While working in his psychiatric practice, Dr. R. Duncan Wallace saw how prevalent stress is in our lives and how it can negatively impact physical health and quality of life. In response, he developed a method to help people release 95% of stress. He, himself, has been stress-free through this technique, he writes, since 1981.
Successful stress management, Wallace writes, is what can give you the “pleasurable soft hum of tranquility.” Here, he shares his deceptively simple method that he believes can easily be self-taught.
Wallace notes that 5% of stress comes from genetic predispositions, severe stressors, long-forgotten memories, etc. His stress-breaking solution is targeted at the other 95% of stress, the kind that arises from “conscious mind pressuring, from how you motivate yourself as you go about the day.”
In general, his technique involves realizing that goals are not immutable. “If you falsely believe, persistently and repeatedly, that you must absolutely achieve a certain goal or prevent an unwanted outcome, stress is the result,” he writes. “… It is like trying to squeeze a balloon down into a smaller size; it creates pressure inside.” Wallace encourages people to use “releaser thoughts”—such as “I will if I’m able” or “I’ll do the best I can”— to take pressure off themselves. He recommends eschewing absolutes in thought patterns, such as changing “I have to” to “I prefer to.”
Wallace acknowledges that people may resist his formula. Indeed, it seems that this self-talk methodology would take years of practice before becoming natural. Readers may wish that concrete strategies had been included to help achieve this style of thinking. Additionally, the short text doesn’t include lengthy anecdotes, case studies or rates of success, which may leave some people wishing for more.
Those who want to get right to the heart of the problem and its solution, however, will likely appreciate Wallace’s succinct style and find some useful information here.
Also available as an ebook.