How I Use the Grounding Technique for Panic Attacks [Mental Health Monday]

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: I am not a mental health professional. I speak about my own experiences with mental health but it should not be taken as medical advice. This is just a safe space for all to check in with one another. If you are having a hard time or have medical questions, please seek help through your doctor. Thank you.

Mental Health Monday: How I use the Grounding Technique for Panic Attacks | Mental Health Matters | Fight the Stigma | Mental Health | RachelPoli.com

Everyone experiences different levels of anxiety. It makes each of us feel a different way. One method of dealing with it may work for one person, but it may not work well with another.

With that said, I’m going to explain what I do to get myself through a panic attack. If you haven’t heard of this method, feel free to try it next time an attack hits you. I hope it helps.

When I first began having panic attacks, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I always just let it pass. Then my therapist told me about worry stones and I started carrying one of those around with me. I always hold and rub it whenever I get nervous or feel my anxiety coming. I also would find someplace cold. Sometimes I would sit on the bathroom floor, touching the tile or splash cold water on my face.

But then I heard about the grounding technique, where you “ground” yourself and, more or less, talk yourself out of a panic attack.

54321 grounding technique

The point of the grounding technique is to remind yourself of where you are and that you’re in a safe space based on your senses. The reason the numbers are part of it is to think of multiple things and also count backward in some way.

For example, think of five things that you can see, four things you touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

I don’t do it exactly in this way. As I said earlier, I typically will find a cold spot, which is usually the bathroom. There’s not much to hear, smell, or taste in there. So, I do the grounding technique but I just think about what I have in the room with me at present.

The way I do the grounding technique

I will do the grounding technique in a similar manner.

Usually, when I have a panic attack my vision fails me. So, I can’t actually see anything and if I move, I’ll most likely pass out. So, I imagine the room and where I am in general. For example, if I’m in my bathroom, I’m also in my house.

When I start to feel a panic attack coming on, I’ll splash some cold water on my face and if that doesn’t help, I sit down on the ground. With my worry stone in hand, I’ll close my eyes and begin reciting the grounding technique to myself.

I remind myself of where I am and that it’s a safe place. I’ll remind myself that my sister and parents are in the other room (or somewhere around the house), but the point is that I’m not alone. Sometimes I can hear them in the other room.

If I’m anywhere else, I’ll see if my dog or cat happens to be nearby and I’ll give them a pet, which, in addition to my worry stone, helps me with the “touch” sense.

It’s not too different from the 54321 method, but it helps me and I tend to get out of my attacks faster. I hope it helps you too.

Are there any methods you use to get out of panic attacks? Let me know in the comments below.

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Short Story Sunday: “Plain” [328]

Short Story Sunday: "Plain" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

It happened in plain sight. Yet, no one witnessed it. No one called it in until much later. It wasn’t until a random passer-by felt as though something was wrong and felt the need to call the police. When the police arrived to the scene, they were baffled. A dead body of a man lay in the middle of the park. The park was a common place where people brought their children, couples took a stroll, people walked their dogs and let them roam unleashed. It was a laid-back place for all the citizens to come and enjoy themselves and each other’s company.

So, why was there a dead body in the middle of the grass without anyone to notice how he got there, when, and why?

Detective Wright was called to the scene the moment the police had realized what happened. When he arrived, he didn’t know what to expect. All he knew was there was a dead body in the middle of the park.

“Are there signs of struggle?”

“No.”

“Can you tell what may have caused his death?”

“No.”

“Were there any witnesses?”

“No one has come forward.”

“What about the person who called it in?”

“They threw a ball for their dog and when the dog didn’t come back, they went looking for it. They found their dog sniffing around the body.”

Detective Wright was beside himself. The police who initially arrived on the scene were unable to answer any of his questions. Not that the detective expected them to know the straight facts of the incident right away. However, this was such an odd case that he wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it.

“Did you ask any of the other people around the park? Where is the witness with the dog?” the detective asked.

The officer shook his head. “We haven’t asked anyone else yet. We immediately called you and then called for the coroner to come. The man with the dog is in the parking lot discussing the matter with another officer.”

Detective Wright nodded. “Alight, I want to talk to him right away. I want to be the first to know when the coroner arrives too.”

“Of course,” the officer nodded his head.

The detective left the scene and made his way to the parking lot. He saw a police officer standing by a squad car talking to a short man holding onto a lap dog in his arms. He made his way over and listened in to the last bit of conversation between the officer and the witness.

“So, to clarify, you played fetch with your dog,” the officer said, “and each time the dog brought the ball back. Until you threw it in another direction and your dog disappeared behind some bushes and didn’t come back? You went looked for it and that’s when you found it sniffing around the body.”

“Yes,” the man replied. “I immediately scooped up my dog in my arms, picked up the ball, and walked away. I called the police as soon as I was able to. I had left my cell phone in my car.”

“You didn’t check to see if the man was still alive at all?”

He shook his head. “He laid on his back with his eyes staring up at the sky unblinking. He wasn’t phased at all by my dog sniffing him. I assumed him to be dead or else I’m sure he would have reacted to my dog. Besides, I’ve seen those criminal shows. I know enough not to touch anything at a crime scene, especially a dead body.”

The officer nodded and wrote something down in his notepad.

Detective Wright stepped forward and reached out his hand to the witness. “Detective Ethan Wright. I take it you’re the man who discovered the body?”

The witness shook his hand in return with a nod. “James Hudson, yes. I found the body. Well, my dog did, I guess.”

“Please explain everything in detail to me. What time did you get here and around what time did you discover the body?”

“I arrived at the park with my pup around ten o’clock this morning. It was just about 10:20 or so when I threw the ball and my dog didn’t come back. It didn’t take me long to find him, of course. He didn’t go too far. So I guess I found the body around 10:20? It took me about five minutes or so to make it back to my car so I called the police around 10:25 or 10:30, I believe,” James explained.

“Did you happen to smell any odor?” Detective Wright asked.

“Like what?”

“Like a dead body?”

James shook his head. “I mean, it’s springtime and there’s a light breeze in the air. I didn’t smell anything except freshly mowed grass.”

Detective Wright narrowed his eyes. James took a step back.

“I’m sorry, did I say something wrong?” the witness wondered aloud.

“No, not at all. In fact, you said something that may help this case,” Detective Wright turned to the officer. “Go check when the lawn care is for the park, please. I want to know when the last time it was taken care of. Surely, if someone mowed the lawn, they would have noticed a body lying in the middle of the grass. Depending on when the time of death occurred, of course.”

The officer nodded and turned away to carry out his orders.

Detective Wright turned back to his witness. “Did that officer take your name, address, and phone number?”

“Yes,”

“Great. Don’t leave town,” Detective Wright turned away.

“Am I a suspect?” James asked.

“Not at the moment, no. However, we may need to get back in touch with you at some point to ask you any more questions. So, I would stay put if I were you,” The detective answered.

James nodded, looking nervous.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s just standard procedure,” Detective Wright said. “I would suggest you go home now though. We’re going to have to close off the park. Also, please don’t tell anyone about this. I’m not sure if this is ready to go public yet or not.”

James nodded again. He turned away with his dog and headed toward his car. Detective Wright saw him get in the car and drive away. He took note of the car make, color, and the license plate. He wanted to be better safe than sorry just in case. The detective didn’t see any reason to suspect James, but one could never be too careful.

As the witness left the lot, the coroner van pulled up. Detective Wright hadn’t had a chance to look at the body just yet and figured he could tag along with the coroner to inspect the scene before taking the body away.

As the detective waited for the coroner to get out of the van and gather her things, he wondered just what this case was going to have in store for him. It didn’t seem as though it was going to be an easy case. Then again, they never were.

I hope you enjoyed the story. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Please feel free to share this post.

You can take a look at more Short Stories here.

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The Sun Trail (Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, 1) by Erin Hunter [Book Review]

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I read the hardcover that I bought from Amazon. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

The Sun Trail (Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, 1) by Erin Hunter | Book Review | Book Blogger | Middle Grade | Fantasy | RachelPoli.com

Title: The Sun Trail
Author: Erin Hunter
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Series: Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, 1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 5, 2013

The Sun Trail by Erin Hunter is the first book in the prequel for the Warriors series, Dawn of the Clans. We go way back to when there was only a Tribe of cats living in the mountains. When they realize the mountains aren’t a suitable enough home for them anymore, half of the Tribe journeys to a new land.

This book surprised me with the amount of family drama. Gray Wing is the protagonist who stays behind and his brother, Clear Sky, goes on the journey. Jagged Peak, they’re younger brother from another litter, decides to venture out himself and Gray Wing goes after him. Together, they catch up to the journeying cats.

They run into trouble along the way, ultimately finding a new spot to live. Except, they can’t decide which area would be the most suitable for them.

I saw each of these cats showing traits of ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and ShadowClan, which was awesome. I can speculate how the cats will be divided – and I’m pretty sure ShadowClan is already in the works by the end of the book.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Warriors book and it was awesome to get back to it. No, it’s not the familiar characters I’m used to since this is a prequel, but it was written the same way and still entertaining. I’m getting attached to these cats and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

The Sun Trail (Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, 1) by Erin Hunter

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

The Sun Trail (Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, 1) by Erin Hunter is a great first book in another Warriors series. The characters are well-rounded and they’re facing similar problems at different times.

4.3

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The Merry Writer Podcast: Episode 048 is Here!

Which social media platform is the best for writers? | Ep. 048 | The Merry Writer Podcast | RachelPoli.com

The Merry Writer Podcast

The Merry Writer started as a hashtag game on Twitter and Instagram. Hosted by Ari Meghlen and myself, The Merry Writer Podcast is a fun, friendly show about all things writing and bookish. Join us as we ask all the “write” questions.

Episode 048: Which social media platform is the best for writers?

In this week’s episode, Ari and I discuss Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and which is the “best” for writers by comparing and contrasting the platforms. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag, #TheMerryWriterPodcast. Be sure to give it a listen through the YouTube video below or any of the links below. Enjoy!

New episodes are published every Wednesday at 10:00 am EST (2:00 pm BST). Please subscribe to the podcast so you can be notified when a new episode goes live. Also, give each episode a “like” wherever you enjoy tuning in. It’ll help the podcast grow and we’d really appreciate it!

Thanks for listening!

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Let me know your thoughts about the episode in the comments below so we can chat! Please feel free to share this post.

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Behind the Scenes by Joseph J. Allen [Book Review]

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I bought it on my Kindle for Indie Reader. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Behind the Scenes by Joseph J. Allen | Book Review | Nonfiction | How to | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Title: Behind the Scenes
Author: Joseph J. Allen
Genre: Nonfiction, Business

Series: Standalone
Publisher: eBooks2go
Publication Date: November 20, 2020

The movies are a fascinating concept. Despite the long list of names in the credits, you don’t realize just how much effort and work is put into a single movie, TV show, or commercial by an enormous team. Behind the Scenes by Joseph J. Allen gives a good example of that.

This book is catered to freelancers who want to get their foot in the door to the film industry. It’s a short read, under 100 pages, and there is some great information included such as discussing safety on set, terminology, equipment used, and more.

However, the information felt rushed. Readers will learn a lot from this book but the short length didn’t give me much time to process it, going from one chapter to the next.

If you’re interested in the film industry, then give this book a short – you will get something out of it. Just remember that this book is best suited for beginners.

The Last Lumenian by S.G. Blaise

Conclusion

Information
Writing Style

Overall

Behind the Scenes: How to Survive in the Movie Business as a Freelance Film Technician by Joseph J. Allen is a good start to get your foot in the door and learn some tricks about the movie industry.

3

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it.

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