From Stress to Thriving

Author Joel B. Bennett

Joel B. Bennett, Ph.D., a Fort Worth researcher and consultant in organizational health and stress, workplace culture and employee training, has published a new book, Raw Coping Power: From Stress to Thriving.

The purpose of the book is to help people cope with stress in life and business and prosper from it. Bennett accomplishes this through simple tools that any individual or workplace can use to turn stress into better health and productivity.

Bennett says that stress will always be your friend and teacher, a part of life. But, there’s more to it than that.
“We can use difficulty and adversity to get our lives back on track, keep it moving in a positive direction and transform into something much more wonderful than you have imagined,” he says.

Bennett grew up in a broken home, his parents divorcing when he was 12 years old.

“This was a time when there was no such thing as divorce and where there was a lot of stigma associated with it. Being raised in the Jewish faith made it more of a stigma,” he says. “In fifth grade, I didn’t have any friends. My mother had a very hard time and passed away at 44. My father remarried and then divorced again. We were not talking for many years,” Bennett continues. “My father is now 84, and we talk weekly or more. There’s not any conversation where he doesn’t tell me in a heartfelt way that he’s very sorry he ever left my mom.” Transforming stress to thriving was difficult for Bennett, he says.

“What’s important and what I talk about in the book is stress is either the spice of life or the kiss of death. One of your first tools is to tell your resilience story. The key here is that what I thought was a major burden in my life — being a child of divorce and struggling through relationships for a large part of my life — had now become a deeper appreciation for a relationship and what it means to really forgive.”

Goolsby Distinguished Professor James Campbell Quick at the University of Texas at Arlington is a leading expert on stress in the workplace. Quick describes Bennett’s book as condensed wisdom wrapped in a high-impact tool kit. “Not all stress is bad, but if we don’t manage it well, in the extreme, it can kill us,” he says. “What we have realized is that with the development of constructive coping skills, we do get stronger, we cope better, we deal with stress better, and we live better. That’s really the concept of thriving that Joel is talking about. It’s moving from being a victim to being a victor.”

“Facebook, Twitter, smartphones . . . we think the answers to stress lie on the outside, so we get distracted. There’s not an app for this. It’s not an external fix. We have to learn to go inside and find our raw coping power. This is something we’re all born with.”

Bennett is president of Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems (OWLS), an international consulting firm that specializes in evidence-based wellness and e-learning technologies to promote organizational health, employee well-being and stress transformation.

He has authored/coauthored four books including: Heart-Centered Leadership: LeadWell, LiveWell; Time & Intimacy: A New Science of Personal Relationships; and Preventing Workplace Substance Abuse: Beyond Drug Testing to Wellness.

To order Raw Coping Power – From Stress to Thriving ($18), visit
To learn more about OWLS, visit