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One year and four months, she said quickly. Do you know today's date? Today is Thursday, October 28, 1943. Why would I wink? What kind of normal person winks at someone? Only people in 80s sitcoms wink at each other. He did not wink back. I got off the train at the next station and waited for the next train to come along as I couldn't possibly travel with him for the rest of my journey. The humiliation was all-encompassing. The anxious brain is extremely good at reading people and, at the exact same time, fecking terrible at reading people. Marvellous, isn't it? Our anxiety analyses the space around us - in this example, a rammed tube car - and instantly tries to identify who is a threat. Not in a Daily-Mail-esque Oh hey that guy has a tan I bet he's trouble' way, but in aThat guy is being loud and talking to people and oh God wait he's coming this way holy shit he better not speak to me or I'll just have to . I know I'm safe, but my internal state is telling me something else. Over time, you should become more able to tolerate it. As you revisit this exercise, notice if you can begin to stay with it for longer amounts of time, even if you are only increasing that amount of time by a few seconds. Free-Flow Dance Exercise This is an advanced exercise that should be done after you have explored and mastered all of the other exercises in this article. It is especially helpful if your scores on the task and organization assessments are very high or high. I love this exercise because it will help you sense your body in time and space and to let go of all the stories you may be telling yourself about your body.

Over time, you might even get to a point where you may want to try this exercise unclothed. This exercise is about giving yourself the space and permission to experience spontaneous body movements. Our body develops a kind of inflexibility and rigidity in response to trauma, which prevents us from moving fluidly. We went into hiding last year on the first Sunday in July, the fifth it was. Anne glanced up at the window. None of us has been outside in a very long time. How do you get food in here? Miep is Papa's secretary. She still comes to work in the warehouse every day. After hours, she and her husband, Henk, move the articlecase in the accounting room and come through the door behind it. Anne, Michael began, when I arrived-- Oh, yes, Anne broke in. You appeared directly in front of me! But while the anxious brain can go around a tube car and invent a negative backstory for every person within ten feet, the anxious brain is also particularly inept at reading people it has known for some time. You can sit next to your friend who you have known for sixteen years, enjoying a bottle of wine and watching a bad 90s movie, and while the other person is more than likely entirely content, in your own mind you are screaming: `They are so bored, look at them, they hate you, they want to leave as quickly as humanly possible! How could they do this to us? I thought we were friends! Completely rational. Even in the most comfortable of spaces, with people who are themselves part of your safety blanket, the anxiety-riddled mind never stops. Every anxious person approaches situations in their own, unique, structured way.

The problem with commuting is that you are thrown in with a group of people who have their own structures for this routine. And none of their routines agree with yours. My routine for commuting, which I do for two hours a day so I should probably get endorsed on LinkedIn for this, is as follows: bag on floor between feet so as not to obstruct anyone behind me, headphones on, article in hands, keep to self, don't fall over. This exercise is intended to bring you back to the embryonic fluid, where you moved with ease and freedom. Do this exercise in the privacy of your own space, somewhere that you feel comfortable, and put on whatever music you like. I recommend music that will inspire you to move with freedom. Start with three minutes of free-flowing movement. Eventually, work your way up to ten minutes. Observe how you feel both before and after. Does your body feel more joyful or more fatigued? How about your energy levels? Are they higher or lower? What do you feel compelled to do after you finish moving? Have you done that before? Does it hurt? Michael smiled in spite of the interruption. He could understand her excitement. A new person to talk to must be thrilling after sixteen months. Yes, I have done it before, and no, it doesn't hurt. Michael tried again to ask his question.

Anne, who was knocking on the walls? Nazi soldiers, Anne said. Papa calls them Gestapo. It's an easy plan and it inflicts little to no impact on any of my fellow commuters. Other people though, other people have very little regard for anyone else's routines. They keep the keyboard clicks on their phones, the sound of which drills into your soul like the tapping of a furious robotic woodpecker. They play music from their phones out loud, and the people who do this usually play music that sounds like a ketamine-addled horse with a head injury causing a disturbance in a typewriter factory. They eat food that smells like it was left behind a radiator in a morgue for six years. They laugh out loud, to let all other passengers know they are having a better time than you, and their laughs are like a pig being thrown down stairs. It's a cavalcade of the worst traits in people, and you can't escape; A QUICK TOP TEN LIST OF THE WORST TRAIN PEOPLE YOU CAN ENCOUNTER: Loud groups somehow having an amazing time on public transport The man with no awareness for others trying to scream a conversation into a phone Is there greater mobilization in your body, or do you feel like you want to collapse? Does free-flow dance build your confidence, or does it make you feel more anxious or depressed? You've Taken a Big Step Forward Congratulations on putting focused energy into healing your nervous system! At first you may not feel these shifts, but practicing these exercises on a regular basis are much like building a muscle in the more physical sense. At first, the changes are subtle--so much so that you might not even notice anything has changed. Then, over time, you will discover you have strength that you never did before.

You will build muscle memory. Things that previously seemed impossible are all of a sudden abundantly accessible to you. Living a Healing Lifestyle He says they dress in black. They have come now two times. We are quiet, and they go away. She turned and got up on her knees, rising carefully to put one eye in the corner of the window. If you do this, you can see most of Amsterdam. Michael looked out the opposite corner. To his left, he saw a huge chestnut tree, and across the street, a clock tower stood like the centerpiece of the city. That's the Westerkerk, Anne said. I can lie here and watch the hands move. Anne lay down flat on the floor. The crying baby who is crying because, look, we all want to be crying but only this guy gets to do it in public Man-spreaders The loud chewer The loud chewer who is eating food that smells like a horse died in a fart explosion The lady who has left her keyboard clicks on to torture others The man who STARES AT YOU for NO REASON (do not wink at him) The young man listening to music from his tiny phone speakers in an attempt to somehow display dominance