In twelve simple steps this program will help you become the person you would like to be. It will lead you to greater enjoyment of life. You will feel better about yourself and the world around you because the program teaches you to be in control of how you think and feel.
The program will work for you because:
with this program requires that you
TO FOLLOW IT DAILY
This Introduction explains why you should try the program and how to commit yourself to following it daily. The Contents gives an overview of the program structure by showing what is involved in each step.
Note that each step is important in its own right, and each is designed to move you further in a natural progression towards your goal. Combining all the steps, and applying them consistently, will achieve the final result of lifting you from and keeping you clear of anxiety and depression.
Please take the steps in the order in which they are presented, and keep a record of your progress for your own information. It is easy to monitor how you are going if you use the weekly record sheets in the Appendix.
You are going to be a success
You can rid yourself of your depression and feelings of anxiety, and function as a much happier person.
Don’t only hope to succeed: be utterly convinced that you are going to be on top again.
Think of it this way: ‘Only a short time and some effort(that is, some work on myself) separate me from a state of well-being’.
Start today by feeding this positive message to your mind and do the same every day.
You can be the person you would like to be
Start thinking positively. That means think well, not sick. The way we think about ourselves controls what we are: if you have attractive thoughts about yourself, you will be an attractive person to yourself and others; if you like yourself, others will like you. The messages about yourself that you feed to your mind make you what you are. They also strongly influence how others see you.
When you are depressed or in a state of anxiety (remember that we all are sometimes depressed or anxious) see yourself as in that state only temporarily, and remember that you are already on your way out of it. Feelings of depression and anxiety are tunnels that are part of our lives. Remember, as soon as you have entered the tunnel, you are on your way out of it. There is light at the other end.
Having decided to follow this program, I have already
taken the first step towards my complete recovery.
I am on the way.
Commit yourself today
To motivate yourself more strongly, make a contract with yourself.
Write on a piece of paper (or in the front of your diary, if you use your diary daily):
I will follow this program from today.
Under that sentence write today’s date and sign your name. Then keep the paper on the inside of your wardrobe door, on your mirror or another place where you see it every morning. You need to remind yourself of what you have promised yourself. Stick to your commitment daily, whether or not you feel like it - this is the only way you are going to get the results you want.
Rely on your willpower, not on your feelings
Why follow a program?
Many people have tried to help themselves without a program, and have found that it does not work nearly as well, fast or effectively.
Most people prefer to follow a program because it means they do not have to plan and make decisions for their progress. Often people don’t have the time, motivation or energy to work out what they should do, and in which order they should do it. At the beginning there seem to be so many things to change and do. Which things should come first? Which ones are the more important? People often find it difficult to know when to move on to the next task.
Your aim is to reduce stress (depression or anxiety). Following the program in this book reduces stress and produces faster and more effective results than trying to plan yourself what to do next.
The program follows a step-by-step procedure. You will get used to the procedures by using the program on a daily basis and over time. Some steps must come before others, which is why the program is graded and the steps are presented in a certain sequence. Most people take one new step per week. Step 1 is practised in the first week, and you will get used to making that step part of your life. Step 2 is added and practised in the second week, Step 3 in the third week, and so on.
You progress by adding steps, not by dropping them. If you are finding it difficult trying to add a new step every week, go more slowly. Although your aim should be to take on one new step each week, that does not mean that you should not allow yourself two weeks to practise certain steps if you are finding them difficult to master. Two weeks should be the limit, though! You will prove to yourself that the program works. Work consistently - that is, daily - and be gentle and relaxed with yourself.
You will find that only a few minutes are actually required each day. Following the program makes you think differently about yourself and the world around you. It produces a change of attitude and requires no more than that you feed positive messages about yourself to your mind a few times a day. That does not require a great investment of time.
You are making an investment in your future
You are building a better quality of life for yourself
You and I know that you can do it!
Sensible diet, exercise and relaxation
A sensible diet, exercise and periods of relaxation are a prerequisite for the health of both body and mind - in a way they are prerequisites for achieving any other goals in life. They are the scaffolding on which to build so that you can progress towards becoming the person you want to be. Make a decision now to adopt these prerequisites, even before you embark on Step 1 of the program.
Eating wisely and aiming for a balanced diet looks after mind and body. We are what we eat. By eating foods that suit your physical requirements and taste, you give yourself a chance of feeling better in the shortest possible time. Feeling better physically will give you the energy to use more willpower and to motivate yourself.
Combine regular, if possible daily, exercise with a healthy and balanced diet. Exercise for twenty minutes a day. If you are not fit, you may have to start off exercising for two minutes per day and gradually increase it to twenty minutes. Half an hour per day is a very good goal. Exercise is a major key to your mental and physical well-being, as you will realise.
Relaxation of mind and body is an essential part of the scaffolding and is vital to the success of the program. Relaxation enables you to be in touch with yourself. It allows you to direct your thoughts and feelings. Relaxation as an exercise should be practised daily.