Although stress levels within our society are rising at an exponential rate it is a subject about which most people are woefully uneducated.
This is an inevitable consequence of a culture and medical profession that finds it infinitely more convenient to prescribe chemicals of one type or another rather than spend any significant amount of time getting to the heart of any health issue.
Arthur P Ciaramicoli is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been on the faculty of Havard Medical School as well as chief psychologist of Metrowest Medical Centre. He is someone who has studied the effects of stress in our modern society and who has, after many decades advising clients on how to deal with their own stress and anxiety, developed a unique approach to the subject – one which is based around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
In his book The Stress Solution Ciaramicoli introduces readers to the basics of his therapy. These, he says are those of CBT and empathy.
He explains how, at its core, empathy is the capacity to understand and respond to the unique experience of another person. Furthermore he describes it as an inherent function within us all to “…identify with another person’s experience even when we do not know whether our experiences are similar.”
It appears that when we offer empathy towards another certain powerful chemicals are released in our brains that actively work to reduce high levels of stress. Thus the more we care for our fellow man the less he, or she, is likely to stress us out.
Linking CBT, which is a principle that connects thoughts and feelings and then relates them to our actions and our personal interpretation of any given situation offers a powerful therapeutic tool for a range of issues of which stress is only one.
In his book Ciaramicoli offers his many years employing CBT formulas to high-flying clients whose stress led them into psychological dead ends. He unravels what he believes are the causes of stress, the reason why it is so prevailen in every part of modern society and how by reconnecting to the more rewarding pursuits of empathy and relationships cultivation we can gradually pull ourselves back into balance.
He also identifies the various consequences of long term stress such as anxiety, depression and weight gain. In addition he shows that the resultant damage that stress causes to our immune system can lead on to the development of more serious illnesses.
It seems that by not taking stress seriously as a condition we run the very high risk of radically shortening our life span!
Our Review of ‘The Stress Solution’ by Arthur P Ciaramicoli
Stress is one of those strange health issues that directly stems from our lifestyle choices and The Stress Solution constantly reminds its readers throughput its pages that the process of reversal is a matter of personal choice and awareness of our contribution to it in the way we make conscious choices.
This is a heavily psycho-analytical based publication but it also draws upon other well-known and proven stress limiters; such as those of taking exercise and of practicing good eating. The book includes a questionnaire that helps self-diagnosis and the very personalised approach by the author to his readership.
Overall this is very engaging and practical workbook. It calls upon tried and tested therapeutic procedures and whilst it might not be an approach to stress reduction reduction that works for everyone it is one that offers so much advice that will enable the reader to unravel their own unique formula for stress reduction in their life.