DIY Relaxation Tips For Calming Panic Attacks 

Panic attacks are the body’s responses to intense fear, anxiety, or discomfort that reach their peak in a couple of minutes. Panic attacks are characterized by racing heartbeat, palpitations, cold sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, dizziness, and various muscle pains. A triggering event often causes a panic attack, such as a frightening situation, an incident that brings back previous traumatic experiences, or certain tragic life events. However, it can also happen unexpectedly even in a calm state.

What makes panic attacks difficult is that most of the time, you never get to prepare for it beforehand. It can happen while you are walking or even while writing an article. This suddenness is why DIY calming tips come very handy especially when you are caught in a place or moment wherein you cannot quickly turn back. Calming tips include closing your eyes, picturing a happy place, diverting your attention, and even taking medicines or resorting to essential oils. Should these things not work out, you can also try to control your internal and physical body. Two common ways by which you can do this is through deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises.

Deep Breathing

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For deep breathing, preferably go to a quiet place for a few minutes for you to do the exercise correctly, but if you can’t, stay in your position instead and then focus. Sit up straight and relax your back as you lean against a chair. You can either close your eyes or look downwards to avoid distraction. Start to pay attention to your inhales and exhales, taking them slowly one breath at a time. Inhale deeply through your nose and gradually exhale through your mouth. Continue this for five to ten cycles of slowly paced breathing.

The benefits of deep and focused breathing include its cleansing effect. It clears your mind for the moment and pays attention to your body. Proper breathing does its wonders in terms of regulating the flow of blood and energy through your body. It makes you feel more relaxed and energized. For better results, you can practice deep breathing immediately when you wake up in the morning to prepare you for the day ahead.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

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The standard flight-or-fight response in cases of panic attack causes you to feel physically uncomfortable as your stress hormones rise exponentially. PMR addresses exactly that by systematically restricting and then relaxing your body’s muscle groups to subdue the physical and mental stress that panic attack brings about. You can start PMR with deep breathing as a warm-up then work your way from the bottom to the top, starting with your toes.

Tighten the grip on your toes like a clenched fist, squeeze them tightly for a few breaths, and then release. Flex your feet, hold them for a few seconds, and then release. Move up to your legs, keeping your lower leg close to your thigh for a few seconds, and then stretch and relax. Do the same flex-tighten-hold-relax sequence up to your abdomen, back, arms, hands, neck, and head. Repeat the motion on any muscle group if you feel the need to do so, and then relax your whole body.

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Both exercises are ways by which you can reverse the effects of a panic attack all by yourself, without any prescription medicine. It elicits a relaxation response by lowering your heart rate, regulating the flow of oxygen and blood, calming your mind, and relieving your muscles from the tension. It takes practice to be able to develop both skills, but it will surely come in handy as you overcome panic attacks wherever, whenever.

13 Must-Follow Blogs For Coping With Anxiety

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Anxiety is normal and is experienced by all people. The world is filled with stressful jobs, people, events, and situations. It will not stop or wait for you when you get sick or become a victim of your mental or emotional problems.

Unfortunately, there are lots of people who make anxiety their best friend. They bring their anxious selves wherever they go, and they greatly suffer from the negative effects of the disorder. This must be put to an end, but how?

 

Here are some blogs that could give additional information on anxiety from real people who are combatting their anxiety disorders and issues every single day.

Anxious Lass

This is a blog started by a victim of social anxiety. Kel took years before finding a solution to her unfortunate problems. She began writing articles and posted them on the internet to help people like her who also suffer from social anxiety.

Site – anxiouslass.com

Anxiety Network

This is a blog about anxiety and at the same time, a stress blog. There are different articles written by experts, especially about panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. The site educates people about the facts of those illnesses.

 

Source: flickr.com

 

Site – anxietynetwork.com

Anxiety, Panic & Health

The goal of the Founder of this blog named Michal Nichols is to identify the different types of anxiety disorders and help those people who are experiencing them. There are articles, book reviews, and tools available in this blog that could help those who are plagued with an AD.

Site – anxietypanichealth.com

Anxiety Schmanxiety

This is a blog from a certified national councilor Tanya Peterson. She writes the articles here. It is in her own opinion mixed with professional expertise that she has gained through time. It addresses all types of anxiety disorders.

Site – healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety

Anxiety Slayer

 There are tools that you can find in this blog that focuses on fighting your anxiety in the most common situations, for example, decreasing the triggers. The content provides techniques on how to cope with different events. The blogs are good and all original material.

Site – anxietyslayer.com

Anxiety United

This blog shares stories from different people who are living with anxiety. They give out articles to read, some references and valuable ideas on handling symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Site – anxietyunited.com

Carl Vernon

Managed by a best-selling author, Carl Vernon, the blog talks about his experiences in dealing with anxiety. He provides different materials that answer the most frequent anxiety questions and advises on how to manage and cope.

Site – carlvernon.com/blog

Diary Of A Social Phobic

The blog’s admin, Gemma, writes about her anxiety problems because she wants to make people with anxiety issues feel that they are not alone. She tackles topics such as cognitive dissonance, which is based on her own experience.

Site – diaryofasocialphobic.wordpress.com

Fiona Likes To Blog

The blogger Fiona gives out various comments on how to take care of yourself when suffering from anxiety. She writes based on her experiences in coping with the mental illness.

Site – fionalikestoblog.com

Let’s Talk Anxiety

This blog focuses on helping people by using evidence-based materials. It also provides tips on how to prevent and recover from anxiety.

Site – letstalkanxiety.com

My Anxiety

The blog contains articles that are based on a patient’s perspective. It focuses on how patients are fighting the mental illness, empowering other patients and their caregivers.

Site – myanxiety.co.uk

 

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Relief From Anxiety

The blogger gives information about her dealings with anxiety. She updates every week and aims to provide support to those people who are also managing the mental illness.

Site – reliefromanxiety.blogspot.com

We’re All Mad Here

Its admin, Claire, is considered an expert when it comes to anxiety. She found out after her recovery that clinical approach is sufficient to fight the disorder. Documenting her experiences, she now shares them on her blog for everyone to benefit. Different pieces of advice on dealing with anxiety and other information can be found on this website.

Site – allmadhere.co.uk

Writing Techniques to Improve Perspective and Quality

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Does it feel like you’re constantly grasping at straws when forming a story that you couldn’t quite assemble or organize the numerous ideas running inside your head? You are not alone. There are writers currently struggling with what to do with all these concepts jumbled up, doing somersaults inside their brains.

 

Not being able to convey the exact message or thoroughly describe your emotions may lead to frustration and stress. Convoluting as it might seem, while this clutter of ideas make you feel helpless and can cause inability to accomplish something, there are useful ways to improve your perspective thereby affecting the quality of your writing.

 

The reality is, writing is hard; especially if you plan on taking it seriously. There are no shortcuts, no easy formula to create a manuscript or a simple essay. If you’ve decided that you wanted to publish what you’ve written, that you yearn for people to read and understand your piece, there has to be a sense of perspective. In writing, quality is more important than quantity.

 

Gathering important facts, logical altercations, and perceptive solutions can be staggering. But there are simple tips to get you out of the puddle.

 

Tip 1: Define your audience.

 

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There are different genres of writing. Not having a defined target audience will leave you distorted. After clearly determining your market, you should ask yourself things like:

  • What information do they want?
  • Is there any other additional information that they need to know?
  • What do they yearn for?
  • What are they afraid of?
  • What is current and interesting?
  • How can you influence or affect them?

 

Tip 2: Be direct.

Say what needs to be said in the most straightforward manner. Don’t beat around the bush. Be concise. Rambling can cause boredom and disinterest. This can be done by imagining that you are in front of your audience and they are waiting for simplified answers. You wouldn’t be addressing them in terms that only you and Mr. Webster can understand. This confuses the audience and is not a very good way to convey your message.

 

Source: Pixabay.com

 

Tip 3: Follow the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

This cannot be stressed enough – always, always follow the rules that govern proper usage of words, its tenses, and enforced punctuation. People who love to read can easily spot an incorrectly spelled word or a misused article in your literature. More so, the incorrect use of punctuation can send a whole different tone to a particular phrase or sentence.

 

Grammar, on the other hand, is a writer’s long-time adversary.  While there are evolutions in the English language, grammar remains at its core. This is the part where clauses, tenses, synonyms, antonyms, and the like, get blended and screwed. Getting it right would require a rendezvous with your English basics.

 

Tip 4: Focus on a subject.

Delving into other subjects to lengthen your article complicates the message of your piece. One of the main reasons why your target audience has chosen to devote their precious time to read what you’ve written is because of the main subject. Expanding to subtopics is a good thing and is highly encouraged in writing to put more depth to your literature but it should not divert your attention from your main subject.

 

 

 

3 Of The Greatest Books Of All Time

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The greatest stories ever told came from the brilliant minds of people who dedicated their time to put into words all their great ideas. It is through their excellence that the great stories inspired by the past are passed down. They have made it possible for us to have a glimpse into their brilliant minds and peek through the wonders of the past, present, and future.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Writing Essay

 

The essay is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a short piece of writing on a particular subject.” There can be many purposes for writing an article. It can be written as a requirement for a college application, or it can be an official entry for a writing contest. It can also be used to convey one’s thoughts or ideas about a particular topic. Notwithstanding these different purposes, an essay always follows substantially the same elemental composition or structure.

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10 Steps To Writing A Book

 

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So you’ve finally decided to write your first book, huh? Well, Congratulations! That’s the first step. It’s not easy to take this decision. There must be a reason to write a book, so what’s yours?

Are you writing a biography? Do you have a message you want to send out to people? A great idea that an article won’t give justice to? There are many reasons to why you should write a book but the question is now how?

Writing a book isn’t easy and the thought alone is intimidating. You’re thinking whether or not your idea is good enough if it will ever be read or published, and what if you invest time into it but then never finish it?

Here are 10 steps to use as a guide to get you through this and help you finish your first book. Ready to be the proud owner of a book?

Have an idea

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you have to have an idea for your book. You may even have a few ideas that you’re considering. Start researching each idea separately to check originality and likability.

Think of an idea you would like to read, hence be easy to write about. If you’re writing a topic just because it’s a best seller idea, it’ll fail. You have to know everything about your idea and have a strong passion for it because if you don’t, it won’t go very far.

Create your characters

Coming up with characters for my idea is one of the most amusing parts in my opinion when writing a book. There is no limit to the number of characters you can have but try to limit them to 20 or less because you want your readers to easily remember your characters.

Your characters have to be believable for your readers to react to them, so remember, they must always be flawed because they’re humans and that’s okay. Know, love, and befriend your characters. Create backstories for them with a list of traits, flaws and the role of each character. Define who are the main and side characters, and their roles.

Map your outline

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Now that you have your idea, it’s time to start organizing your thoughts. Each book has a beginning, middle and ending. Break down your story into chapters and what will happen by creating plot points, characters roles in each scene, challenges they’ll face and how they’d overcome it.

The outline should have all your book’s events, keeping your thoughts organized, and giving you a clear guide to follow. It shouldn’t be too long, one or two pages so you can hang it in front of you while writing.

Set a writing schedule and deadlines

Writing a book requires time and dedication. You have to be willing to make the time in your busy day to do nothing but sit down and write.

You can’t wait for inspiration to hit, that will never get anything done. Set at least 7 hours a week to write, that’s an hour a day or you can split sessions into two, 3 hours and 4 hours. Once you have your hours set, you need to set a goal per session, a number of words to write. Start with a small number, say 300 words then slowly increase them as you get more into the zone.

Now you need to come up with a deadline to get your book writing done. Think rationally and choose a realistic date, taking into consideration days of procrastination of course.

It’s time for research

You need to be sure of everything you’re writing. All details, logic, historical facts must be validated and believable.

This is also the time to look up locations for your book, character details, whatever you need basically. Don’t overdo the research though and get stuck in that, just gather enough details to satisfy your readers. Doing the right amount of research adds to your credibility as a writer.

Eliminate all distractions

When it’s time to write, that’s all you should be doing. I know sometimes it’s hard to stay focused and you want to check your Facebook or get a snack but this will only consume time and make you lose focus.

Designate a specific room or spot to set yourself to write and eliminate any distractions by closing the door or shutting your phone, anything that can take up any of your writing time. Prepare everything ahead of time so you don’t need to get up until your hours are up. Set your writing tools, get your coffee, and snacks and get to work.

Write your first draft

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Once you start writing, don’t stop. You may not love everything you write but don’t fix it just yet, any clichés or long structured sentences can wait. It’s okay to drift a little from your outline and improvise as you write by adding events or changing things. Your characters will develop throughout the story and may surprise you.

You can edit by chapter or wait till you finish the whole book’s first draft then start editing. The opening scene is vital in a book because that defines if the reader will continue reading or not. The start has to be compelling and catch the reader’s attention.

But everyone believes the beginning and ending are the most important and hardest parts of a book. However, I think the middle is the tricky part and here’s why.

Don’t get stuck in the middle

The middle part can be frustrating for all new writers. You’ve already caught your readers now you have to keep them interested. This is where the conflict is at its highest and tension is established between characters, the actions take place.                                                       

Source:metzgerei-hoess.de

Some writers stretch out this part and drag it too far so it turns boring, others feel like they don’t have enough events happening in between and stuff it with useless events which are very wrong. This part needs to be well thought of and organized so you don’t lose interest yourself and then lose your readers.

A satisfying ending

Now that all the action is played out, it’s time to bring your story to an end. Your readers have stuck with you this long so they deserve a satisfying ending. Take your time with the ending, don’t rush it and leave no loose ends.

This is the part where your protagonist finally overcame all the obstacles and reaches her goal. This doesn’t mean it has to be a happy ending; you can give your readers a surprise just as long as it’s logical and acceptable.

10-Edits and re-edits

It’s finally time to read what you wrote and change it all! (Just kidding, well, sort of). You need to read your book from the reader’s perspective, if a sentence doesn’t flow easily, it needs fixing. Don’t try to use big fancy words to complicate it and keep the structure of your sentences short and clean. If a sentence isn’t adding value to the scene, cut it.

Put your writing through online grammar, speller, and readability checks then go after it again yourself. Don’t trust machines with your work, do your own checks just in case! Two main points to remember in editing is using active voice is always better than passive voice, and using strong verbs instead of adverbs. Your writing should flow smoothly and easily, keeping your readers wanting to finish it.

Follow these steps and you’re guaranteed to start and finish writing that book. Now that you wrote, read and edited your book, it’s time for others to read it too. You can look for a publisher or upload it on online writing platforms to hear back readers feedback. Once your first book is out into the world, the rest will follow!

How To Write A Short Story

 

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Writing short stories is not an easy craft to master. You don’t have the luxury of lengthy pages to explain your descriptions, dialogue, and events. Even though writing a short story has similar basics to writing longer fiction, it can definitely be more challenging.

You need to make sure every sentence, every action in each scene, is working towards your end resolution. However, writing a short story is a great exercise for any writer planning to write a novel and is an enjoyable short read on any given day.

Here’s an insight on the steps to writing a short story and the similarities and differences from a novel to make your short story writing easier.

  • What’s your concept?

To write a short story, you should probably start by having an idea of what you want your story to be and what it does to readers. When looking for a concept, look for inspiration in your surroundings and focus on what you know.

You need to find an idea that readers can relate to and have a message you’re trying to send across to the reader.

  • Define your timeframe

Don’t try to jam a whole year of events in less than 25 pages. A short story limits you to a specific range of words so limit your time frame accordingly.

By setting a certain timeframe, you focus on working on specific set events without losing focus and letting things get out of hand.

 

  • Outline your scenes
Source: writersedit.com

 

Before jumping into writing, have an outline set for your scenes and a plot in mind. You need to have a clear idea of what is going to happen and how your story will end. Split your events into scenes, each with its own setting and characters to organize your thoughts and writing.

  • Wisely create your characters

Remember, this is a short story, not a novel so you’re limited to a few characters.You can come up with characters inspired from people you know or people you wish you knew. Most importantly, know your characters, their traits, and flaws and be sure to make them believable – characters your readers can easily relate to.

You can’t write a lengthy paragraph describing your character’s appearance or traits so you need to reflect your character’s personality through the events and the dialogues, which can be tricky.

Once you have your characters set and your protagonist decided, you need to decide on the point of view for your story. The most common narrations for story telling are either a first person narration using “I” or a third person narration using “he or she”.

I would recommend using a first person narration since you’d have a few characters, to avoid having your readers distracted by many points of views.

  • Use traditional story structure

Now you can start to write your story! Make yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and just write. Write your whole story in one sitting. Just get the story out there without worrying about grammar, punctuation or anything else.

Be sure to use basic structure though. Don’t take up too much time building up the action. Have the main character face a challenge they need to overcome. Reach the climax and then start writing towards the resolution.

  • Come up with a strong title

Finding the perfect title is vital to your story. Try to come up with an original that is inspired by the story or special phrases you’ve used in your story.

  • Compelling start and end

The standards for a short story are the same ones that apply to a novel. You need to have a captivating start to get your readers’ attention and have them want to finish your story, as you should also have a strong ending that satisfies your readers. This doesn’t mean it has to be a happy ending, just an ending your readers will accept and understand.

  • Start with your edits

Now that you have your story written out, it’s time to do some cuts! A short story should not be more than 25 pages with a maximum of 5000 words. A short story of 3500 words is the ideal standard because it is the most marketable, and a quick read at that.

Any dialogue, description or scene that isn’t adding to the story has to go. You have a limit of words to reach and can’t afford unnecessary wordplay. Try using verbs instead of adverbs for a better flow and less wording. Also, come up with smart metaphors that you can use instead of lengthy descriptions of settings or emotions.

  • Send your story out to the world

Now that you’ve edited and re-edited your story to perfection, it’s time to look into publishing it and start accepting feedback. Start submitting your story in writing contests that usually have online publishing rewards, or send it out to various literary or popular magazines, whether online or paper.

Source: publishin90days.com

 

You can even just send out your story to friends and family for feedback or upload it on writing platforms like Wattpad, Figment, Scriggler and other websites.

The point is, get your story out there! You worked very hard on it and you deserve to have your worked read and praised. By following these few steps, you will definitely master the craft of short stories!

Factors of a Great Writer

So you have the gift of writing, but do you have what it takes to be a great writer? Writing is a skill that takes time, practice and dedication. You didn’t just expect them to hand you the Pulitzer Prize, did you? You need to work for it!

Source:thoughtco.com

It is vital in this industry to always challenge yourself to be better by enhancing your writing skills. Don’t just be a writer. Be an effective writer and master your craft. Here are the main components to a great writer, and a few tips on how to be a successful writer.

Read like never before. Reading is the second best exercise for your brain after writing itself. Whether it’s reading for your favorite authors, the newspaper, or online articles, it will always help. You get familiar with different writing styles, improve your vocabulary skills, and increase your overall knowledge.

If you’re writing a novel, you can get inspiration from other great writers. Try reading books in the same genre you’re interested in to get an insight on their impact. Read as much as possible, whenever you can. Make it a habit to read whenever you get a chance. Better yet, join a book club!

Practice makes perfect. Put writing into your daily routine, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. Writing is a skill that requires daily practice, even if it’s just writing in your journal or a blog, it doesn’t matter. You need to keep your creative juices running and stay in the writing zone even if you’re not working on your novel.                                             

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Inspiration can be in all forms around you. It can be an ice cream truck, your favorite song, or just a street sign. I advise you to carry around a handy notebook (or you can use your phone’s notepad) to write down anything and everything you think may lead to an idea.

Be an organized thinker. Have a concept and a plot for what you want to write, before writing. You can even write an outline and the synopsis if needed to organize your thoughts. When you start writing, you shouldn’t be all over the place bouncing between thirty theories. All your thoughts should be focused and well strategized.

 Use simple structure. The shorter the sentence, the better. Try replacing any adverbs with strong verbs and being concise. Of course, there will be a variety of long and short sentences and that’s okay as long as it doesn’t turn too long and boring to read.

Most importantly, use the active voice instead of the passive voice because it’s more direct and gets the meaning across faster. Every sentence and every scene you write needs to be essential. If it isn’t, cut it.

The dictionary is your best friend. Don’t overdress your writing with big fancy words. Keep things simple and clear so that anyone can read and quickly understand it.

The more words you know, the easier it is for you to express yourself through writing. Pick up your dictionary and skim through it, find a word then look at its synonyms and antonyms just to know how to use them correctly.                                          

Source:searchenginejournal.com

Whenever you’re reading, or watching TV and hear a word you don’t know, look it up! There are many vocabulary websites to look into and quizzes you can take to increase your vocabulary, or you can simply randomly open the dictionary every day and learn a new word, so one word in one day. Simple, right?

Proofread everything. Proofread everything and anything you write by running spelling, punctuation, grammar, and plagiarism checks. Don’t fully rely on online checkers either. Read your material yourself and fix any typos, spelling or grammar mistakes. Revise your work once and then revise it again. Having error-free and clear content makes your writing competent and polished.

 Accept feedback gracefully. A good writer knows how to take criticism – the good and the bad. Once you finalize your book, story, or article send it out to a group of close friends to read (like your book club for example) and see what they think.

Be professional about all feedback given, the good you can focus on and try to do more of and the bad you work on and improve. All feedback is good feedback for a writer because it pushes you to do better and fix any weaknesses in your writing.

Source:insideiim.com

Work on deadlines: Writing is a creative practice, but you can’t undergo deadlines because you don’t really know when your “muse” will come along, right? We’ve already agreed that you need to make a routine of writing at least 30 minutes a day. This means no distractions, just you and your notebook (or laptop). Set goals for yourself with deadlines and challenge yourself to meet them.

As long as you’re persistent and sticking with your writing routine, you’ll get things done faster.

Now that you have this handy list of writing tips, you are ready to conquer the writing world. Remember, there is no such thing as a bad writer, just an ordinary writer who is plain and a great writer who gets things done!