For this final project you will be required to create a short, parasympathetic ANS response plan for yourself. You will then need to follow this daily plan for 21 consecutive days (1 weekly religious observance day is allowed if specified in the plan). This must be something new that you are adding that is not already a daily habit. Consecutive for 21 days is a critical piece of this assignment. Therefore, if you miss a day, you are asked to start the 21 count over. During this 21 days you will keep a daily record of the action that you have chosen to do, your emotional status before, your emotional status following and a general personal assessment of your daily nervous system balance (how you feel and how you react to situations). When you are finished email your plan and your daily record for 21 days to your Clinical Advisor listed for this Term (on the Term’s homepage). You only need to email your Clinical Advisor ONCE – AT THE END OF THE 21 DAYS – with your plan and and your daily record for 21 days.  It can be in the body of the email or as as attachment.

Your Clinical Advisor for this Term is:              Email:

Accepted parasympathetic ANS activities:
Please select either an outlined breathing meditation with affirmations or a well-defined exercise plan.

Personal guided meditation with affirmations:
If you choose to do a personal meditation, its needs to be at least 20 minutes long. You have the option of either recording an audio version of your own meditation that you will be submit to your Clinical Advisor and use during the meditation. Or you can submit in writing your meditation. Your meditation needs to include the following: music or some other audio stimulation such as the sound of the waves, etc, include whether you already have the 20 minutes worth of audio tracks or whether you will be purchasing them. It needs to be the same audio sequence for each meditation to start training the body. You will also submit in writing your meditation that should include the wording that you will repeat to relax yourself. Some practitioners will do backward counting or some other relaxation affirmations. You then would, in detail, describe the imagery that you are going to use for your own guided meditation. Such as “I am walking along the beach at sunrise…” or “I am sitting calmly in a mountain meadow with the feel of the warm breeze on my face…” Make sure that you describe in detail your imagery including what you hear, feel, smell, and see. And always include that you are feeling calm, peaceful, secure and so on. The third piece would be affirmations for yourself in the first person. Such as, “I am confident and in control. All things in my life are as they should be. I am at peace with my surroundings” or “I am capable of greatness and have all the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to accomplish all the righteous desires of my heart.” These are provided just for example purposes. You will want to repeat each affirmation at least 3 times during your meditation. Again, for those who would prefer not to memorize them we encourage you to record yourself with your background music playing as you read your visualizations and affirmations. Then you can listen to this and all you have to focus on is your breathing. NOTE: You cannot listen to this to fall asleep at night. You are to be awake for this. Please also include when you intend to do your meditation, where you intend to do it, how you intend to do it (I am making a CD or playing it off my computer) and why you chose to do a guided meditation or create your own guided meditation.

Exercise:
The two requirements for exercise is that the length of time is enough to shift you out of the sympathetic into the relaxation response and to then continue for 5-10 minutes beyond this point. For most people, this will be a minimum of 30 minutes and may be more like 40-50 minutes. The second requirement is that it is not part of your daily activities or work already. Remember this is a parasympathetic activity and cannot be part of your work or to-do list, like shoveling your walk or cleaning your garage. This has to be relaxing for you. Commonly accepted options would be tai chi, qi gong, yoga, walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, rowing, dance aerobics, a local fitness center class. It needs to be a relaxing (non-competitive) aerobic workout. If you choose exercise, your plan needs to include what you intend to do, how you intend to do it (joining a gym, purchasing a piece of equipment, etc), when you intend to do it, estimated length of time, your given familiarity with this exercise, who you will be doing it with (if applicable), and where you will be doing it. And lastly, why you chose this activity.

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