You can beat stress simply by noticing some early warning signs - and it's easier than you think, say the experts. "It works," says Dr. Joseph D. Cusumano, Ph.D. psychologist of best-selling author Guy Finley's "Five Steps to Complete Freedom from Stress."

Finley, mentor to celebrities Suzanne Somers and Desi Arnaz, Jr., realized in recent research that "stress is nothing but a bad habit. It tricks us into remaining under its control by promising relief if we will agree to stress ourselves even farther."

Along with co-author, Johns Hopkins University graduate, psychologist Dr. Ellen Dickstein, Ph.D., Finley says that, "stress has no authority over you and your life, other than what you grant it by mistake. Caught in the act when stress is still a temporary condition - before you are taken over by angry or anxious feelings - it can be stopped, forever."

"Five Steps to Complete Freedom from Stress," a chapter in Finley's latest book, Design Your Destiny (Llewellyn Publications), can help you stop stress in its tracks and prevent the number one enemy of good health from robbing you of feeling physically and mentally great about yourself.

All you have to do is follow his simple five-point plan based on the latest research:

Step #1: Notice the early warning signs of stress. These include agitated thoughts going around and around in your head trying to resolve what might happen if "this or that" takes place; or how you could have won that last encounter with a more clever comeback. Other early warning signs include the onset of anxious feelings that want to draw you into the past for the purpose of making you relive what cannot be changed!

Step #2: Once you catch these culprits, ask yourself the following question: Are these thoughts and feelings friends or foes of mine? Are they serving my best intentions or secretly stealing from me my contentment and happiness?

Step #3: Drop these false friends the same way you would anyone you caught trying to trick you with a lie. How do you do this?

Step #4: Make new friends with brighter, stress-free thoughts! Now deliberately place your attention somewhere outside this circle of troubling thoughts and their stressful influence. Look out the window at a tree or a flower, glance at a photo of a loved one, recall your favorite vacation, remember your God. In this same moment you realize that your former thoughtless friends who were trying to steal your life are not the only friends available to you, and that waiting for you just outside their circle of stress is the relief you need and want.

Step #5: Choose your company carefully. Stay awake to your circle of "inner friends" and notice who you are hanging out with. Now you know you have the power to choose the true, new friends you want and that you do not have to keep the company of false friends who would have you believe stress is good for you. With a little practice, you will soon make these five steps your personal friends and enjoy the stress-free life that comes with keeping good company.

Author's Bio: 

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of a half dozen books on self-transformation. His works, which have sold over a million copies and have been translated into seven languages, are recommended by doctors, ministers, and industry leaders. For information on books, tapes, and helpful on-going study groups call (541) 476-1200 or visit