Stop Overreacting: Effective Strategies for Calming Your Emotions

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New Harbinger Publications, Jul 1, 2010 - Self-Help - 208 pages
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When you are criticized or rejected, do you have a tendency to lash out or withdraw entirely? Both types of knee-jerk reactions can have lasting and unintended consequences, affecting our friendships, careers, families, and romantic relationships. The truth is, overreacting hurts us as much as it hurts the people around us. You may see overreacting as an unchangeable part of your personality, but in reality, this tendency, like any other, can be unlearned.

Stop Overreacting helps you identify your emotional triggers, discover a new way of processing impulsive thoughts and feelings, and understand how your emotions can undermine your ability to think rationally in moments of crisis and stress. You'll learn how to neutralize overwhelming emotions and choose healthy responses instead of flying off the handle. Ready to make a change for the better? It's time to stop overreacting and start feeling collected and in control.


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Stop Overreacting: Effective Strategies for Calming Your Emotions

User Review  - Deborah Bigelow - Book Verdict

Behaviors of overreaction include withdrawing as well as lashing out. Therapist and licensed clinical social worker Siegel aims her book at those who have suffered the consequences of either extreme ... Read full review

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This brief, little book attempts to explain the differences between people who explode and people who use the right emotional side of their brain, governed by the frontal lobe and amygdala. It proved to be a more powerful book than I expected.
It then attempts to help the reader to find a better way to solve problems, without letting one side or the other rule, without striking out, without retreating inside oneself, and instead, it tries to help the reader find out the underlying cause of these overreactions so there will be a more sensible response, neither implosion or explosion, since both of these reactions do not lead to viable solutions. Using just the right amount of each side of the brain to reach a solution, coupled with the knowledge of why we react to different stimuli in different ways and what in our past triggers these reactions, we are able to think more clearly and make better judgments in troubling situations.
Unlike many other self help books I have read, this one gives examples that the reader can really identify with, since they don’t seem plucked from a tree of anecdotes. Also there are a series of exercises at the end of the chapter to help the reader work through issues and distinguish which behavior is caused by certain memories of the past so that the reactions can be controlled in a better way and the problems can be worked through using healthier behavior.
This book can really assist the reader because the examples given are easily identified with and feelings are easily processed with the exercises provided. One can even skim the book to find the areas of most concern. If one can learn what triggers the distorted reactions, and then stop the immediate knee-jerk response, the consequences after the confrontation will be neutral.
Why are we envious, jealous, angry? What sets off our fight or flight reaction? If we can figure that out, we can lead a happier more centered life. Who wouldn’t want that?


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About the author (2010)

Judith P. Siegel, PhD, LCSW, is associate professor at Silver School of Social Work at New York University. She has published extensively in the field of family therapy and has presented throughout the United States. She has also appeared on the Today Show and Good Morning America.

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