Situations don't care at all. Breathing in and out through the nose, do a minute or so of kapalabhati pranayama. This means breathing sharp, rapid breaths using your abdominal muscles, focusing on the exhales, and allowing the inhales to be passive or reflexive. Follow this exercise with one or two long slow paradoxical breaths--drawing the diaphragm up and pulling in on your belly button and abdomen while you inhale. (With practice, you can also pull up on the perineum, the area between the anus and the posterior part of the external genitalia.) As you are inhaling through your nose, imagine drawing waste products up out of your muscles, tissues, organs, and cells. And here is the key: continue to draw up on the diaphragm and pull the belly in even more as you exhale, squeezing out all the breath through your mouth--every last bit. When you are done, simply relax everything. A passive or neutral inhale will automatically occur. Do another minute or so of rapid kapalabhati breathing, and then another couple of long slow paradoxical breaths: try to feel a subtle upward tug throughout your body, starting all the way down in your feet or lower legs as you are breathing in. Draw the breath all the way up through your torso and up to your throat, and then release the breath through an open mouth while you continue to draw the diaphragm up even higher, while you continue to pull in on the belly even more. Squeeze every last bit of air out, and with it, all the toxins you sucked up out of your muscles, tissues, and cells. When you have squeezed out all the breath, just relax and let everything go. Allow your breath and body to return to a neutral state, and then do another minute or so of kapalabhati. Alternate back and forth between the rapid kapalabhati breathing and the paradoxical breaths. Here's another exercise you can do to help release toxins from your system. Take in a breath and hold it in. Then play with the breath as if it is a ball of air that you can move up and down between your chest to your belly, puffing your chest up and then popping your belly out. Move that ball of breath up and down between your lower belly and upper chest. After some time, release the breath and empty yourself. Then do it again.

Take in a breath, lock it into your system with your throat, and bounce and move that ball of air up and down and around in your upper body: sucking the belly in and puffing your chest out, then com-pressing your chest and popping the belly out. After some time, relax and release the air. You can write your ideas in your notearticle or use the Thought Record at to track anxious fictions (see sample on article 56). Try to record at least one each day. A good time to do this is when your anxiety is particularly noticeable. Although the discomfort of the emotion might stand out to you, there's a good chance you had a thought immediately before you felt anxious. It's important to pay attention to what was going through your mind. When you first start to identify your thoughts, it can be difficult to clarify the content. For example, if you're at the grocery store and you see someone who usually talks your ear off, you might think, "Oh no" and then feel anxious. Other times the cognitive material we notice appears in the form of an image. You might imagine the struggle of trying to be polite while this person talks without taking a break or the annoyed reaction you'd get when you try to pull away from the conversation. If your cognitive reactions appear in the form of a question, see if you can express them as statements. For example, if you wonder, "Why do I have to talk to him?" you might rephrase it as, "I have to talk to him and I'll be miserable." Or a question like "What if I can't get away from him?" might be rephrased as, "I won't be able to get away from him." You may have noticed that some of the beliefs in the table above could arguably be assigned any of the three anxious fiction labels. This is normal. The more generalized your beliefs are, the more they imply multiple concerns. As an example, take the thought "He'll talk for hours." It's unlikely that anyone would talk for hours in the middle of a grocery store, so you'd be overestimating the probability of that event. Similarly, implied in the worry that this fellow will talk for hours is the prediction that you won't be able to end the conversation, which would be a problem of inadequate coping. I chose the anxious fiction label of catastrophizing because, if your acquaintance truly talked for hours, it would be a significant inconvenience--an impactful waste of time that would take you away from much more important activities. In my view, the element of this situation that stands out the most would be the catastrophic outcome, but it's okay if your perspective is different. As you go through the week and record your anxious fictions, don't overthink the labels.

Instead, write down the label you think best represents your thinking and look for patterns in thinking that summarize your use of anxious fictions. In contrast to sentinel macrophages, most neutrophils can be found in the blood - where they are on call in case of attack. Whereas macrophages are quite versatile, neutrophils mainly do one thing - kill. Neutrophils use cellular adhesion molecules to exit blood vessels at sites of inflammation, and as they exit, they are activated to become killers. Fortunately, these cells only live about five days. This limits the damage they can do to healthy tissues once an invader has been vanquished. On the other hand, if the attack is prolonged, there are plenty more neutrophils that can exit the blood and help out. Cells of the innate immune system are equipped with pattern-recognition receptors that detect signatures of whole classes of commonly encountered bacteria and viruses. Some PRRs also recognize signals given off by dying cells. When these danger signals are detected, sentinel cells such as macrophages respond by producing battle cytokines that alert other cells and prepare them to repulse the attack. In response to a viral infection, the pattern-recognition receptors of most cells in the body can trigger the production of type I interferons, IFN-a or IFN-b. These proteins can bind to interferon receptors on the cells that produce them, and this binding results in the expression of hundreds of genes that can limit the virus's ability to reproduce within the infected cells. IFN-a and IFN-b can also function as warning proteins. When they bind to IFN receptors on nearby uninfected cells, they prepare these cells for a viral attack. The warned cells not only produce proteins that will hinder viral replication, but they are also prepared to commit suicide if they are attacked. This is an altruistic act because both the infected cells and the viruses within them are destroyed, limiting the spread of the virus to other cells. One of the body's sentinel cells, the plasmacytoid dendritic cell, can produce huge quantities of type I interferons when infected by a virus. For this reason, pDCs are important players in the innate immune system's defense against a viral attack. The natural killer cell is another player on the innate team which is on call from the blood. These cells are a cross between a killer T cell (CTL) and a helper T cell.

NK cells resemble helper T cells in that they secrete cytokines which affect the function of both innate and adaptive immune systems. And like CTLs, natural killer cells can destroy infected cells. However, in contrast to killer T cells, which select their targets by surveying peptides displayed by class I MHC molecules, NK cells focus on killing cells that do not express class I MHC molecules - especially stressed cells that have lost class I MHC expression due to a viral infection. Phagocytes and the complement proteins provide an immediate response to an attack because these weapons are already in place. As the battle continues, signals given off by the innate system recruit even more defenders from the blood stream, and the innate system warriors cooperate to strengthen the defense. By working together, members of the innate system team provide a fast and effective response to common invaders. Importantly, the system is designed to elicit a defense which avoids overreaction, yet is adequate to the task. I went through all the aisles grabbing all the things I needed, attempting to mentally figure out how many fresh fruits and vegetables I would require for the week. We made our purchases and headed back to our apartment. Brea had to work a night shift, so she wouldn't be joining me for my first workout. But she helped me arrange the living room furniture so I wouldn't give myself a concussion on an end table. She left for work and I laced up my workout shoes and hit play on the DVD player. After the first few minutes, the initial excitement and adrenaline rush I had gotten from anticipating a new workout program had worn off. I was now facing a workout so challenging I started to feel tears well up in my eyes halfway through the workout. The whole workout was only twenty-five minutes and every minute made me feel exhausted and demoralized. I had thought I was semi-fit! I taught fitness classes! I screamed to myself in my head. I should be able to complete this without feeling like my heart is going to explode! The twenty-five minutes felt like an eternity.

And once that eternity was over I lay on the living room floor a sweaty, exhausted, and defeated 188-pound blob. I don't know how long I lay there to catch my breath, but eventually I found enough strength to make it to my room and call my mom. "Mom!" I screamed into the phone. "Honey, what's wrong?!" she stated with concern in her voice. "I just finished the first workout!" I wailed into the phone. "It was so hard! I thought I was somewhat in shape! I can't believe it was only twenty-five minutes and it was that hard! I don't know how I can do sixty days of this!" My mom agreed with me that it was one of the hardest workouts she had ever done, but encouraged me to just think about how great we would look and feel after sixty days. My mom was always my voice of reason when I felt like giving up. She was always that constant motivator and voice of encouragement at the times when I needed it most. And this was one of those times. Problems are rarely as bad as we think--or rather, they are precisely as bad as we think. It's a huge step forward to realize that the worst thing to happen is never the event, but the event and losing your head. Because then you'll have two problems (one of them unnecessary and post hoc). The demand on you is this: Once you see the world as it is, for what it is, you must act. The proper perception--objective, rational, ambitious, clean--isolates the obstacle and exposes it for what it is. A clearer head makes for steadier hands. And then those hands must be put to work. Good use.