Long before Whole Foods brought healthy food to America’s dinner tables, Paul Huljich cofounded an organic food company that was ahead of its time in his native New Zealand. He was chairman and co-CEO of Best Corporation when he had a complete mental breakdown—brought on by stress.

Since then Huljich has spent his life becoming an expert on how to manage stress—but not before being told he would never be cured of his severe bipolar disorder. Fourteen years later he is a drug-free stress conqueror, and he presents all that he has learned about managing stress in his new book, Stress Pandemic: The Lifestyle Solution (Mwella Publishing/Midpoint Distribution, July).

“Stress has become a pandemic and affects everyone,” says Huljich. So he wrote Stress Pandemic as a toolkit for people to tackle their stress. And he knows what he is talking about, having come to the USA to seek treatment at the Mayo Clinic and the Menninger Clinic. At both places Huljich was told his bipolar condition would eventually break through his medications. “I told my doctor, I’m a time bomb,” he remembers.

So Huljich decided to take matters into his own hands. He began researching the causes of stress and listened to those who suffered from its effects to learn how to manage it. The result is Stress Pandemic.

In it, Huljich isolates nine steps to stress reduction and uses illustrations inspired by daily walks in Central Park (having moved to “the Rock”—what he calls New York City—a few years ago to face the most stressful city in the world). The nine steps in Stress Pandemic: (1) take charge, (2) kick bad habits, (3) learn to say no, (4) affirmations, (5) exercise, (6) nutrition, (7) sleep, (8) the power of awareness, and (9) don’t give up.

Huljich also wrote a novel about stress titled Betrayal of Love and Freedom (Mwella). His hundreds of newspaper and radio interviews about it were what inspired the author to address the subject in his nonfiction book. “The whole idea is to take small, practical steps but ones that make a huge difference,” he said.

Huljich will sign books in the Mwella booth (4443) today, 10–11 a.m., and tomorrow, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., at Table 17 in the autographing area.