So you say you want to eliminate stress from your life? Well, chances are…you can’t. Unless you live on a private island somewhere in the South Pacific, in a magical land without to-do lists, deadlines, family schedules, relationship conflicts and bills to pay, stress is going to be a part of your everyday existence. (Come to think of it, even on the magical South Pacific island you have to deal with the occasional monsoon, don’t you?)
Maybe the answer isn’t eliminating stress, or even conquering it. Maybe what we need is a way to manage it peacefully, without the pills or caffeine or sugar or junk food or cigarettes or alcohol or whatever it is we use to get ourselves through the day. What we need is a way to find a state of calm, of personal equilibrium that give us a sustainable way to handle whatever life throws at us. A condition that a trio of wellness experts calls “meQuilibrium.”
These three specialists—Jan Bruce, Andrew Shatté and Adam Perlman—share their philosophy in a new book titled, meQuilibrium: 14 Days to Cooler, Calmer and Happier (Harmony Books, 2015). In the book, the authors combine global, systemic medicine with their brand of positive psychology to create an approach that helps the reader address stress on every level.
“Our culture is finally waking up to the fact that if we want to be healthy and happy, we need to think bigger,” writes Dr. Mark Hyman in the book’s introduction. “For far too long, too many people turned to quick-fix answers in their health and weight struggles. It was practically the American way: We tried fad diets to lose weight, swallowed pills to lift our mood, or self-medicated with food or alcohol to calm our worried minds. None of it worked. As a society, we just got fatter, sicker, unhappier and more stressed.
“We were focusing on the fleeting solutions rather than the underlying problems,” writes Hyman. “We didn’t need to change what was going on in our lives and surrounding so much as we needed to dig deeper and change what was going on within ourselves.”
According to Hyman, stress is the ultimate impediment to good health; according to him, stress causes or worsens 95 percent of all illnesses. “Not only does stress make us sick, but it prevents us from healing,” he writes. “It floods our bodies with hormones that cause us to pack on deadly belly fat and sabotage our weight-loss efforts. We are seeing an epidemic of stress-related disorders in our society, from depression to dementia, anxiety to obesity.
“But,” Hyman writes, “the answer doesn’t sit on drugstore shelves—it’s within our minds.”
In the book, the authors share 14 days of suggestions designed to help you find a place within yourself from which you can weather any storm that life’s stresses may produce. From sleeping smart to unlocking your problem-solving power, from refueling right to banishing burnout, from striking a balance between work and life to living your life goals, the authors show the reader that peacefully coexisting with your stressors and navigating around bad thoughts and habits are the way to sustainable calm. Their goal is to show the reader that stress doesn’t have to flourish—but you can.
Even with the stress, our lives are too rich, too joyful and too rewarding to trade away for a life on a mythical South Pacific island. Imagine what our lives could be if we also were to find a way to tame the stress that hounds us every day? According to these authors, we don’t have to imagine it. A life of cool, calm and happy could be just two weeks away.