Taming Stress from the Inside Out

tyg_new_book_shadow1.jpgOne of the greatest wellness tools I’ve ever discovered and used came in the form of a small book with a huge message: Taming Your Gremlin®. My love of the book lead me to study for a year with the book’s author, and master Gremlin Tamer, Rick Carson. To this day, Rick’s Gremlin-Taming® wisdom helps me bring about wellness in my daily and entrepreneurial life. His on-going coaching is a vital part of my business life and personal wellness program.

If I’m deep into a complaint of a stressful situation, one of the skills Rick reminds me to use is the powerful technique of “Simply Noticing.” In order for me to see that I am the one causing my own stress (because then I can choose whether to continue or not), Rick has me actively look at how I stress myself.

This activity is much more than a mental exercise — my whole body/mind/spirit gets involved. I jump in and answer a series of inquires to help me do so. I’ve now learned to do this for myself. When I use Rick’s technique, I take a thorough inventory of exactly how I’m stressing myself. (It is, after all, my unique way of creating stress for myself — so who better than me to explore my own self-stressing techniques?)

As if I were teaching someone how I “do” stress, I answer:

  • What thoughts am I harping on? (Am I making myself look at all the worst-case scenarios? Regretting something? Worrying?)
  • What am I physically doing with my shoulders? (And my neck? Head? Eyes? Arms? Legs? Am I tensing? Staring? Squinting? Wrinkling my brow?)
  • What’s the quality of my breathing? (Am I breathing? Is my breath shallow, rapid?)
  • What else am I doing? (Screaming? Crying? Pouting? Grinding my teeth?
  • How else am I making myself miserable?

Then a remarkable thing happens – I begin to see my role in my own stress. Sometimes, I even burst out laughing. Inevitably, I catch myself putting myself in my own “stress” zone and making myself feel awful – which reminds me once again that, I have choice. Which leads me to remember that, as Rick says, “Feeling Good is primarily an inside job.”

How do you stress yourself? Give us lessons in how you personally go about it! Read Rick’s book, apply some of the Gremlin-Taming wisdom in your own life and keep us posted!