Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life - Joseph G. Langen, Ph.D.
It's 2016 and stress runs rampant in our world. Whether it's trying to get to work on time, fighting the daily commute, or simply trying to get your son to cooperate as you're attempting to get your house ready for yet another realtor showing (a little too specific?), we all struggle with stress.
And it seems that many employers believe that our stress level somehow equals our efficiency level. If we're not stressed, we're not being challenged enough.
In his book, Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life, Joseph Langen draws from his 35 years as a professional psychologist to help his readers fight off stress and the horrible effect it can have on your life and health.
This book will help you gain a better understanding of stress and why it has a hold in your life. From there, Langen gives many ideas on how to combat stress and lead yourself to a more peaceful and stress free life.
This is a book that I plan to read again, especially when I have a little more time to focus on it. Learning to conquer your stress will require some life changes, not just a guided meditation when you're feeling overwhelmed. In order to truly learn to manage stress and keep it out of your life, serious and permanent changes will need to be made.
Some Bio Information
Dr Langen, also known as Joe, is a retired psychologist. He worked for 35 years with children, teens, adults and seniors helping them with all sorts of stress in their lives.
Dr. Langen graduated from the University of Illinois in 1971 with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. He worked at Temple University Counseling Center offering individual and group therapy to Temple students.
He next worked at De La Salle in Towne, an alternative high school and treatment program for delinquent boys in Philadelphia. He then moved to Western New York where he worked as Supervising Psychologist at Genesee County Mental Health Services in Batavia, specializing in treatment of teens and alcoholics.
At DePaul Mental Health in Rochester, he held the position of Chief Psychologist and Child and Adolescent Team Leader, offering individual, family and group counseling. He also participated in the Child Abuse Treatment Program.
He then entered private practice, offering individual and family therapy with children, teens and adults which he conducted in Williamsville NY and Batavia NY. He also conducted evaluations for Social Security, New York State Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
He began writing a newsletter for his private practice on commonsense wisdom topics. In 2000, he switched to a biweekly newspaper column at the Daily News in Batavia which he continued to publish until 2015.
He is currently working on his latest book, From Violence to Peace. The goal of his writing is to help his readers live a more peaceful life in harmony with themselves, with each other and with the earth.
1) What inspired you to write this book?
My thirty-five years as a professional psychologist inspired me to write this book. Everyone I worked with suffered from stress of one sort or another. I studied stress throughout my years of psychological practice and became well aware in my counseling of the many ways stress affected people's lives. Now that I am retired from working as a psychologist, I wanted to share what I have learned over these years and up to now have only been able to share on a one-to-one basis.
2) Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I get ideas from my reading of books, magazines and newspapers as well as from Google alerts. Once I have an idea I think is worth pursuing, I might try a trial balloon with a blog. If I think more needs to be written, I consider a book-length treatment of the topic. I realized that stress has been addressed by many writers but never in a volume combining the definition and understanding of stress, its effect on the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Then I wrote about how stress affects people in each of these areas and added ways to help with each kind of stress. I tried to write at least five days a week for several hours, usually in the morning while working on the book. I also had several trusted readers for ways to improve the book.
3) What types of readers would benefit the most from this book?
his book is geared for adults and older teens. I see it as most useful for readers who want to understand what causes stress, particularly the kinds of stress which affect them. It is meant for people who are ready to take a thoughtful look at the workings of their inner life and relationships to see how they could arrive at a more peaceful way of life.
4) What do you hope that readers take away from your work?
hope readers will take away a better understanding of what stress is, where it comes from, how it affects them and what they can do about it on a variety of levels- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
5) Are there any additional resources you would recommend in the journey to battling stress?
hysically, I would recommend balanced nutrition and care in use of chemicals. Mentally I would recommend practice of yoga and mindfulness meditation, s well as organizing your life. Emotionally, I would suggest keeping a journal to help you be aware of your emotions and learn to manage them. Spiritually, I suggest learning to see your life in a wider perspective than your own personal wants and desires. Books I think especially useful are Thomas Berry's The Dream of the Earth, Albert Ellis's New Guide to Rational Living, Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul, Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements, and Carla Wills-Brandon's Learning to Say No: Establishing Healthy Boundaries.
6) What is the first step in successfully overcoming/dealing with stress?
To my mind, the first step in handling stress is to admit its presence in your life and find some perspective by asking those who love and care about you whether they see you as suffering from stress and how they see it affecting you. It's hard to be objective about yourself.
7) What’s your ultimate writing goal?
My ultimate writing goal is to help my readers live a more peaceful life both inside themselves and in relationship to others with whom they share the journey through life. I am currently working on a book, provisionally titled From Violence to Peace.