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1001 Ways to Relax
Published by: Chronicle Books 2003
In the past year I married off my youngest son, made a move of 850 miles and found out that a first grandchild is on the way. If ever I needed a book on handling stress, it’s now.
With my own needs in mind I relished the thought of reading Mike George’s book, “1001 Ways to Relax.“ Mike George is an international consultant who runs stress management courses for companies such as British Telecom and American Express. He is also a motivational speaker who has lectured in over thirty countries and has written several other books on similar topics.
In the introduction to “1001 Ways to Relax” George states, “Just as it takes all kinds of people to make our world so various and beautiful, so too it takes many forms of relaxation to create rest and renewal at each level of our being and in each area of our lives.“ Does he really come up with 1001 effective, viable ways to relax? Yes, he does.
The book has ten chapters, the first titled “Morning” and the last, ”Evening.“ In between are subjects such as Positive Change, Body, Work, Creativity and Play, and People. Each chapter is further sub-divided into numbered ideas that pertain to that subject. For instance, in the chapter “The Peaceful Home,“ the section “Outside” includes #585 “Make a zen garden in a little sandpit with artfully placed rocks. Rake the sand around the rocks. Meditate on the beautiful pattern you have created.”
Some of the suggestions are pretty basic – ”# 45 Always eat breakfast.“ Others are philosophical in nature - ”#190 Remember there are no mistakes, only opportunities for learning, growth and change.“ Many are very imaginative – ”#405 Skip down a gentle hill. The combination of fine views, energetic and joyful movement and the sense of soaring into the air with each downward leap makes this a particularly exhilarating way to relax.”
“1001 Ways to Relax” is easy to follow and to make things even simpler it has an extensive index in the back. Colourful and cheerful, it is also a treat to the eye. Pages of various colors along with simple artwork turns it into a reading experience rather than a lengthy list of ideas.
If I have any complaint about this book, it’s the size. At 4 inches x 5 inches it is comparable in dimension to a small gift book. The back cover claims the book is “Relaxation in the palm of your hand.“ Unfortunately, at a length of 384 pages, you have to have a pretty large hand. “1001 Ways to Relax” is cumbersome to hold, awkward to shelve and too thick to carry around in a purse or briefcase. I’d like to see it published as a larger book with less pages and more content per page.
In the whole scheme things however, that is a moot point. “1001 Ways to Relax” is packed full of excellent ideas. Whether you’re looking for instant relief during high-tension moments, new ideas for bringing a more peaceful atmosphere into your home, or suggestions on creating a less stressful and more rewarding lifestyle this book would be a valuable resource.
Article by: Lydia Calder
posted:26 Nov 2008
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