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Tuesday Musings – Anxiety in Men and Women and How they Differ

stress

 

Before we begin, let’s just all take a breath. A deep one.

Ok, we ready?

Anxiety sucks. For anyone that has ever experienced it knows─ it is the worst.

From panic attacks to full-blown panic disorders many people in the U.S. (and in the West in general) suffer from this. It affects their daily life, and their long-term life.

It’s so prevalent in our society that many people affected by it are shown to take more time off of work, are far less social, and are less likely to finish school. Think about how that impacts their quality of life. 

Could you imagine waking up, your heart pounding for no reason as you lay in bed? Everything feels off. I mean, really off. Like at any moment, the world would explode around you and you just want to run away. But, you can’t. You are stuck in your own skin, feeling this miserably-awful gut-wrenching fear and that you are not ok.

Your skin is clammy, your fingertips like ice.

Your chest is tight and your heart just won’t stop beating like you’ve run a marathon, both ways, uphill in the snow.

It gets better. Many people that have crippling anxiety also win the genetic lottery with depression. Oh yeah, this girl right here knows.

Party at Grey’s place, wut wut

While mine stems from my childhood and early adulthood trauma (yay PTSD) many more are affected by this in some form or fashion. Women are two to three times more likely to suffer from anxiety than men. Why is this, I’ve wondered?

Well, there is some debate to this but many people believe it is due to girls and women experiencing trauma earlier in life. That, or if it is possible that it is inherently increased in women.

Oh great, thanks ancestors.

Another fun thing our brain tends to do is process serotonin release slower than our male counterparts. 

While we all laugh it up and drown our sorrows in wine and other recreational drugs

Molly-Percocet

Let’s be real.

Women tend to ruminate and medicate to cope while dudes get physical. Curiously enough, men also have the positive side of their brain light up when they are under pressure. Damn, I wish my brain got overloaded with serotonin and cortisol.

Ladies, we can learn from this. One of the biggest challenges I faced when going through treatment was to shut that shit down. My brain tends to do this thing where it loops all the bad things on repeat.

Oh, you don’t like that? It used to taunt.

Let’s turn this shit up to you crying in the shower for thirty minutes to end your day.

Yeah. My life was hell for the better part of fifteen years emotionally. I still get bouts of it, but I’ve learned a super secret technique I’m going to share with you:

It’s called keeping yourself busy, mentally and physically.

Get real physical guuurl. Because thinking is the devil.

No, not in an unhealthy way. Clearly if you have issues that you need to go talk to a professional about do that along with this. However, several studies have shown that as Westerners, we have way too much idle time and we also suffer from more anxiety and depression than those in other countries. I think if I had to work my fingers to the bone every day, I’d probably collapse in bed in a heap of exhaustion and not have time to focus on all my mental hang-ups.

Except─ hold on, I have.

This year, I quit my full-time job to help run a company. On top of all that, I write and stream. I started noticing something I never had happen before. My anxiety was easing because I felt like I had purpose─ which gave me drive. Something I haven’t experienced in a long time. My depression and anxiety have always centered around feeling worthless and that I didn’t feel accomplished at the end of the day.

It was something I always lacked because I had the same facts drilled in my head every day of my childhood:

you aren’t good enough, you never will be, you’re useless, you’re pathetic. 

It all goes on.

So, while our hormones react differently (and different centers of our brain light up during stress and anxiety) there are a few similarities between men and women with anxiety.

The major one that a lot of people report is the feeling of impending doom (yay flight center of the brain!) shortness of breath, tight chest, and the feeling of discomfort in their own skin.

Unfortunately, having estrogen and progesterone kind of plays havoc on our brain-place. Ugh, as if women needed more added stress to their lives.

Don’t fear, ladies─ there is hope! With a healthy dose of physical activity, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and daily mindfulness and rest, you can combat the daily demons.

Numerous studies have shown that taking as little as two minutes up to twice a day of breathing exercises and mindfulness of stressors/triggers(TRIGGERED) you can lower your stress (and blood pressure) to a healthy level.

I use the breathing app in fitbit. Some people love Calm

There are many others, but I’ve heard good things about these. I know they help keep me stay on track, just like having a regular daily routine and lots of sleep. (but damn, sleep is important.)

I think we can all take a little time to appreciate the importance of ourselves, and others and value what we have to offer each other. I tip my hat to the guys on this one, so far it’s worked for me and maybe it can work for you too.

But hey, just my thoughts on a Tuesday.

Take care everyone and feel free to discuss below. I’m more than happy to share my own battles and victories with anxiety and depression.

Love yourselves,

❤ Grey

 

 

 

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Twitch Creative Streams and Updates

Every month, I’d like to start adding a poll so that you guys can vote on what you would like to see for my Twitch creative. You can find my polls on my Twitter account. I’ll try to keep the poll open for a few days so people have time to get in their say!

My Twitch gaming schedule is every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. CST and I have my other days sprinkled through when I can. Sunday’s, however, are set in stone and you can catch me each week on this day!

Just to let you all know, you can find my previous year’s audiobooks right here on my website, or on Soundcloud or YouTube. Those will be starting back up this year, along with my occasional Podcasts between conventions. I’m excited to announce that I will be attending a few conventions this year, and will be posting a schedule soon!

If you are a fan of my books, you can follow me on Amazon to catch updates as I release them each year. My sci-fi book is due for release sometime this year, and my book 3 in the Hell’s Gate Series is TBD. (updates coming soon)

Every once in a while, I just like to make these reminder posts for people that may have an interest in checking out my work stuffesses. 🙂

Btw, you can vote now on Twitter for my next creative stream!

Next up, is my keto recipe for keto cornbread stuffing! Have a great day, guys!

 

DM Guide: How to Enhance Your Players Game

You can watch my Livestream here:

 

Here are my links for everything I cover in the video:

 

Dungeon Map Making

https://sourceforge.net/projects/auto… AutoREALM (free) – This mapping resource is a simple but powerful map-maker, however, the maps it makes are still lovely and versatile!

http://pyromancers.com/dungeon-painte… Dungeon Painter (free) – This one I highly recommend. It is a battle-map maker. It is basically as simple as using Paint.Net, but comes loaded with resources.

Have a map made for you!

http://donjon.bin.sh/ Donjon RPG Tools (free) – This a great character generator, however, there are a mixture of tools for map generating as well.

http://www.gozzys.com/ Gozzy’s Cartographic Emporium (free) – Their multiple-map generators allow for the DM to have a lot more specific details he or she wants in a map.

http://www.mathemagician.net/index.php Mathemagician! (free) – Very user friendly and simple generator, can pretty much instantly populate tiny areas with however many beasties you desire. Great for when your group insists on stopping at that abandoned tower that you just mentioned in passing two minutes ago. -_-

https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… ProD&D (free) – Android app for the Dungeon Master who needs to generate creative dungeons and random terrains at the flick of a finger.

Podcasts:

http://dungeonmasterblock.podbean.com/ Dungeon Masters Block: A podcast that focuses on tips and information for Dungeons Masters, by Dungeon Masters.

Godsfall: https://soundcloud.com/godsfall – 5 Adventures in 5th ed custom campaign setting

DM Minion: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… A great way to track your party, your NPCs, your monsters, and initiative.

Neat Stuff to add to your campaigns:

Pazio’s Bestiary Boxes: http://paizo.com/products/btpy8tj5?Pa… are an excellent way to have tons of miniatures without straining your wallet.

https://www.onenote.com/ OneNote for notes for DM’s

http://adventurescents.com/front-page… Adventure Scents – Any scent you want made, or design your own scent for your dungeon adventures!

WEBSITES

http://fantasynamegenerators.com/ Fantasy Name Generators: Names for anything – NPCs, towns, your champions of justice, lands – all wonderfully presented.

Myth-Weavers: http://www.myth-weavers.com/ When you don’t want to label every town, here’s your generator.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/: The community is warm and welcoming; you’ll even find better storylines than you think you can come up with. All beautifully detailed! If you have any questions over the rules at all, post it – you’ll have answers within seconds.

Newbie DM: https://newbiedm.com/ An awesome resource for inexperienced DMs.

Sly Flourish: http://slyflourish.com/ The site has one agenda: building better Dungeon Masters. 🙂

Like what you saw? Suggestions? Add them below!