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When you’re under stress bring your attention to your breath and start to consciously breathe in a calm purchase lasuna with visa cholesterol test device home, deep generic 60 caps lasuna overnight delivery cholesterol levels south africa, smooth best lasuna 60 caps cholesterol lowering foods omega 3, even and quiet manner from the diaphragm order lasuna 60caps visa cholesterol screening guidelines. Count your breaths and continue breathing from your diaphragm until the stress goes away. The more you practice diaphragmatic breathing the more it becomes a regular habit. A new pattern of deep, smooth, even diaphragmatic breathing will then become the way you normally breathe throughout the day. You really can change how your body and mind respond to stress one breath at a time. Step 4: Exhalation In the final step of your breathing program you are going to look at how exhalation, or the act of breathing out, is a very effective tool for promoting mental and physical relaxation. The autonomic nervous system is the boss of your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and other bodily functions that, thankfully, carry on without you having to think about them. You don’t have to tell your heart to beat faster when you run, or slow down when you relax. But the autonomic nervous system is always paying attention for you and if you’re feeling Mindfulness and the Breath • 65 stressed, even a little bit, it’s already getting your body prepared to fight, or run, or do whatever you might need to do. This stress keeps you in a “fight or flight” mode constantly, which is exhausting work for your poor nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system is not something you can directly control; your heart beats; you breathe; your digestion carries on without you having to think about any of these activities. Your breathing turns out to be the link between you and your autonomic nervous system. When you inhale, or breathe in, it stimulates the part of your autonomic nervous system, called the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for getting you ready for stress. Luckily, when you exhale, or breathe out, it turns on the part of the nervous system called the parasympathetic system, which tells everything to calm down. If you can make the amount of time that you breathe out longer than the time it takes to breathe in, you’re intentionally instructing your autonomic nervous system to relax. Focus your attention on your breath and simply count approximately how many seconds it takes for you to breathe in and then count how long it takes for you to breathe out. You’ll probably observe that the time taken to breathe in and the time taken to breathe out is not always equal, and that this pattern changes depending upon your mental state. See if you can consciously prolong the exhalation such that the time it takes to breathe out is longer than the time it takes to breathe in. You may even intentionally try to prolong the exhalation for as long as it feels comfortable. Close your eyes and consciously breathe with a prolonged exhalation (a longer out- H breath). How do you feel mentally and physically after a few minutes of prolonging the exhalation of your breath? The following is a series of exercises that will help increase your awareness and usage of the out-breath. For approximately ten minutes in the morning and/or ten minutes in the evening sit upright, in a relaxed manner, in a chair. This means that the exhalation, or the act of breathing out, takes longer than the inhalation, or breathing in. Throughout the day, use normal daily activities as a reminder, or set time cues, to remind you to bring your awareness to your exhalations. Put up Post-it notes in different locations as a reminder to yourself to emphasize exhalation. Set the alarm on your watch, computer, or cell phone for every few hours to remind you to bring your attention to your breath. Try to follow your breathing for a minimum of five breaths at specified times, or when you see one of your reminders, just as you did in the previous breathing exercises. When you’re under stress bring your attention to your breath and start to consciously breathe in a calm, deep, smooth, even and quiet manner, from the diaphragm, with a prolonged Mindfulness and the Breath • 67 exhalation. Count your breaths and continue to breathe with a prolonged exhalation until the stress evaporates. The more you practice prolonged-exhalation breathing the more it becomes a regular habit. Practice You’ve learned that breathing is a highly effective way to reduce mental and physical stress. This is supported by a real physiological connection between a calm breath and a relaxed state. Initially, a formal practice session where you set aside a daily designated time to practice conscious breathing will begin to retrain the way you normally breathe. Focus on breathing in a calm manner, from the diaphragm and with a prolonged exhalation. Continue this formal practice until you feel that you automatically breathe in this effective and relaxed way. Try, as often as you can during the day, to bring awareness to your breath without trying to control it. This will help train you in the practice of mindfulness, where you’re just present to what presents itself without a need to change it. Use environmental cues, Post-it notes, and an alarm of some sort, as reminders to support your practice. The real test of the usefulness of breath training is when you encounter a stressful event. When you are experiencing a very stressful event you may need to consciously control your breath, breathing in a calm, deep, slow and even manner from the diaphragm with a prolonged exhalation. At stressful times it can also help to count your breaths for as long as it takes to feel more relaxed. While breathing calmly, from the diaphragm and with a prolonged exhalation is a technique to retrain your breathing to maximize stress relief. Practice your new breath control exercises as often as you can and your efforts will be rewarded. Your body Dis alive with energy that constantly changes and your physical sensations are intimately related to your thoughts and emotions. Your mind is constantly trying to keep you safe and when your mind perceives a threat, it sends out a message that leads to the release of adrenalin and cortisol. Unfortunately, with chronic stress the persistent release of these hormones causes your body organs to be damaged leading to all kinds of nasty health problems and diseases. You’re probably starting to see how important it is to maintain a state of mindfulness regarding your physical sensations and to actively create relaxation in your body in order to overcome the harmful effects of stress.
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However order discount lasuna cholesterol medication and kidney disease, even if no relaxation technique works for you buy lasuna 60caps on-line cholesterol definition food, it doesn’t mean that exposure won’t be effective discount lasuna 60caps high cholesterol medication over the counter. Understanding your fears Breaking up the exposure process into manageable steps is important cheap lasuna 60 caps line cholesterol levels kidney disease. But before you can break your fears into steps, it helps to fully understand the nature of what makes you fearful. For example, you might be afraid of one of the following: • Enclosed spaces • Financial ruin • Flying • Having a panic attack (a fear of a fear) • People 2. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, perhaps you fear driving to the airport or packing your luggage. Or if you’re afraid of dogs, you may avoid walking near them, and you probably don’t visit people who have dogs. Ask yourself the following questions and jot down your answers: • How does my anxiety begin? Don’t let embarrassment keep you from includ- ing the deepest, darkest aspects of your fears, even if you think they may sound silly to someone else. If you find yourself getting anxious while answering the questions above, use the relaxation techniques in the preceding section to calm yourself down. Leeann’s story is a good illustration of how someone completes this exercise to enrich her understanding of her fears. Leeann, a 32-year-old pharmaceutical representative, receives a pro- motion, which means a large increase in salary and plenty of air travel. During her interview, Leeann doesn’t mention her intense fear of flying, somehow hoping that it will just go away. Now, in three weeks she faces her first flight, and her distress prompts her to seek help. Chapter 8: Facing Fear One Step at a Time 127 Lucky for her, Leeann picks up a copy of Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies. She reads about exposure and concludes that it’s the best approach for her problem. To see how Leeann completes the first task — understanding her fear and all its components — see Table 8-1. I’ve avoided vacations and trips with friends and family in order to avoid flying. Then, I’d have to do if I actually faced my fear to pack my luggage, drive to the airport, go head-on? What other situations are If I don’t get over this, I’ll never get my promo- affected by my fear? Not only that, I’ll continue to feel embarrassed around friends and family when- ever the topic comes up. Do I use crutches to get One time I got on an airplane and got sick to my through my fear? What bad outcomes do I an- I fear that I’d go crazy, throw up on the passen- ticipate if I were to encounter gers next to me, or start screaming, and they’d my fear? Of course, the plane could crash, and then I’d die or suffer horrible burns and pain, unable to get out of the plane. You can see that Leeann’s fear of flying consists of several activities, from making a reservation to getting off the plane. Constructing a staircase of fear The preceding section helps you comprehend the nature of your fears. After you come to that understanding, you’re ready to take your fear apart and build a staircase. Make a list of each and every single thing you’d have to do if you were to ultimately, totally face your fear. Zero represents the total absence of fear, and 100 indicates a fear that’s unimaginably intense and totally debilitating. Arrange the items into a staircase beginning with the lowest-rated item at the bottom and ending with the most difficult item on the top stair. Landing (92) Taking off (92) Boarding the plane (88) Waiting to board (75) Going through security (71) Checking in (68) Figure 8-1: Driving to the airport (65) How Leeann ranks her Packing (48) fears about Making a reservation (28) flying. Visiting the airport without ﬂying (20) Leeann’s staircase contains only ten steps. For example, Leeann could add an in-between step or two, such as planning her trip or parking in the airport garage. For a phobia like Leeann’s, the steps represent tasks that all directly lead to her ultimate fear. The best staircase of fear chooses one of those fears and includes everything associated with that fear. Choose between the two kinds of exposure — the kind that occurs in your imagination and the exposure that occurs in real life. Chapter 8: Facing Fear One Step at a Time 129 Imagining the worst Many times, the best way to begin exposure is through your imagination. That’s because imagining your fears usually produces less anxiety than confronting them directly. In addition, you can use your imagination when it would be impossible to re-create your real fear. For example, if you fear getting a disease, such as Hepatitis C, actually exposing yourself to the virus wouldn’t be a good idea. You may think that viewing your fears through your mind’s eye won’t make you anxious. However, most people find that when they picture their fears in rich detail, their bodies react. As they gradually master their fears in their minds, the fears are generally reduced accordingly when they confront the real McCoy. Before you start, try getting more comfortable by using one of the brief relaxation strategies we describe earlier in this chapter. Imagine as many details about your fear step as you can — the sights, sounds, smells, and anything else that brings your imaginary experi- ence to life. If you have difficulty picturing the experience, see Chapter 12 for ideas on how to sharpen your mind’s eye. After you have a good picture in your mind of what being exposed to your fear would be like, rate your anxiety on a scale of 0 to 100. It will come down that much as long as you stay with the imaginary exposure long enough. For example, if you experience anxiety at a level of 60, keep thinking about the exposure until it drops to around 30. If the imaginary experience went easily, you may want to try the next step up in your staircase of fear, and perhaps another one after that. Always start with the last step that you completed successfully (in other words, one where your anxiety level dropped by half or more).