Book Review: Learn to Relax by C. Eugene Walker

August 29th, 2022

Details from Audible:

Publisher's Summary

Dr. C. Eugene Walker's relaxation techniques have helped thousands of people find relief from tension and stress. In this updated edition of his best selling Learn to Relax, Walker explains how creative problem-solving and decision-making can keep you from feeling overwhelmed and improve your ability to cope with everyday worries. You will find specific techniques - many of them new - that have proven successful in conquering anxiety, whether your periods of stress are brief and mild or you suffer from more severe, long-lasting bouts of anxiety. Fast, simple, and effective, Learn to Relax lets you beat stress and gain control of your life.
©2001 by John Wiley & Sons (P)2000 by Penton Overseas, Inc. Published by Penton Overseas, Inc. and Audio Scholar, Inc.

Initial Thoughts:

Self-help books are an interesting thing. I think some of them are really good and can help a lot of people (myself included) if they are well written by someone qualified to talk on the subject. All that said I was drawn to this book because like millions of other people, the Pandemic (among other things), has certainly up my stress level over the past 2+ years and I can always learn how to relax more/better. Plus it's a quick listen at under 3 hours and I'm often more inclined to listen to a woman's voice over a man's. 

Main Points:

I'm not going to discuss every chapter here, but just give my overall impressions. As is always the case with self-help books, not every chapter had the same level of interest. While I am only mildly curious about the chapter on what anxiety is (mostly because I knew 90% of what was said), a later chapter on hypnosis was really interesting, as I've never been hypnotized and I'm curious if you can do that to yourself.

Some of the most important lessons you could learn from this are the importance of eating healthy and exercising (a healthy body=healthy mind is really true!), and the importance of having someone to talk to that can always help you feel better/support you when you need it most. When you are really upset and it lasts for a long period of time (several months) there is no substitution for talking with a trained professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker, someone you just can't make it on your own. Being organized and dealing with problems/issues/commitments right away is always so much better than putting them off.

Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book, the narrator does a good job and has a pleasant, soothing voice. I would say that unless you are going to listen to this over and over again, it may be a little hard to follow the tips and advice here without it being in front of you (whether digital or print). For anyone who is suffering from anxiety or just wants to learn how to relax more, I would recommend this book. I would have liked it to go on more, be more detailed, and deal with other issues but it is possible I listened to an abridged version. In any case, I give it a solid 7.5 out of 10 and would recommend it to anyone interested. While I suppose a child could listen to this, I don't think they would get anything out of it, so I would say ages 16+.