Stop allowing things to get in your way. Stop allowing people and things to make your job harder. Do what's necessary to make absolutely sure the path to your goals and getting your act together is clear and free of distraction. Then, keep it that way. We're spending time on people and things we shouldn't be spending time on. We're paying attention to things we shouldn't be paying attention to. We're spending hours lounging around, entertaining ourselves, and being involved in unproductive and counterproductive activities that rob us of time and set us back. Whoever and whatever is wasting your time, getting in the way, and being a distraction has to go. You can't afford to be distracted by anyone or anything not contributing or providing value. You can't afford to waste time on anyone or anything getting you off of your path instead of helping you move faster down it. Stop abusing social media. You don't need attention. You don't need to see what everyone else is wasting time on. Unfollow all people and pages that post distracting, negative, destructive, victim-minded, and loser posts. Better yet, stop reading the social media news feeds. It's a just a big distraction. Go through your contact list on your phone and delete distractions. People you know you don't want to talk to or spend time with. Anyone setting a horrible and negative example. Anyone not providing value or teaching you.

Anyone not making you a better person by speaking to them or spending time with them. Anyone who doesn't' make you feel good. Disconnect cable and satellite. If there's something you need to see, it's probably on YouTube. Otherwise, most programs are a distraction. Notice the emotive language you are using and tone it down. Remember that things are not awful, a disaster, or a nightmare. This does not mean that the situation is not difficult, hard, or painful. Use words that put the situation into perspective. Ask yourself What's the worst that can really happen?' Some people hold negative beliefs about themselves. <a href=''>For</a> example, you may believe you are a failure, worthless, a bad person, stupid, unlovable, or unattractive. <a href=''>These</a> beliefs shape your actions in everyday life. <a href=';id=2;url='>They</a> can be seen as the rules that dictate the way we manage our daily lives. <a href=''>Instead</a> of pouring a cocktail first thing when he got home, he put on his sneakers and went for a walk, often for an hour during the week and longer on weekends. <a href=''>He</a> rekindled some friendships and began writing fiction, which he loved. <a href=''>His</a> marriage remained a stalemate, but he took control of what he could, namely himself and his behaviors, and it worked. <a href=''>He</a> never took a drink again. <a href=''>Annually,</a> he would mark the date of his sobriety for himself and let me know. <a href=''>For</a> many years after I left the Boston area, he would write me to recognize another year without alcohol and to express his appreciation of our work together, and to modestly acknowledge his own achievements. <a href=''>An</a> example of a life rule would be if you thought you were a failure and then spent your life avoiding situations for fear of being found out. <br /><br /><a href=''>You</a> may live your life believing thatI must avoid being found out', and that criticism from other people means you are in danger of being found out. `My friends keep telling me to go for a promotion but if I do they will find out I am useless and will realize I am a failure.' You may give up on life, be miserable, and avoid trying to change your lot, believing that you are incapable of doing so because you are a failure. People whose life rules are about over-achieving as a way of fending off beliefs of failure tend to feel good only when they are achieving. If you believe yourself to be lacking in some way you may believe that you are a worthless person because you do not conform to whatever you believe the standard to be. A person who believes that she is only safe from her beliefs about failure if she avoids situations may find herself feeling very anxious if she is faced with a situation where she needs to prove herself in some way. Some people believe they are bad people and that if people really knew them, rather than the mask they present to the world, they would be disliked and seen as a fraud. It is helpful to identify your basic beliefs so that you can use the countermeasures described in this book to change the ways you perceive yourself. Months passed. I received a call from John. He wanted to speak with me, and I set up a time. So began a therapy with him that lasted a number of years, and an ongoing doctor-patient relationship that continued for many years thereafter, finally ending when I left Massachusetts for a position in DC. John clearly saw that he had a drinking problem, as had his deceased father. Highly educated and successful, by the time John was in his thirties his custom was to drink anywhere from several to "many" alcoholic drinks a night. By morning, he was sober and busy at his company, among the first to arrive and the last to leave. That was about all his life entailed, with some diminished socializing arranged by his wife. No close friends, no exercise, no use of his past literary talents, no pleasure in his marriage. In the therapy, which John came to on time and ready for self-examination, he soon said he knew he needed to stop drinking. We talked about what other supports besides therapy might be useful, such as AA or disulfiram, also called Antabuse, a deterrent drug that with regular use causes a nasty reaction if alcohol is consumed. There was little else at that time, since CBT, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention were truly in their infancy--and medications to reduce cravings had yet to be introduced. John was concerned about his privacy and sensitive professional position and said no to AA, even though I explained that many others of his station would be in groups in downtown Boston or near his suburban home.

Both of us were reluctant to use disulfiram. He said he would stop, that he could no longer face himself for how he had deteriorated and behaved--and that he wanted a better, richer life. And he did stop, completely and on a day he set in the near future. In the sense of an anticipatory fear about future threats, anxiety is an entirely normal part of life. We all experience some amount of anxiety when we are not fully sure of what the outcome of a situation will be. Likewise, related feelings of stress are often linked to a sense that events are occurring outside of our control. While no one likes feeling stress or anxiety, these emotions serve a healthy evolutionary function in our emotional psychology. They help us foresee and plan for future threats to our safety so that we can keep ourselves whole and well. The important thing, then, is to recognize when a normal amount of anxiety is starting to tip over into pathological anxiety, meaning anxiety that has become a form of mental illness, for which you may need to seek professional help. To give an example, if you feel anxiety before giving a presentation at work, that is a normal and healthy response. However, if your anxiety is so great that you pretend to be sick in order to avoid the presentation, or if part of the reason you want to cancel the presentation is precisely because you are afraid it will make you anxious, or afraid you will panic in the midst of it - and, more importantly, if these kinds of responses are becoming more and more prevalent in your life, these might be signs that you are suffering from a pathological form of anxiety. The physical symptoms of anxiety will be familiar to anyone who has suffered from various kinds of fear in the past. We will be confronted with a very similar list in Chapter 3 when we come to consider the symptoms of a panic attack. These symptoms include: The important thing to keep in mind, for now, is that panic and anxiety may make your heart race or lead to other feelings of discomfort, but they will not hurt your heart, nor are they linked to heart disease or any physical heart condition. Lump in the throat, Shortness of breath, Digestive problems, Sweating, and other physical symptoms. As with the heart-related effects in the previous bullet point, it is important to keep in mind that while these physical symptoms may be uncomfortable, they are not dangerous. Your body is not capable of "choking" itself, and you will always continue breathing, even in the midst of a severe panic attack. Many people with anxiety or panic disorders describe a sensation in which they feel their throat is constricting, or in which they cannot get enough air to breathe (this feeling can come from hyperventilation, discussed below). The famous novelist John Updike reportedly suffered from such a choking sensation periodically in his young adulthood. The good news is that this did not prevent him from breathing comfortably until his death at the ripe age of 76.

Your body's respiratory, or breathing, an involuntary function, and would continue even if experienced panic, or even if you passed out. You do not need to worry about maintaining it. Difficulty sleeping, also known as Insomnia. Some peoples with anxiety report periodic feelings of being "jolted awake" in the middle of the night. Many people describe their anxiety thought patterns as most difficult to escape during the periods when they are trying to get to sleep because there are fewer external and social stimuli during this time of day to distract them from these thoughts. We will discuss later in the book some of the ways people have found to manage and overcome the sense of being haunted by recurring thoughts, which can occur in both anxiety disorders (where they are associated with panic) and depression (where these recurring thought patterns are known as rumination). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), an anxiety condition that often takes the form of worrying about the implications of normal, everyday decisions. People with GAD often report feeling plagued by anxious concerns about their own health, about money or financial troubles, about their relationships with friends, family members, or significant others, etc. Many struggles with decisions that are, for other people, simple parts of everyday life, such as paying bills on time, making meals, etc. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a form of psychological disturbance in which people feel the need to engage in repetitive tasks and become excessively focused on minor details. For people with OCD, these repetitive tasks often become essential to feeling a sense of personal safety, and they can experience severe anxiety when their ability to perform these tasks is interrupted. For this reason, OCD is often considered alongside - or under the heading of - anxiety disorders. I'm sure you know someone who always has "crazy" things happening and they label everything as "crazy", "chaotic", and "hectic". You ask how their day or week is going and their response is, "Things are really crazy right now!" Things aren't "crazy". If they are, they're creating it. They're creating the chaos by not controlling their environment. Nothing about your thoughts, emotions, behavior, habits, routine, and life should be chaotic and if it starts turning in that direction, you should know how to keep your head on straight and deal with it appropriately. You should have preventive measures, controls, and plans in place for when things get chaotic so you don't freak out and get sucked into it. You should have trained, intelligent, and logical responses to chaos loaded up, in place, and ready to unload when it shows up. Look at your life and find the sources of any chaotic situations you're in.