So, if this part is willing to work on fear, the therapist might agree to be more available by telephone during that time, and that becomes the contract between the two. Use pain to discipline yourself to develop habits of toughness. The gym is a wonderful place to become tougher if we're aware of our mental battles during workouts. Take it a step further. You're after more than mediocrity. Who you are every day determines what you will become and accomplish. Add more discipline and thus more discomfort to your life, and you become tougher. The more pain you face with a smile, the tougher you become. Do push-ups every morning Exercising first thing in the day is on the list of nearly every contemporary high performer I've come across. Even if you already work out in the morning, start your day with push-ups. Paul attributes this interest to his having grown up with a diabetic father who died, following progressive complications of the disease, when Paul was twelve. He also believes that his own experience with asthma since the age of twelve has made him a more compassionate and effective caregiver for the chronically ill. It came on like a bolt out of the blue, while my father was dying. I've lived with it ever since. You might say it was my first clinical teacher. In fact, I think my sickness and my experience of Dad's made me a doctor. No, medical school made me a doctor. But those experiences made me a healer. It took years before I learned to control my illness.

Asthma made me feel different as an adolescent: hesitant and vulnerable. For the entire system to be involved, it is important to get an agreement from other parts so that they will not interfere with this work. If this is difficult for some parts, they may need to join in the contract in a more formal way. Another option at this point is to assign homework to a specific part. Again, if the issue is fear, the homework could be to list every major fear that part has, her specific thoughts about each of those fears, and what she would like to believe instead. The therapist might also instruct the client to check in with other parts who are older or less afraid so that they can be of help. This way, the individual alter is able to work through things, yet the overall goal of increasing internal communication is still being met. The therapist may also give the following instructions: If there are specific things that keep you grounded (as opposed to dissociated) in the present, make a list and put it on a self-care card. Your list might include such things as cooking, doing laundry, or playing with the dog. That list sounds pretty mundane, doesn't it? Yet it is the ordinary things of life that keep us grounded in the present. It can be as few as one push-up, just do push-ups and whatever number you can do consistently. Add this to your perfect morning. Long-form cardio runs have fallen into disrepute in recent years because they're not the most efficient way to burn fat. I'm not arguing. They are, however, a great way to get tougher. Run not to get ripped or shredded but because there are moments within every run when you'll want to quit. It's at these moments when we choose our fate. They're that important. The more of these moments we have, the tougher we're going to be, if we make the right choice, the tough choice.

Navy SEALs run. I couldn't come to terms with it at first. I was embarrassed to be sick. But, like Dad's death, I worked through the pain and the loss. Finally, I did it. I knew, even though it was still there, I had it licked. I think in that experience are several big lessons. First, I learned about illness as a life burden, a threat to your sense of confidence and control. Then I learned how to live with it. Get enough rest. Plan my life around it. Make a card of your own that includes your name, age, the current year, and at least five things that will help keep you grounded. At times such as these, a therapist might suggest a roll call, asking the client to go inside and see which parts are present, what they are feeling, and whether they need anything. A roll call almost always helps the client identify the source of the feeling. Individuals can practice this technique whenever they feel disconnected from or confused by their feelings. They can also use it when they are experiencing a lot of ambivalence with a decision they need to make, however small. If you experience dissociation and would like to implement this technique, start by making yourself as comfortable as possible. If it feels safe, close your eyes and take two or three deep breaths. Then, one by one, check in to see which parts are present. Depending on how your system works, you may see parts, hear them, or simply sense their presence.

How the process occurs does not really matter, as long as containment skills have been practiced in therapy and internal safety can be established. Any special operations unit runs. Running is a mental test and a skill we'll need at some point in our lives if we want a life where things get a little hairy at times. Train in whatever fashion you'd like. Just add these two habits of push-ups and runs to your life daily. You Are What You Read and Watch At the end of this article is a reading list. It includes Essentialism, a Stoic- themed article for determining what should command your attention. We've talked about identifying what deserves our attention in this article already, but it's something that bears repeat consideration. What you watch and read has profound implications for all areas of your life. If you read crap tabloids and magazines that venerate image over substance, you're leading your brain away in a direction opposed to the life you ideally want to lead. Avoid the things that precipitated an attack. That must be what Osler had in mind when he said the chronically ill learn how to live a long life. Finally, I learned a great lesson in caring for others. To be wounded himself, the healer knows what suffering is like. There is no better training in the experience of illness. There was also something else tied to being ill and also caring for Dad. There was a need to be of help. To be of use gave me a sense of who I was. It kind of morally centered my identity.

And it's been that way ever since. The purpose of the exercise is to slow yourself down, increase internal awareness, and learn how to make conscious decisions. It is very important to listen to internal parts with a nonjudgmental attitude so that they will feel free to continue to speak. With DID, all parts are important aspects of the Self and exist for a reason, even if it is hard to understand or accept that concept early in treatment. A variation of the roll call is to visualize a meeting room of some kind. Some people use a conference room and imagine each part taking a seat at the conference table. An internal microphone or spotlight can be used as a way of focusing attention on each part, allowing them all to contribute to the meeting. If internal parts live in a house and operate like a family, the meeting place might be in the family room or around the kitchen table. Instead of a spotlight, an internal secretary can be appointed to take roll. Using whatever technique is most helpful is what counts. Most important, checking in at least once a day and rotating leadership at the meetings will increase cooperative communication among parts. If you watch crap TV shows filled with petty nonsense, you're shaping your mind for little things. Read Essentialism. Study the Stoics. Heed what you're paying attention to. Note: I've begun far too many articles that just weren't worth completing, at the time at least. Now, before I read or buy a article I check out blinkist. I get nothing from sharing this link, it's just been a wonderful tool that was passed on to me by a friend. Discern what deserves your attention. You're trying to form new and better habits and to break old and bad ones in every aspect of your life.