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It's good to challenge yourself every now and then, especially when it comes to the way in which you approach your tasks. This will often require you to break your larger tasks down into smaller pieces. Like the old saying goes, How do you eat an elephant? The answer is simple: One bite at a time. If there's anything that can stop a habitual procrastinator in his tracks, it's the feeling of frustration. In fact, there's nothing else that puts the brakes on action quite like frustration. Frustration is a potent adversary, but luckily, there are some things that we can do to neutralize its unwanted effects. Here are a few of them: There's nothing that can get you moving, like moving will. I can't tell you how many times I got up from my computer keyboard while working on this book, if only to stand up and move my legs up and down. It didn't burn too many calories, but it got my blood moving; most especially, to my head. You're human, and like it or not, you can only do so much in one day; so try not to overwhelm yourself with unreasonable expectations. Be happy with what you can honestly get done, and take note of those things that you can't, because you can always do them tomorrow. In this situation, getting to them tomorrow isn't procrastination; it's being realistic. Have you set a goal for yourself that may not be possible at the moment? There are times when recovering habitual procrastinators will raise the bar too high, because now that they've begun getting things done, they feel invincible. Don't allow yourself to fall into that trap. The counselor also helped him identify the goals that he would be working toward in treatment, including exploring some of the triggers that brought on his episodes of depression as well as dealing with the automatic beliefs that were sabotaging him in his daily life. This included his own fears about whether he would ever be able to have a normal life or whether his time in foster care had permanently damaged his ability to be in a relationship. This also meant exploring his relationship with Beth, someone he viewed as being "much too good for him" and his fear of losing what he regarded as the first real relationship he had ever had. Along with the individual counseling sessions, Christopher's counselor also suggested that he join the treatment group to gain a better perspective on how different people coped with the kind of problems he was experiencing.

Since many of the others in the group were also former foster children who had faced similar abuse in the past, this allowed Christopher to understand that his problems were far from unique. Also, by sharing his experiences with the group, he was able to overcome a lot of his old anger and help defuse the automatic thoughts that led to depression. Christopher continues to have depressive episodes, but he is functioning better at work and is almost finished with his high school upgrading. He is also more confident about his relationship with Beth and hopes that things will continue to improve between them. In the meantime, his treatment sessions are continuing, and his therapist is optimistic about the progress he has made. One of the most common problems habitual procrastinators face is the need to deal with tasks that are complicated, boring, or seem to drag on. To fight the boredom that sometimes accompanies such tasks, procrastinators will often employ playing the radio, music, or even the television in order to liven things up or to feel less alone. Unfortunately, such tactics usually backfire on us for a plethora of reasons. We'll discover more about that in our next segment. Always practice patience, not just because patience is the enemy of procrastination, but because you will increase your tolerance for the world as it is, as well as for your own frailties. The less that we fight reality, the more we accept it. One of the best methods that I've found to increase patience within myself has been to slowly chant Patience to myself a few times in a low voice, as if it were a mantra. Pa-ti-ence, pa-ti-ence, pa-ti-ence slowly and calmly. Try it yourself and see how it provides you with a few moments that you can use to refocus your mind back onto your task. Naomi is highly intellectual with a thirst for knowledge and a mind that is always racing. In terms of self-care, she has read countless books on diet and exercise. But her journey has been very up and down; she carries more than one hundred pounds of extra weight. Her experience-based aha moment came from not being able to use her primary arm. She has come to realize that distraction is her enemy and deliberate actions are her friend. She has to type with her left hand, so her writing process has become more focused--although tedious.

If she is talking and walking, she risks bumping her hurt arm. She needs to get up and down from a chair using her stomach muscles instead of her arms. Everything needs to be deliberate, and she now realizes that what she puts in her body should also be based on mindfulness. She continues to put her aha moment into action. So as you see, actions create aha moments. My own back pain, going to a psychologist, and discovery of my husband's infidelity all provided me with aha moments that profoundly changed my life. Also related to tunnel thinking and polarized thinking is perfectionist thinking. For example, if someone congratulates you on a piece of work you've done and you say; Thanks, but it wasn't that good,' and then tell them about the aspects that didn't go so well. <a href=''>In</a> situations like this, for you, things have to be perfect or they don't count. <a href=''>When</a> you catastrophize, you work yourself up and think your way to disaster. <a href=''>You</a> think the worst is going to happen in a situation. <a href=''>For</a> example, if you have to drive somewhere new and you thinkI just know I'll get completely lost; I'll get confused and stressed; I won't know where I'm going; I won't know what to do,' then you're catastrophizing. That's fine if the worst case scenario prompts you to make plans to ensure the worst doesn't happen. But it's not helpful if anticipating the worst simply serves to overwhelm and paralyse you. With mind reading, you believe you know what the other person is thinking and that their thoughts and intentions are negative. For example, if, when asked to work on an interesting project at work you thought: They only asked me because the other person couldn't do it. <a href=''>It</a> wouldn't have occurred to them to ask me first', then you were mind reading. <a href=''>With</a> this example, your negative thinking could undermine your confidence or make you feel resentful and so affect your ability to do well. <a href=''>This</a> involves placing all responsibility for something that's gone wrong on someone or something else. <a href=''>If</a> you see yourself as externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of other people or external factors. <br /><br /><a href=''>If</a> a group of people at work weren't working well together on a project and you thoughtThis is never going to change - it's our manager's fault - he should've known this wouldn't work. Why did I have to be involved with this?' Blaming your manager for what's going wrong means that you feel (wrongly) that there's nothing you can do to put things right. You're at the mercy of others. You might, though, place all the blame on yourself if things don't turn out well. Rightly or wrongly you may feel completely responsible for the well-being of others and the way events turn out. If things don't go well you feel guilty and blame yourself. That's fine if you are responsible and you do something to put things right, but it's not helpful if self-blame is misguided or it overwhelms you and prevents you from taking positive action. When it comes to fighting the feeling of frustration, what's truly important is to find what works for you. Think back to a time in your life when you felt the same way, but persevered. It may have been when you were in school and had to study for an important exam. Or, perhaps as an adult you needed to acquire a professional license in order to qualify for an employment opportunity that you wanted. Remember what you did in order to stay focused on the task at hand. For example, while writing this book, I was faced with dealing with the noise that came from living in an apartment building. I then recalled that I had a pair of noise-canceling headphones in my closet that were just gathering dust, so I put them to use. It seemed a bit odd at the time, to be wearing headphones and to not have them plugged into anything, but I needed silence in order to do my best work. Today, those headphones are always at the ready to help when I need to concentrate while working in noisy conditions. While noisy conditions from the outside world are one thing, there's another source of noise that stops many people from taking action; however, it's one where they have all the control, provided they're willing to reclaim it. For people who experienced abuse as children, the effects of this abuse can persist well into adulthood. This is especially true when dealing with the cumulative effects of repeated abuse over many years. Even as adults, these early experiences are going to shape the way they think, feel, and interact with other people, whether they realize it or not.

Along with the trauma stemming from their early abuse, there are also issues with forming poor attachments as children than can affect their relationships as adults. As a result, survivors of childhood abuse can find themselves being adversely affected by the memory of these early traumatic experiences. Research studies have shown that victims of childhood sexual, physical, or emotional abuse often develop maladaptive patterns of dealing with stress that can leave them vulnerable to new stress as it arises. According to the stress sensitization hypothesis, individuals exposed to childhood adversity tend to be much more vulnerable to later problems, including depression and generalized anxiety. Even for people like Chris whose lives appear to be good, the inevitable stress that comes with new challenges and responsibilities can lead to emotional problems that they may not be equipped to handle on their own. While counseling can be effective in helping abuse survivors learn to handle stress and emotional difficulties more effectively, it is still important that they seek treatment as soon as possible. Such counseling can help them learn to be more resilient as well as help to develop support networks, whether family or friends, that can provide them with emotional support as needed. For many people, however, aha moments come from a conscious search for clarity. What I have discovered from my own research is that the number-one reason that people give for having an aha moment is the desire to find out the answer to a "why" question: Why did this happen? In fact, people spend years trying to make sense of the why question. The fact of the matter is that you may never get an answer until you can relax your mind, body, and spirit. For many years, I thought about my past, forever questioning the why as well. I was trying to use my intellect to figure it all out. I wanted to resolve certain questions I had regarding struggles in my life. Nonetheless, I was miserable because I could not find the answers in a textbook or by talking to friends, family, or even my psychologist. I felt as if I was locked in an imaginary prison in my mind by not having the answers. One morning I was awakened by the most amazing inner soft voice. At that moment, I discovered my miracle--the complete understanding of the why question I had carried around with me for years. I recognized my mental prison doors were finally open. And boy, did I walk through the why doors toward the bright and shining light of just knowing.