The truth is that all humans are "hardwired" to feel unhappy when there is pain. Pain signals literally travel to the parts of the brain that handle emotions: the limbic system and the frontal lobe. This is part of the survival system, because pain is there to alert you to threats in the body. All humans are here today because pain helped our ancestors to notice threats and stay alive. The good news is that you have some influence over your emotions, and learning strategies to help you calm certain emotions can make pain feel less intense. Here, the teacher is checking with the participant that this reflection came up in the practice just completed. He asks for further observations about experience, reinforcing the participant's ability to track and stay with it, cultivating equanimity in the face of challenging moments. The next example demonstrates a teacher helping participants be with difficulty in an embodied and experiential way, reflecting the themes that everything changes and passes and that we personalize events. We tend to want to reduce uncertainty and control change. This can show up when a participant talks about his or her depression. I recommend that you work with a nutritionist or trainer to create your own plan. Be clear about your objectives. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you preparing for a competition? Are you trying to address specific health issues such as managing diabetes? You need to know exactly why you are creating a food plan and then seek the advice of an expert. You are going to be eating a lot fewer prepared foods. You are going to be eating at home more. You are going to look at labels and shop very differently. This means that it is very likely that you will be initially putting more work into preparing food than you have been used to.

Over time, it will become second nature. But remember this one statement: You have to preplan meals to make this work. You will know exactly what you are feeding your body. You will be able to avoid foods that are packed full of excessive chemicals, hormones, food dyes, and GMOs. You will be able to work around your food allergies (e.g., dairy, wheat, soy, etc.). You will start eating the right foods that will help ignite your health, strength, prosperity, and wellness. You will eat out less, thereby not exposing your body to hidden chemicals or food allergies that, like a poison, can cause a reaction. You will always have the groceries you need. Instead, read and listen to stories about people who have coped with adversity. What was it that helped them cope and bounce back? Was it their ability to find the positive in adversity? You need positive role models in your life, so watch and read motivational stories or speeches. TED talks (, for example, are inspiring, educational and motivating. This section is about my friend Richard and his ADD and how he copes with it. His set of problems and his strategies are not exactly like mine. Richard's story further illustrates the ways ADD makes our life difficult. It shows that all of us with ADD struggle with similar problems; however, we have them in different patterns, combinations and degrees of severity. Often we deal with them differently. Some of the things that cause me the most trouble are easy for Richard. He has developed strategies for most of his problems, so his story gives us more real life examples of strategies.

Richard gives a good illustration of someone not getting help while they are resisting the diagnosis. He also brings up some of the advantages that go with ADD, which was a new concept to me. So steer clear of negative headlines and dire tales of things going wrong. Look, instead, for uplifting stories that celebrate the best of life and be inspired by the good in the world around us. Confidence is not what you can or can't do. It's what you believe you can or can't do. Negative thinking and cognitive distortions undermine your confidence and self-esteem, making you feel bad about yourself and your abilities. When your self-esteem is high, your thoughts about yourself are positive; you feel good about your abilities, you're more likely to believe that you can do things and that you can manage difficulties. It's a positive dynamic where each aspect feeds into the other. The contemplative nature of inquiry will also illustrate the problematic nature of a fixed sense of self. "That's just the way I am," is a common refrain. While it can be argued that an "I" is a necessary vehicle to express ourselves and to navigate the world with coherence, it becomes problematic (as outlined in earlier chapters) when identified with too closely. A fixed view of self reduces possibilities for change or for developing more skillful ways of interacting with the world. Seeing through this rigid lens in which experience is personalized, "He looked at me because I did something wrong," or "She didn't speak to me because she's jealous," means that it is easy to miss how frequently reality is actually a series of interpretations or constructs dependent upon the context in which we find ourselves. Such a view is narrow and is usually "all about me." Doing something that you enjoy, and that you are good at, can help build your confidence and increase your self-esteem. So find what you enjoy doing and do more of it. Sadness is a feeling of grief or emptiness that often comes when you have a sense of loss or failure. If you had a big change in your life, sadness can help you to slow down and adjust. Sadness can also help you to come together with the people that matter most to you, and to focus on solving a problem. However, if sadness persists, it can sometimes turn into depression.

Some warning signs include changes to sleep and appetite, and overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. These are all signs that you may benefit from some extra support and self-care. Anger is a normal human emotion that often comes when a person is stressed or in pain, and feels that they have been intentionally wronged. Anger can serve as a "cover emotion" for a different feeling that would be harder to cope with (e.g., guilt or helplessness). Interestingly, different people, families and cultures have different ideas about when to become angry and how to act when feeling angry. Anger can be expressed or held silently inside you; it can also be turned inward at yourself in the form of guilt. can be helpful when you need to stand up for your rights, get attention, and vent stress. if used too much, anger can hurt relationships and lead to decisions that you regret. Frequent anger also causes health problems, such as heart disease and increasing pain intensity. I got hit by a car! Isn't it reasonable to be angry about that? Mindfulness helps us to internalize and embody impermanence. Here, the teacher is bringing awareness to the changing nature of attention, senses, and sensations. Participants are encouraged to pay attention to the range of sensations (tracking), to describe them (exploration), and to notice when they change, if they do, and when they don't. They can then begin to reflect on how such knowledge helps to decrease suffering. They can begin to discover by paying close attention to their direct experience that they can lessen the primacy of any one sensation and that everything is in flux, whether this speaks to changing intensity, severity, or duration. The awareness of impermanence can become a source of hope and reduce the tendency to perseverate or elaborate on problems that cannot be solved through ruminative thinking. Here are some important pointers to make food preparation easier. Organize. Make sure your kitchen is clean and organized.

Be sure that when you take a close look at your kitchen, everything is put away in its proper place. Regardless of the size of your kitchen, create a special area for food prep. Inventory your food pantry. Take an inventory of all of the foods that are in your cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer. Get rid of all foods you may have in your pantry that you know you can no longer eat. If your meal plan requires you to avoid canned or dry foods, you may want to consider donating your nonperishable, canned, and dry foods to a nonprofit food bank. In addition, remember to throw out all expired, old, or tainted foods that you may have discovered. Create your custom grocery list. Creating a grocery list is one of the simplest yet most overlooked components in food prep. I suggest planning meals for at least weeks in advance. Keep in mind, most people's paydays are twice per month, so preparing your meals for two weeks makes it easier for food budgeting and planning. Using technology to create your grocery list makes it easy. You can do it through Siri or apps on your phone. Select useful food containers. I like glass because it is easy to clean, doesn't hold food smells, is dishwasher-safe, and is usable in freezers, microwaves, and ovens. Also, look for containers that are lightweight, easy to carry, and fit in small spaces. Purchase essential utensils. Portion size is incredibly important. Learn how to use a food scale and measuring cups to recognize the correct serving size. Purchase good, sharp knives and a cutting board so you can prepare foods easily.