Finding The Cause For A Panic Disorder Is The First Step In Beating It

fcfpThere are cases when our friends and family can help us in facing anxiety or panic attacks. But if the panic disorder is so severe that friends and family can’t help, a person should consider finding other methods beside conversation or psychotherapy. Learning how to control panic attacks is huge. There are few very simple methods you can try the next time you feel bad. But do not wait for a panic attack; try to avoid it first.

Maybe you have some trauma that is causing you to feel the way you feel. Maybe you’ve been emotionally hurt in your life and never had the opportunity of solving the problem. If you know what is causing you panic disorder, then try to remove it from your life. If you had a trauma when you were a child, talk about that with your family or your therapist. Talking about what is bothering you can sometimes have good effects on your mind and inner self. Conversation is also a type of therapy and if you say loud something you have never shared with anyone before, that can be therapeutically for you. Try to remember your youth and childhood to see if you experienced some trauma.

Exercise And Let The Anxiety Go Away From Your Life

It is normal to be anxious when important exam has to be passed. Or when you’re preparing yourself for a blind date. That is completely natural and even good. But if you’re feeling anxious on a normal day, when nothing bad is happening in your life, that is an alarm that shows you that you need help. If you don’t feel like visiting doctors and want to solve the problem by yourself, follow these few tips on how to control anxiety. First of all, hang with nice people who love you and who have positive influence on you. Don’t worry, if they know about your problem.

If they care about you, they will help you. Ask them to exercise with you or to go climbing because sport activity will help your body to feel better. You will be healthy from the inside if you decide to make the exercising your regular physical activity. Going for a walk with a friend can do you more well than taking a pill. And if you practice this habit in the evening, you will be tired when you come home which means that you will fall asleep fast, which is also important when facing anxiety disorder.

How Surviving Shapes You

Five years ago, California State Senator Jackie Speier was a woman who hoped she’d left heartache behind. It had been a long journey: Deep scars on her back, leg, and arm marked her as a survivor of the 1978 ambush in Jonestown, Guyana, that killed U.S. Representative Leo Ryan and four others. It had taken ten operations to put Speier’s shattered right thigh back together; two years of physical therapy had restored only part of the function in her right arm.

Jackie Speier is a survivor!

Jackie Speier is a survivor!

Six years into a happy marriage, Speier had weathered a different sort of pain. Trying for a second child, she’d endured two miscarriages. Then she adopted–only to have her infant son taken away when his birth mother decided to reclaim him.

By 1994, Speier felt the sorrow lifting. With their son, Jackson, 5, she and husband Steven Sierra, a physician, had just moved into their “dream home” near San Francisco; three months into another pregnancy, she hoped to concentrate on what mattered most–her family.

On January 25, 1994, she was driving through a rainstorm, on the way to Sacramento, when the car phone rang. It was the San Mateo police, reporting that her husband’s car had been struck broadside by a driver who’d careened through a red light. Speier phoned the hospital and spoke to a surgeon who was a family friend. “I could tell in his voice,” she says, “that Steve wasn’t going to make it.” After a brief stop at the hospital, she picked up Jackson at school. In the intensive care unit, the two held Steve’s hand one last time.

 

“After Guyana,” Speier says now, “I used to think that everybody got their fair share of grief. After all the other things happened, I thought, There is no fair sham of grief. You’re given what you’re given. But it’s important not to forget that you can survive.”

On this sunny day, Speier is clad in a smart purple suit; she’s had her morning cuddle with Jackson, now 11, and Stephanie, 5, and left them with the live-in sitter at their house in the suburb of Hillsborough. After finishing another long commute (a two-hour drive each way), she’ll be home to kiss them good night.

Though Speier sees herself as just another working mom, others regard her as a heroine. “People I’ve never met come up to me m say what an inspiration I am,” she confesses. “The fact that people gain strength from seeing I’m still standing–and still have a sense of humor–makes me feel good.”

 

How has she prevailed? “My faith has played an extraordinary role,” says Speier. “And friends and family helped; I found that you have to smother yourself with support. You have to persevere. I had a choice–to wallow or to forge ahead. I forged ahead.”

Raised in a blue-collar home, Speier learned to cope with obstacles early on. She and her brother had few extras–when she wanted to join Girl Scouts, there was no money for a uniform. Caught tip in “the sense of hope and action” that John F. Kennedy brought to the White House, she set her sights on a government career. “I had a dream that I wanted to be in the State Legislature,” she remembers. A scholarship student at University of California, Davis, Speier made it into Hastings College of Law in 1973. Law degree in hand, she joined Representative Ryan’s staff.

It was her commitment to public service that nearly cost Speier her life. A number of Peoples Temple cultists in Guyana had come from Ryan’s district, and he agreed in 1978 to investigate reports that they were being held against their will. That November, a party including Ryan and Speier interviewed cult leader Jim Jones at his Jonestown compound. When the two-day visit ended, several converts begged to leave with Ryan–a defection followed by the suicides, and murders, of more than 900 others.

 

The attack at the airstrip in Port Kaituma was swift and brutal: Hitmen opened fire while Ryan’s group was still on the tarmac. When five bullets tore into Speier, then 28, “I said a prayer,” she remembers, “and waited for the lights to go out.” Instead, she struggled through the night; the next day, she was barely alive when a Guyanese Air Force plane arrived.

 

At Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, DC, doctors found that her right leg was almost blown away, and that a bullet had damaged the radial nerve in her right arm. Two bullets are still lodged in her body, her arm aches constantly, and her leg will never look the same: “It took me a long while to feel comfortable in a bathing suit. But I didn’t want plastic surgery. I said, `No more–this is who I am.’”

That strength of spirit served her well; in 1980, Speier ran flit supervisor in San Mateo County and won. Soon after, her work brought her to Steve/He was on staff at the county hospital, and she was on a task force to evaluate evidence collection in rape cases. “On our first date,” she laughs, “he came m my house with an amazing bottle of wine–and a video of a mining session on examining rape victims.” Steve “had an extraordinary zest for life,” she says. “Everything was one hundred percent–he was absolutely optimistic, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. I just remember laughing a lot.”

 

She was 37 when they married, and Jackson arrived 11 months later. Two miscarriages followed, and she and Steve were thrilled to adopt a child in 1993. Ten days later came the awful phone call–their son’s birth mother had changed her mind. “It was very, very tough,” Speier says. “I felt like someone had torn my heart out.” (She has since helped to amend the state law that allowed birth mothers six months to reconsider–reducing the grace period to four months.)

Speier says that Steve’s love–and her faith in God–pulled her through. Together, they decided to focus on their blessings: “We took trips, we had fun–we didn’t put tiff spending time together,” she says. Her unexpected pregnancy with Stephanie “was such a gift,” Speier says. On the night before Steve died, Speier remembers, her husband and son presented her with a single rose.

For Speier, losing Steve was the cruelest blow. “His death,” she says, “was so much more profound than anything I’d gone through.” In the darkest days, friends flocked to her with advice, sympathy, and “about fifteen copies of the book Why Bad Things Happen to Good People,” Speier says, laughing. When Stephanie was born, “it was so bittersweet–a roomful of family and friends came to the hospital, and in the birthing room we had my favorite picture of Steve,” she says.

 

Like many other widows, Speier was forced to face harsh financial realities. “For all the preaching I did to women’s groups about being in charge of your money, I didn’t do it myself,” she says. “Steve had let his life insurance lapse, which forced me to sell our house to avoid financial disaster.”

Speier found lucrative private-sector jobs after she reached her State/Assembly term limit–one with an organization that helps find jobs for the disabled, and another as a vice-president of a media company. Last year, she ran for the State Senate–and captured 79 percent of the vote.

These days, keeping Steve’s memory alive for Jackson and Stephanie is tine of Speier’s most important missions; she sometimes cries herself to sleep because she knows how hard it is for them without their father. Over the years, she has created albums full of letters and photos of him, along with a video set to Steve’s favorite song, “What a Wonderful World.”

The Magic Of Fairytale Brownies

Mail order and brownies? Who would have thought? Eileen Joy Spitalny and partner David Kravetz did, and as the founders and owners of Fairytale Brownies, they gained big success selling brownies in the mail. It’s a classic rags to riches business.

By the end of 1993 both of them quit their day jobs. She had been selling television time and Kravetz, with a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford, was at Procter & Gamble. In 1994, Fairytale Brownies became a full-time effort.

They borrowed from the bank, invested personal savings and made the quantum leap. Even though Spitalny had concentrated on entrepreneurship classes at the University of Southern California, she found the real world a bit different from the classroom. There were a few “bumps” in the road, but they persevered. Today they have a “tasteful” and successful mail-order company selling freshly made brownies nationwide.

You can order a “Fairytale Brownie Year” with a 12-month package or order them by the dozen or the six dozen gift crate. Fairytale coffee mugs, T-shirts, baseball caps and aprons are also available. You can order gift certificates as well.

Brownie orders can be enhanced with Fairytale coffee, cocoa or tea. If unique packaging is desired, a keepsake wooden box, special wrapping or both are available.

There are 11 basic flavors of Fairytale Brownies, including Mint Chocolate, Raspberry Swirl, Toffee Crunch, Walnut and Espresso. During the holiday season you can order Candy Cane Brownies. You can mix or match in almost any combination desired.

Quality is an issue at Fairytale. A quote from the catalog reads:

“We take pride in baking our 39-year-old family recipe from scratch. We use only the purest, highest quality, all-natural ingredients. Made from imported Belgian chocolate, pure cane sugar, real creamery butter and farmfresh eggs, Fairytale Brownies are preservative-free and certified kosher.”

The aroma of baking brownies can be enjoyed by visiting the Fairytale Brownie bakery at the corner of 69th and Thomas in Scottsdale, AZ. Free samples are offered without asking and orders can be placed on the spot.

Orders can also be placed by telephone or fax. A five percent discount is given to those who order from the Web site (http://www.brownies.com). The size of the order does not matter.

All of these different methods of ordering are offered because Fairytale Brownies is in the mail-order business. They will take your order any way that works for you and will ship your order anywhere you want it to go.

You can also pay almost any way you want. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, money-order, check or cash are accepted. Billing can be arranged for major corporate orders.

Spitalny and Kravetz work hard to expand the local business. “The Valley of the Sun” (Greater Phoenix) is a winter holiday destination for tens of thousands from across the United States and Canada. By being visible locally they are really visible in many more communities.

Special events such as the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, the spring and fall versions of the Festival of the Arts and the Farmer’s Markets each find them on site selling and finding new customers.

Spitalny, being the marketing and sales director, works almost anywhere there are people. I first met her at a Phoenix Direct Marketing Club event where she was giving away brownies. In fact, every time I see her, she is giving away brownies! Her satchel is full of interesting and tasteful delights.

Yet, mail-order is a mainstay for repeat orders. It works, too! Once you get a taste of a Fairytale Brownie, you will be back for more.

The catalog grows and changes as they learn what works and what does not. Larger orders, mostly from businesses, are more common today, with volume discounts beginning with a $500 order. Earlier catalogs did not include the volume order discount option.

They have also enjoyed a tremendous increase in custom keepsake sales. This is another opportunity that was not previously flagged in the catalog.

They do stay in touch. Recently, looking for referrals from out-of-state winter visitors, they sent a simple “thank you” card to the top 100. Each package included a collection of eight brownies and six Fairytale brochures.

The card said, “…As a small token of our appreciation, please enjoy these complimentary brownies. We hope you will share some and pass along a brochure to friends who may be interested…Thanks for being part of our Fairytale!”

Wow, what a grand idea! Workable only because they have a database of customers. They know who purchased what, when and for how much. This is using knowledge about customers to its direct marketing best.

In between the now more frequent catalogs are simple two and three color post cards. Valentine’s Day and Easter, for example, are times when these cards are sent. Each card has a limited time offer appropriate for the season. These follow-up mailings keep customers coming back. I know because I am on the mailing list!

Every catalog carries the following quote: “In the wee hours of the night, the Fairytale Brownie gleams with delight. With his magic spoon in hand, he creates the greatest brownies in all of Fairyland.”

When I asked Spitalny about it, and the Fairytale name, she explained how she and Kravetz wanted a fun name that would be remembered. “My Mom’s Brownies” was tried. They were not happy with it so they did some research.

Looking up “brownies” in the dictionary, they discovered brownies bring happiness and delight. They like a little mystery and to surprise good people with good things. Spitalny and Kravetz felt this was undoubtedly a “fairy tale” – and the name Fairytale Brownies was born.

Spitalny also said they liked the idea of the name because if they worked it right, the “brownies” would come in the night and cook the brownies needed for the next day’s orders. Unfortunately, she reports, this has not yet happened!

What has happened is that they have been recognized across the country for their ultra-chocolaty, moist brownies.

The number one marketing priority for the next 12 months is to level the sales peaks and valleys. This is a tough nut to crack with a product that is so gift and special occasion oriented. To accomplish this Spitalny is targeting corporate accounts since they are usually the ones who give gifts all year.

The second marketing priority is to get the Fairytale product in other high end specialty catalogs. This obviously will increase the reach to those outside the immediate marketplace.

Ongoing plans include looking to the World Wide Web to increase their reach and sales. Today they administer their own site and frequently update it with seasonal sales pages. Interestingly, their site is updated with help from an ex-Fairytale baker. They turned him on to computers so much he quit baking. Now he works as a computer consultant and Web designer. Fairytale is one of his key clients.

Why Do People Snore And What Can Be Done To Prevent It?

Snoring is one of the most common sleeping problems. It happens when the air from your mouth and nose cannot move freely and this can be due to an obstruction in the passageway, or perhaps your airway is getting smaller. Factors such as age, body weight and nasal problems also have to be taken into consideration. You’ll probably want to check out several how to stop snoring tips here.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to overcome snoring. For one, you can cut down on heavy dinners as it difficult to breathe freely on a full stomach. Avoiding dairy products at dinnertime is also helpful to prevent snoring because some dairy products may cause allergic reactions to your air passageway. If you are overweight, shedding off unwanted pounds is also a good idea. Some thin people also snore, but when you are fat, the air tracks and pathways also becomes riddled with a fatty layer and could be a cause of snoring. Limiting alcohol intake is another great suggestion to minimize snoring. Alcohol relaxes the muscles, which makes it more likely for your tongue muscle to move back and obstruct the airways. If the snoring problem is really severe, you can use a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This machine provides air and allows the throat to remain open during the whole night so you do not snore.

Exercises to Stop Snoring

There are many things to do before you go to bed. For most non-snoring people, these activities include drinking milk or water, and performing a quick hand or body exercise. However, if you are snoring when sleeping, several things need to be addressed in order to stop snoring.

Heavy meals and coffee must be avoided before going to bed because it can block your airway by pushing on your diaphragm. Alcoholic beverages and sleeping pills must not be taken before bedtime because it relaxes throat muscles leading to narrowing of airway.

Take a decongestant if nasal congestion causes your snoring. If you have a cold or allergy, gargle a peppermint mouthwash to reduce lining of your nose and throat. Change your linens and remove dirty curtains to relieve nasal congestion. Buy nasal strips to increase airflow.

Several exercises have been recommended on how to stop snoring. Smile as often as you can and hold it for at least 10 seconds. Relax and keep smiling throughout the day. You may also try sticking out your tongue. Relax and repeat this exercise 10 times. Sing la-la-la and hold each la for 3 seconds, then repeat 5 times. This exercise strengthens your throat, thus no air blockage will occur. Here is a great stop snoring article.

Grilling Has Changed Markedly

Cleaner, more efficient and more expensive, propane-fired barbecues have passed charcoal models in popularity. It’s good news for retailers looking to do more with their outdoor living departments.

According to the Barbecue Industry Association, American consumers fired up their grills 2.7 billion times in 1995. When those consumers barbecued, more than half (55%) used liquid propane (LP) gas grills. In addition, says the Naperville, IL-based association, 55% of all grill owners say the next one they buy will be an LP gas grill.

What accounts for the popularity of gas grills? The association offers three reasons: timestrapped consumers want the immediate gratification that quick-starting gas grills provide; simplicity (no need for charcoal and lighter fluid); and consumer preference for large cooking surfaces, side burners, attached tables and storage drawers–all standard in todays upscale gas grills.

Grill buyers want quality

“We don’t carry lower-end gas grills,” says Thomas Nitz, vice president of Nitz True Value Hardware in Brookfield, WI. And it’s not just because the 16,000-sq-ft store is located in an upscale suburb of Milwaukee. “As the market matures, people are looking to get into better-quality grills. They want something that lasts longer and cooks more evenly. Gas grills with better options have taken off in the last two to three years.” They’ve taken off so much that gas outsells charcoal 10-to-one at Nitz True Value.

The average gas grill purchased at Nitz used to be between $400 and $500. Now that the store’s grills cost as much as $3,000, the average purchase price is $700. Barbecue Industry Association figures back up the store’s findings.

“Five years ago, people thought $299 was a lot of money to pay for a gas grill,” says Donna H. Myers, spokesperson for the Barbecue Industry Association. “Now, that’s your starting price point.”

Myers says features on gas grills have driven price points upward. Such features include side tables to season and slice, condiment caddies for sauces, bastes and butters, hooks to hang grilling utensils, md warming racks or side burners for delicate or slow-cooking food.

“Our best-selling gas grill has the ability to cook directly or indirectly,” says Fred Barnes, a buyer with Colonial Home and Garden Center in Evansville, IN. Grills have become one of this three-unit HWI member’s fastest-growing product categories, and its ratio of gas-to-charcoal grills is seven-to-three. “They use direct cooking for steaks, hamburgers and shish kebobs, and can slow roast a Cornish hen, turkey or ham. People like that capability of cooking large pieces of meat for longer periods of time.”

Better-quality gas grills have encouraged female consumers to join the ranks of this once male-dominated pastime. According to the Barbecue Industry Association, female heads of households were 57% more likely than men to make the decision to barbecue in 1995. Nitz True Value’s customer base supports that statistic.

“This business used to be a guy kind of thing, but now women are making more of the buying decisions,” says vice president, Nitz. “I think with the gas grills, it’s becoming similar to turning on a stove.”

Aesthetics are important

Convenience grilling options tell only part of the gas grill story. When consumers step up to quality gas grills, they want the aesthetics to reflect it. That’s evident at Bustleton Hardware in Northeast Philadelphia.

This 6,000-sq-ft Servistar store carries gas grills exclusively because, according to store manager, Lou France, “most people can afford $150 on lower-end gas grills.” The fact that stainless steel, cast iron and aluminum gas grills are rust-free is also an important selling feature. So is their size.

“We still sell a lot of small charcoal grills, but the bigger gas grill sales far outnumber them,” says Bob Andrews, general store manager for a Tampa, FL-based Scotty’s do-it-yourself home center. “Gas grills are bought by people who entertain large groups of people, or have extended families that host lots of social events.”

In the past three years, gas grill sales have risen sharply, while sales of charcoal grills have dropped significantly. Retailers expect the trend to continue, as second- and third-time consumers choose gas grills for their next purchase. Says Nitz of Nitz True Value, “People are just fed up with burning meals on charcoal grills.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Side-Dish Sales

Smart retailers expand barbecue season sales to include service and accessories that make grilling easier for customers. The result: one-stop shopping for consumers and repeat business for the retailer.

Propane-filling

As gas grill sales grow, so does the need to replace the liquid propane that powers them. The average propane gas grill owner purchases fuel every eight-and-a-half months, according to the Barbecue Industry Association. Add to that consumers who purchase propane for portable heaters, branding irons and car equipment, and providing propane tank filling begins to make sense.

Blue Rhino Corp. has capitalized on this growing market. More than 1,000 hardware stores and home centers now participate in the Winston-Salem, NC-based propane-supplier’s cylinder-exchange program, including The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears Hardware and Scotty’s. Once a retailer agrees to join the program, Blue Rhino meets with him to determine the tank display site, handles all regulatory work local authorities require for propane storage, sets up the entire display and assigns the retailer to a delivery route so tanks get replenished on a regular basis.

Assembly

“One of the things that people look for from us as an independent retailer is grill assembly,” says Fred Barnes, buyer for Colonial Home and Garden Center, an Evansville, IN-based HWI member. Doing so gives the three-unit dealer a leg up on big-box competition.

Colonial Home and Garden doesn’t charge for assembly, but does charge for delivery.

“(Some of) these grills are rather large and difficult to even get into a van,” says Barnes. “We charge a local delivery fee of $15.”

Bustleton Hardware of Northeast Philadelphia takes it a step further. Besides offering delivery as far away as the city’s western suburbs, the store makes house calls to repair grills.

“We try to carry every model available in terms of parts,” says Lou France, manager of the Servistar store. “We have a corner on the parts and grill business.”

Accessories

Among the grills displayed on the raised-brick, 15×15-ft patio at the front of Colonial Home and Garden Center are accessories that most every barbecue needs: hickory chips, grill brushes, cooking mitts, and other essentials. Most are bought from March to September, accompanying a primary grill purchase. Other accessories can influence off-season sales on their own merit.

When Colonial Garden Home and Garden Center sold lots of charcoal grills as gifts at Christmas time, accessories went just as fast.

“We sold everything from grill brushes and aprons to shish kebob skewers and tool sets,” says store buyer, Barnes. “It’s a very-round thing for us because we’re a year-round home and garden center.”

The increasing interest in grill accessories hasn’t been lost on manufacturers. Longtime cookware specialists including Ekco, known for its kitchen utensils, and Nordic Ware, which invented the Bundt Pan, have branched out into the grilling accessory business. They offer long-handled cooking utensils and specially designed grill cookware, respectively. Both show evidence of the growing importance of the grill accessory market for the home improvement retailer.