To enjoy and reap its benefits, individuals don't have to be athletes--just physically active people. In short, Sarah has entered a cycle of avoidance that perpetuates and exacerbates (meaning worsens) the symptoms of panic and anxiety over time. At each stage of this cycle, she tried to avoid the possibility of ever being in a place where she is not within reach of a cellphone. Yet she continually realizes, however, that no matter how "safe" she makes herself, she cannot entirely prevent the possibility that something bad will happen to her, because she cannot see or control the future. This, therefore, makes an even wider range of activities seem scary to her, and the cycle goes on. In Sarah's case, after all, she kept worrying about the possibility that she might have a heart attack. You could almost forget that during all of this time, she never had a heart attack or even heart illness. Indeed, her own doctor had examined her and reassured her that she was perfectly healthy! If she had stayed rooted in this knowledge, that in the here and now there is nothing wrong with her body, and she is not having a heart attack and has no reason to think that she is remotely likely to have a heart attack, then she would be able to ride with her parents in the car with ease. Negativity, of course, doesn't benefit you. Many are losing in life and can't get it together because they're negative and failure-minded. They feed off of negativity and allow negative people, places, media, music, and television to penetrate and influence their mind. The most successful people are also the most positive. They didn't decide to become positive after they became successful - they become successful because they were so positive and avoided negative people, places, media, music, and television. They didn't let anything affect their mindset. There's a definite difference between the two. There's a definite a correlation between the success rates of people who feed off of negativity and those who feed off of positivity. Given that today is the "age of the sound bite," those last two responses would likely be edited out of a news report, as though it's been accepted and determined that the public only wants quick and easy solutions to its problems and issues. One by-product of this artificially sweetened brainwashing is the public's general attitude of "What are you going to do?" resulting in an unspoken acceptance that the most important matters of the day are beyond anyone's control. This may seem to be a subtle form of procrastination, yet one needs only to glance at recent voter turnout reports to see a downward curve, ending in all-time low numbers.

Simply put, a great many people don't show up to vote on Election Day because they don't believe that their votes count. That downward curve may end on a statistician's chart, but the trend itself reverberates through society. One knock-on effect of this type of societal procrastination is similar to the new strains of super-bacteria that have grown stronger as they've grown resistant to antibiotics. It's today's career-politicians who have lost their fear of not doing the people's will, upsetting the electorate, and being kicked out of office. After all, if no one shows up to vote them out of office, what consequences do they face? Tom Brady, NFL quarterback of the New England Patriots, is one of the most positive people you'll ever see - even though he's one of the most-hated quarterbacks of all time. Watch any interview - he consciously avoids negativity and automatically chooses to be positive, no matter what. When asked in the post-Super Bowl 51 press conference about his stolen jersey, smiling, his response was, "Those are pretty special ones to keep, you know? But um, what can you do? I'll take the ring and um, that's good enough for me." When talking in interviews and press conferences about Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner who tried to make Brady's like miserable during "Deflate Gate", he has a lot of opportunities and reasons to bash Goodell and say negative things about him, but he doesn't. He takes the high road, chooses to be positive, and only says positive things about him. Find out what's causing you to become negative and get away from it. Eliminate the negative thoughts and emotions. When you have the opportunity to become negative and to say negative things, pause and take a second to take the positive route instead of the negative one. Your goal here is to overcome procrastination by learning how to deal with the things you've put off and, in doing so--to regain your self-esteem, which is a natural by-product of personal responsibility. All that changing from a procrastinator into a "do"-er takes is the willingness on your part to challenge your beliefs. As you gradually incorporate changes into your life, new feelings of self-esteem and personal pride will replace old feelings of depression and gloom which came about as a result of not taking care of your needs. Even if you've grown concerned that you may have lost the ability to act on your own behalf, I can assure you that you can regain a great deal more control over your life than you might otherwise believe. This has been my own experience. It is my sincere and heartfelt hope that this book helps you to start undertaking the tasks you've been putting off.

In the end, not only will you become a "do"-er, you'll also discover that taking care of yourself generates positive feelings which you'll come to relish. The first begins just a few hours before midnight, as thousands of revelers gather in public squares to ring in the New Year. The second tradition follows close behind, as an army of news reporters brandish microphones and stroll the sidelines to ask celebrants the time-honored question: "Do you have any New Year's resolutions you'd like to share with our audience?" Retired Navy SEAL commander Jocko Willink said during his TED Talk about a mission that went wrong and he made some mistakes as a leader, "Unlike a team where no one takes ownership of the problems and therefore the problems never get solved, with us, everyone took ownership of their mistakes. Everyone took ownership of the problems. And when a team takes ownership of its problems, the problems get solved. And that is true on the battlefield. It is true in business and it is true in life. So I say, take ownership, take extreme ownership. Don't make excuses, don't blame any other person or any other thing. Get control of your ego. Don't hide your delicate pride from the truth. Take ownership of everything in your world, the good and the bad. Take ownership of your mistakes, take ownership of your shortfalls, take ownership of your problems and then take ownership of the solutions that will get those problems solved. Take ownership of your mission. Take ownership of your job, of your team, of your future and take ownership of your life and lead. Lead, lead yourself and your team and the people in your life, lead them all to victory." Excuses are for the weak and those in last place. Excuses are for those who are afraid of admitting their mistakes. Excuses are for those who will never overcome their challenges and shortcomings. Get over your rationalizations and excuses. Get over the reasons you're not the person you want to be right now.

Get over the reasons you're not where you want to be. Get over blaming other people, places, things, situations, and circumstances. Get over trying to wiggle your way out of it. Get over trying to protect your ego and your pride from the truth. Lose the excuses. Lose the reasons. Lose the rationalizations. Lose the need to be right. Suck it up, deal with it, correct yourself, and move on. Eastern yogis and gurus have for millennia employed various forms of meditation and breathing techniques to achieve inner states of calm and peace and to remarkably alter their autonomic (fight-or-flight) nervous system. Dramatic reductions in heart rate, temperature, and respiration have been achieved by some mystics and probably by Houdini as well, since he was able to survive being locked up underwater for lengthy periods (how he unlocked the chains is beyond me). Meditation and yogic breathing--a form of slow breathing, five to six breaths a minute with gentle resistance on exhalation--can enable us to regulate bodily functions previously thought inaccessible to our conscious efforts and also have a profound effect on the mind's executive functions (e.g., focus, sustained concentration, short-term memory, and sequencing of actions) and our capacity for awareness of ourselves and others. We possess, by virtue of human consciousness, the capacity to know we exist and to hold a sense of self, of identity, of personhood. Humans are self-aware. But awareness is limited and can grow dimmer with the passage of time and the blinders of everyday existence. The desire to both expand awareness and, paradoxically, lose the sense of self to a more universal experience is particularly sought after by adolescents and young adults. Psychoactive drugs can be quick and efficient ways to alter consciousness. Meditation is another means, though it takes effort--effort until it becomes effortless. Many schools of meditation exist. Some rely on a mantra, others on breathing rhythms and focus, still others on observing the mind and breath and a relationship with a teacher, as does Zen.

Often meditation is coupled with a yoga practice. There is one interesting thing to note in Sarah's case, that is a recurring theme in anxiety and panic disorders. Namely, we can see once again that anxiety and panic often begin from very small causes - minor episodes of discomfort and unease. In Sarah's case, her first panic attack is brought on by an arrhythmia, which as we have seen, are often not dangerous in themselves. So too, panic attacks can be initiated by minor feelings of light-headedness (leading to the fear of passing out), nausea (leading to the fear of vomiting) and other feelings of discomfort that occur in the ordinary course of life, and which are often no signs of any greater problem. Because they come to associate their panic with these everyday occurrences, however, people with anxiety or panic disorders often start to fear that the slightest physical discomfort is a sign of an approaching panic attack. It is important to remember, therefore, that discomfort - while it is no one's favorite thing - is a perfectly normal part of life. You can expect to feel a certain amount of anxiety, stress, physical tension, etc. in the course of your life, and it does not mean you are about to panic or do anything against your will. (Most people dislike long plane trips and long car rides, for example. If you feel a certain amount of trepidation before going on one, this does not mean it is a "sign" that you are about to have a panic attack or an anxiety episode). When citizens stop taking action as a group, what happens, and what effect does this have on how we feel? Politicians divert their attention to the wishes of their true supporters, political action committees that provide campaign contributions from big business interests. Is it any surprise then when politicians vote in favor of lowering business regulations, and we then read news reports of peanut butter infected with salmonella bacteria, and of contaminated gourmet pet food causing kidney disease and deaths of our cats and dogs? We stare in wonder, as the world seemingly spins out of control, and feel hopeless and helpless. The same holds true with regard to how much or how little control we exert over our own lives. If we neglect our needs, we feel poorly as a result, and should we continue this neglect, we may begin questioning our resolve. For many, this is the start of a long, downward slide into mental depression. Many procrastinators feel separated from the rest of society, one they may perceive of as having an almost instinctive knowledge of how to take care of its tasks and responsibilities. The procrastinator feels cold, remote, and detached from others, who he sees as capable "do"-ers.