Early in my practice, I started to notice long-term health problems coinciding frequently with distinct patterns of emotional reaction to stress. Many patients were aware of these reactions but were frustrated in their many efforts to change those reactions, and their physical health suffered correspondingly. I found that while I could often achieve short-term relief of their physical symptoms, emotional triggers would typically bring everything right back. Many patients, many colleagues, and the work of many researchers eventually led me to a series of steps that has proved remarkably effective in both turning off that reactivity and significantly decreasing the frequency and intensity of physically unhealthy episodes.

As I shared this approach with more and more people, I found it taking an inordinately increasing amount of time. So I went looking for a book to give people, instead of talking about it. After reading several dozen books on similar themes but without the specific steps that seemed so effective, I thought that my time could be better spent writing one. After all, how long would it take to write the things that we would cover in a couple hours?

It is now over 7 years since I first put pen to paper (and now is more of finger to keyboard, and sometimes even dictation to speech recognition!). Having just recently cleared 20,000 words (equivalent to about an 80-page book), I am hopeful that I might have something concrete in the near future. So far it has taken more than twice as long as my graduate thesis.

If I can avoid getting distracted by other projects …

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