Book Review- 99 Ways to Fight Stress and Worry

Title: 99 Ways to Fight Stress and Worry

Author: Elsa Kok Colopy

Publisher’s Synopsis: The 99 ways to cope and rise above worry and stress are grouped into categories that include “Guard Your Rest”, “Dream a Little”, “Pursue Healthy Diversions”, and “Dive Into Truth”.

This little book cracked me up when I unpacked it.  You see, I rarely stress and I’m not a worrier.  However, I am married to a man with a Ph.D in Worry, so I thought, if nothing else, I might glean a few things to encourage him to consider.

My first impression was that it was kind of simplistic.  I mean, the title alone implies that you can “pick a fun way to attack your worry or stress and voila.  Instant success.  No, the title doesn’t say that, but it’s the feeling you get when you look at it.  I also wondered at some of the topics in the little book.  I mean, one of them suggests that you invest in your friends.  Make sure you have multiple friends that you spend regular time with and don’t neglect those friendships.  Well, that’s well and good, but I know an awful lot of people who struggle to find friends, much less invest in them.  So, at first, as I read it, I really thought the book was a lovely little collection of pithy stories and platitudes that wouldn’t do you any good.

So, why am I writing all this negativity about a book that Multnomah/Waterbrook so graciously provided me to review?  Shouldn’t I have just put up their publisher’s synopsis without my negative input?

Nope.  Because the story doesn’t end there.  As I was mulling my dilemma, the truth of the issue hit me like a Mack Truck.  When you’re worried or have stress, the last thing you need is an exhaustive treatise on the deep spiritual ramifications of worry and the huge pit of sin someone is in if they dare to struggle with it.  When you’re stressed and worried, you need a little encouragement to help you out of that pit and then you can see to fight the battle against recurrence.  When I looked at the book from that perspective, suddenly the little bits of encouragment to get enough exercise and rest didn’t seem so trivial.  The author doesn’t ever hint that this is the exhaustive work on the topic.  She simply gives simple coping mechanisms to get you over the hump and leaves the deeper theological issues to those who love to delve into that realm.

My hat is off to Ms. Colopy.  She took a difficult subject and broke it down into bite-sized pieces for those who have such a difficult elephant to consume!    If the rest of the 99 Ways series is as interesting as this book, I’d say it’s a perfect option to grab at your local bookstore or to order and have shipped to a friend who is having a tough time.  You’d be giving gentle encouragement rather than a 2×4 disguised as a gift.

I was going to offer this book as a give away, but since it’s such a little book, I’m going to save it for a “bundled” give away so watch for it soon!

My thanks to Multnomah/Waterbrook for providing this copy for review.

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