I got to stop. What sticks in my memory most, beyond the terror of not being able to breathe, was the feeling of being loved unconditionally by my parents, how much I hated having asthma, and how I wanted to kill whatever was causing the attacks so I could go on with my life. Asthma continues to be an unwelcome intruder in my life--as it is in the lives of twenty-five million Americans. Dust, mold, freshly cut grass, certain types of pollen, and cold or flu season can trigger it, as can a perfume or heavily polluted air. I can't get rid of my asthma, but I do my best to control both the indoor and outdoor air that I breathe. This means avoiding prolonged exposure to environmental allergens whenever possible and taking the steps that I will outline in this section. You don't have to have asthma to suffer the effects of poor air quality. Asthma is just one of many afflictions that are caused or exacerbated by unsafe and poor-quality air. Air quality rose to public awareness in 1952, when London suffered through what came to be known as the Great Smog. Fog combined with sulfurous fumes from coal fires, exhaust from vehicles, and smoke from power plants blanketed the city for five days. It is now considered the worst pollution crisis in European history, and it is estimated that it was responsible for the deaths of eight thousand to twelve thousand people. You may say, I'm always listening--am I always in training? If we no longer hear well, we're not in training; For example, say I've strained my back and that has resulted in pain. It hurts, so I avoid using that part of my body, and consequently I adopt a more protective posture, which may cause a distorted pose. Nevertheless I say to myself, I still have to do something to train, go running, jogging, whatever. If I move from resolution to action, then in reality I've created a physical stress because my body cannot implement the action. Only when my back has healed again does it makes sense to go for a walk or a jog. Then it does my body good and strengthens it. Example of the consequences of a change in posture.

Vertical axis: The head is shifted to the right. Notice if you judge yourself for judging others. If you do, acknowledge and let it go. When we bring the judging mind into awareness, we may discover all kinds of biases that we were unaware of. We can't do anything different until we are aware of them, so the first step is always noticing and acknowledging what is present. Notice how you behave toward yourself when you do something good, or when you perhaps make a mistake or do something you regret. What tone is the internal commentary? There's no need to judge, simply acknowledge. Awareness highlights self-judgment. Once we are aware of it, then we bring an attitude of gentle kindness to it: Ah, there I go again! Human beings make mistakes. For example, where do you stand with your family? With your other relationships? With your physical condition? With your job? How does where you are right now match up with where you want to be? I've always heard that the one person you should never lie to is your anesthesiologist. If you're about to go into surgery and you tell the guy putting you under that you haven't had a drink in a year even though you took six shots the night before, the anesthesiologist can give you the wrong dosage and do some serious damage. Well, I would say there's one other person you should never lie to, and that's yourself. The reason is pretty much the same.

If you're trying to make moves to get your life going in the right direction and you lie to yourself about your situation, you're likely to make the wrong moves that could affect you in the worst possible ways. Find one day in the week when you can fully disconnect. If you struggle to imagine a day when you can go totally offline and screen-free, consider rearranging your schedule. Do you have any digital obligations that absolutely can't wait twenty-four hours? If your answer is yes, ask yourself what makes them so essential and what would happen if you waited a day. Find a community. A digital sabbath is easier to observe when you do it with others--especially when you're first trying it out. Enlist a friend, partner, or family member to go tech-free with you on your chosen day. IT PROBABLY WON'T come as a huge surprise that reading is really good for us. It can make us smarter: studies find that kids who have a higher reading ability also have higher verbal and nonverbal cognitive skills than their peers, including their own siblings. Reading also improves our memory and can help ward off mental decline by up to 32 percent as we age, since it stimulates the brain to continue making new connections. This disaster prompted Parliament to pass the Clean Air Act in 1956, and the city began its transition from coal for heat to gas, oil, and electricity. However, this was hardly enough to solve a global problem that over the years has been exacerbated by industrial society. In 1955, the United States established its own Clean Air Act, a law that was designed to control air pollution on a federal level, administered by the EPA. It was amended in 1965 by the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act, which authorized the federal government to set standards for controlling emission of pollutants from cars beginning with cars manufactured in 1968. This act is still in place and has since been amended in the 1990s to include air pollution from other toxic air pollutants. The State of California has its own pledge, the Climate Air Scoping Plan, that will reduce statewide emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. According to the Lancet Commission on pollution and health, pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today. Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015--16 percent of all deaths worldwide--three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence. In 2017, Boston University School of Public Health found that those who live within 1,500 feet of a highway have a greater likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease than those living twice as far away.

According to the EPA, more than forty-five million Americans live within nine hundred feet of a major road, railroad, or airport. The right shoulder hangs, therefore the upper body is displaced and is in tension (shoulder blades and arms are not at the same height). This 34-year-old mother of three children often has back pain and tension, which has resulted in bilateral tinnitus and hearing loss. It is the same with hearing. If I am not centered (the connection is explained at the end of this article), then the area where my auditory sensation occurs is not well oriented or balanced, and hearing is a burden. Hearing is exhausting for me and prolonged listening tires me--even when what I hear interests me. Therefore, our task is to rebuild a natural order; Our ability to perceive is connected to a central control that coordinates all processes of perception as well as the processing and execution of bodily functions. This central control is our conscious being. On the physical level, this awareness is represented by the many individual cells of the brain and the nervous system combined. Body awareness works even when we sleep. We can learn from our mistakes but there's no need to hang onto them or beat ourselves up about them. Practice being kind to yourself. Explore how you can nourish yourself physically and mentally. Notice the choices you make and where you are placing your attention. Keep asking yourself, How can I best take care of myself right now? Go for a walk, phone a friend, or take a nap. Read a article, listen to music, plant some seeds. Many of us are better at taking care of others than ourselves. If we can deliberately integrate nourishing activities and choices into our day, we will be constantly nourishing ourselves.

Small things can have a much bigger impact than you might think. The key to your success is being brutally honest with yourself. I understand why you might not want to be super-honest with yourself. Sometimes some of the hardest truths to face are those that get to the very essence of how we define ourselves as human beings. Maybe you've spent the last fifteen years defining yourself as a wife, but the brutally honest truth is that your marriage has been lifeless for a long time. You can barely stand being in the same room with your spouse, and you haven't said a truly loving thing to each other in years. Your marriage is hollow, but you've so completely defined yourself by your marriage that you have no idea who you would be if you were honest enough to admit that it is in shambles. Or maybe you finally see that the reason you hate getting out of bed in the morning is that you despise what your job has become--but when people ask you about yourself, the first thing you tell them about is your work. You know deep inside that you have to get out of that job before it kills you, but what are you going to say to people when they ask you about yourself in the future? Hey, you know what happened to me and football. When the Colts cut me, I was so deflated that I couldn't even leave my parents' house. Better yet, readers are also likely to live longer: a study at Yale found that people who spend at least thirty minutes a day reading may live up to twenty-three months longer than those who don't. The Yale researchers found that those results were even stronger for readers of articles, specifically. While reading newspapers, magazines, and blogs can expand our knowledge, articles--and especially literary fiction--offer additional benefits. When we get swept up in a good article, we start caring about the characters and feel invested in their thoughts and lives, whether we love them, hate them, or love to hate them. This process helps to develop what cognitive scientists call our theory of mind--the ability to imagine how people outside ourselves think and feel. That skill has real-world consequences, as the psychologist Keith Oatley found in his study of the relationship between reading, imagination, and social behavior. Reading stories about other people makes us more empathetic, better at appreciating thoughts and perspectives different from our own, and more cooperative with the people outside our articles. Because we're extremely social, we have to understand people, Oatley tells The Washington Post. This is pretty much the center of what it means to be human.