Sara's Reviews > The Inner Game of Stress: Outsmart Life's Challenges and Fulfill Your Potential

The Inner Game of Stress by W. Timothy Gallwey
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Jul 27, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, 2009, non-fiction, self-help
Recommended to Sara by: Goodreads
Read in August, 2009

I don't know if I would have read this book if I had not received it for free, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I've never read another book dealing with how to eliminate and/or reduce stress in your life, and I think this book did an excellent job explaining ways that stress manifests itself in our bodies, techniques we can employ to reduce our stress levels, and ways to gauge our progress.

There is apparently a whole series of Inner Game books, and the main author is a tennis coach who's used this "Inner Game" technique to help people improve their game on the court. Though this book was focused on stress and co-written with two doctors who give examples from their medical practices, there were a number of instances where the author used tennis as an example, and I imagine that a lot of description of what, exactly, the "Inner Game" means was similar to previous books in this series. That said, I really liked the concept that we all have two selves inside us, one self that can do things and one self that doubts our ability to do these things, which makes us second guess and doubtful. The trick is to properly balance these two selves to get our stress levels in check.

The exercises the author suggests to reduce stress - and therefore reduce or eliminate physical symptoms of stress - seem simple enough, although it would certainly be a challenge to put them all into play and keep them that way. A few tricks in particular, such as writing down all the requests made of us during a day and how they made us feel to determine if saying "yes" to requests is causing one to feel burdened and overworked, seemed like terrific starting points for certain people I know with this particular problem.

I don't know if I'd say there was anything revolutionary in The Inner Game of Stress, but I think it definitely served its purpose of making the reader aware of everyday stress and knowledgeable about how to fight this problem. It was easy to read, concise, and accessible. I did not do all the exercises suggested in this book, but I did think about a few of the suggestions, and they have - so far - all been great. If you feel frazzled or stressed out, this is a book I'd recommend, so long as you actually take its advice to heart!
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08/08/2009 page 120
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