Book Review | How Stress and Anxiety Impact Your Decision Making by Steven Howard

It is not just WHAT you think, but HOW you think, that makes a difference in the outcomes you generate.

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Genre: Health & Well-Being

Publication date: June 13, 2020

Publisher: Caliente Press

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025793-how-stress-and-anxiety-impact-your-decision-making

54025793

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m not really surprised by anything that the book reveals, which is essentially that attempting to multitask, being constantly interrupted by notifications on our digital devices, and information overload is wearing down our brain and causing us increased stress. In fact, I understand that multitasking does NOT lead to improved productivity, which is why I took up this book to understand the phenomenon further.

I have been amply rewarded by the author’s clear and engaging writing style, well-researched information, and attractive style of presentation. I wouldn’t say this is easy reading; it is a serious book but contains information that we all need to know and understand. I learned many new terms like supertaskers, decision fatigue, emotional tagging, emotional hijacking, monkey brain.

The author talks about stress at the workplace, but the concepts discussed are relevant to everyday life as well. Statistics are mostly based on U.S. data but I believe the conclusions hold true for most of the world. Interestingly, millenials are termed “Generation Stressed Out” as both parents and children are leading hectic lives.

My biggest learning from this book has been to “wait 60 seconds before doing anything to gain better control of your emotions.” I have tried it and I can confirm that it works. Chapter 3, where this is discussed, describes in detail how our body reacts to stress and what are the negative effects of prolonged stress.

Chapter 4 talks about ways to reduce stress in our lives, some of which are as simple as not watching the news, focusing on the present, doing breathing exercises, and practicing mindfulness. The author draws from neuroscience to describe practical ways to cut back on stress. Interestingly, he advocates eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate to get relief from stress. I felt this was one of the most useful chapters in the book.

Chapter 5 describes mindfulness, addresses misconceptions about it, presents scientific evidence about its benefits, and outlines techniques to practice it. Chapter 6 and 7 continues from this to describe how mindfulness enhances decision-making.

The final few chapters go into great detail about practicing mindfulness techniques and meditations. You’re sure to find something here that will work for you.

I think this is deep dive into how to protect ourselves from stress and anxiety–and take better decisions as a result–and I recommend that you take the time to read it.

(I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.)


Synopsis

It is not just WHAT you think, but HOW you think, that makes a difference in the outcomes you generate.

This book provides a range of tips and techniques on how to manage stress and anxiety and prevent these from impacting your decision-making process. The book includes facts about how exercise and diet impact your brain. It shares some of the latest neuroscientific research on how mindfulness and meditation practices help you grow new brain neurons and increase cellular connectivity across your brain.

The book will help readers find ways to prevent emotions from hijacking their rational, cognitive resources, thus enabling them to make better decisions, think more rationally, and reduce emotional meltdowns and outbursts.

The techniques described will help readers make better decisions and improve their thinking prowess. They will also result in readers becoming less stress and far healthier people. These are four outcomes that will benefit readers immediately, and for years to come.


About Steven Howard

Steven Howard

Steven Howard is an award-winning author of 21 leadership, management, and professional development books, including Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes: How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership.


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