What will happen?" If you're feeling pressured, do both: stop and organize, and also ask yourself, "What does it matter?" Look at the big picture. Then focus on one thing. Keeping working on this concept until you truly understand that these are simply states of mind and that you can choose to not feel that way. You will become much more effective and efficient, and life will be much more pleasant. I've talked about how I deal with feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. But there are other days, when for whatever reason, it's just hard to go. On those days, I pray, "Lord, just help me get through the day." I don't strive to do good therapy. I don't try to accomplish things on my list of five. I just try to get through the day, and sometimes that in itself can be an accomplishment, a moral victory. Actually, I've provided some good therapy on some of those days when I wasn't trying so hard. I did better at staying out of the patient's way and they were able to do the work they needed to do that day. And sometimes, I have to remind myself, "I can only do what I can do. I can't fix everything or everyone. I can't get many, many things done. I can't do things perfectly. I can only do what I can do." I use self-talk and slogans. I say, "Just put one foot in front of the other." And "Just show up and do your job." I don't have to worry about what everyone else is doing or not doing. Just show up and do my job; the rest of it is not my problem. And sometimes I say, "Just plug away." When the list seems insurmountably long, just plug away, one thing at a time; get one thing finished, cross it off the list, move on to the next thing, just plug away. Emotions are your moods and feelings; they can be influenced by your thoughts, your health, other people, and events.

All humans are capable of feeling a wide range of emotions. They may be felt as pleasant or unpleasant, brief or long-lasting, mild or intense. It is common to have intense emotions at times when you are going through change or dealing with troubles in your life. Emotions like anger, sadness and worry can become very hard to live with when you have pain for a long time. This chapter talks about those emotions and how to live better with them. An example of this ability to describe and track experience from a meditation practice is demonstrated when a participant says, "I noticed I felt agitated and restless when you asked me to bring up a difficulty. My jaw was tight, and I felt a bit nauseous. When I brought my attention to my stomach, I felt even sicker. And then it started to lessen. When you said to breathe into overwhelming sensations, I did that, and it changed. It's still there a little." The participant's focus remains on sensations as they evolve and pass. And by maintaining this focus, the participant is discovering that such sensations do pass. Some people are very aware of their emotions, while other people have a hard time recognizing them. Some people can discuss emotions easily, and others feel uncomfortable talking about them. Wherever you are in this range is OK, and there are strategies in this chapter that you may relate to. When you experience an emotion, there are body sensations that go along with it. It can be helpful to link emotions with the physical sensations in the body; for example, the emotion of anger may go along with sensations of tightness, agitation or heat--how emotions are experienced in the body can feel different for each person. Sometimes, it is easier to notice a body sensation than an emotion. The pages that follow show some examples of emotions and body sensations. Are you able to identify what emotions you are experiencing at this moment?

If this is challenging, see if the lists of emotions and body sensations on the pages that follow help you to put a name to what you are feeling and sensing. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States among both men and women. Almost all health professionals recommend gravitating to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein if you want to prevent heart disease. Here is a list of what one health and nutrition expert considers the thirty worst foods for your heart. You may be surprised to find some of these items on the list, but they were selected because of high amounts of salt, fat, and sugars. Please note that some can be modified to make them heart healthy. Pizza is one: There are store-bought variations that are not too bad if you carefully look at the labels. Variation in your diet is important for two primary reasons. First, it helps you get the essential nutrients you need. Second, it keeps you from getting bored and making bad choices. We don't just eat for fuel. We eat for enjoyment so varying your diet keeps our taste buds happy. The trick is to eat from the five main food groups that we all learned as schoolchildren. According to the US Department of Agriculture, which introduced food group guidelines in 1916, the five main food groups are: There has been a fair amount of research about food that can help you age and fight disease better. According to one of Canada's leading nutritionists, Leslie Beck, there are foods that have the potential to slow biological aging by acting in a number of ways. They provide unique antioxidants and nutrients that bolster our immune system; they defend against free radicals; they maintain healthy blood glucose and insulin levels; and they help to keep inflammation at bay. Here are some foods that she suggests: I was not raised to think or talk about feelings much, so this is all new to me. I find it easier to notice changes in my body than in my feelings. I have noticed that, when I get worried, I clench my jaw. Now I know to watch for that jaw pain and tension, because it's a sure sign that I'm feeling anxious.

Finally, the teacher practices modeling that all experience is open to investigation, bringing a curious and kind stance to his inquiry. No experience, "good" or "bad," is privileged over another. This does not mean that some problems don't need addressing: discerning if, when, and how they are to be addressed is required by the teacher, particularly when safety is a concern. In a contemplative dialogue, the teacher's focus is on listening to the participants' attention to and deconstruction of experience as they describe what is sequentially noticed in practice (tracking). Therefore, within this context, what is valued is description over narrative and explanation to help participants interrupt such thinking behaviors as rumination and worry. A contemplative dialogue therefore requires active listening. This means that the teacher is deeply attentive to the speaker, asking for clarification when needed. He will be able to reflect, paraphrase, and judiciously use summation. There are also whole, nutrient-dense, organic foods that serve to ward off not only cancer and heart disease but also colds, flu, allergies, and a host of other ailments that plague us every day. They include a variety of beans, other citrus fruits, turmeric, onions, ginger, walnuts, mints, celery, other peppers, and cinnamon. As a contemplative dialogue, inquiry will utilize the teacher's understanding of the three marks of existence, outlined in Buddhist psychology and discussed previously. We tend to have a view that life should be perfect, that our selves are concrete and permanent, and that what occurs is personal. It is important for the teacher to listen for and identify these themes in his practice of inquiry with respect to what he asks about and reflects back to participants. This is because the suffering we experience will be described from a variety of perspectives including, but not limited to, our resistance to what is. The teacher can, by listening for these moments, help his participants change their relationship to difficulties, for example, "I was so impatient." "I was so bored." "This was so good I didn't want it to end." "This shouldn't be happening." "I shouldn't feel this way." All these statements are about resisting how things are, thinking they should be different, and wanting them to be other. rumination and worry, so much a part of depression and anxiety, may be viewed as thought behaviors designed to get away from, or resolve, these difficult states, as if one might think oneself out of them. contemplative dialogue gently brings attention to and an awareness of participants' difficulty, resistance, and mental elaboration. this way, he facilitates an understanding that by being with and exploring these difficult states from the practice of mindfulness, emotional flexibility and resilience are supported and reinforced. You're rarely better informed, your life isn't any better and you rarely feel better about yourself, other people or the world around you for having read low-level negative information. In fact, low-quality information is to the mind what sugar is to the body: empty calories that give you a rush but then bring you down and leave you feeling like crap.

You wouldn't want to stuff your body with low-quality food. Why cram your mind with low-quality thoughts? These are examples of self-talk, and also of strategies. Show up and do your job. Just plug away. You can only do what you can do. Put one foot in front of the other. Just get through the day; some days that is a triumph. Now you are ready to create your own meal plan. I suggest that you plan out one to two weeks of meals. The plan should factor in your blood type and any food intolerances or allergies. You will want to track protein and carbs to make sure you are getting what your body needs. You also need to understand how many calories your body requires. remember that water is your best friend; drink at least eight glasses a day. well as minimizing contact with negative people, minimize the amount of negative news in your life. While staying up to date on important stories can keep you informed, shape your opinions and enable you to take part in discussions, in an age of information overload, your life can be filled with irrelevant or unnecessary information in an instant. for me, and usually the next day is better. not, just plug away. of these feelings - overwhelmed, overloaded, pressured, rushed, even stressed -are states of mind that can be dealt with, eliminated, or avoided in the first place, by these strategies. But I doubt if anyone can avoid them all of the time.