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The client understands intellectually that the automatic thought is distorted but not on an emotional level. The automatic thought is part of a dysfunctional thought pattern. My supervisee, Andrew, was a novice therapist. He made some mistakes when he was treating Margaret, a woman with social anxiety. In the first situation, the client didn't verbalize the most central automatic thought or image. Margaret had several automatic thoughts but verbalized only one. When Andrew helped her evaluate this automatic thought, she experienced only a mild decrease in the intensity of her anxiety. He should have questioned her more carefully before jumping in to evaluate the first thought she expressed. Use your images and focus words to help you fully relax as your breathing ebbs and flows, removing your tension. Relaxation is a core principle of stress management as it helps the brain to unwind and the body to reset itself, particularly after a serious run-in with stress and anxiety. But there's more to it than flopping onto a chair and putting your feet up to rest your weary bones. Relaxation is a complete surrender of the body so that it can release every ounce of tension. Lying on the couch and watching TV is not an ideal way to relax. The brain gets too much stimulation, and even though many may argue that they're so relaxed that they fall asleep, they don't realize that their brain is still highly stimulated by the bright TV screen and background sounds. Nodding off to sleep isn't a guarantee that you're relaxing either, because your subconscious mind is still focused on the TV show and your stress. Consciously making an effort to relax allows you to be mindful of what your body is experiencing in the moment, and it helps you focus on the systematic release of stress as your muscles let go of your tension. It doesn't need to be a long, drawn-out experience, either; Muscle Relaxation Hit the panic button on the key fob to set off the car alarm. There's a good chance the noise will scare the burglar away.

Who keeps an eye on your home when you're away? Get to know your neighbors. I have an agreement with my next door neighbors on both sides to watch each other's houses when we go on vacations. It's great to have someone pick up the mail, turn on lights and take out the trash--all the things that help keep up that lived-in appearance. And it's comforting to know that if something suspicious is going on, one of them will immediately call the police. I highly recommend you build a support network with the people on either side of your home and those across the street if you feel they could be trustworthy. Neighborhood Watch programs are another way neighbors helping neighbors effectively lower the risk of home burglaries. The purpose of a watch group is not to act as police. I have a huge phobia around failure. It diminishes people. So I've always said yes to the thing I'm most scared about. Now stop reading, and for a few seconds notice what your mind is telling you. So did you hear your mind protest with something like this, Yes, but it's different for them. <a href=''>I'm</a> not competing in the Tour de France, or starring in Hollywood movies, so I shouldn't be afraid. <a href=''>If</a> your mind did tell you something like that, it's hardly surprising. <a href=''>It</a> takes time to fully assimilate the information we discussed in the previous article about the fight-or-flight response. <a href=''>The</a> fact is, every normal human being experiences this response when they step out of their comfort zone into a challenging situation. <a href=''>This</a> is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of normality. <a href=''>In</a> a second situation, the client responded to an automatic thought superficially. <a href=''>Margaret</a> thought, My coworker might criticize me. <br /><br /><a href=''>Instead</a> of carefully evaluating the thought, she merely responded, He probably won't. <a href=''>This</a> response was insufficient, and her anxiety didn't decrease. <a href='http://xn----7sbabfv5bqnrfohr3ihg.xn--p1ai/user/selfperiod14/'>In</a> a third situation, the therapist didn't thoroughly probe for, and therefore the client didn't fully express, the evidence that the automatic thought was true, resulting in an ineffective adaptive response, as seen here: <a href=''>THERAPIST:</a> Okay, Margaret, what evidence do you have that your friend doesn't want to bother with you? <a href=''>MARGARET:</a> Well, she hardly ever calls me. <a href=''>I</a> always call her. <a href=''>THERAPIST:</a> Okay, anything on the other side? <a href=''>That</a> she does care about you, that she does want a good relationship with you? <a href=''>Another</a> method for short-term stress reduction is muscle relaxation. <a href=''>Stress</a> generally causes muscle tension in your head, neck, shoulders, and back, which can be relieved by loosening the muscles through relaxation exercises. <a href=''>Progressive</a> muscle relaxation is a stress-relieving process that requires you to focus on specific areas of your body and actively release the tension in each area. <a href=''>Generally,</a> you go through your whole body, working on one muscle group at a time. <a href=''>Here</a> is an example of a progressive muscle relaxation exercise that you can practice again and again in order to relieve the stress in your muscles, body, and mind (Jenkins, 2012): <a href=''>Lie</a> flat and comfortably on your back. <a href=''>Close</a> your eyes and breathe deeply. <a href=''>Focus</a> on your chest muscles and ribs. <a href='https://xn----gtbbcrj2aqkkl0m.xn--p1ai/user/frenchboat27/'>Inhale</a> deeply and let air fill your abdomen before it gradually fills the chest. <a href=''>Feel</a> your chest expand and tense up as it swells. <a href=''>Instead,</a> neighbors agree to be alert to their surroundings and report suspicious activity if they see it. <a href=''>If</a> your neighborhood doesn't already have a program you can join, consider starting one. <br /><br /><a href=''>Find</a> like-minded neighbors who are willing to commit the time. <a href=''>Then</a> contact your police department and ask for their assistance in forming the group. <a href=''>Alarm</a> Systems <a href=''>No</a> home is 100-percent burglar-proof but research shows that a home with a good alarm system is less likely to get broken into than one without. <a href=''>For</a> some crooks, it's the fear of getting caught, for others it's the hassle of dealing with another security layer. <a href=''>The</a> best alarm system is a monitored one. <a href=''>The</a> alarm is connected to a central monitoring station and if it's activated, someone is there to notify the police. <a href=''>The</a> only downfall is it's not cheap. <a href=''>If</a> you don't experience this response when you take a risk, face a challenge, or leave your comfort zone it means one of two things: a) there's something seriously wrong with your brain; <a href=''>Now,</a> the size and shape of your comfort zone is inevitably going to be different to that of Armstrong or Jackman - or your parents or your children or your next-door-neighbour's mother-in-law. <a href=''>That's</a> a given; <a href=''>But</a> no matter how big or small your comfort zone is, the fact is, the moment you leave it you're going to have a fight-or-flight response. <a href=''>And</a> the greater the step you take, the stronger the response, and the greater the fear you'll experience. <a href=''>At</a> the risk of repeating myself: <a href=''>When</a> you step out of your comfort zone, take a risk, or face a challenge you will feel fear. <a href=''>That's</a> not weakness; <a href=''>Now,</a> as you work through this article, I expect your comfort zone to expand. <a href=''>And</a> as this happens, where you once struggled with fear, anxiety and self-doubt you are likely to be much more at ease and able to engage fully in what you are doing, without an ongoing battle with your thoughts and feelings. <a href=''>Had</a> Andrew asked her additional questions, he would have uncovered other evidence that Margaret has to support her automatic thought: that her friend has turned down several invitations to spend time with her, that she sounded impatient on the phone the last few times when she called, and that she had not sent Margaret a birthday card. <a href=''>Having</a> elicited this additional data, Andrew could have helped Margaret weigh the evidence more effectively. <br /><br /><a href=''>In</a> a fourth situation, the client identified an automatic thought that was also a core belief. <a href=''>Margaret</a> often thinks, There's something wrong with me. <a href=''>She</a> believes this idea so strongly that a single evaluation doesn't alter her perception or the associated affect. <a href=''>In</a> an early session, she lists many situations in which she feels anxious and then she reports this cognition to Andrew. <a href=''>Andrew</a> starts helping her evaluate it. <a href=''>But</a> he should have focused on a specific situation in which she had this thought--for example: Can we talk about the party you went to over the weekend when no one came up to you and you thought,There's something wrong with me'? Could there have been another reason that no one came up to you? Andrew will need to use many techniques over time to alter the client's overgeneralized core belief (see article 18). Slowly exhale, emptying your chest first and then your abdomen. Feel your chest muscles relax. Repeat this six times. Move onto your right foot and right leg. Keep your right heel on the floor and flex the toes on your right foot until your whole foot tenses up, your ankle tenses up, and then your calf tenses up. Hold this tension for 5 seconds and then relax your muscles. Feel your muscles relax all the way from your calf muscle down to your toes. Wait a few counts before flexing your toes again. Repeat this four times. Next, tense your quadriceps (your upper leg) and hamstring (your lower leg). You'll pay for the equipment, installation and then a monthly monitoring fee. How much you're willing to invest will determine what options are available to you.