As we saw in article 2, our sympathetic nervous system rules during the day, gearing us up for challenging and perhaps stressful activities. Say, May I accept things as they are. May I remain undisturbed by changing events. Rhythmic breathing will give you energy, help you relax, and enhance concentration. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Some people are more comfortable practicing rhythmic breathing with a lower count, which is fine. Mindful exercise means keeping body and mind involved together in an exercise activity--no articles, telephone, headphones, etc Bringing the mindfulness techniques you are already working with to your physical exercise can put you in the zone faster and keep you there longer. Sit or kneel with the legs crossed and inhale deeply through both nostrils to the count of four. While holding in the breath, curl your tongue backward until it hits the roof of your mouth. Then simultaneously open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out, curling its tip down toward the chin. The breath should pass over the back of the throat. The narcissist's word games can be used to undermine their partner's self-esteem. They do this by purposefully saying, or not saying, and doing, or not doing, things that make the victim feel worthless. Nothing could be taken as a joke or as a mistake, this behavior is overt and personal, from pointedly ignoring some accomplishment to questioning their taste in clothes to comparing them unfavorably to others. In addition to making the narcissist feel better about themselves, the point is to force their partner to feel as if they don't deserve better treatment. Deny Everything and Demand Proof. When the victim confronts the narcissist about their behavior, the usual response is denial and demands for proof, which will then be twisted to either excuse the behavior or turn the blame for everything back onto the victim (see Gaslight is More than Just a Movie below). The Triangulation Game. Here, the narcissist introduces other people into the relationship specifically to upset the victim and arouse their jealousy in a bid to assert control. This could be someone that the narcissist uses as an example to belittle their partner, or someone who supports or even helps the narcissist (see Beware the Flying Monkey below).

Creating Guilt. We need the evening and nighttime to relax and sleep so that our parasympathetic nervous system has the chance to restore balance. Exactly how much sleep do you need each night? Here again, each of us is different. Some of us are happy with seven hours, some of us need eight, and some of us don't feel right unless we get a full nine hours. Our sleep needs may vary depending on diet, exercise, and stress levels, so once again, listening to your body is key. Creating good conditions for restful sleep is an important part of restoring your hormonal balance. I know it can be hard to find the time and motivation to exercise. But exercise is a crucial piece of the puzzle when you are trying to balance your hormones and improve your health. First of all, exercise helps you make the transition between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. After spending a day in stress overdrive--meeting deadlines, caring for the kids, responding to the demands of loved ones--exercise really gives you the chance to release some anger, anxiety, and frustration and helps with the transition from fight or flight to rest and digest. Take a walk on the calm side. If you are feeling foggy, walk to clear your head. Breathe normally with no thought about the breathing process. The breathing exercise will come in at the end of your walk. clouds in your mind dissipating. the clouds floating away and blue sky replacing them. the end of your walk, gently shake your head and take 3 deep breaths. the calm that is now with you. faith in the practices of mindfulness, in the unerring rightness of what this moment offers you, will help you walk through many doors that otherwise might be closed to you.

means trusting the unfolding process of your life. the stereotypical Jewish mother, the narcissist will weaponize guilt. idea is to deflect blame for their behavior and break down resistance by making the partner feel as though the problems between themselves and the narcissist is their fault, which makes them vulnerable and more willing to agree to the narcissist's unreasonable demands. in the face of blowback or defiance, or if their precious defenses have been breached, the narcissist will become aggressive, intimidating, perhaps even violent. is done as much to punish their partner as to leave them anxious and fearful in order to get them to do what the narcissist wants them to do. with the bullying, under certain circumstances, the narcissist will also begin a smear campaign against their partner. By reaching out to others, usually close friends and family, they hope to convince these people that something is wrong with their partner and that any problems are their fault. Systematic Targeting. This is a rather general tactic that goes along with bullying, word games and other forms of attack. By lowering your stress threshold, exercise helps your adrenals produce lower amounts of cortisol and other stress hormones, which in turn helps prevent the hormonal cascades that cortisol can set off. Exercise can also help stimulate your production of dopamine, an energizing hormone, and DHEA, one of the sex hormones that increases energy and libido. Exercise builds muscle, which is associated with increased testosterone, a sex hormone that will also help stimulate your sex drive. When I told Michelle that failing to exercise was throwing her hormones further out of balance, she looked at me in dismay. How in the world will I ever find time to exercise? she asked me. I barely have time to take a shower! Believe me, I get it. I'm a mother, too, so I understand how challenging it can be to find time to exercise, especially when your children are young.

This, though, is one of those times when you need to put yourself first. It is a willingness to let go of fears and attachments and open yourself to the unknown in each new moment. You have to believe inner peace is possible, that you are already perfect, that you don't need to add anything to yourself. deeply with your eyes closed, in and out. the thoughts, feelings, and preoccupations you have disperse. Release them with each breath. Then open your eyes and look at everything and everyone in your field of vision as though for the last time. Consider the beauty and preciousness of this moment, which is the only one you have. You are in that moment. Reflect on the recognition that every moment is like this one. At the end of the meditation, retain the insights you have gained as you continue through your day. The narcissist systematically seeks out and then specifically target the victim's real or perceived flaws and insecurities. This is done to undermine their self-esteem and keep them off balance and unable to respond. Pure Deceit. While normal people tend to tell the truth most of the time, narcissists have no problem lying when it suits them. They will lie by making something up, by leaving out important details, or by being vague about what they are asserting. Now, while it is likely that the narcissist actually believes the lies, they also do it to get an advantage over their partner or the people they are otherwise involved with, to protect themselves, or to cover something up. Projecting Negativity. This is another deflection tactic. When the narcissist does this, they are pushing any negative thoughts, emotions they might have, or anything negative that they might have done or are doing onto their partner.

This goes hand-in-glove with Creating Guilt. Exercise is so important that I suggest you try to get creative. I'd like to add one more personal message to you if you're struggling with too many obligations and not enough time for yourself. Believe me: I know what that's like. But think of a cup that's empty--completely drained. That's like a woman who has done so much for others that she simply has nothing left to give. Now imagine the same cup brimming with nourishment. This woman has so much more to give to herself and the people she loves--her family, friends, children, and partner. Of all the factors that affect my patients' hormonal issues, perhaps the most misunderstood is stress. As we've seen in previous articles, stress is not just in your head. It's a physiological reaction that involves a massive hormonal cascade that in turn disrupts the rest of your hormones. Fear is often the thing that prevents our capacity for love from finding its true fulfillment. Love, on the other hand, can vaporize fear into non-existence. Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child. Breathe smoothly in your habitual breathing pattern. you first begin to observe your breath, you will be observing your habitual breath. This exercise will help you recognize any inhibitions and restrictions that define your habitual breath. Then slightly elongate your inhalations and exhalations but focus on smoothness and ease. It is important to just slightly elongate the breath, so you move from habitual breath to natural breath. Moving into your natural breath is like lying on the earth and calmly watching the clouds go by.