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“Fred Amir has done it again! Fred’s change protocol is the best way home. Essential reading!”
—Graham Tuffee, Adelaide, South Australia

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“Why does this always happen to me?”

“If that had not happened, this would not have!”

Do these thoughts come to your mind often?

And how about imagining the worst-case scenario when something goes wrong, a loved one is late, or you are boarding an airplane?

If you do, it is possible that you are experiencing a lot of stress and tension in your life. There are certainly many external sources of stress, but negative mental and emotional habits can create a massive amount of stress and tension as well. They can drain your energy, disturb your sleep, affect your relationships, lead to muscle tension, help to cause back and neck pain, and more.

In this book you will discover five proven steps that will help you vanquish stress and become happier and healthier.

As the author of Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain: A Nine-Step Recovery Plan and as the Rapid Recovery coach for more than twenty-five years, I have been helping my readers and clients recover rapidly from back and neck pain as well as pain and numbness in other parts of their bodies. What I have noticed about my readers and clients is a tendency to have a number of negative mental and emotional habits.

They are likely to worry a lot, get stressed easily, fear a bad future, suffer from anxiety and depression, have many negative thoughts about themselves and the world around them, and wonder why bad things happen to them. They wish they could change the past and often say, “If that had not happened, this would not have!”

I call these negative mental and emotional habits stress triggers. These stress triggers, added to repressed anger and rage, can result in tension and lead to pain and numbness in the body or what John Sarno, MD, of New York University, termed Tension Myositis (Myoneural) Syndrome (TMS).

So in addition to helping my clients live pain-free and active lives again, I help them vanquish their stress triggers. I have seen again and again how they flourish when they apply the proven, effective, and fun strategies I explain in this book.

Case in point: Rachel Bowen, a fitness instructor from Georgia, contacted me to help her recover rapidly from back, hip, and leg pain. She also had experienced twenty years of anxiety and sleep issues. Here is what happened when she applied the strategies I explain in this book:

“As a fitness instructor, back, hip, and leg pain limited my activities. The pain and burning sensation were so bad that at one point I rushed to the emergency room for treatment. I also suffered for twenty years from an anxiety disorder. You can imagine how hard it was to live with all that anxiety and pain. Fred helped me to get rid of my symptoms quickly. In fact, I noticed significant improvements the next day. Now I am pain-free, sleep better, have tons more energy, and once again am teaching all my classes, including kickboxing. Thanks, Fred.”


How did she do it?


Every week she applied one simple strategy and developed new positive, empowering mental and emotional habits, which transformed her life. She took a few seconds or minutes a day, depending on the strategy, and practiced it daily for a week and then added a new one the following week.


How effective is this method?


A Hollywood actor initially learned about my work through my book Mesh-Free Hernia Repair. Later he read Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain, which helped him with his chronic back pain. He contacted me to coach him to better health. One of his stress triggers was negative thoughts, which he had been plagued with since childhood. I taught him how to stop negative thoughts in one easy step. He told me in our following session that this strategy had helped him to finally stop the negative thoughts completely and allowed him to focus better and finish writing his script for a movie. This strategy did for him what years of cognitive therapy, psychoanalysis, and other therapies had not.


What can this method help?


If you are experiencing any of the following, you can expect major improvements in them:

  • Daily stress

  • Worrying

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Self-pity

  • Self-criticism

  • Pessimism

  • Negative thought patterns

  • Tension Myositis (Myoneural) Syndrome (TMS)

  • Catastrophizing

  • And more


How can you benefit?


Once you apply one or more of the empowering strategies in this book on a daily basis you will

  • Feel happier.

  • Stay calmer.

  • Sleep better.

  • Have more energy.

  • Think more clearly.

  • Make better decisions.

  • Make fewer mistakes.

  • Become more resilient.

  • Have more confidence.

  • Enjoy better relationships.

  • Reduce or eliminate muscle tension and pain.

  • And become more optimistic, positive, and productive.


How does this method work?


All you need to do is take a few seconds or minutes a day, depending on the strategy, and practice it for one week. Then add a new one the following week until you have applied all five strategies. These strategies are so effective that you will notice an immediate impact! They take very little time and yield great results, just like my Nine-Step Rapid Recovery Plan!


It’s that simple!


Plus, you can supercharge what you learn in this book for even greater and faster results by listening to the related audio recordings of my live webinars at


Look at these proven strategies as an opportunity to create a new life of resilience and strength in the face of life’s stresses and adversities. See it as an opportunity to reach higher levels of health and happiness. Based on more than twenty-five years of experience coaching and teaching, I am confident that if you follow the proven steps presented in this book, you will completely transform yourself, your health, and many aspects of your life.


So get ready to take charge of your life, vanquish stress, and enjoy the new life you are creating, one step at a time.


To begin, please complete the stress triggers questionnaire. Rate each category from 1 to 10. After you apply the strategies in this book, rate each category again, and see how much you have improved. My clients have seen a 50 to 80 percent improvement in just four weeks. You can complete this questionnaire at


I look forward to hearing your story and how you vanquished stress. Write to me at




Chapter One

Turn Stress and Tension into Energy and Excitement


I was watching a television interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who at that time was the governor of California. The interviewer asked him how he was handling the serious problems facing California. He replied, “The bigger the problem, the more excited I become!”

I repeated it in my head: The bigger the problem, the more excited I become!

Then I thought, Wow! The bigger the problem, the more excited he becomes. No wonder he went from being a bodybuilder and actor to become the governor of the fifth-largest economy in the world.

Then I discovered that he was not the only one who reacted in such an empowered way when facing problems. On December 9, 1914, Thomas Edison’s laboratory, consisting of ten buildings, caught fire. When he was informed about this catastrophe, with great excitement, he called all his relatives and neighbors to come watch this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular event. When his son Charles said, “Dad, all your hard work has gone up in flames,” Edison replied, “Thank God all of our mistakes are gone and we can start anew.” He did not get mad or fire anyone. He did not fall into depression. He did not develop back pain, a headache, or indigestion. Instead, he told the New York Times, “Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.” That’s resilience!


Just imagine how much happier, healthier, and more productive you will be when you too get excited, not only when facing catastrophes but also when dealing with everyday problems and stressful situations—the usual annoyances.


Before this when I faced a problem or stressful situation, I tried to look at the bright side. I used to tell myself that it was a learning experience and eventually things would work out. With this conscious intellectual approach, I never got excited.


Schwarzenegger and Edison modeled a different approach. I decided that I would adopt their strategy. From then on, I was going to react with excitement when things went wrong. I developed the steps for this strategy, started applying the steps daily—and my life was completely transformed.


I got through my day so much better, even if I argued with someone, received poor service, or got some really upsetting news. The more I practiced this approach, the stronger and more excited I became when dealing with problems. Eventually, it became a positive mental and emotional habit that happened effortlessly. Then I taught the steps to my clients and their lives were transformed too. Next I developed a workshop, Exciting Problem Solving!, with great results.


You too can expect great results. This strategy can help you achieve the following:

  • Calm the stress response.

  • Feel in control and secure.

  • Reduce negative thoughts, worry, sadness, anxiety, or depression significantly

  • Increase your energy.

  • Become more positive and optimistic.

  • Enhance your brain’s information processing capabilities.

  • Broaden your mental vision to see more solutions and possibilities.

  • Keep yourself resilient and determined to continue moving forward and solve your problems.


As you stay excited and keep facing and solving problems, you will do this:

  • Learn and grow more.

  • Make better decision and fewer mistakes.

  • Stay in the present by focusing on the now instead of the past.

  • Increase your confidence and take more action to accomplish more.

  • Become a problem solver and a leader, at home and at work.

  • Become creative, optimistic, positive, and enthusiastic. You will be unstoppable.


And as you apply this strategy daily, you will discover many other benefits:

  1. My Hollywood actor client told me he used this strategy prior to filming an emotionally charged scene, the type of scene that usually required five or six takes. It was done in only one take.

  2. The cofounder of a multimillion-dollar Internet company was fired by the company board of directors. At first, he was quite upset about this situation, but during our session I reminded him to get excited about it. He surprised everyone around him with his positive response and resilience. Shortly afterward, he formed a new company and made it a success.

  3. Another client forgot her wallet at a coffee shop. Once at work she realized what had happened. Her coworker was panicking and mentioning all the bad things that could happen, from charges on her credit card to identity theft. But my client was not worried at all. Actually, she was quite excited about it. When she returned to the coffee shop and asked the manager about her wallet, he immediately presented her with it. She saved a lot of worry and stress by staying excited...

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