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Understanding the Art of Stress Management

Most people in the world experience stress at different stages of their lives. Stress arises due to such circumstances or situations which are perceived as obstacles by an individual. The belief of inability to cope with such obstacles leads to stress. Stress may be big or small depending upon the situation and how people perceive it. It can be classified according to the level of difficulty to tackle and the level of anxiety it produces in the particular individual facing it. Some people may feel helpless and hopeless in these types of stressful situations while there are others too, who learn the art of understanding situations and ways to manage stress.

The first thing one should think while in a stressful situation is the primary or actual reason behind the stress. Often there are surrounding similar obstacles which contribute to stress but it is important to find and focus on the main cause. Simplification and solution to this primary cause of stress can eventually release the stress and the other smaller contributing factors become easy to take care of. Once the chief stress causing reason is clear, the next task is to think of the immense amounts of pressures and stress which people are facing around the world. There are conditions where even simple livelihood becomes difficult. If one compares his reason for stress to such conditions, some amount of stress is sure to decrease in the initial step itself. The next step is to tell oneself that “you are NOT alone!”, because as someone thinks of the stress other people are facing, one should also think that nobody is facing a particular type of problem situation alone in this world. There are thousands of people who face similar stress causing issues. Finally the self-motivational part of thinking that if people with even lesser resources are confronting their stress, then it is surely possible for others too. Resources may include trustworthy people around us, things which can motivate us and things which can actually solve our problem.

Another reason to feel stress-free is the fact that nature does not differentiate between individuals. For example, usually when the sun shines, it provides heat and light energy to a particular region impartially, equal for all the individuals. People should learn to make use of the available resources positively so as to resolve their obstacles in the simplest of possible ways without causing much stress or anxiety. When such stress causing obstacles are resolved, an individual not only feels relaxed and free but also becomes experienced and mentally strong, to face such tough situations in the future. It becomes particularly important here, that not only should an individual seek help from close friends and relatives when in stressful situations, but should also share his experiences with them when one resolves these issues successfully. This can motivate them to clear their obstacles with patience and strength.

The world is full of various types of anxieties and stressors. It is the choice an individual has to make whether to think positive or negative about a situation. Stress can be in any smallest of things we try to do and there can be no stress in doing the biggest of things in life. It entirely depends on individual attitude, self-motivation and the use of available resources. There is a need to understand the art of managing stress with a positive approach of mind.

What Makes You HAPPY, And, Why?

Have you ever, taken the time, and made the effort, to take, a true, objective, introspective look, and wondered, what makes you HAPPY, and why? Far too many of us, seem, to focus on trying to fit – in, rather than becoming, the best, we can possibly become. The reality is, when we are happier, more fulfilled, and content, we tend to live a healthier existence, because we often, proceed, with far less, undesirable stresses, and tensions. While there will always be certain obstacles, if we perceive these, as challenges, to overcome, rather than, as problems, we generally overcome many of our personal limitations, and become, more willing to proceed, proactively, rather than being limited, by the self – imposed limits, of our personal comfort zone. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and the somewhat, fine – line, between maximizing our search for enjoyment, and experiencing a healthier lifetime.

1. Happier; health; heart/ head; healing: When we are happier, we usually live a far healthier life! It is wise to proceed, forward, consistently, using a combination of our logical and emotional components, in a head/ heart balance! When we perceive things, in a healing manner, we generally, maximize our possibilities of a healthier life!

2. Attitude; aptitude; attention: You can, either, proceed, in a negative way, or maintain a true, positive, can – do, attitude! Positive people visualize the hole, on the golf green, while negative individuals, fixate about the sand traps, and other hazards, in their path. As Henry Ford is credited with saying, You can think you can, or can’t. Either way, you’ll be correct. When one puts his mind to developing the most relevant, skill – set, and quality aptitude, and pays attention, to his personal priorities, his stresses, become learning experiences, instead of debilitating!

3. Priorities; paths: When/ if, you know your personal priorities, needs, goals, etc, you will be prepared to choose, the best paths, for you, rather than merely, the path, of least resistance!

4. Pursuits; planning; perceptions/ perceive: How will you personal perceptions, impact you? Will they be a positive influence, because you perceive, a way to get things done, or your worst enemy? Do you know, the pursuits you hope for, and seek? Will you focus on planning, effectively, for the future?

5. You; yes: Whether you are happy, and maximize your possibilities, is nearly always, up, to you! Will you say, yes, to becoming the best, you can be, and seeking the utmost degree of personal happiness, and self – satisfaction?

Are you ready to focus on yourself, and strive, to be, as HAPPY, as possible? Happiness, healthier, living, can be yours, if you focus on the best paths for you?

Relationships: Can Someone’s Adult Relationships Reflect What Took Place During Their Early Years?

​If someone has the inclination to end up in relationships that are not very fulfilling or are even abusive, it can be normal for them to experience pain. Also, as a result of what keeps taking place, they can come to see themselves as unlucky.

This area of their life is then going to be more or less out of their control, meaning that there will be very little that they can do about it. Due to having this outlook, they may even have moments when they will feel like a victim.

External Support

What one may find, if they have this outlook, is that there are plenty of people in their life who validate their view. A number of their friends, for instance, could also be in a similar position.

They can then get together and talk about how unfortunate they are and wonder when their luck is going to change. There is then going to be very little that they can do, as what is going on ‘out there’ will be what needs to change.

Popular Culture

The view that someone is just an observer of this area of their life and doesn’t play a part is something that is put forward in films and TV series. Someone can just seem to end up in a bad relationship.

And, as this is what is typically presented by the entertainment industry, it’s not much of a surprise that so many people have this view. The trouble with this view is that is not exactly empowering.

A Hopeless Place

Through having this outlook, one could end up feeling extremely jealous of people who are in fulfilling relationships. It might seem as though these people have something they themselves done have.

If this is so, one could believe that there is absolutely no chance that this area of their life will ever change. The pain that they experience in this area of their life could end up impacting every other area of their life.

Two Levels

But even if ones conscious mind believes that they are unlucky and are even a victim, it doesn’t mean that this is the truth. Yet, in order for one to find out why this area of their life is the way it is, they will most likely need to go deep within themselves.

The reason for this is that there is what is taking place in their conscious mind and there is also what is taking place in their unconscious mind. What is taking place in the latter has a far bigger effect than what is taking place in the former.

Self-Victimisation

When one understands this they will realise that they are not a victim, which will allow them to see that they do have control over this area of their life. The downside is that when one is not aware of how another part of them is impacting their life, it will be perfectly normal for them to feel powerless.

It will seem as though something out there is holding them back; when in reality, it will be what is taking place within them that is holding them back. What this emphasises is how important self-knowledge is when it comes to living a fulfilling life.

Totally Overlooked

Perhaps the main reason why one will lack self-knowledge is because this is not something that the education system touches upon. In general, the whole purpose of this system is to indoctrinate people, not to allow them to develop a better connection with their own being.

During this time, then, one would have most likely been taken even further away from themselves, not closer. Self-knowledge is something that one will have to develop by themselves; no one else is going to do it for them.

The Priority

When it comes to the unconscious mind, this part of them will only want to experience things that are associated as being familiar. To this part of them, what is familiar is what is classed as safe.

Therefore, this part doesn’t care if something is empowering or fulfilling, for instance, it only cares about having experiences that are familiar. Taking this into account, it is not hard to see why someone can end up suffering when they are out of touch with this part of their being.

Two Needs

So, while one can consciously want to be with someone who will treat the well, another part of them can have the need to be with someone who won’t. To their unconscious mind, the part of them that has the biggest effect, what can feel safe is being around someone who is abusive.

Alternatively, one may want to be with someone who is emotionally available, yet being with someone who isn’t might be what feel safe deep down. Being unaware of what is taking place at a deeper level will be like walking around in the dark; whereas when one is aware it will be as though a light has been switched on.

Back In Time

The reason why being with someone who is abusive or emotionally unavailable can be what feels safe can be due to what took place during their formative years. This time in their life would have most likely laid the foundations for who they would be drawn to as an adult.

Fortunately, once they are aware of what is going on, they will be able to do something about it. So, while it can be hard for one to accept that they are not simply an observer of what is going on, at least they will be able to embrace their own power.

Awareness

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If can relate to this, and that they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

The 7 Elements Of Creative Writing And How To Implement Them Into Your Writing

The 7 elements of creative writing are character, plot, setting, point of view, style, theme and literary devices. Just about everyone agrees on what the elements are though not about how much or how often they should be used. Even if you don’t plan to use any or all of these elements in your writing, you will write better if you know what these tools are and how they are used.

Character

At the least, characters carry out the work of the plot in a story. At the most, characters fuel and drive the entire story. Characters may be human or not, animate or not. Readers identify with characters, becoming involved enough with their fictional worlds to cheer on the luckless underdogs and hate the nasty villains.

Verisimilitude

A special kind of suspension of disbelief occurs in readers’ minds when they are reading and enjoying stories. This suspension can only be achieved when the writing has verisimilitude, which means believability. A reader who constantly has reason to question the validity of a character as it is written, cannot enter the state of suspension of disbelief. Thus characters must be authentic to attract and bond with readers.

Our connection to characters can run deep. Think of the many memorable characters you have read that still seem more real than some people you know. Who doesn’t carry a bit of Holden Caulfield’s alienation and confusion with them forever after reading, The Catcher in the Rye?

Note that you may find inspiration for a character anywhere. You may make a character out of anything. An inanimate character, such as the hat from Miller’s Crossing, may say a good many things while having no mouth.

No Plodding Plots, Please

Simply put, plot is what happens in the story. Generally, plots follow a simple arc. By the time most writers begin to write, they have already been exposed to many plots via popular culture. Every book, movie, and song has a plot–something happens. Even game shows have plots. Develop the habit of looking through the surface and perceiving the underlying skeleton of plot in almost everything.

It has been alleged that only 7 plots exist in English literature. Reading any good collection of Shakespeare’s plays will teach you those 7 plots. As an alternative, several good books on plot are available.

Pithy Old Saw

An oversimplified but pithy old saw about plot says that there is only one plot and to write it you find a character and set him looking for something. Another old saw goes that if your plot is lagging in pace or sagging in tension, kill off someone (a character, of course) to jazz things up a bit. Old saws, as a rule, should be viewed with deep suspicion and used whenever handy.

Setting

Setting is where your story takes place. You may have one or many, depending on the needs of your story. Setting may be large, such as John Irving’s use of place in Until I Find You, which is so pronounced that one or two European cities just may be actual characters. Conversely, your setting may be the living room or kitchen. Just think of the plays you have seen that unfold in only a few settings, such as in Arsenic and Old Lace.

The best advice about using this element is to ask yourself how a specific setting will underscore the themes in your work. Are you using a quest plot that would be supported best by the changing locations of the journey? If your story is about an initiation, a personal growth tale, then setting will seem less important because that type of quest unfolds primarily inside the character’s mind.

I Want to Believe!

The only way to do setting wrong is to use a setting for no reason other than you like it. A superficially selected setting will ring false to readers, so don’t do it. If you write in the Romance genre, wildly romantic settings are appropriate. If you write Science Fiction, make sure you write as a scientist first so that your settings are believable even though your world is obviously imaginary. For several a fine bits of believable SciFi world read anything by Robert L Heinlein.

Point-of-view

In general, we know that the tale grows taller with the telling, so reliability, or the lack of it, in point-of-view quickly becomes an essential tool. Many liars’ points-of-view have been skillfully used to tell a story, such as Tom Sawyer in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with notable effectiveness (Tom’s many explanations to adults).

In determining whose point-of-view to use, determine first whose story you are telling. Is your narrator the best character to tell the story? Imagine Lolita written from any but Humbert’s perspective! Do you need your narrator to lie or tell the truth?

There are several choices of types of point-of-view: first person, I and me; second person, you; more commonly third person, he, she, Jeanne, Richard; third person omniscient which includes seeing all characters’ minds; and lastly third person limited which tells the whole story through one character.

Choose the point-of-view that will best present the story you want to tell in the way you want to tell it. Don’t be afraid to try writing your story from a few different viewpoints until you find the right one. Just don’t be afraid of trying anything in your writing because no matter how long you have been writing or how much you have written, it is intended to be a lifelong journey on which you constantly discover new things about yourself as a writer and about this big old world you write about (or from, in the case of the SciFi’s).

Style

Style is slippery to take hold of because it is made up of thin, smokey ephemeral things which are clearly extant but also difficult to grasp. It is a signature inside your writing and drawn from your vocabulary, syntax, rhythm, voice, and mood. It may be imitated but is mostly a natural byproduct of you. It defies most efforts to manipulate it. It is also as individual as DNA. Read anything by Kurt Vonnegut, and then follow that with some Ernest Hemingway and you will readily see that each writer is brilliant and crazy-gifted and just as different from the other as possible.

Changing your style, if you wish to, can be achieved with contrivances such as elevated diction and specific themes. It is even possible to mimic authors with more pronounced styles, but no one has suggested it makes you a better writer. Some freelancers claim they can control their styles, changing from one style to another as their assignments demand, but again, it is contrivance for a certain purpose, not an actual modification of personal style. Be yourself. It’s easier and makes for better writing.

Theme

Theme in fiction is not limited to any specific set of ideas. Your theme(s) refers to the ‘moral of the story” or the bigger ideas in your story such as murder, betrayal, honesty, and compassion. Theme is like setting in that if you deliberately use a certain theme with the intent of making a given point rather than because it naturally fits into your story, that piece of writing will probably fail.

Show Me, Don’t Tell Me

The problem with premeditated pedantic use of theme is that you invariably sound preachy. Art doesn’t preach because art teaches from the inside out, changing people in meaningful ways via the internal experience of learning, not shouting at them until they agree because they are tired of listening.

Readers like to decide for themselves what your story means or says about the larger world. Readers don’t like to be preached at nor obviously told how to interpret events in your writing. Don’t do it. Show without telling. Lead, if you must consciously lead at all, by example. Tell your story with as little of your own prejudices and interference as you can manage. Trash story lines that include heavy-handed themes. You will know when you are heavy-handed by the exaggerated need to keep on explaining why.

Ironically enough, no matter what theme you believe you have written, your readers will decide for themselves what you meant anyway. And that is the miracle and majesty of art.

Literary Devices

No deus ex machina

The first literary device was called deus ex machina and was used in ancient Greek drama. It was, literally, a god character who was lowered down with ropes onto the stage when the hero needed rescuing or immediate godly intervention was needed to resolve the plot of the story. Even the Greeks who invented it knew it was cheesy. We use the phrase, deus ex machina, now to include all manner of cheesy, contrived plot resolutions.

Other types of literary devices include but are not limited to allusion, diction, epigraph euphemism, foreshadowing, imagery, metaphor/simile, and personification. You may not plan to use any of these, but do recall that everything written, ever, contains these devices, and they are exceedingly useful to writers. As with all tools, use the appropriate one at the appropriate time but do not use a device in place of good writing or else you too will be cheesy.

How well were you paying attention

We know our readers are always paying attention, but some of you like to be tested, so here is a quiz over this article. The anwers are not hidden just below the questions, so on your honor, no cheating.

1. It’s a great idea to use deus ex machina to solve plot dilemmas.

2. Imagery is only used in animated stories.

3. It’s a surefire good idea to use a strong preachy theme in your stories.

4. Ancient Greek playwrights invented diction.

5. Foreshadowing is a very good brand of eye shadow.

6. Fire is one of the 7 elements of fiction.

7. You must use each of the 7 elements of fiction at least one time per story.

8. Your author had far too much fun making up this quiz.

Answers: F, F, F, F, F, F, F, T


Source by Jeanne D Green

The Advantages of Learning English

There are 1 billion people in this world who are just like you. One billion people trying to conjugate verbs. One billion people trying to understand the difference between much and many. One billion people trying to pronounce TH and make it sound natural. Yes, that’s right, one billion people trying to learn English. This is because English has become the most important language in the world. 1.5 billion people already speak the language in addition to the 1 billion that are learning it.

Most major world organizations and functions are administered in English, including the United Nations, Olympics, and others. Most international business is in English, and the language is often used between people form different nations. English is the international language. As the world becomes smaller there will soon be no way to avoid English. So why not learn it now? Look at all the advantages you can have…

Access to Knowledge and Information

Internet

Most of the web pages on the Internet are in English. The Internet has a huge amount of information, some of which can only be accessed in English. English will allow you to chat with people from all over the world in chat-rooms, email and other services.

News

International news is broadcast in English. Examples include networks such as CNN and NBC International. These are much faster and more up-to-date than local networks, and a knowledge of English allows you to follow news all over the world. Likewise, international newspapers written in English can be found all over the world.

Science

Around 90% of scientific journals are written in English. Therefore, if you want to remain current in the world of science, an understanding of English is vital. For the scientists, imagine being able to go to conferences around the world and improve your understanding in this field.

Career

Advancing Your Career

If you are interested in advancing in the business world, English is a key to success. Most countries in some way will do business with English speaking countries. As well, English has become the international language of business and is often used as a neutral language for business between various countries. It is now common for an engineer in Mexico to get technical support in English from an expert in China. With English you can communicate with technicians and experts from the United States in order to help your company. You can also communicate with business people from other countries in the neutral language of English. Companies are also recognizing the value of English and now pay more for employees who can speak English. So even in your own country, speaking English can get you more cash!

Future Jobs

Knowing English will open the door to many new and exciting jobs in countries all over the world. As well, you will be able to obtain jobs in your own country because you can speak English. Your resume will be stronger because you are bilingual and have a knowledge of the English language. Your opportunities will be numerous when you can speak and read English.

Entertainment

Books

You will be able to read books written by American, British, and other English speaking authors without needing the translated copy. Many classic novels were written in English. Reading Shakespeare just isn’t the same in translation.

Magazines

Some of the most famous magazines in the world are in English, such as Time or even Cosmopolitan.

Movies

Learning English will allow you to watch movies in their original language. Hollywood movies are not as good with translations or subtitles. Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly why the latest Hollywood blockbuster won so many Oscars?

Music

When you learn English you can finally understand what your favourite song on the radio is saying. American and British music is some of the most popular in the world, and surprisingly some musicians still have something important to say in their lyrics.

Travel

Learning English will give you the ability to travel to English speaking countries like the United States, Canada, England, and Australia. As well, you will be able to communicate with other people in Europe, Asia, and all over the world. English is spoken in more than 100 countries and is often the only way to communicate in a foreign country. You would be surprised how many more people in Japan speak English than Spanish. Asking directions is simple when you can speak the language. Understanding the tour guide is another benefit of understanding English. Your whole vacation will open up before your eyes when you can understand the people and the things around you. With English you will be able to meet new people on your vacations. Likewise, you will no longer feel embarrassed trying to order that steak dinner in a fancy restaurant.

Satisfaction

There is a satisfaction that comes with learning a language. It will be very rewarding the first time you understand a movie in full, or read a book completely. Or what about helping an English speaking tourist find their way around your city? It is also very fun to tell your friends what exactly the new song on the radio is talking about.

Nothing is more satisfying than having a mistake-free conversation when traveling in an English speaking country. It will be a great moment when you walk away and say to yourself: Hey, I understood everything that guy said.


Source by David Boughton