Summary

Stress is our internal response to an experience that our brain perceives as threatening or challenging. Trauma is our response to an experience in which we feel powerless or lacking agency. Until now, researchers have treated these conditions as different, but they actually lie along a continuum. Dr. Elizabeth Stanley explains the significance of this continuum, how it affects our resilience in the face of challenge, and why an event that's stressful for one person can be traumatizing for another.

This groundbreaking book examines the cultural norms that impede resilience in America, especially our collective tendency to disconnect stress from its potentially extreme consequences and override our need to recover. It explains the science of how to direct our attention to perform under stress and recover from trauma.

Reviews

"This high-octane book could give you back your life. When we experience dysregulation, we have to reclaim our core capacities and develop them to serve our health, performance, and quality of life. Liz Stanley expertly maps an inner adventure through training our attention and ability to stay grounded in highly stressful situations. Time to live the life that is yours to live, one hundred percent."–- Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., author of Full Catastrophe Living and creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

"Our ‘suck it up and drive on’ culture has seriously impaired both our country and ourselves. It is imperative that we find a way to heal so that we don’t just survive but thrive. Liz Stanley give us the tools we need to create a better way of being, both individually and collectively. This book is a must-read for everyone who cares about our future." — Congressman Tim Ryan, author of Healing America

"Our frantic culture generates trauma and stress that limit our capacity to live full and healthy lives. Widen The Window is a clearly written guide into our shocked physiology and a time-tested, practical method of regaining power over it, through awareness and attention." — Gabor Maté M.D., author of When The Body Says No: Exploring The Stress-Disease Connection and In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts
 
"Like all things in life, it is how we manage—not just cope—with the pressures that envelop us all. Dr. Stanley has written an exceptional book of understanding, relating to and controlling stress and trauma." — Chuck Hagel, 24th Secretary of Defense

"A remarkable, thorough, and important work, tackling the traumas and difficulties of modern times, and offering truly wise and empirically proven remedies for the individual and for our society." — Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., author of A Path With Heart
 
"In this pioneering work, Dr. Elizabeth Stanley invites us to understand and embrace the practice of training our brain and body to thrive and recover. Equal parts teacher, scholar, warrior, whistleblower, healer, hero, and sage, Liz is among the rarest of souls, whose character, strength, courage, grace, and compassion serve to illuminate and inform our all-too-human journey towards healing, wholeness, and wellbeing." — Loree Sutton, M.D., Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret.), Founding Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

About the Author
Image of Elizabeth Stanley
Elizabeth Stanley

Elizabeth worked on this book while a fellow at the Wilson Center. She served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in Asia, Europe, and on Balkans deployments, leaving service as a captain. She created Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®, which she’s taught to thousands in high-stress environments. Read More