Positive Quotations

In this week’s post, I would to share with you some of my favourite quotes which help me in everyday life. If you put ‘positive quotes’ into Google, all sorts of results come at you and it can be quite overwhelming. Sometimes they can be so idealistic that you think it will be totally impossible to achieve that. I am hoping that by sharing a few quotes with you, it will make them seem more accessible and hopefully speak out to you. Please note, the way I have interpreted these quotes is my opinion only and not related to the accreditation of the quote. Things can be interpreted differently and this is only my opinion!

 

Keep facing the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow...

Keep facing the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow – Helen Keller.

I see this quote as a reminder that we always have a choice. If you choose to face the sun, the warmth, the bright and peachy side of life, then you won’t see the darkness that can cloud our judgement. It is a reminder than what you focus on occupies your thoughts. If you choose to look at the light and the positive, then you won’t be thinking about the negative. Your brain can only think about one thing at once, so make it a positive thought.

 

Be mindful

Be Mindful, Be Grateful, Be Positive, Be True, Be Kind. – Roy T Bennett.

Each of these statements are all things that we know. Each one seems obvious. But in the hectic lifestyles we live today, sometimes it is nice to just stop and think about the things that are really important to you. In this world that we live in today, with all the anger and the hate that flies around us, it is nice to think about how we should live our lives. Be mindful of others, be kind to all, be true to yourself and what you believe in. The real core of what being alive really means.

 

be the reason someone smiles,be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness of people

Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness of people. – Roy T Bennett

It’s Mr Bennett again! I love this quote because it is such a reminder that sometimes we can be so obsessed with what is happening to ourselves that we forget to take a look around and see what is happening to those around us. There may be someone closer than you think who is having a rough time and would really appreciate a hug or for you to stop and say hello. I am not saying get talking to strangers on the bus, but have a think about a friend you haven’t heard from for a while and just check they are OK. There are so many people in the world who have mental health issues and a lot of people often say: ‘It didn’t look like there was anything wrong.’ when that person feels like they cannot go on. Checking up on that friend who is a bit quiet might just be what they needed to hear.

 

Henry Ford

Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you will always be right. – Henry Ford.

This quote for me totally sums up the mind/body connection. If you believe you can do something, you will do it. If you convince yourself you cannot do it, you won’t. Simple as. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or what you are doing, if you tell yourself you can’t, then you won’t! I have had this quote of my bedroom wall throughout all of my exam periods, GCSEs, A-Levels and University to remind me that when the going gets tough, I will do it. It may be hard, it may take time but I will get there.

 

Thank you for reading my four favourite quotes and I hope my explanations and thoughts on each one will have given those reading this some food for thought and hopefully made each quote a little more accessible. Hopefully you can see the applications they would have to your own life and I hope they spread a little positive and love!

Sarah x

Are you being cyber bullied?

Cyber bullying post

The last 20 years has seen the rise in the wonderful world that is social media, without which I wouldn’t be writing this blog post. But what happens when this amazing tool designed to connect people together is misused? Unfortunately, being concealed behind a screen seems to give people the confidence to say hurtful and direct things that would not be said in real life.

I touched on this subject a few weeks ago about being more mindful about what we say over the Internet and how written words are different from spoken ones. Leading on from this, this blog post is a practical guide for those of you out there experiencing cyber-bullying.

Cyber-bullying is when messages of threat, intimidation or upset are sent to another individual or group with the intent of causing hurt or harm. Unfortunately, wherever you go in life, there is always going to be someone who gets a little bit of pleasure from upsetting others, for whatever reason. But when this upset is coming at you through your phone or laptop, when you cannot even see the person, it can be so intimidating.

Here are a few advice points that I have written to help someone experiencing cyber bullying:

1.You do not deserve to be treated like that.

Firstly, remind yourself that you don’t deserve to be treated badly by ANYONE. That’s a general rule of life. No one has the right to make you feel bad about yourself. EVER. Tell yourself that it is not your fault that you are in this situation. If someone else chooses to say nasty things to you, that is their choice, but how you deal with the situation is totally your decision and in your control.

 

2.Don’t respond or retaliate.

This is an important one. However tempting it might be to let rip and put this bully in their place, don’t! Because A) throwing shade back makes you just as bad as them, but also B) it is not going to help the situation, it is 100% going to make it worse and more often than not, it is going to make the situation escalate. More often than not, bullies are looking for a reaction from you so they know they have upset you. Retaliating to hurtful texts is just playing into their hands.

 

3.Don’t take matters into your own hands.

In the world of social media, things very easily go viral. So don’t be tempted, instead of messaging back, to share the posts/text messages with as many people as possible to ‘make an example of the bullies.’ This is cyber bullying too. Plain and simple. Don’t sink to their level. You are better than that.

 

4.Save the evidence.

The best thing about cyber bullying is that everything is written down, meaning you can save, screenshot or print what has been said. It eliminates the ‘well, she said…’ ‘No I didn’t…’ argument because it is written down for all to see. Save the evidence of abusive messages with the date and time stamp on them if possible. If things escalate, then you have proof to support what you are saying.

 

5.Tell an trusted adult and think about your next move together.

Whatever is being sent to you, you must tell an adult. A parent, a teacher, a neighbour, anyone you trust. Not so they can sort the problem out for you but so you can talk through what you want to do together. Two heads are always better than one. It also gives you a good opportunity to calm down and talk through what has happened before you decide what to do next. Anything done in the heat of the moment is often regretted. Take some time and get someone else’s opinion.

A trusted adult on your side will also be able to give some support if you want to make your school aware of what is going on on social media or if it is a matter for the police to deal with. This obviously depends on your individual situation but it is something to consider with someone you can openly talk to.

 

6.Use the social media tools available.

As standard and as a tool to protect their users, all social media platforms have a ‘Report User’ function for you to make them aware of unwanted happenings. They can then decide if the bully needs a time out or if they have violated the platform rules and need their account disabling all together.

If this feels a bit drastic to you, you might feel like blocking the person from contacting you is a more appropriate action for your situation. You should probably do that anyway so they cannot make contact with you.

 

7.Resilience is learnt.

One positive outcome of cyber bullying is a built up resilience, which is a skill that will be super helpful later in life. If someone is sending you horrible messages, the best thing to do would really be to ignore it. As hard as that sounds, they will soon stop it if they get no reaction.

When a new message pops up from that dreaded account, don’t open it. Just delete it. Whatever it contains, it won’t be helpful or add joy to your life so you don’t need to see it. If it carries on, use a different social media platform to connect with your friends. Remove yourself from the situation. The bullies will soon get bored and move on. It can be so hard to think like this when you are in the middle of a horrible situation but I promise you, it will end at some point. Each time you ignore a message, it will strengthen you. It will get easier. It will make you laugh at how ridiculous they are. Cue funny picture about how silly online bullies are:

IMG_1517

You are in control because you can walk away. Or turn off your phone in this case.

 

If you know someone who is being cyber bullied, be there for them. They would really appreciate someone to talk to about it. Quite often people don’t want someone to swoop in and save the day, just knowing there is someone there so they are not going through it alone is often just the support they need.

My final piece of advice, and it is an important one, is this:

Please, please, PLEASE think about the things you are sending to other people electronically, whether it is over social media or texts or emails. Even when you are sending things to people who are your friends. How often do we see in the news that a celebrity’s sex tape has been leaked, or naked pictures that were sent to a boyfriend have ended up on the Internet for the world to see? Once it is on the Internet, it will always be on the Internet, you loose control over who sees it or shares it. Please think before sending anything so that you don’t end up in a difficult situation in the future. Please protect yourself. As sad as it sounds, people who are your friends currently may not always be your friends. If you aren’t prepared to put it on a bulletin board for the world to see then don’t send it to anyone!

Sarah x

Who is your friend there?

How is it that your pores know exactly when you have a special event coming up like school picture day or a party? It can’t be coincidence that it is ALWAYS on that day you wake up with a fresh spot outbreak!! Anyone else get a mental image of their pores all sitting around a table having a meeting, discussing when would be most inconvenient to deliver a fresh wave of spots?

I felt like Benjamin Button when I was 17/18. The older I was getting, the more spots I seemed to have. It was getting worse by the day. Not in an acne kind of way, just those ones with the little white heads on them. I must have tried every product on the shelf: face packs, cleansing gels, anti-spot cremes etc etc. Especially when I saw a new advert on the TV. I was always convinced that the happy teenagers on the screen wouldn’t lie to me, that this new product was the one I had been waiting for.

It has taken me years to get to a stage when I don’t wake up with a new little friend on my face. It brings me a lot of joy that I can finally say I have found some facial products that I am pleased with and use every day. I am by no means an expert, but I would like to share these products with you as they are how I keep my spots at bay.

The best tip I was ever given was the classic step by step ritual:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone
  3. Moisturise

Honesty, doing this, without fail, both morning and night made such a difference to my face. I used to be really lazy and just wash my face with a face wash and then sometimes moisture if I remembered. I have tried products from pretty much all of the companies on the shelves but I have found that the Simple range suits my skin the best. I use the Simple Cleansing Face Wash to clean my face in the morning and wash my make up off at night. I then tone my face with the Simple Facial Toner (see picture).

To moisturise, I use Oil of Olay Day Fluid. It is not the cheapest product out there but even the smallest bottle will last you ages. It is thick enough to moisturise my fairly dry skin but not so heavy that I feel greasy. I always thought that if you had naturally greasy skin like I did, then adding moisturiser to it would just increase the grease, but I was told by one of those beauticians behind the counter at John Lewis that if you don’t moisturise every day then your pores will produce more oils to compensate. So if you moisturise your face with a product, your pores won’t be so active. (I didn’t learn this until I was about 23 and it changed my life!).

IMG_1545

Unfortunately, as much as I have tried to ignore it, eating chocolate and sweets makes your spots worse. I’m not going to lie, it breaks my heart to type this for all to see but I cannot ignore this fact any longer. Sugar increases the spots on my face. After having a right sulk about it for a few months, I vowed to try and watch what I was eating before a special event like a party. It probably wasn’t a bad thing anyway because I ate waaaaaay too much chocolate so being a bit healthier was only going to benefit me in the long run, aside from clearing up the spots of my face. I always try and drink water when I am at home too as I find it helps my skin look fresher.

I am by no means an expert or a beautician or anyone professionally linked to these beauty products but I thought it might be helpful to some of you out there to hear about my experiences and my own research. Everyone is difference and everyone has different needs with their facial products so you might need a heavier cleanser or a thinner moisturiser, depending on what your skin is like but let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter/Instagram. It would be awesome if we could share some of our secrets with each other!

Also, I am super interested in trying those black face masks that target black heads. I have so many black heads on my nose, they need some attention! If anyone can recommend one to me, that would be excellent! Advice columns go both ways!

Sarah x

Disclaimer: I am not endorsed by any of these products, the thoughts above are my own personal experiences and should not be followed instead of professional advice!

What did you say?

I wouldn’t like to count how many times in a day I use the Internet. Between Facebook, Instagram, blogging, Twitter, I must be on the Internet for the majority of the time I am awake. And when I should be asleep! It is a wonder I have time to do anything else. Even when out and about, if I can’t find where I am going, I will whip out my phone and use the Map app, or check train times, or google a shop location.

But what happens when it goes sour? With the wonders and marvels of the Internet comes the other side: the trolling, the cyberbullying, the hiding behind your keyboard to tell people home truths you would not dare say to someone’s face. I write this post as a friendly reminder about social media. I will be writing another post about copying with cyberbullying at a later date.

I run different Instagram accounts, covering an array of different topics and areas of my life. 99% of the time, the interactions I have with people are positive. However, an incident happened last month that shocked me a little bit. Scrolling through the comments on one post, I noticed a couple of things being said that I found quite offensive. I am not here to name and shame, or even to tell you what was said, but for the first time since starting my accounts, I felt threatened. I am a big girl and knew what was being said were empty threats but still, I knew I didn’t deserve to be spoken to like that.

This got me thinking. I am strong enough to ignore these comments but I know that some people would have been really upset by them. That is the problem with the Internet. Written words have none of the qualities that speech has. There is no intonation, no facial expressions, no body language, which we take in without realising it to understand things that are said to us. The non-verbal cues that we take for granted because we don’t actively think about them.

A phrase like ‘shut up’ can be taken in a number of ways. The cast of TOWIE use it instead of ‘You’re kidding me.’ People say it in a playful way, in defence to being teased, or even in a ‘please carry on complimenting me’ way, but written down, the phrase is: Shut. Up. Sounds a bit aggressive doesn’t it? Just this week, a family member was teasing his mum that her texts are always in capital letters, making him think she is shouting at him. She replied that she had turned on her Caps Lock months ago and couldn’t get it off again! But he wasn’t to know that because all he could see were words that were being emphasised. No facial expressions, no loudness of voice to give him clues as to whether his mum was angry or not.

Back to Instagram, I wrote back a polite retaliation to my horrible comments saying that this language was inappropriate and I would prefer them to unfollow me if they thought it was an acceptable way to speak to someone, and all of a sudden I was inundated with messages from each guilty party saying how they hadn’t meant it, and I had interpreted it wrong, or they were only joking etc etc. I thanked them for their apology and there are no hard feelings between me and them, it is sorted now and all good. But I felt like this was a good example of what can happen while on the Internet. Things can be misinterpreted. While using the Internet, it is our responsibility to use it with care and keep in mind that words typed are just that: Words on a page. No intonation, no smiling while you say it, no playful slaps of arms to show you are speaking in jest.

People seem to find a new found sense of confidence when they are typing on a keyboard. I don’t believe for a second they would be brave enough to say those horrible things to someone’s face, but seem to find it easy when tweeting or commenting. Like the screen acts as a barrier to shield them from identity or the stress and drama of a face to face conversation.

I guess what I am trying to say is, please take a moment to think about the things you type to people on social media. Things can be misunderstood, misread, misinterpreted and someone will get hurt. Most probably both parties involved. Read the actual words you have written, removing the emotions from it, and see the words for what they are. And what they mean. It will bring us back to the intention of social media, to introduce us to people we wouldn’t ordinarily meet, to develop friendships with people of all walks of life. To connect us all.

Sarah x

Exam season is here!

Exam stress

Exam season is officially here! Much to the dismay of many of you out there. Exams are one of those things that you have to do, but nobody likes them and the stress of them can cause sleepless nights. Well done schooling system, bravo.

Exams were a great source of stress to me when I was at school, to the point where I would have a timetable of when to write a timetable for timetabling the revision, in a timetable. You know what I mean.

So I have compiled a list of handy tips to help you prepare for your exams. They are things I used to find helpful and I hope you do to.

Here goes:

1.Find your optimum time of day to revise. Have a think, or even a test, to decide if you revise better in the morning or the evening, or the afternoon. I revise best first thing in the morning, my concentration is better. But I have friends who can work until midnight and get lots done. I know that after 9pm, my brain turns off. Like there is some sort of a switch in there or something. So I knew I would get the most effective revision done by getting up early and doing my revision first thing in the morning.

2. Find a work space that suits the conditions you need to revise. This maybe your bedroom, or the kitchen table or your school library. Once you have decided where you are going to revise, you can tell your family that you are off to revise and you would appreciate not being disturbed! I need complete silence so I can talk out loud, meaning a shared room at home was not ideal for me and people gave me funny looks in the library at school so I decided that revising in my bedroom on my own was going to be my best option!

3. Grab everything you need before you sit down to revise. I used to get a glass of water, some snacks (preferably healthy ones but you know…) and all the books I would need. I would then, as hard as it was, put my phone in another room. My theory was that I could use my breaks to get up and have a little walk about and check my phone. Having a change of scenery made me feel a bit more refreshed and ready for more revision. Getting up and having a walk also helps to loosen your stiff body after sitting at a desk for ages.

4. Which brings me nicely to this: Remember to give yourself some relaxation time! Whatever relaxes you. A bath, watching a film, listening to music. If you work so hard that you burn yourself out, then by the time you come to sit your exams, you will be exhausted! So remember to schedule some time to switch off and relax. And don’t feel bad when you are relaxing. If you are working hard the rest of the time then you deserve a break!

5. During your whole exam/revision period, try and go to bed at a reasonable time to make sure you are refreshed for the next day, be it an exam or revision day. Having a good night’s sleep will do you the world of good. Particularly if you are having a bad day, a good night’s sleep will hopefully put you in a better mood for the next day.

6. Have a playlist on your phone or Ipod that gets you all pumped and ready to tackle your exams. Listen to it every morning or on your way to school for your exam. My suggestions of songs would be the classic Eye of the Tiger, maybe Fighter by Christina Aguilera? Or thinking out of the box, I’m Sexy and I Know It (!). Not only will the power of music make you feel more up for it, but having a dance will relax you and let’s face it, who doesn’t love having a dance as you get ready for school in a morning?!

7. It is exam day. You have done the whole lining up outside the exam hall thing, trying not to listen to your peers talking about how stressed they are (not helpful. To anyone. Why do they do it?). But here you are, looking at an exam paper, your stomach churning. First thing is first. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Open your eyes and you are ready to go, calmly. Open your paper and read each question. Read them slowly and more than once. Sometimes your brain does this cute thing when you are stressed, it makes you read the question that you want to come up, rather than the actual words that are in front of you. How helpful. So read each question super carefully. Block out that annoying kid next to you who is already writing furiously. They will get a hand cramp soon and stop. Just concentrate on what you are doing.

8. Have faith in yourself. Find an inspiring quote, find a friend to talk to who is positive, make plans after an exam so you have something to look forward to. Whatever it takes to make you believe that you can get through the exam and produce answers to the best of your ability. That is honestly half of the battle. And it is a battle you can win! So push on young warrior and do your best. I believe in you.

If you have any advice that really helps you during exam season, feel free to tweet it to @notfallingover and I will retweet it to share with everyone. Or you can leave a comment at the Instagram page: notfallingoverblog

If any of you feeling like you need some further advice for dealing with this kind of stress, I have found a very useful website called Better Help. They specialise in connecting people with counsellors over the Internet for help, but their Advice section on the website https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stress/ contains loads of amazing articles that are so helpful for lots of different kinds of stress. Please check it out, it is full of helpful hints and tips.

And finally, good luck to everyone who is doing exams at the moment. Let me know how you get on! You will smash them!!

You can do this

Sarah x

Be Crayjust

This weekend I had the pleasure of exploring the Mind, Body and Soul exhibition at Event City, Manchester. I had never been before so I had no idea what to expect. The event was coupled with the Yoga show and Vegan Life Live so it was guaranteed to have something to interest everyone.

mind body soul programme

There was so much to see, I didn’t know where to start! So, obviously, I went methodically up and down the rows so no stall was missed! What can I say? I like order!

There was lots of different products and stall holders there but one lady was particularly interesting.

Sharon Corbett has set up a project called Picture This. She goes into schools and colleges using her love of photography and creative writing to get children to think about their life goals and things they want to achieve, while promoting self confidence and self identity. Sharon was so moved by the work being produced by these young individuals, she decided to make their affirmations and powerful messages into a book for all to read, named: BE CRAYJUST: REAL LIFE MOTIVATION BY REAL LIFE PEOPLE. It was amazing to read, especially when Sharon said that the children who contributed to the book were between 8 and 15 years old. The thoughts and positive messages these young people were wanting to share with the world were humorous, thought provoking, emotional but most of all, they were inspiring.

Sharon had some postcards made up for the Exhibition and I bought the selection below.

picture-this-postcards.jpeg

The wording on these postcards really spoke to me and I think they have such important messages. There is a lot in the media about ‘loving yourself’ and retaliating against ‘body-shaming’ but it is quite often forgotten that you should be loving the life you are living too. In amongst the struggle of exams and homework, it is hard to feel like you have control over what your life looks like, but it is so true. You have the power to create a life that you love. Strive for a job you want to do. Work towards a qualification that enables you to have the best experiences and meet the best people. As said above, ‘Follow the path that makes you, YOU!’

‘When in darkness, seek out the light.’ resonates heavily with me. I know from experience that when life is getting you down, it is very hard to see the positive in any situation. But it is when you are at your weakest that you need to make the decision to change how you think. You have to ‘see the light’. You have to be brave enough to get yourself out of the darkness. And it is so possible. You can do it. To have a young person write such a powerful message was very moving to me.

This project is a non-profit organisation. Sharon said the money she makes from selling the books and postcards gets put back into the project, which will enable more books to be published in the future. What an honour it was to meet her.

Give the project a follow on Facebook at: @BeCrayjust

Thank you Sharon, for putting such time and effort and affection into teaching young people about self identity and positive thinking. Our school system is so focused on statistics and grades, they are not teaching young people to find themselves and work towards creating a positive life for themselves, even though currently, suicide is the biggest killer of teenagers, having overtaken road accidents, making projects like these so important.

Sarah x

 

Panic Attacks: Can’t live with them, would love to live without them!

I haven’t told you all yet, but I go to LA in 4 weeks for the fun tourist/Disneyland/Universal experience. I am beyond excited. My friends and I had decided to try for tickets to see an episode of the Big Bang Theory being filmed. As I am sure you can imagine, the tickets are like gold dust. So I stupidly volunteered to get them for us. So two days ago, there I am sitting at my laptop watching the clock ticking down to sale time. The next 15 minutes unfolds like this…

The clock ticks.

Search for website.

Time getting closer.

Website won’t load.

Panic.

Sale time gets closer.

Website won’t load.

Try again.

Try again.

Sale time arrives.

Website freezes.

Chest starts to tighten.

Hot flush starts.

Hands start to shake.

Palms become sweaty.

Can’t breathe.

The end result is I am hyperventilating, crying, full blown panic attack.

I know a lot of you reading this will know exactly what it feels like. Like someone pushing down on your chest, stopping you from breathing. Like everything is closing in around you, sucking you in. Like everyone is staring at you.

But you are not alone. Apparently, over 15 million people in the US alone suffer from panic attacks. That is nearly 5% of the whole country. Yet you feel so alone when it is happening. I know, because I feel it too. You want someone to help you, but that feeling is equal to the horrible embarrassment of making a fuss or a fool of yourself.  I never know what to do for the best!

My first panic attack was when I was 18. I was walking to university one morning quickly because I was late. When I got there, I was suitably out of breath but didn’t think much of it because I had practically ran there. I was stressing about being late because it was an important day, we were getting a breakdown of the yearlong project we had to complete. As the morning went on, and the work load piled up, the shortness of breath came back, a pain in my chest started and I went very hot and shaky. I covered my eyes with my hands, trying to block out the world and all the homework that I was expected to do. Luckily, class had halted for a break and the girl I was sitting next to could see I was shaking and struggling to breath and helped to calm me down. She said that I needed to concentrate on taking deep breaths otherwise I was going to pass out. The thought of passing out panicked me more but I knew she was only trying to help 🙂

After I had calmed down, she then explained that she had panic attacks sometimes and she described how it felt, which turned out to be exactly what I had been feeling that morning. I was freaking out about starting university, the jump from college to university was a lot harder than I had anticipated, and then the worry of being late and the seemingly impossible task of completing this project had just tipped me over the edge.

Fast forward to 27 year old me and I still get stressed out to the max, but I don’t have panic attacks anywhere near as often. I feel equipped to share with you a very rough guide of how to cope with panic attacks.  Please don’t take this as law, or as a substitute for proper medical advice, I am no doctor, just a friend who wants to help!

Step 1: Know your signs.

Make a mental note of what happens to you when a panic attack is starting. It may be a pain somewhere, or a hot flush, or shortness of breath. If you know what signs to look for, you can learn to stop the panic attack in its early stages.

Step 2: Come out of the situation.

You should probably try and remove yourself from the situation that is stressing you. I know this may not always possible but finding somewhere quiet and in the fresh air will instantly make you feel calmer.

Step 3: Concentrate on your breathing.

There is conflicting information out there about how to do this, some say breathe into a paper bag, some say don’t, some say breathe through your nose, some say in through your mouth. Remembering that I am not a doctor, I can only say what works for me:

I sit down, and breathe in through my nose while counting to 5, and then breathe out through my mouth while counting to five. If I am really struggling, I will start by counting to 3, then 4, then 5. Once I am in control of my breathing (this sometimes takes a while), I will breathe in for 5 counts and then hold my breath for 3 counts, then breathe out for 5 counts. This helps to slow your heart rate down.

Step 4: Remember that YOU ARE IN CONTROL

It is in capitals because it is important! Easier said than done I know, but you need to tell yourself that you are in control of your life, your body, and your situation. The panic attack is your mind saying, ‘Stop overloading me, I can’t cope!’ so you need to tell yourself that you can. You are calm, you are relaxed, you are in control. Chant it over and over to yourself. Say it loud and say it proud. You control the panic attack, it doesn’t control you. This is the hardest thing to do, because you are having to find strength within yourself when you are at your weakest, but it needs to be done. You are in control, and don’t ever forget that. You can do this.

Step 5: Tell someone.

The hardest part of coping with panic attacks is coping on your own. Find someone you trust, be it a parent, a teacher, a best friend, a librarian or an astronaut, whoever, just someone you can talk to about it. Tell them that you are having panic attacks and what happens to you when you get them. Tell them what signs they need to look out for and how you want them to help you when it is happening.

For example, telling your friend that when you grip her arm, it is code for ‘get me the hell out of here!’ My friend always told me to ask to be excused and go to the toilet if class was stressing me out. I didn’t particularly like the thought of sitting in a confined space when I was freaking out, so I would sneak out to a bench at the front of the building and sit there for a few minutes.

It would really be best to share how you feel with an adult. There is lots of info about panic attacks online that you both can read up on. There are charities whose aim is to distribute helpful advice for people who have panic attacks. I tell my mum everything, and this was no different. Doctors also have some good advice about easing panic attacks, both medical and psychological. Meditation CDs are a good one. I was sceptical at first but after many listens to this CD (bought off Amazon) I found that I could relax myself by remembering what the CD said, which was so helpful when I was out and about and wasn’t able to sit and listen to it. This is the one I bought but there are loads out there to try. Youtube is a good place to have a listen too.

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I really hope that you find this post useful. Like I say, I am no medical professional, so I can only offer you what I have found helpful. If you are suffering with them at the moment, this does not mean you will have them for your whole life. If you have found any more techniques that you think panic attack suffers should know then leave them in the comments. How do you cope with your panic attacks? What strategies do find most effective? The more we talk about it, the more we can help overcome them.

And for those of you wondering, I got the Big Bang filming tickets in the end!

Sarah xx