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But if you take the time to calm your body down, turn off your fear-based reactive brain, and turn on your thinking brain, you will be in a much better place to respond to the specific event that triggered your anxiety. The key is "think small." In fact, the smaller the better. You might not be able to identify the "one big solution" to the problem of your un-supportive marriage, but you can place a call to a marriage therapist right now. You might not be able to figure out how to not prevent your antagonistic boss from firing you, but you can ask yourself how you could do your absolute best on the next step of the project you are working on and write down some ideas, or you could even get your resume together and start looking for a different position. If you can't think of even the smallest change you could make to affect the problem, then at least ask yourself how you could take a little better care of yourself. Perhaps you could take a walk, call a friend, pray, or do something you enjoy, even for a few minutes. Name the people in your life who have helped form your views on giving back to others? How did they impact you? List a few new ways that you can give by actions other than writing a check. When was the last time you sent a handwritten thank-you card to someone who made a difference in your life? Have you considered volunteering in your community or for a national organization? If so, where, and when are you going to start? Create a list of stuff in your home that you are no longer using, and then donate it to a cause that you are passionate about. My wife didn't think that was funny. Could that be an example of blurting out? So, we're a stress and a burden to those who live with us, care about us, and in any way depend upon us. It helps if our significant others learn as much about ADD as they can. They could learn what we can do, what we're good at, and try to capitalize on that. They might not keep expecting us to do well on things we're not good at, or to remember things that we aren't going to remember, or to follow through, or to remember any thing at all with out some aids and reminders. Then on those occasions when we do manage to remember or to do something well, positive reinforcement can be very helpful.

"Well, I shouldn't have to praise him for just doing something that he should have just done anyway." There will be times throughout your wellness self-care journey when you may get stuck, relapse, or go back to your old behaviors. A multitude of life's circumstances may derail you. There are challenges that can be triggered by factors like arguments with loved ones, employment issues, or addictive behaviors. Just know all of these are distractions that might take you off your new self-care routine, but there are ways to make sure these distractions are only temporary. One thing people often say when they go off course is, If only I had more willpower, then I would be able to. In my experience, this assessment ends up as an excuse not to refuel your self-care engine. Yes, willpower is important. However, you need to get at the reason why your willpower is waning as well as develop short- and long-term strategies that refill your willpower tank. "No, you shouldn't have to; the only reason to do it is if you would like your life to get better." Working toward this guiding virtue builds a habit of realistic trust in your ability to accomplish the goals you set for yourself. Rather than being can'tstipated by demanding perfection or near-perfection before acting, the decisive person is comfortable with acting under less-than-ideal conditions. For example, human beings are not always able to control what happens, predict the future with accuracy, or know everything before deciding to do something. Decisive people do not procrastinate or otherwise avoid seeking their goals because of such imperfect circumstances. They make rational judgments and act on them. These guiding virtues help build your willpower muscle for rationally facing obstacles that frustrate you. The tolerant or patient person avoids the extremes of, on the one hand, weakness of will, and on the other, dogmatic perseverance. For example, a person might tell herself that she can't stand a certain person, and then lose control. In contrast, the tolerant or patient person understands the difference between not wanting or choosing whether to stand the person, and not really being able to, and therefore exercises rational constraint in dealing with the person. One of the chief antidotes to anxiety is thoughtful, productive action as opposed to the "chicken-with-your-head-cut-off" reaction that occurs before you have gotten your body under control. If you can convince yourself to make even a small change that helps you respond more effectively to the problem or improves your mood, you will feel more powerful. When you make yourself pursue even a tiny change, you'll be surprised at how little it actually takes to regain a sense of power in your life, and how much of an impact this sense of personal power has on helping you overcome anxiety.

This three-step process of Relabel-Reattribute-Respond is a simple but powerful way to begin to master those feelings of anxiety that threaten to master you. Begin practicing these tools today. Even if they don't take away all of the anxiety you feel, they will decrease your overall emotional temperature and help you use the more sophisticated anxiety-busting techniques we will discuss in future chapters. You will be taking some of the first, important steps down the road to a life without anxiety. Our others can be helpful in identifying problems to work on - actually, sometimes they are extremely good at this - and they can help brainstorm and come up with strategies for coping with problems. It was my wife who suggested the keys on the front table rule. Since our memories are not that great, our others can do some reminding - with great tact and finesse, of course, so it doesn't sound or feel like nagging. But probably better than reminding is helping us come up with a strategy that will help us remember. Our garbage goes out front every Friday morning. On Thursday night, my wife puts a red sticky note up on the microwave where I can't miss it when I make my morning coffee. I see it and remember to take the garbage out, and I don't feel nagged or belittled, just helped to remember. This type of self-control involves taking responsibility for your own emotions without making excuses for them. For example, the temperate person is able to avoid extreme, self-defeating emotions such as rage in response to mistreatment by others. Building a rational understanding of, and tolerance for, the imperfect nature of morality, particularly the inherent ambiguity of making moral decisions. Cultivating an ability to frame life in constructive, creative ways instead of casting moral choices as hopeless dilemmas ("Damned if I do and damned if I don't") or in black-or-white terms ("Either I succeed or I'm a failure"). Strengthening the ability to work with others to address problems or disagreements. Developing the insight to distinguish between what we can change and what we can't, and the ability to work within these limits to make constructive changes, albeit imperfectly. Becoming a proactive thinker--that is, one disposed to solve problems rather than worry about solving them. The situation itself may or may not be serious, but your emotional reaction is probably disproportionate. Your emotional reaction is caused not by the situation, but by the fact that the situation has hijacked your fear-threat system.

DO NOT respond to the situation at this time. Focus on getting control of your body by doing any/all of the following. Intentionally slow your rate of speech. Let you mind catch up with your mouth. Slow down until you have eliminated all "um's" and "ah's" and can speak what you are thinking calmly, thoughtfully, and without hesitation. Deliberately slow down your actions. Focus on what you are doing. If your mind is racing ahead to the next activity, bring it back. No matter how mundane the current task is (i.e., reaching for a glass, walking through a room) focus your mind totally on what you are doing in this moment. If you are facing a short-term challenge, you need to believe that your willpower is an unlimited resource that will get you through anything. Think of sprinters in a race. Those sprinters have only one focus: getting to the finish line as fast as they can. They need to completely believe that they have the willpower to make it happen. Marathon runners, however, need to acknowledge that there are limits to willpower. They need to know how to pace themselves and not get distracted. They need to set up ways to keep themselves focused on the goal but allow for small rewards along the way to successfully complete the 26.2 miles. For example, experienced marathon runners often take a one-minute walking break every eight minutes to recover. This strategy is viewed as more effective in giving them a faster time than plowing through with sheer willpower. Additionally, there have been countless studies that look at self-discipline and achieving goals. Results are inconclusive as to why some people have more self-discipline than others.

However, one theme does emerge: limiting exposure to distractions is useful in improving willpower. This does not mean spending all your energy resisting temptation but rather creating an environment that reduces exposure to things that drain you. For years my wife would fuss at me for leaving the toilet seat up when I went to the bathroom at night. I tried to remember to put it down, but I didn't do a very good job of it. I know I was thinking that maybe it was just one of those unfathomable womanly things, or maybe about power or control or maybe just a neurosis. Whatever. But I eventually (belatedly) decided that if it mattered to her, I would really work hard on it and I would do it. So I started making progress, slowly, and she was still fussing. I asked her for patience; I'd explain that I was trying and that it took time for me to form new habits. But I was trying and I was making progress. Then one night she told me that when I left it up - I'm not sure that `told' truly captures the way she conveyed this information to me - that sometimes when I left the seat up she got up in the middle of the night sleepy and groggy and she fell in. That was powerful information and it created a powerful mental image. I never left the seat up again. Well, almost never. But it was like a miracle, for me to be able to abruptly change like that. This habit involves the ability to disregard your own ego-centered universe to connect (cognitively, emotionally, and spiritually) with the subjective views of others to see where they are coming from, even if you don't necessarily agree with them. It means giving up the self-defeating idea that only your own values, interests, preferences, and beliefs are valid. All of these guiding virtues are interconnected, so that in working toward one of them you are working toward others. For example, in striving to be more decisive, you are likely to become more courageous, because in being more decisive you will be less reluctant to take reasonable risks. As you gain unconditional self-acceptance, you are more likely to also gain authenticity because you will be more self-reliant, as you no longer demand others' approval to validate yourself.