Panic Attacks

Psychology

Guess who’s back, back again… I haven’t written in here for more than a month* now, but I have been writing. I’ve been working on some exciting projects, I’ve made new friends, reconnected with old ones, read many books (or as many as having a corneal ulcer for a while allowed… more on that later), had conversations so satisfying they felt like accomplishments and overall learned a lot. Today I want to talk about panic.

*plot twist- even this post is an old post

If you’re a real Panic at the Disco fan, name 5 discos they panicked in. Thought so…

Jokes aside, panic attacks can also happen at clubs. They can happen anywhere and be triggered by anything. However, most times, other people won’t be able to tell you’re having a panic attack unless they know you very very very very well.

What even are panic attacks though? Glad you asked. Yes, majoring in Psychology automatically means I’m granted the right to read minds.

Image result for deal with it gif

Referring to my handy dandy (I can’t believe I actually just said that) Oxford psychology dictionary, a panic attack is a period during which there’s a sudden onset of intense terror, fear, apprehension accompanied by signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, fear of dying, increased heart rate, etc.

I find them extremely interesting to research, the reason being anxiety’s nature, anxiety isn’t inherently bad, it’s our bodies’ normal response to danger, however, panic attacks and anxiety disorders run on our disability to distinguish real danger apart from well, perceived danger. So, our bodies are having the same reaction they’d have if a bunch of wolves was chasing us down.

What’s up with that, body, huh? I thought we were friends?!

“But we are, I loooooooove you”, body replied.

Our bodies and minds really do love us and fight their hardest to keep us standing, case in point being eating disorders. Somehow, we manage to live through them and thrive, despite how much we might’ve fucked our bodies up at certain times of our lives. Similarly, depression, or any other mental health issue. Our insides are rooting for us!

Actually, a normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute our bodies could go on functioning normally for days, even weeks, at 200 bpm. You’re not going to have a heart attack, and you’re not going to die, even though that’s exactly what it feels like.

Remember, a panic attack in itself is harmless and a little bit of anxiety is completely normal and even healthy. It prepares us for important events and milestones, you can see how if we failed to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not, we’d be in trouble.

So the goal is to learn to live with them (and what we can do about it) rather than try to avoid panic reactions or anxiety.

Managing your panic attacks 

First of all (lol), there’s nothing you can do to avoid a panic attack because usually, it will feel like they came out of nowhere. It’s true that they usually coexist with a mental disorder, but they’re not caused by anxiety.

BEFORE

A technique that has proved very very very *contemplates whether I should add another very* effective is progressive relaxation, tensing and relaxing your muscles during the day for up to 30 minutes can significantly decrease the frequency of panic attacks.

DURING

When you are having a panic attack, it’s helpful to remember you’re not going to faint, or “go crazy”, or die. It’ll be over soon and whereas trying to breathe mindfully and relax help, remember, panic attacks aren’t dangerous. It doesn’t feel that way, but you’re not going to lose control, you can still leave your class, stop the car, get out of the supermarket,

YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

AFTER

Things that help are noting:
* When it happened * How the situation was and where you were and who you were with * Evaluating the fear from 0 to 100% *  What was happening in your mind and what were you thinking would happen. Exposure to triggers is helpful to build healthy reactions to them, for example, if going to a certain place causes you to panic, you can try going there for shorter periods of time and evaluating your fear each time, not overwhelming yourself and looking for quick progress is key.

Decatastrophizing also: yes, you thought the worse would happen, but did it happen?! What are the actual chances of it happening? Would it be very horrible if it did happen, for example, you stumbled upon your words when interacting with someone else, i.e. ordering a drink? As the name suggests, evaluating if it is a catastrophe. I have so much more helpful information to share on this, but patience, dear child, patience.

Other people having a panic attack

Someone who suffers from panic disorder, said: “I wished people would just hug me and tell me it’s going to okay, not it’s okay or are you okay”. Obviously, some people don’t like to be touched and respecting physical boundaries is very important, but the other part I think we could all agree on. For a lot of people, myself included, being asked whether we’re okay causes even more anxiety.

Like I mentioned, unless they know you very well, other people won’t be able to tell you’re having a panic attack (which I find particularly relieving). Reassurance and support are your weapons, just make sure you know what your loved ones would prefer you do if you notice or they tell you they’re having a panic attack. After all, you’re not lying to make them feel better in the moment.

IT WILL BE OKAY.

The Halo Effect

Psychology

When we’re kids, we learn that what’s beautiful is good and what’s ugly is bad. Cinderella, Prince Charming, Beauty and the Beast teach us that physical appearance and being kind/compassionate/smart go hand in hand. Every day we make judgments on other people based on looks, and vice versa. First impressions affect how we view the other person, especially knowing how humans are creatures of habit- we don’t enjoy being wrong. If my first impression of you is that you’re cool, I’ll subconsciously look for positive cues to prove my theory and dismiss the ones that tell me you’re a jerk. But I digress…

The halo effect is the tendency to make general assumptions about people based on appearance traits. Said in a slightly freaky way, I assume you’re friendly because of your face.

On average, we live for 78.3 years, most of us remember people after the age of 5 and communicate with 3 new people every day. So all those years (leap years included. Pet peeve of mine, when people completely dismiss the existence of leap years. They never did anything wrong for you to treat them like that!!!) and all those people, would equal 80000 people, enough to entirely fill the London Olympics stadium. Could I’ve found a more contemporary comparison, yes, would it make that much of a difference, no.

Also, did you know that the human brain is incapable of creating new faces, so that stunning girl in your dream last night? You didn’t make her up, you saw her somewhere, hopefully, at your favorite bar, realistically, on Instagram.

Shout out to Thorndike btw, who published A Constant Error in Psychological Ratings and was the one who discovered that a negative perception of ONE trait usually took ALL the others down with it.

So I showed people 4 photos, of two men and two women, where a couple was considered attractive and the other one wasn’t, at all.

I KNOW BEAUTY IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT, BUT RESEARCH HAS TO BE DONE, OKAY? *insert iconic tweet*

I won’t include the photos cuz that’s how I roll. 50 people had to rate them from 1 to 5 for their intelligence, kindness, honesty, and success.

And I mean, it makes sense ~cognitively~, it’s cost-effective time wise. You have the luxury to “know” the other person based on a simple overview and comparison to other people you know that look like them.

Well, the results are in. Apparently, the handsome guy was deemed the most trustworthy, then the other guy, then the chicas *cough fuck that shit cough*. The most intelligent were the not-so-handsome guy, the pretty girl, not-so-handsome guy and the not-so-pretty girl.

The most sincere? The pretty girl, then the not-so-handsome guy, handsome guy, and not-so-pretty girl. The pretty girl was also thought of as the most successful, again the not-so-pretty girl at the other side of the spectrum portrayed as the least successful. Same with self-confidence, where the pretty girl was the most self-confident one and not-so-pretty girl as the least confident.

Pretty when you cry. JK I never found out what that means, but I mean, these flowers are dying and they’re just standing here, oblivious, shining, LIVING.

As you might’ve already guessed, it’s worse for women. I mean, imagine, the pretty girl and the not-so-handsome guy have the same mode. However, the pretty girl took home 2 out of 5 positive qualities, and no one rated her as unintelligent so that’s cool.

By the way, I researched this with three other people and there’s even a cute/awkward video to prove it. Those were the days…when I actually emailed the study to the professor with a smiley face as the subject line and said, and I quote, GIRLS FTW, in the conclusions and I still got a perfect score #unreal

But yeah, the not-so-attractive group was thought of as less successful, less kind, less trustworthy, less this, less that.

What can you do? Realize the payoff that comes with being attractive. Stop judging people on looks. If you’re on the not-so group, remember, those that mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind mic drop

Thank you for reading.

 

References

Asch, S. E. (1946) Forming impressions of personality, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 41, 258-290

Atkinson, C. The link between physical attractiveness and likeability.

Bargh, J. A., and Pietromonaco, P. (1982). Automatic information processing and social perception: the influence of trait information presented outside of conscious awareness on impression formation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 437–449

Goldman, William, and Philip Lewis. Beautiful is good: Evidence that the physically attractive are more socially skillful." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 13.2 (1977): 125-130.

Grcic, J. (2008). The halo effect fallacy. Electronic Journal for Philosophy, 2008, 1-6. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 35(4), Apr 1977, 250-256.

Regan, D. T. (1971). Effects of a favor and liking on compliance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7,627-639.

Rosenzweig, P. (2007). The halo effect, and other managerial delusions. McKinsey Quarterly, 1, 76.

Rosenzweig, P. (2014). The halo effect:… and the eight other business delusions that deceive managers. Simon and Schuster. The halo effect: Evidence for unconscious alteration of judgments.

Thorndike, E. L. (1920). A constant error in psychological ratings. Journal of applied psychology, 4(1), 25-29.

Thorndike, E. L. (1920). A constant error in psychological ratings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 4, 469-477.

Timothy Coombs, W., & Holladay, S. J. (2006). Unpacking the halo effect: reputation and crisis management. Journal of Communication Management, 10(2), 123-137.

Toi, M. and Batson, C. D. (1972). More evidence that empathy is a source of altruistic motivation, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 281-292.

Udry, J. Richard, and Bruce K. Eckland. Benefits of being attractive: Differential payoffs for men and women. Psychological Reports 54.1 (1984): 47-56.

The only thing more powerful than a self confident woman

Feminism

A long time ago, in far far away land, there was a princess. The princess tried to distance herself from other princesses. She did so because society brought girls down, thus she equated being a woman with being unworthy or not-as-worthy as the male counterpart. She quickly learned that things and activities that were deemed girly weren’t as worthy. A girl would be congratulated and frowned upon for the same thing, in the same day! What’s a princess to do?!

The princess didn’t live in a castle without a wifi connection or a library nearby. The princess quickly learned about internalized misogyny.

I’m the princess. I educated myself and now I love my fellow princesses queens!

This week I hung out with a few of them:

V, who has such a stressful job, but makes it work LIKE A BOSS. She’s so strong and I’m proud of her!

N, who has now quit smoking for more than 3 weeks now!!! This is the longest she’s ever gone since she started years ago and I’m SOOO proud of her.

S, this kick-ass, gorgeous, funny as hell, princess I’ve been friends for years now. She’s finally realizing her worth and that she deserves ONLY the absolute fucking best. I love her and I’m so proud of her!

A, bureaucratic shit can really get to you. Especially when it will affect your education, combined with people that are so inexplicably, unnecessarily mean and rude- while being miles away from friends and family. Despite it all, she’s handling it so well and I’m so proud of her.

G, who is the first Albanian vegan I met and is doing her best to save animals and spread the word for a compassionate lifestyle. I’m so proud of her! Also, the night I met her, I’m 80% sure my cat had peed in my shirt AND she said nothing about it, I mean….

GIRL ALMIGHTY!

Thanks for reading.

ONE thing YOU can do to help people with psychological issues

Psychology

tw: ableist slurs

Remember the cool feature I talked about? You can now highlight and share your favorite excerpts (if you have any, of course, lol) yayy 🙂

Look, I’m not perfect- and according to Jay Z, nobody walking this earth’s surface is. A lot of people are more educated than me in a lot of subjects. Hell, there are thousands of people that are more educated than me in my areas, ones I’m quite familiar with, invested on, that I know a lot of, that I pour my heart and soul into, etc. There’s so much to learn and I’m eager to continue learning and developing all my life.

Today I’m talking (writing) about the stigma around mental health. Here’s to hoping my message comes across the way I intended it and at least one person reflects on their behavior and helps make the world a better, safer, nicer magical place. Or something like that.

Warning: no digressions/rants/going on a tangent ahead. I’ll keep it simple and sweet.

We need to FUCKING stop. Stop glamorizing and romanticizing mental health disorders. Not getting out of bed for days. Not eating. Anxiety. Suicidal thoughts.

It’s not ~cool~, edgy, and if you really are hearing voices, you need help.

Like, seriously, though. At least she’s now wearing the cute but psycho one.

 

Stop *jokingly* saying you are-or telling others they- are schizophrenic/bipolar/anorexic/PSYCHO/ in need of getting into a psychiatric ward.

There’s a literal expression for that in Albania, and that sucks, especially considering inpatient isn’t terrible or an experience that scars you for life, as the public thinks *cough cough* or mainstream media makes it to be. If anything, people with suicidal tendencies or ED-s SAVE their lives when they get hospitalized.

Straight up, I don’t understand the trend with captioning your photos with self-deprecating humor, or all kinds of fucked up shit, when you’re actually fine**. If you really have more issues than VOGUE (last time I checked, 2883) don’t you think you should talk to somebody?

I know people mean no harm (and also don’t believe words hold ANY kind of power, something I strongly disagree with but will talk about some other time*). Such phrases and patterns of thinking, especially when expressed so loudly, as in everyday conversations and/or social media refrain people with actual issues from seeking the help they need.

If you’re reading and wondering when is the right time to reach out (friends, family, online resources are helpful), thinking you need help usually means you do. You don’t have to be delusional, have a certain number of thoughts throughout the day or a certain weight (in your ED journey) or anything.

To the people reading with mental health issues: I love you, stay strong, get help. There’s nothing FUCKING wrong with you. Medication, therapy, reality testing, journaling, learning to live –and thrive- with your intrusive thoughts***- there’s so much that can be done! So much for you to experience. We’re all rooting for you.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your weekend.

*I keep my promises OKAYYY!

**I know some people use humor as a coping mechanism. Whatever works for you, boo.

**Did you know: everyone has them? Yeahh, everyone. Nothing to be ashamed of.

 

Coffee Shop Thoughts 3: Animals and Heartbreak

Animals

tw: animal abuse, animal cruelty

On my way here, a little girl begging on the street grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go. With her tiny hand in mine, I went with my usual phrase when people in the street ask me for things, "I'm sorry, but I can't". Being the actual child that she is, she childishly says she isn't going anywhere until I give her something. I tell her she can tag along, but I'm sorry and can't do that.

Her equally young brother is waiting for her to come back from this hopefully-fruitful hand-holding session.

We lock eyes after a second, then she angrily lets go of my hand in a gesture of anger and disappointment. I think of how the logical thing to do is thoroughly wash my hands when I get to my destination. But why?! Research shows a lot of people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom, masturbating, changing diapers, and this is only the tip of this iceberg that I'm not surprised by. I'm not the most hygienic person in the world myself, as I figure (and research proves) a lot of other people aren't as well. So who cares?

Almost immediately I think of all the times people have had a problem with me touching or cuddling stray animals. For years now, people have ~been so kind to~ let me know all the diseases and infections I'm now prone to because I wanted to pet that dog. That's what you get for not being able to resist the cuteness. Looking into that cute dog's eyes though, makes my heart break into a thousand pieces and that's why, for me, it stopped being a matter of cuteness a long time ago. 

 

It all started when I was a child. My grandparents had this big house and an even bigger garden where all kinds of animals lived, some of which I don't even the exact name for in English. Yeah, that diverse.

We had names for most of the chickens and each of them had its own distinct features and personality. This particular day, it was the first time my uncle came back from Greece since he'd left many years ago, and the first time I met his new family: his wife and son. Unrelated, but, my cousin and I spoke different languages and were too young to speak English, however, I swear we understood each other completely. Like, freakishly so. In Albanian, we call that the language of blood, ain't it amazing what our brains can accomplish?! Now that we both speak English and the internet exists, we hardly ever talk, lol, but anyway...

Anyway, my cousin and I were hanging out and my grandmother comes and says we should stay put for a while and NOT go to the other side of the house. Being the curious, rebellious child that I was, I said fuck that (basically, placebo is inert, meaning it's not supposed to do anything, but placebo is a rebel and breaks the rules) and went over there.

I saw my grandfather kill with his bare hands (and probably a knife) one of my favorite chickens. I burst out crying and tried to stop him, but my grandmother took me out of there and gave me this BS explanation of what was happening. I've talked with a lot of people who had a similar experience growing up, maybe not the actual slaughter, but you know, "losing" animals they'd grown to see as friends and part of the household, even if they'd only stayed with them for a few days.

Now, for as long as I can remember, I'm affected deeply by animals. I might see a stray dog, in a safe place, and just looking at him smiling (smiling dogs are a thing and you know it, don't @ me) /waiting for someone to play with him /show him even the tiniest bit of attention, and I get goosebumps, a bump in my throat, shivers... I've gotten pretty good at not having an emotional reaction every time, or even most times, but injustice gets me to my fucking core.

Why are some animals in loving homes, being bought for hundreds of dollars, getting toys while others are ran over in highways, left there, kicked, and a lot of other cruel things that I won't go over because a.) everyone knows b.) I'm in a coffee shop and I don't want people asking why I'm crying in the club right now, okay?!

Why are there big corporations protected by state laws making plenty of $$$ in the most disgusting of ways, but this old lady near my place, coming from miles away to sell her fucking produce in the city and make just a few dollars a day, is surrounded by ~7 cops and required to pay huge fees and move the fuck out of there?

I know, I know, I'm just describing...life, but -speaking from a place of privilege- I love life, I love the people and the places and the possibilities that life has to offer. Just realized; I didn't come here to write about police brutality, so I won't get into that (just now), but about animals and the shit they go through, unfortunately, figuratively and literally*.

Also, in the country I grew up in, you almost never come across LGBTQ/POC issues, or even members of those groups. There are only a few publicly known trans people, who work as prostitutes and are harassed, and the occasional coming out story, whereas the only POC you meet are Roma people, who are usually asking for money, so yeah.

Maybe, that's why, growing up, animal cruelty was the thing that most got to me, that, and because, they're voiceless. Actually, a lot of animal rights advocates consider themselves a voice for the voiceless.  As women, we might be silenced for speaking up, but at least we can do that; animals can't defend or speak for themselves.

Trackback: Best Speech You'll Ever Hear

All they can do is love us unconditionally, as they already do, and just hope for the best: that we don't hurt them, kick them, poke their eyes out, bury them in the ground alive**...but instead love them back.

My heart breaks and breaks having to write this, and I haven't even said anything about the animals killed for food and what they have to go through.

To end on a more positive note, I've cuddled all the stray animals and touched all the people and nothing has EVER happened to me (lol), Germany banned fur farming, a lot of makeup companies are going cruelty-free, the demand for meat and meat products has decreased dramatically in developed countries, demand for plant-based products has risen and they're everywhere now (and very delicious too). This is happening because of the people, the ones that have gotten their facts right and chose to DO SOMETHING! Be it Meatless Mondays, cruelty-free makeup products, only getting faux-fur, not throwing rocks at cats minding their business...

Every little helps. Animals all over the world thank you.
*Not to get into details, but a lot of animals live in such tiny spaces before they're slaughtered, i.e. chicken's cages are on top of one another... Well, you can put 2 + 2 together...
**PETA offered 10000$ to the person that can tell them who did that  *insert an adjective so horrible that it hasn't been invented yet here* thing

Fuck weightloss

BoPo

There I am. Bikini waxing*, knowing what Beyonce was on about when she said pretty hurts. What hurts more are society's expectations about women's body hair, to the point where women in razor commercials are already completely hairless, but I digress.

In an attempt to ease my pain, the esthetician tries to distract me with small talk and surprisingly, it's working. Then she happily states I've lost some weight eh? I freeze for a nanosecond, say "yeah". A similar exchange's been happening quite a few times recently and you usually wonder, but you're there, naked and vulnerable and all, you might as well go deeper while you're at it (no pun intended). Why do people assume I should be happy I've lost weight? I never told my esthetician- or anyone else for that matter- that I wanted to lose weight. So? I'm not obese, so it can't really be a health related concern.

Since we're at it, that's actually a common misconception. You know what they say- and with they, I mean stat professors all around the world, all day, every day- correlation doesn't imply causation.

Because some overweight people are unhealthy that doesn't mean being overweight equals bad health.

Shocking, I know. People who are overweight have a fifty-fifty chance of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or elevated blood sugar levels.¹

This other study that examined data from 43,265 people for a duration of 24 years, found that nearly half of the obese participants qualified as "metabolically fit", they didn’t suffer from insulin resistance, diabetes, low levels of good cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood pressure.²

In other words, healthy.

Hear this one out: among people already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, those who were obese lived longer than their thinner peers.³ Or this one,

65,000 patients with heart disease and found that overweight and obese people had the lowest risk of early death, compared with normal-weight or underweight patients;

those who were underweight had the highest death risk.⑷ Also, doctors having less respect for patients with higher body-mass indexes can lower the quality of care those patients receive. This article is a must read.

Anywayyyy, can we all agree now that weight isn't in and of itself a marker of health?

I feel like I need a ~disclaimer~. Please do your own research and don't take my word (and 65000+43,265 participants' results) for it. Maybe I've been fooled. I try my best for everything I state to be highly researched and from trustworthy sources, but I'm only human, after allll, I'm only human...

So my esthetician thinks weight loss is inherently a good thing, no big deal. It is a big deal, though ~plot twist~.

A report by the American Association of University Women indicated that for girls, “the way I look” is the most important indicator of self-worth .6

What the hell?  Research showed how more than half of girls and one-third of boys as young as 6 to 8 think their ideal weight is thinner than their current size. By age 7, one in four kids has engaged in some kind of dieting behavior.

Age 15 to 17, more than 90 percent of girls want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest.

I repeat, what the hell? Girls as young as 6 worrying about their physique should be a big deal. With so many young girls developing eating disorders and having fucked up relationships with food and their bodies, it is. I walked here, I'm surrounded by plants- they smell like spring, I'm enjoying the sunshine on my face, the warmth of my laptop keyboard from said sunshine, a cup of coffee (and the fact that the waiter remembered how I take it), the birds are singing.

I walked here, I'm surrounded by plants- they smell like spring, I'm enjoying the sunshine on my face, the warmth of my laptop keyboard from said sunshine, a cup of coffee (and the fact that the waiter remembered how I take it), the birds are singing. My senses work, my legs work, my fine motor skills are fine AF... To me, that's proof my body loves me and it's doing the best it can to keep me here, while I enjoy the little and big things this world has to offer. Start a revolution: love your body. It's been in love with you for so long and always will be.

Thanks for reading.

*A literal pain in the ass

**Editing this, I realize it sounds slightly ableist. I'm not saying your body doesn't love you if you can't walk, I'm just trying to put things in perspective in regard to body image issues. Still sounds ableist. Can you just take my word for it, that I stand up to all kinds of ableism and ableist slurs IRL & try to educate as many people as humanly possible, in a country where most don't  know what the word means? You're still fine AF, regardless of your motor skills!

¹R.P. Wildman, Ph.D.; P. Muntner, Ph.D.; K. Reynolds, Ph.D.; A. P. McGinn, Ph.D.; S. Rajpathak, MD, DrPH; Ju. Wylie-Rosett, EdD; M. R. Sowers, Ph.D.; "The Obese Without Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering and the Normal Weight With Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering." Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(15):1617-1624.

²Ortega FB, Lee D, Katzmarzyk PT, et al. The intriguing metabolically healthy but obese phenotype: cardiovascular prognosis and role of fitness. European Heart Journal. Published online September 4, 2012.

³Florez H, Castillo-Florez S. Beyond the Obesity Paradox in DiabetesFitness, Fatness, and Mortality. JAMA. 2012;308(6):619-620. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.9776

4Oskar Angerås, Per Albertsson, Kristjan Karason, Truls Råmunddal, Göran Matejka, Stefan James, Bo Lagerqvist, Annika Rosengren, Elmir Omerovic; Evidence for the obesity paradox in patients with acute coronary syndromes: a report from the Swedish Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty Registry. Eur Heart J 2013; 34 (5): 345-353. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehs217

5J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Nov;24(11):1236-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1104-8. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

6How schools shortchange girls: The AAUW report. A study of major findings in education. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.

Drawing of a galaxy jar with a tag attached with the above words] by Rachele Cateyes
Drawing of a galaxy jar with a tag attached with the above words] by Rachele Cateyes

Coffee Thoughts Shop 2: Things to Stop Doing

A penny for your thoughts
Going to cute cafés to get work done + My thoughts = Coffee Thoughts Shop.  Join me on this journey to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).
  •  talking shit about kids’ appearance, even if they are our most hated politician’s children
  • not texting back the people we love
  • being rude to waiters
  •  flirting with waiters– they just want to work and go home and not get one too many friendly remarks by actual strangers
  • being rude to people handing out flyers– to the people who immediately throw the flyer on the ground in front of the person who handed it to them, there’s a special place in hell for you
  •  worrying too much if there’s a heaven or hell
  • not getting the drink we originally want because it has too many calories? Nourish your body by giving it carrots when it feels like something fresh and high-calorie drinks if it feels like something sweet. Life’s too short to not get what you want.
  • staring
  • using images of happy animals in animal products… Cows are raped for milk, animals are killed for food, and I doubt any of them was ever happy/smiley as advertised #TheFuck (Yes, I’m fun at parties, what do you mean?!)
  • actively trying to see what that person on their laptop is doing. I mean, I *can* see your reflection on the screen…
  • sitting down for looong periods of time. (Guilty, but setting an alarm every hour to remind you to move around the office/house/etc. really helps.)
  • equating health to how thin/fat someone is (fact-based research is a friend)

Thank you for reading. Feel free to share your latest coffee shop thoughts. Was your Espresso Freddo as frothy as mine? The cleaning lady just as nice? Any caffeine epiphanies?

Coffee cup

The advice you never asked for (but a lot of other people did)

A penny for your thoughts

I was searching online on how to bring to life this fancy feature I thought of, I didn’t really know how to Google it though. I typed ‘article how to’ and the most searched questions turned up (turn up yoo) so I thought I’d answer. No one asked me, but I won’t let that stop me.

article how to cope with stress
Check if there’s an actual problem that needs fixing behind your stress. If there is, do something to fix it. If you can’t fix it, learn to accept it. It will make your life and the lives of the people around you way more pleasant. If there’s no issue you can “blame” for your stressful self, besides your anxious nature, learn some techniques to better manage stressful situations, whether by the help of a therapist or your handy dandy Internet.

article how to write
Sit down with your weapon of choice (electronic/pen and paper). Write the first thing that comes to mind. Keep doing that.

article how to overcome stress
Remember, all you have is the choices that you make. Make a conscious effort every day to not let trivial things get to you. Let huge events be a lesson to you, however they turn out.

article how to choose the right friends
Your vibe attracts your tribe. They’re probably looking for you too. Be open to new experiences and meeting new people and try hard to get to know them for who they really are. If you’re thinking of a friend and you have a smile on your face/mind, they’re probably a good friend.

article how to excel in English
Talk more. Read more. Watch more movies/documentaries/shows.

article how to save money
With the money you get, buy only what you need to and do your best to pay your debts, if you have any. Consider saving everything else. Don’t get into debt again.

article how to reduce stress
Cuddle with your cat.

article how to keep the environment clean
If I can only say one thing: reduce your animal products intake.

article how to be safe on the road
Don’t text. It can wait. Think of how other people’s lives will be affected by your driving if you don’t do it right. Don’t hate on the other drivers, maybe they have to be somewhere or they’re just starting out. Be kind. They don’t know you, so it’s not personal, so don’t take it as such.

Definitely cuddle with your cat, though.

 

Some days it feels unnatural to write only three things you’re grateful for

Feminism, Gratefulness

Some days, it feels unnatural to write only three things you're grateful for in your journal, so you write down way more. Other days, you get in a fight with your friend, your partner's being insensitive, you eat chips before lunch then you fall asleep and don't have a proper lunch or dinner, you lose the finished draft of an article (only one you had), listening to the politicians you're supposed to vote for on Sunday makes you gag, two different people from the same company wrote to say your article was rejected, you see this too-cute-to-be-a-stray* dog alone in the street meaning he's lost or was thrown out- all on the same day.

I'll go ahead and say what you're thinking**: children in Africa are dying.

However, as you might (or not) have noticed, there's no transitional word there. No but.*** That's the secret.

If you mention others sufferance to someone sharing their struggles with you, it's not to compare or diminish their pain. It's another problem on its own. If you say but men get raped too as an answer to women getting raped, you're part of the problem.
Tumblr postIf you say but white people get killed too, you're making it about you; white people get killed and men get raped, but that should be your entire sentence. Women get raped and POC are killed way more disproportionately, so your point isn't valid.

I consider myself a pretty grateful person. I think I'm way happier and kinder to the people in my life -and strangers!- after I started paying attention to all the little (and huge) blessings in my life. Like everyone though, I have my moments. They're way less frequent, but if you try to diminish my pain (or happiness, for that matter) because someone out there has it worse/better, you kinda suck.
Likewise, if a queer person is sharing their experience as a queer person with you, you should listen to what they're saying. NOT the moment to say straight people get beat up too. They do, but not because they're straight, catch my drift?!
Something that took me a long time to learn is that pain is not a competition.

White shirt black textPeople across the world are suffering and people across the world are having the time of their life. They say "comparison is the thief of joy", I agree. Be happy, or sad- yu don't own an explanation to anyone for how you're feeling. Especially don't be hard on yourself saying other people could have it worse. Also, to anyone who only brings up certain issues when being confronted about other ones? Check yo self  'fore you wreck yo self. You already know what I stand for.

 

P.S. No, I didn't forget to include my sources, I simply believe some research is better done yourself.

P.S.2 Kinda touched on all the subjects I wanted to, and if you're thinking, what does one have to do with the other, consider that the people trying to invalidate your experiences are doing so for a reason. Hint hint: status quo.

*Stray dogs break my heart, but breeders will probably die in the ~wild~

**Psych majors really DO read minds y'all.

***I thought butt almost immediately and winked ~out loud~, you know, like, to myself, in public. No shame in my game. jk, it was unconscious.

coffee thoughts shop: one

A penny for your thoughts
Going to cute cafés to get work done + My thoughts = Coffee Thoughts Shop. Join me on the road to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).
  • I wonder if the waiters refer to me as the girl who takes more than an hour to drink ONE espresso
  • Every time I look over at the restroom, someone’s in there
  • A little girl is learning to walk and her mother is in awe
  • Someone tried to put peanut shells in the trash and they fell on the ground and she blamed the bin and left them there #rude
  • Someone approached and asked my opinion on something
  • Turns out he was being compensated 15000$ (for land he was wrongfully taken years ago) instead of 1500$ and I was the one who delivered the news
  • If you yell at kids, you need to chill the fuck out
  • A girl’s been hugging her mother for more than 2 straight minutes now
  • The new chairs here are so art deco though
  • Thought I’d get news today, but I will on the 26th #WishMeLuck
  • Guessed the WiFi password on the first try
  • There are only two bathrooms -one person at a time in each- and people will wait outside their assigned gender bathroom when the other one is free
  • If you remove the women/men stickers, there’s literally no fucking difference #FreeTheBladder
  • Having only two tabs open feels like I’m missing something
  • Unless you’re a baby that has little to no control to what you pay attention to, don’t stare at other people
  • People with gofundme pages are really… courageous, for lack of a better word
  • Someone has on this perfume that reminds me of so many good things ahh
  • Replaced by just-popped-popcorn smell
  • Replaced by freshly brewed (coffee shops’ attempt at) black coffee smell
  • You can say a lot of things about Albania/Albanians, but you can’t deny: 1. fucking breathtaking nature 2. the girls… Oh, the girls!

Thanks for reading (a piece of my mind).