Highs!: Over 150 Ways to Feel Really, Really Good...without Alcohol or Other Drugs

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This enjoyable guide for teenagers offers many useful suggestions for finding pleasure naturally instead of through drug use. The author argues that "getting high" is a normal and universal desire, born of humans' need to experience physical satisfaction and alternative states of consciousness. However, he urges teenagers to reject illicit and potentially harmful substances. Instead, he provides a range of alternate options, from aromatherapy, to gardening, to roller coasters, to prayer--running the gamut from internal to external explorations, from cheap to expensive, and from individual to group pursuits. The author's compassionate and realistic view of the modern teenager's stressful life, filled with personal insecurity and public demands, is commendable. In addition, his tone is light, witty, and pleasantly modest. The organization of the book is user-friendly. Each chapter contains useful scientific information, humorous quotations from both famous and ordinary persons, results of surveys regarding teenagers' opinions, and sidebars of associated facts. Step-by-step instructions and related books and web sites are also included. Overall it is a marvelous resource for teens in need of healthy and creative ways to spend their time. 2000, Free Spirit Publishing, Ages 12 up, $14.95. Reviewer: Michele Gable—Children's Literature
People take drugs to experience an altered state of mind. Packer directs kids to ways by which they can reach a similar high naturally, without the use of alcohol or other drugs. He divides his suggestions into three main sections: serenity highs, physical and sensuous highs, and social, spiritual and creative highs. The ideas range from simple and inexpensive suggestions that anyone might try, such as deep breathing, to those that take more resources in terms of time and money, such as ultra-light flying. For each idea, Packer lists references for further information, usually one or two books and a couple of Web sites. Although Packer attempts to be objective and inclusive, his personal experiences shape which ideas receive the most attention. In the sections on serenity highs and spiritual highs, Buddhism is the only religion mentioned by name, ignoring the benefits that other religions might provide in this area. Packer writes in an informal, slightly sarcastic style that will appeal to teens. After describing a "ten power yell," he says, "if your parents ask you about the noise they keep hearing at 7:15 every morning, put on a quizzical expression and say, 'Noise? What noise?'" This practical book could be incorporated into peer counseling or drug education programs. Although it might not appeal without pushing to teens, those who do pick it up are sure to find at least one idea they would like to try. Index. Illus. Biblio. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, FreeSpirit, 251p, $14.95 Oversize pb. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Libby Bergstrom

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

Packer—an educator and psychologist—has written a funny, informative book primarily for teenagers that is chock-full of ideas for reducing stress and having fun. These 150+ "highs" are divided into three sections: "serenity highs" (e.g., progressive relaxation and yoga), "physical/sensuous highs" (everything from roller coasters to facials) and "social/spiritual/creative highs" (from sleeping under the stars to learning about your family history), and there's something here for everyone. Packer heads up a company that provides drug education programs, so the reference to abstinence in the subtitle is understandable ("over 150 ways to feel really, really good. without alcohol and other drugs"), but may be a bit misleading. This is a great handbook for lifting anyone's spirits (teens or young-hearted adults), whether or not substance use is an issue. Other nice features include loads of fascinating facts and tips (you'll not only learn how to enjoy a lightning storm, but pick up interesting trivia about lightning and tips on how to protect yourself), inspirational quotes (by such diverse founts of wisdom as Mother Teresa, Miss Manners, Hank Aaron, and Henry Thoreau) in every margin, and an extensive list of further readings. Last but not least, Jeff Tolbert's cartoons reinforce Packer's humorous tone, and you'll find yourself smiling a lot as you read the book—probably from cover to cover. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Free Spirit, 251p, illus, bibliog, index, 24cm, 99-057189, $14.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Gloria Levine; Freelance Education Writer, Potomac, MD, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Packer does for teen life skills what he did for teen etiquette in his irreverent, humorous, and wise How Rude! The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior and Not Grossing People Out (Free Spirit, 1997). Highs! is crammed cover to cover with advice, but it's much more than a preachy tome on alternatives to drugs. The first three chapters are on stress reduction, breathing exercises, and how to meditate. The author then proceeds to cover everything from high-minded "highs" like Zen koans and fractals to flat out fun "highs" like creating optical illusions. Shaded text boxes and charts provide fascinating additional information, ideas, and points of view. Numerous "Find Out More" sections point readers to additional materials and Web sites. Written with wisdom and wit, the author brings together an amazing collection of things to do to live a better, fuller life. This is one of the best life-skills books on the market, and it should be on every teenager's bookshelf.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575420745
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 251
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why High? 1
Serenity Highs
1 All Stressed Up and No Place to Go: Serenity Highs 5
Sources of Stress 6
Effects of Stress 8
Handling Stress 9
How Stress-Resistant Are You? A Quiz 11
Increase Your Stress Resistance 13
Lessen the Stress in Your Life 13
Be Optimistic 14
Get Support for Yourself 15
2 How to Be an Airhead: Breathing Highs 16
Breathing from Your Diaphragm 17
Know Your Breathing 18
Check for Stress 18
Breathe Your Stress Away 19
Really Deeeeep Breathing 21
Tension Prevention 22
Sigh High 22
SWAT Breathing 23
Get Nosy 24
Breathe Out Loud 25
Refresh Your Brain 25
The Laughing Cure 26
Zen Power Yell 26
3 Seeing the Light: Meditation Highs 28
When to Meditate 29
Where to Meditate 30
How to Meditate 31
Progressive Relaxation 32
Mind Over Muscle 32
Breath Meditation 34
Up Your Nose 34
In and Out 34
Sound Meditation 35
Oomm Ahh Huunng 36
Aural Fixation 37
Meditating on Objects 38
It's Polite to Stare 38
Dealing with the Wandering
Mind 39
Mindfulness Meditation 39
Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble 40
Visualization 41
Your Special Place 42
Say Good-bye to Sadness (and Other Feelings) 43
Dope on a Rope 44
Now Playing at the Cinema of Your Mind: A Visualization Script 45
Self-Hypnosis 48
The Power of the Mind 48
Feel Yourself Becoming Calm... Calm and Relaxed... Deeper and Deeper 49
Be Your Own Hypnotist 51
Countdown 51
T'ai Chi Chuan 53
Horse Around 54
Yoga 55
Out-of-Body Experiences 57
Physical and Sensvous Highs
4 Pumping Adrenaline: Sports, Exercise, and X-treme Highs 58
Sports Highs 58
Exercise Highs 61
Warm Up 68
Cool Down 69
Relaxation Exercises 70
Head and Shoulders 71
Save Face 71
Alex's Fabulous Finger Lifts 72
Thrill-Seeking and X-treme Sports 73
Cheap Thrills 74
Upside-Down Uppers 74
Seesaws and Swings 74
Jump for Joy 74
Spin Cycle 75
Roller Coasters 75
Going to X-tremes 76
Air Highs 77
Land Highs 81
Water Highs 87
5 Food for Thought: Healthy Eating Highs 90
The High of Clear Thinking 91
Start the Day with Breakfast 91
Eat Lighter, More Frequent Meals 93
Take Your Vitamins 94
Eat a Crowbar 94
Slow Down on Fast Foods 95
Stop Pumping Gas 96
The Scoop on Caffeine 96
Be a Quitter 99
Sugar Shock 102
Are You Eating Too Much Sugar? 103
Cut Back on Sweets 104
A Good Night's Sleep 105
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 106
6 The Eyes Have It: Visual Highs 108
The Power of Perception 108
Look for Something New 109
Look for Patterns 109
Then and Now 110
Topsy-Turvy 110
Fingers in the Eyes 110
Stare-Way to Heaven 111
Feel the Beat 112
Fun with Strobe Lights 112
Find Your Blind Spot 113
Binocular Vision 114
Wag the Dog 115
Three Thumbs Up 115
The Language of Color 116
Color Your World 117
Mandalas 118
Mandala Meditation 118
When Seeing Isn't Believing: Visual Illusions 120
Fascinating Fractals 125
Visual Music 125
Help for Tired Eyes 126
Lazy Eights 127
Lighten Up 128
7 Coming to Your Senses: Sensuous Highs 130
Cats Know Where It's At 131
The Cat's Mcow 131
Sensory Deprivation 132
The Power of Touch 132
Kissing Palms 133
Here's the Rub: Massage 134
Give a Back Massage 136
Treat Your Feet 138
Get Rolfed 138
Taste 139
Go S-l-o-w 139
Quiet Diet 140
Let's Sweat 140
Stcam Room vs. Sauna 141
Aromatherapy 142
Get Incensed 143
Pamper Yourself 143
Give Yourself a Facial 143
A hair-Raising Experience 144
Get Naked 145
Social, Spiritval, and Creative Highs
8 Blue Skies, Cow Pies: Nature Highs 146
Why Nature? 147
Stop and Smell the Roses 147
Take a Hike 149
Sleep Under the Stars 150
Go Camping 150
A Garden of Earthly Delights 152
Grow Your Own 152
Tree Highs 153
Build a Tree House 154
Get Wet 155
Water Ways 155
Ride the Waves 156
Take a Bath 157
Fire Highs 157
Build a Bonfire 158
Thunder and Lightning 160
Storm Safety 160
Armchair Adventures 161
9 Altered States: Out-of-the-Ordinary Highs 163
Change Your Habits 164
Just for One Day 165
Just for One Week 165
Deprivation Highs 166
Get Tanked 167
Go Into the Closet 168
Fasting 168
Being Alone 170
Go Out with Yourself 170
Quiet Highs 171
Shhhhhhhh 171
Seek Silence 173
Turn Off the Music 174
No News Is Good News 174
Take a News Break 175
Travel 176
Low-Cost Travel 177
Roleplaying Games 181
Alter Your Altitude 184
High Highs 185
Space Out 186
10 Messing with Your Mind: Creative and Intellectual Highs 188
Writing 189
Keep a Journal 190
Write Poetry 191
Different Strokes for Different Folks 194
Storytelling 195
Once Upon a Time 195
Collecting 196
Be a Collector 197
Explore the Arts 197
Draw and/or Paint 198
Visit a Museum or Gallery 199
Dance 201
Music 203
Whistle While You Work 205
Highbrow Highs 205
Zen Koans 206
Higher Math 207
Science 210
Philosophy 211
Performing Highs 212
Sing for Your Supper 213
Follow Your Muse: Four Steps to Success 213
11 Friends, Family, and Heavy Petting: Connecting Highs 215
Connect with Your Family 217
Talk to Your Parents 217
Have Family Meetings 218
Maintain and Invent Family Traditions 219
Eat Dinner Together 220
Do Service Work Together 220
Stay in Touch with Relatives 221
Connect with Friends 222
See Your Friends Regularly 223
Broaden Your Friendships 223
Make Cyber-Friends 224
Love and Sex 225
Connect with Your School 226
Connect with Other Adults and Mentors 227
Find a Mentor 227
Be a Mentor 228
Connect by Giving 229
Make the Small Gesture 230
Practice Kindness 230
Volunteer 232
Create a Web Site 232
Connect with Animals 233
Heavy Petting 233
Connect with Your Past 234
Learn About Your Family History 234
Learn About Your Cultural and National History 234
Connect with Groups and Other Organizations 235
Join Together 235
Support Yourself 236
Connect at Work 236
Spiritual Connecting 237
Pray 238
More Readings and Resources 240
Bibliography 242
Index 243
About the Author 250
About FCD and SALSA 251
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2002

    Exellent resource

    This is an exellent book that tells teens how to be healthy, relaxed and how to be at your best physicaly, mentaly and emotionaly. The Author, Alex J. Packer, writes the book in a way that makes it fun to read about being healthy. It has hepled me so much and I love this book.

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