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Psychiatrist Dr. Richard Esser: How to Find the Best of Life in the Worst of Times

NEW YORK, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Even as people struggle to cope with economic uncertainty and increasingly higher levels of stress, it's still possible to live a joyful, vital "best" life in these hard times.

For more than fifty years, Harvard trained psychiatrist Dr. Richard Esser has helped people find their "best" life. In counseling clients from New York City to Stockholm, Sweden, Esser discovered that when we learn how to find the "best" in our living, the despair over our circumstances disappears. In Vitality: A Psychiatrist's Answer to Life's Problems ($22.95 Algora), Esser shares his formula for turning the worst of living into the best of living by tapping the energy of despair to motivate positive change.

"I've spent my life," says Esser, "helping people who felt they were at the end of their emotional rope. I've learned that what pulls people out of their difficulties is finding a clear idea of what the best of living is for them and then learning the skills to turn their despondency into a sense of optimism and purpose."

Esser believes that three key elements are essential for creating a "best" life in challenging times:

Recognize and nurture the things that truly make for best living -- loving relationships, friendship, idealism, meaningful work.

Learn how your rage can be used to fuel courage, panic can generate initiative, and hopelessness can be turned into achievement.

Turn your "craziness" (the eccentric, fanciful, even wild side that's the wellspring of our imaginations) into creativity. Channel that creative energy into problem solving.

A Gallup-Healthways poll recently reported that as the economic crisis becomes more widespread, millions are increasingly stressed out and experiencing worsened mental health. And the World Health Organization has warned that the global financial crisis is likely to cause increased mental health problems.

"There is no simple way to avoid hard times," cautions Esser, "or even desperation in our lives. But strange as it sounds, these hard times can spur us on to discover the best in ourselves and bring a new clarity and optimism to how we live our lives."

SOURCE Dr. Richard Esser
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