When it comes to stress, we have to realize we have a choice. We can react like other mammals, barking, fighting, and running for our life, or we can discover we have a host of amazing resources within us that give us the option to actually outsmart life's challenges.
In our book The Inner Game of Stress, two of us are medical doctors (Edd Hanzelik and John Horton) who, after watching our patients chewed up by stress, joined with W. Timothy Gallwey, the renowned father of sports psychology and author of Inner Game of Tennis, to create an easy way for people to free themselves from stress.
People who have read our book tell us it is a fun, non-stressful read, with Tim relating stories from his years as a coach and Edd and John sharing vignettes of their patients that illustrate the themes of the book. The focus is on building an inner stability that enables you to remain firmly rooted in clarity in the face of stressful circumstances. Wouldn't that be an incredible gift? Well, this capacity is already within us, and the tools of The Inner Game of Stress make it easy to access them.
But beware of the biggest obstacle, the Stress Maker, a voice within our head that can create stress out of anything. It urges us, "Do this. Do this. Are you an idiot? Why aren't you doing this?" Finally you relent and do it, and the Stress Maker immediately comes at you: "You fool! Why did you do that?" Add that to the Stress Maker's other talents, including identity theft (making-believe it is us speaking) and horriblizing (anticipating the worst possible outcomes), and you realize you don't have to worry about what stressful situation is coming your way next. You have a major producer of stress right within you. In this book, we give you the tools to recognize this voice, discover you do not have to buy into it, and instead learn to bypass it.
The Inner Game of Stress can help you to fully enjoy your life. In every activity, we are engaged in an outer game (using outer tactics to achieve outer goals) and also an inner game (using inner resources to achieve inner goals, such as wanting to be happy and content). If we neglect the inner game, we will find it hard to win in the outer game.
The Inner Game of Stress gives you a complete tool box of effective exercises and tools to make it easy for you to win the Inner Game. When your boss is on a tirade, the economy collapses, your child makes bad decisions, your 80-year-old mother gets acutely ill, your spouse tells you about an affair, and someone wildly cuts in front of you on the freeway, can you imagine relaxing, breathing, and having the ability to hold onto your stability? You don't gain anything by getting stressed out. The Inner Game of Stress helps you discover how you can hold onto your stability as you move through all of life's challenges.