3 Simple Steps to Calmness

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In a 1961 study, 2000 men were asked four questions in an attempt to determine their level of anxiety.
This study was to check a correlation between stress and heart problems.
Those questions were: 1) Do you have fear of strange people and places? 2) Are you nervous? 3) Are you jittery? 4) Do you have feelings of sudden, senseless fright? For the next 30 years these men had regular follow ups.
In 1993, 402 of these men had developed some type of heart problem, murmur, heart attack, high blood pressure, chest pain, stroke, death, etc.
The researchers determined that there was a high correlation between anxiety and their heart problems.
They found that if a man had answered yes to one of the questions the probability of a heart problem increased 3 times.
If they answered yes to 2 or more of the questions the probability of a heart problem increased 4 times.
The questions a study like this might ask today are: 1) Are you anxious about the economy? 2) Are you nervous? 3) Are you jittery? 4) Do you have feelings that there is something terrible going on in the world? How would you answer the more up to date questions? Would you be able to answer "No" to all four? If not this article may be just what the doctor ordered.
Three Simple Steps to Developing Calmness I used to be really stressed out.
If you don't believe me ask my doctor.
A few years ago I got divorced.
Not long after that I quit my job.
A very short time later both my parents died.
Then my daughter decided she couldn't live with her mom so she moved in with me.
This involved me in all the problems that came up between her and her mom.
I couldn't sleep.
My head hurt constantly.
My cholesterol was 230 and I was 25 pounds overweight.
I was four for four on the survey questions.
So what did I do? I decided to put myself on a program of exercise, prayer and meditation while using self hypnosis for positive visualization.
Why? This program addresses the three key areas of life affected by stress.
Those areas are the physical, the emotional and the logical Let's start with the physical.
I have been exercising fairly regularly for most of my adult life.
I am a master instructor in martial arts, although I don't teach regularly anymore.
I know the benefits of exercise.
The problem was I wasn't making it a priority.
So the first thing I did was to schedule in my planner a workout at the gym that involved both strength training and cardiovascular exercise, three days a week.
I also scheduled some type of cardiovascular workout, either walking or exercising on an elliptical machine on two days that I wasn't working out with strength training.
I made part of my morning ritual a Simple Tai Chi workout.
Slowly but surely this program helped me to normalize my weigh and counteract my stress.
My physical self was developing calmness.
During this period my emotions were running wild.
I was moody.
In fact my mood would swing wildly during a day.
I was letting my emotions run my life.
Even though I had used prayer and meditation in the past I wasn't using them during this period.
The first thing I did was to include Qigong (Chi Kung) in my morning ritual.
Qigong is an internal martial art.
It uses breathing techniques to help a person enter a meditative state.
Also, at the end of my Tai Chi workout I would sit and meditate for a short period of time, usually between 10 and 15 minutes.
This practice helped me return to being in charge of my emotional state.
The final part of my transformational process was to use the power of visualization or self-hypnosis.
I found that when I was in these anxious states I was actually seeing or visualizing negative outcomes.
I was focused on what went wrong or what could go wrong.
This made me worry.
At times I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.
Here's something interesting.
The word worry is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon term that means to choke or to strangle.
So it was no wonder I felt like I had no breath because I was literally choking myself to death.
So I decided to take control of my logical mind by using self hypnosis and positive visualization.
I made a decision about what I wanted out of life and began focusing on it.
I could actually see, hear and feel what it would be like to achieve these positive things in my life and slowly but surely I moved in the direction my logical mind was setting for me.
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