AIAI to ASAS

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There are a number of ways of tackling this and they all take time to learn and practise; there is no quick way to unlearn or modify what has taken years to learn.

Drilling

As a start, set yourself drills aimed to make you do the opposite to what you normally do. For example, if you get impatient whilst waiting then your drill would be to find a queue and practise waiting without getting impatient. Keep with you a paperback to read or a pack of postcards to write to friends or to make notes or plans for a DIY project. You might say avoiding queues is the best answer. Yes but, being realistic, you cannot get through life these days without queueing at some time or another. If you travel by car you will certainly get caught in traffic jams. In this case take the opportunity to relax; put the gear in neutral, handbrake on, feet on floor, breathe deeply and slowly, and recall a pleasant memory.

Review your driving habits – do you drive fast? Race the red light? Do a Grand Prix start on green? Overtake and weave in and out of traffic? If so, then set yourself drills such as driving mainly in the slow lane and keeping to one lane.

Make a list of your Type A behaviours using the description of Type A we provided earlier (see pages 86-7) then make a diary of drills appropriate for your treatment. For example:

Monday: Speak more slowly

Tuesday: Tackle one task/thing at a time (instead of polyphasing)

Wednesday: Keep mainly in the left-hand traffic lane (instead of weaving from one lane to another to get in the fastest moving lane)

Thursday: Walk more slowly

Friday: Linger at the table (instead of rushing away as soon as you finish eating)

Saturday: Seek a long queue and practise waiting patiently (instead of getting impatient and irritated)

Sunday: Leave your watch off and practise being less time urgent (instead of letting time dictate your day)

Each day, concentrate on the specified drill. So for Monday, concentrate on speaking more slowly; for Tuesday do only one task at a time, and so on. Gradually, with regular drilling, you replace your old Type A behaviours with new Type B behaviours. After a while these will become a habit in just the same way as you learned your Type A behaviours which formed your old habits. Without noticing, you will soon be practising Type B behaviours each day of the week and not only on your specified drill day.

Accept that your change from Type A towards Type B will take a long time to achieve. You will find it useful to construct a drill diary for each day of the year. Here is a list of suggested drills to assign randomly to each day of the year. You will need to use each one several times along with your own drills.

DRILLS

Walk more slowly

Speak more slowly

Say … âœMaybe I’m wrongâ

Leave your watch off

Listen to music for 15 minutes

Linger at the table after a meal

Recall pleasant memories for 10 minutes

Buy a small gift for a friend, partner or family member

Drive in the slow lane

Practise listening during conversations

Notice objects around you: trees, flowers

Practise eradicating hostile grimaces

Stop fist clenches and knee jiggles

Verbalize affection for your partner and children

Observe facial expression (your own and others)

Ask a friend about themselves

Set aside 30 minutes for yourself

Eat more slowly

Practise smiling

Practise assertiveness

Seek a long queue and wait patiently

Read for 30 minutes

Alter one of your usual habits or ways of doing things

Substitute understanding for anger

Soak in a bath for 15 minutes

Practise anger control

Visit a museum, art gallery or park

Contact an old friend -someone with a job or profession different from yours

Refer to yourself less often in conversations

These drills are aimed at alleviating your sense of time urgency and easily aroused anger and hostility.


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