Minimize Stress, Maximize Success (Book Review)

Minimize Stress, Maximize Success: Effective Strategies for Realizing Your Goals (Positive Business Series) is written by Clare Harris. She is a visiting lecturer at the Cranfield school of Management’s Praxis Center for Developing Personal Effectiveness, which takes a pioneering and holistic approach to personal and organizational development.

Browsing Through Minimize Stress, Maximize Success

Chapter 1: What’s happening to us?

Explores how stress impacts on us at work, examining how it affects both our body and our mind. It takes a look at common causes of stress in the workplace, and teaches us how to evaluate our major stressors.

Chapter 2: What’s happening to me?

Focuses on how stress can influence our thinking, feelings and behavior, and how it can affect adversely our physical health and well-being. We learn how to monitor our thinking, and how to trust the messages our body sends us. This chapter looks at the topic of change in detail, because today’s corporate climate is highly unpredictable. Once we get a grasp of what happens during the process of change, we are better able to cope with any upheavals.

Chapter 3: How can I help myself?

Is packed with tried-and-tested suggestions as to how we can help relieve stress and improve our well-being, both physically and mentally. We learn about the importance of controlling our breathing, of taking the right kind of exercise, of eating healthy food, and of getting a good night’s sleep. We also find out how to release mental stress through thinking more positively, re-balancing our work and home lives, and finding new goals and dreams, to form a comprehensive stress-busting strategy.

Chapter 4: Sounds familiar

Is dedicated offering specific answers to most common problems managers face in the workplace. Topics covered range from decision-making, assertiveness and communication to time management, delegation and harassment. We are given an array of proven methods with which to tackle them.

Chapter 5: Quick-fix solutions

When we find ourselves in difficult situations, we sometimes need a quick-fix to instantly release tension. This chapter is full of useful exercises that help us stay calm and focused.

My favorite excerpt

Building Your Own Time Bomb Do you find that, once or twice a year, you begin to feel seriously overworked? Do your energy levels dive; does paper work pile up; and you have no time for relaxation, let alone fun? And a couple of weeks later, do you feel really under the weather? If so, you are not alone. Many generally healthy, energetic people have these significant dips in well-being.

It nearly always starts with some genuinely stressful episode – say a frustrating project that doesn’t go well, or anxiety about an impossible tight deadline. Unless we are skilled in managing stress, we find ourselves dwelling on the problem night and day. Our agitated mind takes over and keeps the body bathed in stress hormones almost continuously –creating our own well-being time bomb.


In the 21st century business environment, stress has become a way of life; an accepted occupational hazard. This book gives practical advice and inspiring suggestions on key aspects of stress control and career development. It is an essential addition to the bookshelves of anyone who has ever wondered how to live a peaceful and contented life and yet still fulfill their professional ambitions.

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