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Why Writing A Personal Essay Is An Emotional Roller Coaster

Why Writing A Personal Essay Is An Emotional Roller Coaster

With the ability to post anything online, more and more people are starting to write personal essays. Some of them are being published on big sites, which opens their window to millions of people. People across the world can read your essay, hear what you have to say, and judge you. This last factor is the one which adds a strong emotional element to writing a personal essay.

If you belong to Generation Y, you are already familiar with the way people judge you and your actions and how they say you “just want attention.” It’s common for people who read articles online to judge the writer for what he or she says, and when the article they are reading is personal, there is a lot of emotion involved. Sharing your personal thoughts and feelings with the world is scary, and can even be traumatizing in some cases. It’s like you’ve returned to high school and all those mean kids are still there to judge you and shame you — only now you are an adult and the world is judging you.

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Are people who write personal essays in need of attention? Perhaps, but the real reason they write is to be heard! I am sure I speak on behalf of most people who write personal essays when I say we want to draw attention to facts, not to ourselves. Sharing a very personal story is hard, but when someone decides to do this, it’s always for a good reason, not just for attention on themselves.

Celebrities often use their own notoriety to speak their minds about the latest news or events. Take for example J.K. Rowling’s Brexit essay, or Chelsea Handler, who stood up and spoke about her abortion at 16 years of age. Because celebrities do this frequently, people see them as influencers, but when the girl next door shares her own experience, she might be taken as someone who is trying to draw attention to herself. This might be due to the fact we are used to celebrities drawing attention to themselves, so when someone does something a celebrity usually does, the first instinct is to think they are in need of attention.

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A personal essay refers to one’s life — a real person went through situations which left a mark on them. When the mark is deep, you feel the need to speak up and tell others about your experience. For example, if you had an abortion in your teens, you will feel the need to share your experience so that other teens will read and think twice before taking the next step. But you always have to accept the fact your essay will stir up mixed emotions and will turn you into a target for bullying and tough criticism. Readers will perceive your writings in millions of ways. They will often forget that it’s your own life they are judging. You have to accept this before even writing the first word of your essay.

With a personal essay, you want to stir up reactions. So, even if you receive negative feedback, you should be proud of your accomplishments. Many people can write an essay, but few can ignite passions and emotions in their readers, so when you see that your article triggers comments, you need to be proud of yourself. For a reader to take his or her time to comment on an article, they need to be touched by that article to the core — which is not an easy thing. Be glad when you are able to touch people in this way because it means they heard you. They read your article and learned about your experience. Regardless if they want it or not, a piece of your life will stick with them forever, influencing them in a teeny tiny way.

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Writers, keep writing, and readers, keep commenting on our articles so we can get inspired!

Featured photo credit: dawolf/Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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