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Figure 3-9.—ABC model. ANALYZE THE DEMANDS.–  Are they chronic or episodic? How much control do you have over the demand? LOOK AT YOUR HABITS.– Are you a physical or  mental  stressor?  Are  you  participating  in  the  right kinds of activities for relaxation? ANALYZE YOUR THINKING.– Is your thinking contributing to negative feelings? If so, try to change to more positive ways of thinking. MARATHON   ANALOGY Marathons  are  designed  to  push  an  athlete  25 percent beyond normal human strength. An athlete will  “hit  the  wall”  before  completing  that  extra  25 percent.  The  body  has  then  depleted  all  available resources  and  is  converting  muscle  and  tissue  into energy.  To  avoid  “hitting  the  wall,”  nourishment stations are set up along the course to replenish the runners’ bodies. Experienced marathon runners stop at  the  earlier  placed  stations  to  replenish  before they feel the need. They realize that the body takes 20 to 30 minutes to break down the nourishment into usable fuel. Inexperienced runners may wait until they feel the need to replenish. Then it is too late. They have “hit  the  wall”  and  need  to  wait  on  their  body  to convert  the  nourishment  to  fuel.  We,  too,  need  to remind ourselves to replenish  before we “hit the wall.” Plan time to relax and reenergize before you feel the need. This kind of self preventive maintenance will enable you to maintain a better resistance level and reduce  mismanaged  stress. BREATHING EXERCISES The first reaction to stress seems to be a change in breathing.  If  we  can  control  our  breathing,  we  can better  control  our  situation  and  reactions.  These exercises  can  be  done  any  time  to  replenish  or reenergize. Relaxation Breathing Breathe in deeply through the nose. Hold air in to the count of three. Push air out through the mouth Repeat  until  you  feel  relaxed. Bracing This is an energizing breathing technique. Breathe in,  filling  your  lungs  in  thirds. First  fill  your abdomen,  then  your  upper  chest,  and  finally  the  very top  of  your  lungs. Slowly  raise  arms  to  shoulder level. Clinch fists and bend to the shoulder. Slowly outstretch  arms  with  fists  still  clenched,  then  rapidly bend  back  and  forth  to  shoulders.  Blow  out  and slowly  let  arms  relax  downward. Purifying  Breathing Breathe  in,  filling  the  lungs  in  thirds  from  the bottom to the top. Blow out, as if through a straw, in short bursts. Repeat several times to feel rejuvenated. Alternating Breathing This  technique  is  good  for  headaches  and  sinus problems. Close  off  one  nostril  at  a  time  with  a thumb and little finger while the other three fingers 3-21

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