Anxiety: The Ultimate Survival Guide

psych2go:

What To Do About Anxiety?

  • Exercise: Exercising has its physical benefits, but most importantly it helps fight anxiety. It also improves your concentration and overall cognitive functioning. Exercising releases endorphins a chemical in the brain that reduces anxiety.
  • Meditation: Meditation helps by silencing the overactive mind for a while by focusing on a single point. For example, your breathing, sensations throughout the body and focusing on a key word. If you don’t know who to meditate you can use meditation apps or watch YouTube videos that can guide you through it.
  • Yoga: Yoga helps my moderating our body’s response to anxiety. Not only that, but it lowers blood pressure and chronic pain.
  • Kiss Someone You Love: Yep! This does alleviate anxiety, by releasing happy chemicals.
  • Sing: It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing, just blast your favorite song, and sing like crazy. I enjoy going for a car ride and singing like no one is watching.
  • Talk it out: Talking to a trustful friend, family member, teacher or therapist helps immensely. This also is beneficial because other people can tell you their points of views.

For More

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How do you love yourself? (Part 2)

that’s not what i’m talking about though.

i’m talking about why your best friends, your partner, your family, your dog, your cat, whoever it may be, loves you. they don’t love you for what you look like or what you have on the outside. they love you for who you are, for what you mean to them.

i’m talking about love, not superficial and judgmental thoughts that strangers, acquaintances, and people who don’t know you very well think about you. besides, even strangers can notice small things about you that you don’t notice yourself.
maybe your eyes shine when you talk about something that you love. maybe your hair is soft. maybe the way you inflect a certain word is nice. even small things are worth loving.
a person doesn’t have to be your mother to notice that.

my entire point was: sometimes we’re so preoccupied with the things that we supposedly lack and the things that we supposedly hate about ourselves to notice the real things that are worth loving about ourselves. and usually, it’s other people who notice those things rather than us.

yes, not every single person will like you. but, you must remember that not every single person will hate you. you live every living second of your life with yourself, so you will always have time left for what you have inside. in fact, you could say that you spend every single dream with yourself and the bits and pieces that your mind dredges up from the endless sea you have within you.

that’s why it’s so important to love yourself.
i hope this cleared up some misconceptions about my original answer for you, anon. i wish you a lovely and happy day 🙂
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How do you love yourself (Part one)

at first, one doesn’t. most people have so much love for others but not enough for themselves. that’s when you have to look closer. who is the person that other people see you as? what do other people love about you? is it the way you laugh? is it the way your hands gesture when you talk? is it the way you always keep an eye out for your friends?
whatever it is, it’s almost always better than what you view yourself as (at this point in your journey to love yourself)

most people start small. yes, you may not love yourself but the concept of “me” is such a wide and large thing that it’s difficult to hate all of it. for example, i dislike my face and my body. but, my friends love the way i laugh at my own terrible puns. my mom loves the way i keep the door open for other people. my sister loves the way i use “;;” in my texts.

and that’s what i start to love as well. it’s the tiny things about me that i appreciate about myself. yes, i may not like my cheeks and yes, i may not like my eyes, and yes, i may not like my body, but  i love the way that i love terrible puns. i love it when i open the door for other people. i love the way i use ;; in texts. all of those are still parts of me, parts to love.

i’m still far away from loving myself and it’s hard, anon, it’s so hard sometimes. but i’m hoping that the little things will add up over time. i care more about myself more than i used to, and all the physical scars have healed. things add up, and i hope that my small pile of love for myself will continue to grow as they have done so far.

and if you still can’t find anything to love about yourself, remember the fact that you cared enough about loving yourself to ask someone else advice for it. you still care about yourself deep down there. you deserve to be loved by yourself, anon. good luck.
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5 Simple Strategies To Improve Your Blog Posts

5 Simple Strategies To Improve Your Blog Posts:

STRATEGY 1: WRITE TO HELP YOUR AUDIENCE

Here’s the thing: most people don’t really care about you. Sure, your friends, family, and loyal blog readers love you, but someone who’s just stumbled upon your blog doesn’t love you…yet.

In order to get people to love you and your blog, your posts need to address one or more of the most basic human interests:

  1. to be informed
  2. to be inspired
  3. to be included as part of a community
  4. to have their lives improved and problems solved

I mean, think about it. If you happened to be scrolling through Pinterest and you saw a pin that said “My Favorite Fall Beauty Products”, your first thought is going to be:

“…and who are you?”

If I don’t know who you are and I just happened to stumble upon this post, I’m not really going to be that interested. But, if I saw something instead that said “5 Products You NEED For Fall“, I’m going to want to click on that because it sounds intriguing and I think it could help me in some way.

By rotating the angle of the post to be more about your audience and less about yourself, you’ll get more people interested in what you have to say. You can still share your experiences, but share them in a way that can benefit others.

Remember, people want you to help solve their problems and make them feel like they’re not alone.

The Exception: Posts about overcoming your own struggles or realizing your own mistakes can also do really well, but it’s still because people need help – they want to know how you did it so they can avoid it or overcome it too. For example, ‘How I Overcame My Body-Image Struggles’ or ‘What I Learned From Traveling Solo In A Dangerous Country’ sound intriguing, maybe even controversial, and I think I could apply them to my life.

CLICK TO TWEET

Your Homework:

Go back through your old blog posts and think about how you can make them more about your audience and less about you. For example, I wrote a post that was originally called My Favorite Food Bloggers, but I recently changed it to 5 Inspiring Healthy Food Bloggers to make it more specific and imply that the post could inspire you (not the best title I’ve ever come up with, but it’s a lot better than it was!)

Examples of Audience-Centered Posts:

STRATEGY 2: MAKE YOUR CONTENT READABLE

This seems like a no-brainer, but so many blogs use a tiny, barely decipherable font that makes it difficult to read for longer than 5 seconds. I want to read your post, okay?! Let me do it with ease!

The best things you can have to make your posts more readable (and therefore more share-worthy):

  1. Increase the font size: Use a medium to large font size. Mine is 15px.
  2. Add space: Space out your sentences by increasing the line height.
  3. Darken the font color: Make sure the body text of your post is black or dark gray. Light gray is hard to read.
  4. Split it up: Split up your content with subheadings, bullet points, lists, and images if you use them.
  5. Go sparingly with the bold text: I know you might want to emphasize something, but bolding an entire sentence doesn’t have much of an impact if it’s mixed into a paragraph. Put an important sentence on it’s own line for emphasis instead.

Your Homework:

Take a look at your current design and see if you can tweak the font size and spacing to make it easier to read. Go through 3-5 old posts and split up your ideas using subheadings, bullets, and anything else you can use to make it easy on the eyes.

STRATEGY 3: WRITE IN-DEPTH POSTS WITH ACTIONABLE ADVICE

There are so many blogs out there that barely skim the surface of the topics they’re talking about, and I’m always disappointed when I see an interesting headline but the post leaves me wanting more information.

Longer posts allow you to go into more depth and include information that sets you apart from other bloggers. This study by CoSchedule shows that long-form content also tends to rank higher than shorter pages, and they make a great point:

If you are conducting a search on “how to kill zombies,” what kind of post are you going to be looking for? The 500 word overview, or the 2,000 word in-depth article with pictures and examples?

The answer is pretty obvious.

People want advice that they can immediately apply to their lives, and they can do this if you give them more information. You want to get your audience thinking, taking action, and bookmarking your post to refer back to. You don’t want them skimming, writing ‘nice post’ in the comments, and forgetting about what they just read.

Quality Over Quantity

You’re probably thinking, ‘But Catherine, long posts take a long time to write. I need to get content out regularly.’

Welp, my dear. Here’s the thing: Your posts should take a while to write. Most of my posts take me days, maybe even a whole week. Unless you’re one of those people who wrote college essays the night before and still got an A, you’re going to have to give your posts the time they deserve before they can get to that epic level.

Take it slow and realize that more content does not always mean good content. One incredibly epic and helpful blog post a month is better than 5 mediocre, un-detailed posts per week. To beef up your posts and make them even more helpful, include links to other posts, add in research and statistics, work in some quotes, or try your own case study.

Content Upgrades

Another sure-fire way to get people more interested in your posts is a content upgrade. A content upgrade is basically an extra bit of goodness that adds value to your blog post and gives your reader even more. You could include any of the following:

  • Checklist or worksheet
  • Wallpaper download
  • Printable quote
  • Audio clip or video
  • Discount or deal on a product you mentioned
  • Even just a summary of your post that people can print out and refer back to

If you’re worried that you don’t have the skills to make these content upgrades, Canva is a free tool that can basically turn you into a graphic designer in less than a minute. It’s epic.

Speaking of content upgrades…

 

Here’s a free worksheet to help you write incredible blog posts! Don’t you like how I just snuck that in here?

Your Homework:

  1. Use Google Analytics to find your most popular posts (Behavior > Site Content > All Pages), and go into even more detail with them. How To Start A Capsule Wardrobe has consistently been my most viewed post, so I fine-tuned some of my advice and offered a capsule wardrobe planner as a freebie if you sign up for my email list.
  2. Go through some old posts and think about how you could go even further with your advice. Assume that the person reading it is a beginner rather than an expert. Don’t make something up if you can’t think of anything, but don’t be afraid of saying too much. As long as you keep it concise while also sharing the details, you’re golden.

Examples of In-Depth Posts:

STRATEGY 4: WRITE EVERGREEN CONTENT

So what the heck is evergreen content? I like to think of it as writing content that isn’t time or event specific – it has no expiration date.

You want to write posts that will still make sense if someone found them 6 months from now. Of course, some posts are intentionally seasonal which is totally fine, but you want to have a good balance between evergreen and seasonal posts.

If you want your posts to be shared again and again, it’s going to be worth your time to write evergreen content.

Examples of Evergreen Content:

10 travel wardrobe essentials – Daisy could have made this post about a recent trip she was taking and what she was packing. Instead, she made it about her audience and their needs, and made it appropriate for any season and location.

14 ways to stop living for the weekends – I would usually avoid referencing anything about the day of the week when the post was published, but it makes total sense for Jennifer to mention that it’s Friday because it’s completely relevant to the post (because duh, it’s about the weekend!)

Examples of Non-Evergreen Content:

  • The top ten fashion trends for 2015
  • Why you should visit London over Christmas
  • 5 blogs I’m loving right now

Your Homework:

Find 3-5 old posts where you might have mentioned a season or event in your life that isn’t 100% necessary to share with your reader. Make them more universal and relevant to someone scrolling through your archives so that they can apply your advice to their lives right now.

STRATEGY 5: GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO SHARE YOUR POST

Okay, you just put all this effort into writing an epic blog post, so how are you going to get it out into the world beyond the group of followers you already have?

You make it share-worthy!

Remember that people typically share things for these reasons:

  1. They want to help others
  2. They want to make themselves look better

People who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge didn’t necessarily do it because they cared about the cause – they knew that if they didn’t accept the challenge, they’d look like an a-hole. It was share-worthy because people wanted to make themselves seem like good people.

You want to write share-worthy content that’s to-the-point, easy to read, and helps solve some sort of problem people might have. If you’ve follow the steps above, you’re already on track to having totally share-worthy content.

Here’s how to take it to the next level:

1. Jazz Up Your Headlines

Headlines are everything. Sure, your loyal followers will read anything regardless of the title, but imagine someone has just seen your post shared on Facebook – it needs to have a good headline to catch their attention. ‘My Favorite Blogging Tools’ it’s less shareable than ‘5 Blogging Tools That’ll Save You Massive Amounts of Time.’ That one just sounds like something I totally need.

Examples of great titles:

  • How to _____
  • 10 ways to _____
  • The ultimate guide to _____
  • What you need to know about _____
  • Have you ever _____?
  • How I survived _____

If you want the most extensive list of topic ideas known to man, this e-book is for you.

2. Make Your Images Pinnable

I started off using horizontal images on my blog, but I knew I wanted to make my images more Pinterest friendly when I redesigned it in July. Horizontal images just don’t do very well on Pinterest because there’s a 554px width limit, whereas there is no vertical limit.

Making my images vertical was probably the best decision I’ve made for my blog so far.

During the month of July (when I hadn’t yet started using vertical images), I had 13 blog sessions that came from Pinterest.

In August, I had 1,065.

In September, I had 2,165. WHAT.

Just look at that percent increase!

You better believe the power of Pinterest for bloggers. I also have to credit the Pinfinite Growth course I took for some of this magic, but making my blog posts Pinterest-friendly was a huge game changer.

Get yourself a Pin It button using this tutorial + start making vertical images in Photoshop or Canva. You’ll have people pinning your content in no time.

3. Add a Click-to-Tweet Message

Check out these 5 simple strategies to improve your blog posts!

CLICK TO TWEET

Click-to-Tweet is an awesome plugin for WordPress that allows you to craft a tweet that links to your post, and all people have to do is click it to share it with their followers. This is incredibly helpful for getting people to take action because it requires zero effort on their part. I would also recommend getting a widget like Jetpack or something built into your design that makes it a piece of cake for people to share your post on social media.

Examples of Share-Worthy Content:

 

 

 

Look at those beautiful graphics and epic titles. You’d be a fool not to share those!

Your Homework:

  1. Install a share widget to your posts, such as Jetpack.
  2. Start including horizontal images in your posts and sharing them on Pinterest.
  3. Add a click-to-tweet to a post.
  4. Make sure you’ve updated your old blog post titles to make them totally shareable and epic.

OKAY, RECAP (+ THAT FREE WORKSHEET AGAIN!)

Download The Worksheet!

  1. Write posts to benefit others – Make their life easier, inspire them, make them feel like you care about their problems
  2. Make your content readable – Use subheadings, bullet points, and a large font
  3. Write in-depth posts – Share all that you know about a topic, give examples, and offer a content upgrade
  4. Write evergreen content – Make your posts timeless and easy to understand from a beginner’s perspective
  5. Give people a reason to share your post – Jazz up your headlines, make your images Pinterest-friendly, and add a click-to-tweet button

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8 Tips for Feeling Happier During an Unhappy Time.

8 Tips for Feeling Happier During an Unhappy Time.:

Some excerpts:

1. Remind yourself of reasons to be grateful. When things look really dark, it’s hard to feel grateful, but remembering what’s good in your life can help put problems into perspective. I have a friend who recently suffered a big disappointment at work. She said to me, “As long as my family is healthy, I can’t get too upset about anything.” This may sound like hackneyed advice, but it’s really true.

2. Remember your body. Take a twenty-minute walk outside to boost your energy and dissolve stress. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Get enough sleep. Manage pain. When you’re anxious, it’s easy to stay up late and eat ice cream — and that’s going to make you feel worse in the long run. It’s very tempting to run yourself ragged trying to deal with a crisis, but in the long run, you just wear yourself out.

3. Do something fun. Temporarily distract yourself from the stress, and re-charge your battery, with an enjoyable activity. Watching a funny movie is a reliable way to give yourself a pleasant break, and listening to your favorite music is one of the quickest ways to change your mood. When my older daughter was in the intensive-care unit as a newborn, my husband dragged me off to a movie one afternoon — and that few hours of distraction made me much better able to cope with the situation. Be careful, however, not to “treat” yourself by doing something that’s eventually going to make you feel worse (taking up smoking again, drinking too much, indulging in retail therapy). My comfort-food activity is reading children’s literature.

4. Take action. If you’re in a bad situation, take steps to bring about change. If you’re having trouble with your new boss, you could decide to try to transfer. Or you could change your behavior. Or you could find ways to pay less attention to your boss. Ask yourself, “What exactly is the problem?” It’s astounding to me that often, when I take time to identify a problem exactly, a possible solution presents itself.

5. Look for meaning. Re-frame an event to see the positive along with the negative. Maybe getting fired will give you the push you need to move to the city where you’ve always wanted to live. Maybe your illness has strengthened your relationships with your family. You don’t need to be thankful that something bad has happened, but you can try to find positive consequences even in a catastrophic event.

6. Connect with friends and family. Strong relationships are a KEY to happiness, so fight the impulse to isolate yourself. Show up. Make plans. Ask for help, offer your help to others. Or just have some fun (see #3) and forget your troubles for a while.

7. Make something better. If something in your life has gotten worse, try to make something else better – and it doesn’t have to be something important. Clean a closet. Organize your photographs. Work in the yard.

8. Act toward other people the way you wish they’d act toward you. If you wish your friends would help you find someone to date, see if you can fix up a friend. If you wish people would help you find a job, see if you can help someone else find a job. If you can’t think of a way to help someone you know, do something generous in a more impersonal way. For instance: commit to being an organ donor! When you’re feeling very low, it can be hard to muster the energy to help someone else, but you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. Do good, feel good; it really works.
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People judge you on 2 criteria when they meet you: Trust (warmth) and Respect (competence)

A Harvard psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you
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Things to look out for when purchasing good-quality clothing [Video]

A great video on the things to look out for when purchasing good-quality clothing (seams, stitching, threads, button-holes, fabric etc)
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Health post: Food for the brain 

mypsychology:

For more posts like these, go to @mypsychology

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10 counterintuitive habits that will make you more creative – A Life of Productivity

10 counterintuitive habits that will make you more creative – A Life of Productivity:

  1. Consume more valuable dots. A dot is an idea or a piece of information. We “consume dots” whenever we experience something new, be it perspectives, knowledge, conversations etc. When absorbing information that’s useful, practical, and relevant to our work and lives, we can connect that information and act upon it later. The more valuable the information we consume, the more valuable the connections we make. (Bailey, 2016)
  2. Perform an information detox. Information can take the form of an app, websites you visit habitually, books you read, what you watch on TV, listen to on the radio etc. Aim to increase the quality of these information inputs/dots.
  3. Daydream. Daydreaming supercharges the dot-connecting power of your brain (Bailey, 2016). This is the reason why ideas occur to us when we are in shower etc; at unexpected moments. Setting aside time each week to do absolutely nothing will make you more creative.
  4. Do something habitual—but don’t overload your attention. Our brain does alot of the connection of mental dots when we are doing habitual tasks like washing the dishes, working on a creative hobby or taking a shower. By doing habitual tasks, we give our mind the space it needs to form more connections.
  5. Do your most creative work in a messy room. We are more creative in a messy environment vs an ordered environment to increase productivity/focus.
  6. Wait as long as possible before solving problems. This is especially so when it comes to problems that require creative solutions. Taking time allows your mind to mull over the problem, connect dots, and come up with a novel—and more creative—solution.
  7. Do creative work when you’re most tired (vs most productive when you have the most energy). This is because your brain is less inhibited (less energy to regulate its thoughts) and thus is easier to come up with creative solutions. Figure out when you have the least energy, and schedule creative brainstorming during that time.
  8. Don’t consume caffeine before creative tasks. Caffeine makes your more focused (save it for tasks that require productivity) as it narrows your attention spotlight onto a specific task. This can be detrimental to your creativity, which results from your brain connecting more disparate dots. 
  9. Sleep on a problem. This works, because your brain continues to form and solidify new connections as you rest. Sleeping on it allows your brain more time and space to connect the dots presented by learning a new skill or solving a creative problem.
  10. Intentionally scatter your attention. To do this, hold a topic loosely in mind. Let your thoughts wander around it, turn it over, and explore it from different angles. When your mind trails off to think about a totally unrelated topic, or gets stuck on one point, gently nudge your attention back to flowing more freely. This tactic allows you to solve complicated problems more creatively.

*All text in bold are the web author’s words
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Understanding a Shame-Based Personality

onlinecounsellingcollege:

There is a difference between blaming and shaming a person. Blaming is being told you did something wrong. Shaming is being told that there’s something wrong with you, and you’re worthless, bad, inferior or inadequate. Examples of shaming statements include:

• “You were a mistake; I wish I’d never had you”
• “You’re useless; you’ll never amount to anything.”
• “You could never do what he/she does”
• “You’ve ruined my life; you ruin everything for everyone”

Adults shamed in childhood have the following traits:
1. They are afraid to share their true thoughts and feelings with others.
2. They are terrified of intimacy and put up walls in relationships. They also fear commitment as they expect to be rejected.
3. They are often extremely shy, easily embarrassed, and are terrified of being shamed or humiliated. They tend to suffer from debilitating false guilt.
4. They struggle with feelings of worthlessness and believe they are inferior to others. They believe that is something they can never change as worthlessness is at the core of who they are.
5. They often feel ugly and flawed, even when they’re beautiful – and everyone tells them that.
6. They may be narcissistic and act as if they have it all together; alternatively, they may be completely selfless, almost to the point of being a doormat.
7. They are often very defensive and find it hard to bear the slightest criticism. They feel as if they are being constantly watched and judged.
8. They have a pervasive sense of loneliness and always feel like outsiders (even when others genuinely like and love them).
9. They feel controlled – as if they always have to do want others want and say – and this blocks spontaneity.
10. They are perfectionists and usually suffer from performance anxiety. This may also cause them to be procrastinators.
11. They tend to block their feelings through compulsive behaviors like eating disorders, retail therapy or substance-abuse.
12. They find it hard to establish and enforce healthy boundaries with others.

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