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About The Book

Where does stress come from? Financial pressures? Looming deadlines? Conflicts at work or at home? For more than half a century, we’ve been told that stress comes from circumstances like these, that it’s a by-product of our ancestors’ fight-or-flight response to danger, and that the best we can do, given the fast pace of life today, is to breathe, try to relax, and accept that life is hard.

All of this, according to Andrew Bernstein, is wrong. Spurred by the death of several family members when he was young, Bernstein began a quest to understand the real dynamics of stress and resilience. He eventually realized that stress doesn’t come from your circumstances—it comes from your thoughts about your circumstances. More specifically, stress is created by a particular kind of thought that humans happen to excel at.

Seeing this, Bernstein realized that the antidote to stress—and the key to far greater resilience—is not exercise or physical relaxation, but finding these stress-producing thoughts and finally dismantling them. He created a process called ActivInsight that helps you—and the people you care about—do this on your own in just seven steps, often yielding life-changing breakthroughs in a matter of minutes.

Bernstein has been teaching ActivInsight to great acclaim in schools, not-for-profits, and Fortune 500 companies since 2004. Now he shares this technique for the first time with a wider audience. In The Myth of Stress, you will experience the surprising power of this new approach for yourself as you apply ActivInsight to a wide variety of today’s most common challenges, including:

weight loss • money • success interpersonal conflict • addiction • traffic divorce • heartbreak • discrimination • anger uncertainty about the future • loss of a loved one and more

With compassion, intelligence, and humor, The Myth of Stress offers a complete reeducation in the nature of stress, permanently changing the way you relate to challenges—at school, at work, and at home—in order to live a happier and healthier life.

About The Author

Laura Rose

Andrew Bernstein is the founder of the Resilience Academy and creator of ActivInsight. His work is changing the way individuals and organizations around the world understand stress and resilience. His clients include Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and many others. He lives in New York City with his family. For more information, visit


Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (May 4, 2010)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439171769

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Raves and Reviews

"This book is a masterful guide to rethinking the so-called stressors in your life. I’ve never read a more useful book about managing stress — I’ve made it required reading for some of the people who matter most to me.” - Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast "WorkLife"

"Bernstein's volume is an outstanding guide to understanding the nature of stress and how to handle it. The book provides numerous insights and techniques for anyone experiencing stress—and who doesn't?"
—Aaron T. Beck, M.D., founder of Cognitive Therapy

"We often think we have to avoid or reduce stress. The Myth of Stress teaches you not to “manage stress” but to root out the very causes of stress, the tangled thinking that keeps you stuck in the belief the world has to change for you to be happy. Andrew Bernstein guides us through a way to untangle those thoughts and be free. Read this book and it will change your life and you will find your happiness will depend on only one thing – YOU." —Mark Hyman, MD, New York Times best-selling author of The UltraMind Solution

"The Myth of Stress is a compelling, compassionate book about our suffering when we fight reality and the transformation that is possible when we don't. I loved it."
—Geneen Roth, author of When Food Is Love and Women, Food, and God

"Andrew Bernstein has brought some much needed common sense to the subject of stress and that alone makes this book a winner." —Caroline Myss, author of Defy Gravity and Invisible Acts of Power

"An easy-to-learn method for addressing issues underlying stress." —Library Journal

"Look out Anthony Robbins, move over Deepak Chopra, there’s a quiet storm moving up through this state and beyond. His name is Andrew Bernstein...He’s an intelligent, calm, and soft-spoken person who uses reason and logic to quiet the mind." —Vision Magazine

"Bernstein has created a wonderful, accessible how-to manual for regular people wanting to feel better."
—Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., author of Potatoes Not Prozac

I love Andy Bernstein and his commitment to helping people challenge their thinking.” Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is


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