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If you are using your coping strategies your anxiety is likely to abate and once it has reduced to, say, a three, you can choose something a little more difficult from the list you have drawn up. Michelle practised this exercise for two days, three times a day until her anxiety had subsided to three. It was at this point that she decided to take a trip to her local underground station and undertake the exercise for real. Michelle found that the exercise went well, and although her anxiety went up to five when doing the exercise for real, it took very little time for it to subside. She used all her coping strategies and was very pleased with what she achieved. Her success gave her the confidence to increase the degree of difficulty using the items on her list. It took her only just over 10 days of regular daily practice to lose her fear of public transport. To gain the maximum benefit from the above technique, you need to practise it frequently. Once you feel confident enough, you need to follow through with a real life event. When you undertake a live exercise, you should use all the coping strategies you have practised in your imagination. It is also important to remember to break down your exercises into small, manageable steps. Trying to do too much will put too much strain on you and could lead to a sense of failure. Remember that old maxim success breeds success'. <a href=''>People</a> don't smoke because it makes them smell bad or gives them cancer. <a href=''>Painful</a> relationships don't persist because of the disappointments and grief they generate. <a href=''>Troubling</a> habits of all sorts endure because of what they do for us. <a href=''>Motivation</a> to change can come from a person's getting more out of changing than staying where he or she may be, which is the basis of motivational interviewing. <a href=''>Motivational</a> interviewing is nonjudgmental. <a href=''>There</a> is no saying a person is bad or his or her behaviors are shameful. <a href=''>Nor</a> does it allow people to emotionally beat up on themselves, self-flagellating with negative, abusive comments. <br /><br /><a href=''>Quite</a> the opposite: MI starts by recognizing that a person is doing something for powerful reasons. <a href=''>The</a> best ideas that emerge in MI come from the patient, in a trusting relationship with the clinician. <a href=''>In</a> another section of this book, we will look at other ways to change damaging habits, especially addictions, based on the neuroscience of behavior. <a href=''>We</a> must employ more than exhortation, more than shame and nagging, to help a person live a healthier and more rewarding life. <a href=''>MI</a> is but one example, as are other cognitive techniques, family supports, medication-assisted treatments, recovery groups, exercise, and a variety of useful mind-body approaches including yoga, slow breathing, mindfulness, and meditation. <a href=''>The</a> alternatives to "accentuating the negative" work far better. <a href=''>As</a> we saw in the author's own experience, described in Chapter 1, fear of losing control over one's bodily responses is often associated with social anxiety. <a href=''>One</a> may be afraid that one will be unable to prevent oneself from throwing up or that one will lose control of one's bowels or other digestive functions in front of others. <a href=''>Finally,</a> fear of fainting, of passing out, or of going unconscious is another manifestation of the fear of losing control of one's body and thereby "embarrassing" oneself in front of others. <a href=''>If</a> one starts to associate this danger with panicking specifically - that is to say, if one starts to be afraid of panic itself because it might lead one to lose control of one's bodily responses, then the fear of panic can often bring on panic itself. <a href=''>Some</a> important things to remember when one is experiencing social anxiety of this sort include: Your panic is not visible to others. <a href=''>While</a> it is happening inside you, a panic attack often feels like it is the most important thing in the world. <a href=''>That</a> does not mean, however, that anyone else can see it. <a href=''>Just</a> remember that panic does not have the power to change your behavior or make you do things you don't want to do. <a href=''>Many</a> people who experience panic attacks report that no one ever notices that it is happening to them. <a href=''>We</a>re failing to see the slaughterhouse - unreached goals, mediocrity, massive debt, unhappiness, stress, and preventable problems. The "rancher" is everyone, friends, family, co-workers, etc., trying to keep us is in the "herd" by telling us to be "safe" by not being different. Telling us to stay in the same "safe" box everyone else is in by taking out loans and going to a college we can't afford, getting a general degree we won't use, working at a "safe" job we hate and that barely pays the bills, and settling for a mediocre and unhappy life we can barely afford. This is how we, the "herd", are living. Without thought, we're copying everything we see each other doing and getting the same lousy results over and over.

The "herd" is one missed paycheck away from losing everything. They're barely surviving. They're depending on other people to put food on their table and clothes on their back. They're betting their family's survival on another person, the owner of the company they work for, keeping their act together. The most common tranquillisers are the valium-like drugs, the benzodiazepines (most sleeping tablets also belong to this class of drugs). They are very effective at relieving anxiety, but we now know that they can be addictive after only four weeks' regular use. When people try to stop taking them they may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can persist for some time. These drugs should be used for short periods only, perhaps to help during a crisis. They should not be used for longer-term treatment of anxiety. On the other hand, anti-depressants are NOT addictive and can help to relieve anxiety as well as the depression for which they are usually prescribed. Some even seem to have a particular effect on individual types of anxiety. One of the drawbacks is that they usually take two to four weeks to work and some can cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth and constipation. Taking a certain kind of antidepressant, the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), may mean that you have to stick to a special diet. To recognize the salience of prevention, we need to think of it not as an "ounce" but something closer to a "ton." For twenty years, from 1989 to 2008, California invested $2.4 billion of its tax dollars from cigarette sales in what was called the California Tobacco Control Program. The money was spent on efforts to reduce smoking, including funding community coalitions that sought to implement no-smoking policies and practices, as well as on informing public-media campaigns. An analysis of this investment performed by the University of California, San Francisco, considered changes in smoking prevalence, cigarette consumption, and health-care costs: $134 billion was saved by the program, producing a 5,500 percent return on investment (ROI) from reductions in the cost of treatment of smoking-related illnesses. Panic is not associated with loss of bodily control. Panic will not force you to lose muscle control of your bowels, force you to pass gas in inappropriate situations, force you to vomit, etc. It is true that when and where we vomit is often not really in our control, which is why it can be a frightening thing for people with panic disorder and social anxiety. In technical terms, vomiting is part of the autonomic nervous system, which means the part of our bodily responses that operate as reflexes, without conscious thought.

(Other bodily responses that are part of the autonomic system include breathing, the heart-beat, sneezing, the gag reflex, passing out, etc.) For this very reason, however, vomiting essentially "just happens." While it may be slightly socially embarrassing, it is not preceded by a long build-up of anxiety in which one worries about the possibility that one might throw up. If you struggle with a fear of vomiting, just think back to the last time you actually did vomit, and ask yourself: did it happen at a time when you were particularly afraid you might vomit or did it happen when you were hardly thinking about the possibility? Chances are it was the latter. Remember that other people are not as focused on you as you are on yourself. People with social anxiety are hyper-attuned to their own behavior and responses. Just remember that no one else is paying that kind of close attention and scrutiny to you. One exercise that people have found helpful in dealing with social anxiety is to attempt to focus one's attention on the other people in the room. Scrutinize the minute details of their appearance and behavior. Once you are thinking about them, you will stop thinking so much about your own role in the situation. They have the same opportunity as stray calves but they're CHOOSING to follow the sound of the bell because it's easier. They're choosing to stay where they're at. They're choosing comfort. They're refusing change because their friends, family, co-workers, and buddies are doing the same thing. They're choosing the "herd life". The sound of the bell steer's bell is more important to them than someone telling them they're headed in the wrong direction. Stop doing what everyone else is doing. They're following the sound of the bell. They're being led to the slaughterhouse. Get away from the "herd". Get to higher ground and see for yourself what's really happening and where they're headed.

You'll notice they're just copying each other. The Herd Mentality you want to avoid: Play it safe, stay in your comfort zone, and don't take risks Being able to deal with problems can help you manage your anxiety. Your thinking style, as we saw in Chapter 3, affects how effectively you manage your life. Solving problems provides you with the chance of learning new skills. Figure 8 presents a problem-solving model comprising six stages The first step is to identify exactly what is wrong. When defining a problem it is important to be as clear and specific as possible about what exactly is troubling you. The next task is to set yourself a goal. Your goal needs to be specific. Although I want to produce a good report' tells you what you want, it is not specific enough. <a href=''>A</a> better alternative would beI want to write a report that covers all the options available to our organization'. This example more clearly states what you want to do. If you set yourself a goal you have to measure whether you are achieving it or not. Goals need to be specific and measurable as well as realistic. Are you one of those people who set themselves unrealistic goals? For example, `I want to write the best report without asking anyone for their input even though I have only half the picture'. If you set yourself unrealistic goals you are likely to be discouraged and feel like a failure. The next step is to make sure your goal is relevant and the last part of the goal-setting process is to set yourself a time limit. Are you going to write the report in twentyfour hours, seventy-two hours, or a week? Once you have identified the problem you need to consider the associated consequences. Once you have exhausted yourself in terms of your ideas, you can go back over them and see which ones seem useful and which ones you will disregard.