Hidden Causes Of Stress: How To Tame Your Gremlins

by Doc Orman, M.D.


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[easyazon-image-link asin=”0060520221″ alt=”Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zhzskdEYL._SL160_.jpg” align=”left” width=”118″ height=”160″]In my previous post, I introduced you to the concept of gremlins as a useful way to think about some of the hidden causes of your stress.  I also mentioned that the idea of using this analogy did not originate with me, and that Rick Carson wrote a best-selling book called Taming Your Gremlin back in 1983, which he more recently updated in 2003. 

Today, I want to tell you a little more about this best-selling book and encourage you to read it, if you haven’t already done so.

There’s Actually An Institute For Taming Gremlins

The full title of Carson’s book is Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method For Getting Out Of Your Own Way. And this is exactly what it’s about—showing you a simple, three-step method for taking control of your inner dialogues that cause you to experience stress or otherwise inhibit your full, natural self.

In fact, Carson created an entire training center, called the Gremlin Taming Institute, in Dallas, Texas, which you can learn more about at www.tamingyourgremlin.com .

I Highly Recommend This Book

I remember reading Carson’s book in the 1980s, when I first started teaching seminars on how to deal with stress.  I also recently read his updated version, published in 2003.  Both times, I found this book to be amazingly insightful and empowering.  If you haven’t read it (either version), I highly recommend that you do so.

I’m not going to try to either explain or summarize Carson’s three-step method for gremlin taming, because he does such a great job of doing that himself.  But I will try to give you just a little taste of what you’ll encounter if you do take my advice and read this book.

Early on, you’ll be introduced to nine different classic gremlin types, five of which are highlighted below: 

  • The General (endlessly issues stern rules, regulations, and other “should’s”)
  • The Artist (convinces you that you’ll eventually be happy just as soon as you get your life to match the unrealistic pictures he/she creates)
  • The Hulk (suppress your anger and other authentic emotions and always encourages you to pretend to be nice)
  • The Big Shot (you’re oh so much better/more important than others)
  • The Grim Reaper (creates emotional sufferers—life without stress, burdens, and being overwhelmed isn’t worth living)

Carson also explains how gremlins conspire to make you form certain habits, concepts, and beliefs that may not always be in your best interest.  He also points out how gremlins are very adept at spreading believable, but incorrect ideas and other false views of reality:

“Gremlins tend to perpetuate myths about people, life, and the nature of the universe.”

Gremlin Strategies

Another thing you’ll gain from reading this classic self-help book is more insight into the type of strategies gremlins commonly use to get the better of you. Examples, which are well-explained in the book, include:

  • The “You Can’t” Strategy
  • The “You Should” Strategy
  • The “You Need” Strategy
  • The “Fantasy Is Reality” Strategy
  • The “They Have To Change In Order For Me To Feel Good” Strategy

And remember, most of the book is devoted not just to helping you become more aware of your internal gremlins, and how the operate to defeat you and cause you stress. Its main purpose is to teach you how to gain more control over your destructive gremlins, by using the three-step gremlin-taming method that Carson explains and illustrates so wonderfully throughout the book.

So, if you haven’t read this book before, please go and do so.  Carson’s teaching and writing style is very engaging, and the book is not only filled with great wisdom, but it’s also easy and fun to read.  There are also many creative illustrations (like the one of the cover) that add to the fun, enjoyment, and learning as well.

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