative techniques from which to choose. No one set of recommendations will fit each person, so that a stressed individual should try many or all of the suggestions, then select those ways that helps best.
The first set of recommendations deals with various ways of providing quick relief from stress and inducing immediate feelings of well-being. These consist of various ways of tackling the symptoms of stress and restoring feelings of calm and peace.
The second set of recommendations, the most important ones, consist of ways of making improvements that attack the causes of stress, rather than dealing with the immediate symptoms. These improvements are of long-term nature and mostly involve some changes in life-style.