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Dejected? Time for action

RESEARCHERS have found that the two human emotional states that are most dangerous for our health are feeling powerless and feeling hopeless.

While these feelings can affect us all, the antidote to both is often positive action. Or, as singer and activist Joan Baez says: "action is the antidote to despair".

At the very least, doing something that makes you feel more in control, or more hopeful, will move you further towards health and happiness.

This often gets overlooked when we assess our general wellness - attitude.

If you feel like yours could do with a kick up the proverbial - you never have time for the fun stuff, you can't get things done, you spend too much time in front of the television and hardly exercise, you're cynical or depressed - the new book by Ruth Field, Get Your Sh!t Together, is a powerhouse of inspiration.

The British author, who wrote the bestseller Run Fat B!tch Run, has applied her no-nonsense self-help advice to "the crappy stuff in life grinding you down".

Field writes about getting on top of life and pinpoints the anxiety that plagues us all.

How many of us wake with that panicky feeling in the middle of the night when we remember something we forgot to do, she asks.

Or, indeed, how many of us live with a constant, nagging anxiety that things are not quite right.

About 14% of Australians suffer from anxiety disorders according to SANE Australia.

The rest of us may simply be wired and tired, turning to junk food, alcohol, tobacco or mindless entertainment.

Of course, not all anxiety disorders or addictions can be fixed by taking action. For those with severe disabilities, medication as well as high levels of support are often needed.

But for those who just feel stretched by time, demands and, indeed, everyday life, there is much in Field's book to help you.

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Her commandments include:

  • Laughing - a lot, and mostly at yourself
  • Leaving the past in the past
  • Remembering that only you have the right answers for your life
  • Giving up writing lists/procrastinating
  • Stopping watching telly from the moment you get home from work
  • Saying no to moaning/whining/slagging other people off
  • Field gives advice on how to tackle daunting and everyday problems and stop feeling bad about your less-than-perfect life.
  • Leave the last word to Dale Carnegie: "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."

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