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I ran and none of the scrawny kids could take me down. I was like the stone at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark: unstoppable and spherical. I saw the try line. Many people are quite disconnected from their bodies these days. In a culture that celebrates mind over matter, you are far from alone. As you continue up the stairway toward increased interoception, life will become more vivid and you will feel a deeper connection to your body and self. You may encounter sensations that are uncomfortable as well, but that is still progress. Learning to simply be with these feelings is the same skill that allows us to be with our happiness and joy. Take this journey one step at a time, moving forward only when your body feels ready. In time, you will likely feel more centered and connected than ever before. Take your time. Along the way, you will develop a greater awareness about how your nervous system functions. As you begin incorporating these exercises into your healing routine, give yourself a couple of weeks before you decide how you feel about them. Yes, the great man said simply. Michael frowned. He still couldn't see it. Point it out to me, would you? Senor Holder, Columbus began, you are looking in the wrong direction. Today you will not see land off the bow of my ship. You will see land only by looking into my eyes.

Michael felt like he'd been tricked. So there's no land? Yes, there is land, Columbus replied, and it is right there. I ran and jumped. I put the ball down over the line. In my mind I celebrated that I had just scored a try for the A Team of my school. I then noticed that I hadn't reached the try line. I had reached the ten-metre line. At which point a large group of boys jumped on me and proceeded to trample me, which was probably due. This is my first memory of a catastrophic failure. I tried my best and my reward was losing the game and also getting piled on by a bunch of angry sweaty boys. The brain takes public humiliation very seriously, it treats it like any other traumatic event and will prepare us and make sure that this never ever happens again. This can be through never engaging in the activity ever again, or it can be the complete other end of the spectrum: dedicating your life to proving the masses wrong, like a great Hollywood comeback movie. The slower you go, the faster you'll make progress. Set yourself up for success by building a sense of mastery instead of frustration. With this in mind, a gentle approach is always better. To determine where to start, we will refer back to your assessments in the previous article. You will begin with exercises that address the areas where you scored in the highest range (in other words, in the very high and high range) and work your way forward from there. You will also notice that I have included a couple of advanced exercises at the end of the article. You should practice these only after you have built up a sense of confidence and mastery in the earlier exercises.

Breath Work Exercise This is a great exercise for everyone, no matter where you scored on each individual assessment. Our primary goal is to regulate and balance our nervous system, and this is a tool we can all use at any time in order to do this. He pointed past the bow of the ship. I see it as plainly as I see you. Columbus was silent as he gazed into the water. For a brief time, Michael didn't breathe. His eyes were fixed on the man before him. What could I accomplish, Michael wondered, with a spirit as powerful as this? Columbus inhaled deeply and turned to Michael. Most people fail at whatever they attempt because of an undecided heart. Should I not? Go forward? The latter is the rarer of these two options - as with any anxious dilemma, the fight or flight mechanism kicks in, and when it comes to damage to self-esteem, social stature or ego, flight is usually the preferred route. The fight or flight response is what makes us human. Do we deal with the situation at hand or do we get ourselves out of this as quickly as we can and make sure we never do it ever, ever again? And if we flee, we then have to go over the event in our minds to find the triggers that first created this response. What could we have done differently? Was it our fault or just a natural set of circumstances against which we stood no chance? Hindsight is a wonderful thing;

We can replay all the arguments we've ever had while in the shower and come up with the best responses ever, but this is actually just our brain looking after us, giving us a bit of false comfort. If the situation were to arise again, many of us would, in most cases, react the exact same way, our brains recalling the horror of our previous escapades, and in turn theorising that our reaction last time was the correct one because we `escaped' the situation, and the cycle starts again. In CBT, immersion therapy is the practice of choosing to deal with these problems. This type of regulated breath work helps manage stress of all levels and varieties and brings us back to the present moment. We know that breath work is good for your heart rate variability, which is how the nervous system is regulated. High heart rate variability contributes to a balanced autonomic nervous system. Begin this exercise by lying down on the ground. Notice how laying directly on the floor provides a sensation of being grounded to the earth. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach. Inhale deeply through your nose as you silently count to three. Exhale all of the air out through your mouth as you silently count to six. Repeat this six times, and then see if you can add on time, inhaling as you count to four, and exhaling as you count to eight. Do this for another six rounds of breath, then see if you can work up to a five-count inhale, followed by a ten-count exhale. Success requires a committed heart. When challenged, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape. Columbus cleared his throat, coughing gently, then continued, A committed heart does not wait for conditions to be exactly right. Because conditions are never exactly right. Indecision limits the Almighty and His ability to perform miracles in your life. If He has put the vision in you, proceed!

To wait, to wonder, to doubt, to be indecisive about that vision is to disobey God. Without taking his eyes off the water, Columbus reached under his jacket and removed a parchment. For you, he said. Throwing yourself into those positions once again, and again and again, until your brain starts to deal with them rationally. But we'll get into that later; SOME TIPS ON GETTING A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP: Avoid caffeine after midday. If you need to have coffee try - oh God I can't believe I am going to say this - decaf. I feel so dirty. Avoid energy drinks after 4 p. Avoid energy drinks in general really. First, very few liquids that you force inside yourself should be luminous orange or bright green. Second, they taste like someone blended a troll doll with laundry detergent and one of those emoji cushions. Once you are up and moving around, notice if you feel calmer. Do you feel more present? In what ways do you feel different now than you did when you started? Orienting Exercise Start here if you scored very high or high on the fight, flight, or freeze assessment. This exercise will help you practice using your five senses and is a great tool for increasing nervous system regulation. It will help you begin to more accurately sense whether or not you need to use your survival instincts of fight, flight, or freeze.