Daily Prompt: Relax

via Daily Prompt: Relax

AKA HOW TO DEAL WITH PANIC ATTACKS

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 A deep breath in.

 A deep breath out.

 Surrounding myself in the room.

 Becoming grounded.

Panic attacks are often a struggle for people to deal with, with many of the techniques used to calm the body and mind failing after trial and error. The only way I knew that actually worked both in theory and during the real thing was to ground myself.

It’s all about keeping both your body and mind grounded, by ‘surrounding’ yourself in everything around you and making yourself a part of it. When having a panic attack, it can be easy to let your mind and imagination take you away, thus making the whole situation last longer whilst failing to resolve the issue in your mind. Instead, the first thing you do is look around you and take it in. Where are you? Look at the objects. Who are you with? This is where you are – whatever is worrying you is not present*. Take a moment to embrace where you are and that you are you.

This usually helps to relax my body along with slow, deep breathing, so taking a minute to yourself to just breathe and let yourself become grounded can help a lot. Once you are calm, then you can start to slowly take in whatever has set you off and help it to make sense in your mind. Talk to someone. Let your thoughts and feelings be heard by those close to you. Get an outsider’s opinion to see the angles you can’t see alone.

Once your body is relaxed, your mind can also relax, as the two are often connected during panics (as demonstrated by the physical symptoms of sweating, feeling sick, a fast heartbeat, etc.). By calming one, you can soothe the other, and soon the panic will be over and you can face the anxiety in a prepared state rather than a panicked one.

 

*it was usually things that weren’t present or physically with me (or even a physical thing – just an idea) that triggered off my panic attacks.

Daily Prompt: Moody

via Daily Prompt: Moody

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 One of the signs that I (though of course this can apply to anyone) am in an anxious mood is if I am moody. When my anxiety began to rise and hit it’s peak involvement in my life, I was described by my mother as hostile, and I have faint memory of this being the case.

I suppose it was unhappiness that set me off feeling that way – there’s nothing worse than a worry or a panic attack coming back and hitting you like a ton of bricks, particularly if your mood twenty minutes prior was perfectly fine and actually quite sunny. When your feeling of safety and happiness drops to something dark and distressing, your own mood is certain to follow.

Then again, it could also have been defensiveness. Everything annoys you, everything sets you on edge, as you’re dealing with something that may be invisible to everyone else surrounding but a huge, planet-sized deal in your own mind.

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell when someone is having an anxious episode: though outwardly, many people seem fine, there is a still a war going on inside the mind. There are still unsettling questions that keep you from relaxing – is everything okay? How do I deal with this thing that made me anxious? How long will I feel this way? The questions that frustrate and sometimes anger those who question themselves, as they don’t have the answers when their minds are too busy asking.

Daily Prompt: Discover

via Daily Prompt: Discover

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It’s the time of year of reflection – December and the impending New Year often bring that pensive side of an individual out to question if their life is going in the right direction or not, and at the age of seventeen, I am also at the time of life where I discover who I am. What kind of person am I? Which people are in my life and who will stay? What do I want to be when I begin my life-long trip into adulthood?

The last question is something that has been lingering in the back of my mind for the last year and a half, and I am only left with a variety of options for my future career rather than a settled and definitive job to pursue.

The first and most important to me is to enter a career where I can help someone, whether with social work, counselling or as a teaching assistant. I am generally a caring person, and the idea of giving help to those who need it is incredibly appealing, particularly with how rewarding it can be. However, many of these jobs within the social care spectrum require university education, and I don’t feel fond of the idea of going to university – I am anti-social, terrible with deadlines and revision and would much rather not put so much money into something I am certain to do badly in.

The second future job idea is to work within the media – either screenwriting or directing short movies or music videos. Music brings out my creativity, so to use it as a tool to make visually appealing videos would be a lot of fun. But, alas, the drawback of this is I studied the social sciences at A-Level rather than media, so trying to go from the one set of subjects I am knowledgable about to one I have distant memory of (as I studied media at GCSE) would be a silly decision.

The third, and my personal favourite, is a career where I can write. The dream to be a well-known and successful author, or a magazine column, or even just making some money with freelance, often brings out a passion in thinking ahead to the job for the rest of my life. Though not always practical, it would be a fun possibility, as writing is something I have done my entire life and still do every day – even away from this blog.

The best thing about that is no matter what career I have, I will continue to write and express myself with words, which is a comfort: doing something I love for the rest of my life makes my future look positive at least in some aspects. It is my hobby and where I feel the most pride, and I refuse to live my entire upcoming life without putting my writing out into the world and making a name for myself.

Daily Prompt: Calm

via Daily Prompt: Calm

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 Anyone with anxiety will know the struggle of trying to become calm: it’s almost an untouchable dream to be calm at the height of feeling anxious.

For me, I spent three long months at the beginning of 2016 trapped in an anxiety bubble, where the state of being calm seemed to be a million miles away out of reach of me, and almost impossible to achieve. Every action was tainted with fear and every thought was a catalyst to add to my distressed state – the complete opposite to how I feel now.

Though I still have my moments of crushing worry and an unsettled stomach, I find it easy to be calm, without even thinking about it or trying to force myself to be comfortable in my mind. Looking back on that period is impossible to believe and almost terrifying to consider that that was the way I lived for three whole months, though at the time it felt almost like three years, with each day dragging out like an endless ocean of jagged, choppy waves that never settle.

Daily Prompt: Fishing

via Daily Prompt: Fishing

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 My automatic response to seeing the prompt word ‘fishing’ is to remember the phrase ‘fishing for compliments’, where an individual dangles their attractive traits on a metaphorical hook and faux-criticises them in order to receive a compliment in return – something they are searching for as much as fisherman look for fish (I have said fish too many times, I apologise).

The ‘lake’ where people can often go to bait the complimenting people is often, nowadays after technology has squirreled away into most aspects of a human’s daily life, found within social media. A person – the ‘fisherman’ – may decide they either want to flaunt their positive aspects (the physical, in this sense), or perhaps wait for validation that they are ‘perfect’/’pretty’ etc. (aka a confidence boost). In order to get this the fisherman could, for example, take to Instagram and post a photo of themselves with a sly dig at their own looks before sitting by their device and waiting for the likes and comments to start rolling in – friends denying that they are ‘ugly’ with cries of “im jealous of how pretty u are!” or perhaps a heart eyes emoji.

It is ridiculous to me that young people (in this case, as it is typically 53% of 18-29 year olds using Instagram) take to social media and try to bait the compliments with a thinly veiled insult at their own looks – some even caption photos about things like a new hairstyle or nail varnish, but the photo itself is their full-length body posing provocatively while they pout, just in the hopes that someone will notice their attractiveness and tell them how “stunning!” they are.

Whilst it is of course a positive to give and receive compliments, there is always the fear of ‘too much of a good thing’: what happens when no attention is received on social media when the self-esteem is built so high on these compliments of friends or followers? Self-esteem in young people can be fragile, especially in a Western world where physical attributes are often criticised, even becoming the topic of discussion in media (magazines, etc.). When self-esteem becomes threatened or broken, it can lead to disastrous consequences, though the threat of this happening has, I believe, become more common over the years as more social media apps are created and used.

Holding physical attractiveness in high regard as a personal quality to get you status or love is not good when it overshadows the other qualities that are far more useful in an individual – such as intellect or selflessness.

And once again, I fail to know how to end this properly.

 

Daily Prompt: Folly

via Daily Prompt: Folly

The last time I had lay down on the sofa with my knees against my chest was when I was eleven, and I had been off school with a bug. My mother had rubbed my back each time I retched and I watched cartoons through bleary eyes. Seven years later, I feel just as childish, and wish I could grasp that innocence I have lost. I can hear Mum clattering around the kitchen, slamming pans louder than necessary and rattling cupboards, but she isn’t sympathetic to my plight this time.

In fact, when she comes in, storming past with bundles of laundry and giving me a glare as she passes, I can hear her words of earlier in my mind: “How could you be so stupid? This is your own fault! What have you done?”

I close my eyes, focusing on the soft glow of light from behind my eyelids, but it doesn’t stop the memories. Summer days, stolen kisses, wondrous nights. Now all I’m left with is morning sickness and a disappointed mother. Now that he’s gone, I feel like I’m left with nothing.

I rub my stomach, attempting to soothe myself and the baby, trying to shut out how happy I was before. I had just finished school, and I thought I would have a few months of freedom. As soon as Adam found out I was expecting, that childish, breezy love was gone, the carelessness replaced as quickly as his face dropped with something adult. Within days, he had broken my heart. Within weeks, he decided to go travelling with his friends across the world, while I was stuck at home with a growing human inside me.

Mum walks past again, stopping abruptly to turn and snap, “Don’t tell me you’re still moping about that Adam.”
I sigh and open my eyes, looking at her tiredly. “No.”

“That…stupid boy. How could he possibly leave you in this state?” She runs a hand through her greying hair, messy and unwashed since I dropped the news on her. Adam’s departure had left her just as shaken as me, though from the beginning she knew it wouldn’t last between us. I sit up slowly, feeling my head spin after being horizontal for so long: Mum looks close to crying instead of furious, and it’s unusual. I assumed she was just plain angry.

Writing practice.

Daily Prompt: Treasure

via Daily Prompt: Treasure

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A child to a mother. Alcohol to an addict. Applause to a showman. Attention to the lonely.

Treasure is a prize, the ultimate gift held in high regard. It varies from person to person, dependent on the individual itself, and comes in many forms.

Though ‘treasure’ itself is materialistic, it doesn’t have to be. It can be more than just a trinket to amuse for a while – without someone to admire it, diamonds and jewels are just objects.

Though, at the same time, anything can lose its value when there is no one who holds it dear to them.