From: email@example.com on behalf of Joe Barry [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 19 April 2009 06:34 PM
Subject: SHARON Your Anxiety Mini Course Part 4
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tell you why the art of gratitude is such
a great tool for ending anxious thoughts.
A lot of
people write telling me how their anxiety
makes them feel very cut off or removed from the
world around them. This sensation can be distressing
as people fear that they will never be
able to feel normal again.
feeling is common and in my experience is mainly
fueled by a cycle of anxious thinking.
with a panic disorder or a generalized anxiety
disorder will spend much of their day mentally 'checking in'.
Checking in is a term I use to refer to how people
with anxiety constantly monitor their mind
I feeling ok?" "How are my thoughts ?"
"Am I feeling secure or on edge right now?"
regular checking in
happens is because
anxiety has such a powerful effect on the mind and body.
People tell me that they can deal with the
anxious bodily sensations but it is the anxious mind
that causes them most distress. That is what
I want to address today.
can often feel like a thick fog has surrounded
your mind. Nothing really seems enjoyable as you are
always looking out at the world through this haze of
anxious thoughts and feelings. This fog steals the joy
out of life and can make you feel removed
or cut off from the world.
anxious thoughts act as a barrier to experiencing
the world and this sensation of separation then leads
to feeling even more upset as you fear
losing touch with yourself.
So how do
you get this anxious fog to
lift from your mind?
someone is very caught up in anxious thoughts
they are top heavy so to speak. The constant mental
activity they are engaged in has caused an imbalance
where all of their focus is on their mental anxieties.
A powerful way to move out of this anxious
mental fog is to switch your focus from your head
to your heart.
By simply making a deliberate shift of attention to your heart
you will find the anxious thoughts dissipate more easily
and the mental fog starts to gradually clear.
make this switch by practicing
the art of gratitude.
I am sure
you have heard of people speaking about the
art of gratitude and the benefits it can bring to you.
Did you know that it has now been scientifically proven
that regular practice of gratitude can dramatically change
your bodies chemistry giving way to a more peaceful body
The Heart Math Institute has 15 years of scientific
research proving that a simple tool like the art of
gratitude can dramatically reduce stress and
improve performance for individuals and organizations.
Many Fortune 500 companies are now starting to
use this technique to reduce work related stress.
I am going
to outline the technique briefly in a very straight
forward exercise so you can start practicing right now.
practice this exercise you will feel a lightness and
greater sense of perspective on any matter that has been
troubling you. This activation of your heart emotion will lift
the sensation that anxious thoughts create.
This is a very simple exercise but it is really powerful.
Print it off and try it someplace where you can be alone.
Are you ready?
closing your eyes and moving your attention
to your heart area.
-Imagine a feeling of warmth emanating
from the center of your chest.
If appropriate place your right hand there. If you are around
people or driving etc. simply imagine your right hand resting on your
Imagine this area glowing warmly for one to two minutes.
-Now, begin to focus on something in your life that you
feel a genuine sense of appreciation for.
This can be one or more things that you really appreciate
having in your life (e.g., family, health, friends,
work, your home, a beautiful day etc.).
It is important to focus on things that spark a real sense
of gratitude and appreciation. If you really appreciate the
thing you are thinking about, you will immediately feel a
response from that area by way of a light warm sensation
in your chest or an involuntary smile (remember those).
not really matter what you think about as long
as it evokes this feeling of warm appreciation from your
Don't struggle with this exercise. Everyone has something
they can be grateful for. (Remember, the cemetery is
full of people who would love to have your problems!)
Do not worry if you are thinking of your partner/family
and you do not feel this. Some days it will be people close
to you that will spark the heart feeling, other days it may be
gratitude for very simple things like the fresh air you breath.
It depends on the mood you are in, -remember it is
the feeling you after.
feeling we are looking to achieve is unmistakable, it is
a positive change in your emotional state.
I say it is best to do this exercise alone because you will need to
stay with this feeling for as long as you can.
you feel you have taken it as far as you can, open
There is no time frame on this exercise, it can be
a few minutes to half an hour. Again it is about establishing
a heart/mind connection and getting your awareness out of the
anxious thoughts and more into your body.
few attempts you can incorporate
this into your daily routine.
Do it in the car.
Do it sitting at your desk.
Do it before you sleep at night.
You have to practice it frequently.
Just like a muscle your heart will get more
accustomed to this state and you will be able
to switch into that feeling in seconds.
With practice you can also use this exercise in the
middle of any stressful situation. You will be surprised at the
positive outcome in terms of your own stress levels and the
change in others around you.
This simple exercise can completely transform the outcome
of interacting with other people, be it work or personal relationships.
This is especially true where there is conflict or misunderstanding
between you and other people. Try it out, see what happens!
Be creative with it and make it your own daily ritual for yourself.
I am sure
you agree that it is a worthwhile exercise to
incorporate into your daily life. It is my experience that
most people do not have the patience or time to make
major lifestyle changes. By using this one simple exercise you
can make a dramatic improvement to the quality of your
The simplest things in life are free and this is one of those gems.
Don't pass it up
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