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Animals in the wild are constantly scanning their environment to make sure they are safe. Likewise, this exercise is about connecting to where you are and creating awareness of your environment. When people experience a lot of trauma, they tend to either view their environment as a danger or to disassociate from it. Unfolding it, he handed it to Michael. Michael took the yellowed paper, glanced at it briefly, and said, You will find your new world. Columbus, eyes still straight ahead, spoke quietly, Yes, I know. Michael smiled and shook his head in wonder. How do you know? Columbus turned and looked at Michael. I have a decided heart, he said and turned back. Stealing one last glance at the man who had penned the words, Michael began to read. The Fourth Decision for Success I have a decided heart. Give your brain a rest. Try not to lie in bed with your phone pressed into your eyeballs. Shockingly, having a brightly lit rectangle that has access to most of the knowledge of human existence next to your face in the dark is detrimental to getting to sleep. Try a routine. We can all be feckers for staying up until 2 a. Look after your noggin. Exchanging the warmth and comfort of my own duvet nest for another bout of reality is a struggle that takes quite some time to come to terms with each morning.

I envy morning people. Actually, I envy people who can do anything without experiencing an inner quandary that dominates your life, but we'll stick with the morning thing for the moment. I have a theory: all morning people are cyborgs planted into our society by an overarching ruling class to make the proletariat feel bad for not enjoying their mornings. To build a sense of safety, it helps to notice the entrances and exits, as well as particular visual elements or smells in your environment. This exercise will help you start to pay attention to what's around you instead of disconnecting from it. Begin this exercise by taking note of how you feel, both physically and emotionally. Now, look around the room. Turn your head in all directions and notice where the entry to the room is. Now notice what it feels like to be supported by the chair or floor. Spend about one minute scanning the room for objects, colors, and shapes. Now, start to connect with your other senses. What smells do you notice? What do you hear? A wise man once said, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Knowing this to be true, I am taking my first step today. For too long my feet have been tentative, shuffling left and right, more backward than forward as my heart gauged the direction of the wind. The power to control direction belongs to me. Today I will begin to exercise that power. My course has been charted. I have a decided heart.

I am passionate about my vision for the future. I will wake every morning with an excitement about the new day and the opportunity it holds. My thoughts and actions will work in a forward motion, never sliding into the dark forest of doubt or the muddy quicksand of self-pity. As I stand in the kitchenette of the office, hair dishevelled, clothes crumpled as ironing them would mean getting up earlier, throwing the seventeenth sugar into my coffee, chirpy Susan from HR bounces over and starts talking. This is a sick practice to inflict upon other humans at any time before 9 a. As a matter of fact, the working day timetable in general is a sickening prospect invented by bastards. Mornings shouldn't start until 12 p. And working days should last two hours. And weekends should last six days. Every morning my brain and I have the same conversation: At least here we are safe from all the people who hate you and a world that is probably going to be the orchestrator of your demise. What makes starting the day so bad for the anxious brain? It could be a dash of chronophobia (fear of the future and what it may hold) mixed with a little bit of fear of losing control within your own life. Is there a taste in your mouth--including the taste of nothing? Check in with yourself again, noticing how you feel both physically and emotionally. What, if anything, has changed since you began this exercise? Survival Energy Exercise Start here if you scored very high or high on the fight, flight, or freeze or interoception assessments. When unresolved trauma energy becomes locked in the body, it is often a result of feeling as though we weren't in charge of or able to defend ourselves from danger, either emotionally or physically, in the past. This exercise will help you generate and access energy that is stored in your body from a time or times in the past when you didn't feel safe.

It will unlock that energy and assist you in releasing trauma and restoring equilibrium. This exercise is ideally performed with a partner. I recommend you do it with a trusted person who feels safe to you. I will freely give my vision for the future to others, and as they see the belief in my eyes, they will follow me. I will lay my head on my pillow at night happily exhausted, knowing that I have done everything within my power to move the mountains in my path. As I sleep, the same dream that dominates my waking hours will be with me in the dark. Yes, I have a dream. It is a great dream, and I will never apologize for it. Neither will I ever let it go, for if I did, my life would be finished. A person without a dream never had a dream come true. I have a decided heart. I will not wait. What I put off until tomorrow, I will put off until the next day as well. I asked journalist, author, snappy dresser and fellow anxiety sufferer Daisy Buchanan what her definition of anxiety was, and she summed it up as: Which frankly is a more coherent analysis of anxiety than I have managed to achieve in this article so far. The future is unpredictable, unless you believe that time is linear and everything is predetermined and that woman from the fairground who charges L3 for fifteen minutes is accurately in tune with the cosmos, in which case this next bit isn't for you. Kierkegaard attributed anxiety to the unpredictability of the future: if we all knew what was going to happen in every moment of our lives then we would have nothing to be anxious about. It's the fear of the unknown, the fear of unpredictability, that makes us anxious. He actually thought that anxiety was a good thing as it demonstrated that we were free to make our own decisions. Or were free to be crippled by fear.

Yay, freedom! When the anxious mind is tuned in such a way that routine and predictability are safety blankets, it's easy to see how a fear of the future can indeed trap us in the present. The idea of staying in bed all day, ignoring your phone and ignoring the world, has a low risk factor. If that is not possible, instead perform the first part of this exercise on your own, pushing against a wall. Have your partner brace themselves against a wall as you push against their hands for between ten and sixty seconds, then stop. Release your partner, close your eyes, and tune into your body. How is it reacting? What physical sensations do you feel? How about emotional? Repeat this pushing and checking in two or three times. Notice if the sensations remain the same or change. Now trade places so that the other person is pushing you. Again, check in after each interval. I do not procrastinate. All my problems become smaller when I confront them. If I touch a thistle with caution, it will prick me, but if I grasp it boldly, its spines crumble into dust. I will not wait. I am passionate about my vision for the future. My course has already been charted. My destiny is assured.