Press Room

Press Release August 25, 2011

Scientific American Mind September/October 2011

The Latest in Science News

How to fight a frazzled mind (p 30)
Stress management is both trainable and beneficial, writes Robert Epstein in this month's Scientific American Mind. Furthermore, preventive and proactive approaches seem to be the most effective when it comes to dealing with stress.

Previous research indicates that there are at least four broad, trainable competencies that can help people to manage stress effectively: source management (reducing or eliminating the sources of stress); practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga; thought management (correcting irrational thinking and reinterpreting events in a positive light); and prevention (planning and conducting your life to avoid sources of stress). Epstein assessed the relative importance of these by conducting an online test of 3,304 individuals. Participants were asked how stressed and how generally happy they were, and whether they had received formal stress-management training. They were then asked questions about different practices that fall under the four competencies.

Relaxation techniques and thought management are often thought to be the most effective ways to deal with stress, but Epstein's study found that prevention was the most helpful competency, followed by source management. The results also suggest that people who have received stress-management training cope better with stress than those who haven't.

The challenge now, writes Epstein, is "to teach techniques for managing stress to a public that knows little about them, and, especially, to educate our children before the big stressors hit."

About Scientific American
Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the award-winning authoritative source for the science discoveries and technology innovations that matter. The longest continuously published magazine in the U.S., it is translated into 14 languages, and reaches a global audience of more than 6 million. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany. Scientific American is at the heart of Nature Publishing Group's consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public. For more information, please visit


Editors at Scientific American Mind are available to comment on this topic; please contact the Press Office

Tel: (212) 451-8569

Press Inquiries

Interview requests, corporate and trade press:

  • Rachel Scheer
    Corporate Public Relations Manager, Nature Publishing Group
    New York, NY
    Phone: (212) 451-8569
    Contact by Email
  • Grace Baynes
    Corporate Public Relations, Nature Publishing Group
    London, UK
    Phone: +44 (0)20 7014 4063
    Contact by Email
  • Alex Jackson
    Corporate Communications Officer, Nature Publishing Group
    Phone: +44 (0) 20 843 4850
    Contact by Email

For science writers and journalists about Scientific American content:

Follow Us:

Email this Article