Author Archives: Theodore

Theodore created PracticalPsychology in his mother's basement after quitting university at age 19. From there, a dream was born to change lives by helping people understand how their brain works. By applying practical psychological principles to our lives, we can get a jumpstart on the path of self-improvement. 1,500,000 Youtube subscribers later, and that dream continues strong!


Psychologically Reduce Panic Attack Symptoms – How To Get Rid of Anxiety

Hey guys it’s practical psychology here and today I’m going to talk about something I’ve dealt with in the past and give you a few tips of personal experience that will help you reduce your anxiety, specifically panic attacks.

Think of something that makes you happy

Think good thoughts. Now I know this tip is very generic, but it works. The next tips will be more specialized, so keep watching. Basically just start thinking or imagining something that makes you happy. Whether that be a special place, a super amazing desert, or someone in your life. Start thinking about the thing, and if you have to, draw it. Even if the drawing is bad, it will help your brain remember memories associated with it, and lead us to tip number 2.

Distract yourself

If you can, try to distract your mind. Focusing on the panic attack, your fidgeting, increased heart rate, and whatever may have caused the attack will only make it worse. Instead, try to distract yourself with something like a phone game, learning new facts online, or talking to someone. Change the environment from when the panic attack started, for example, if you were in a mall, try to go outside, if you were in a hotel room, go to the lobby, it will psychologically reset your mind and might affect the panic attack.

Pace – match muscles with heart rate (coping mechanism)

Here’s a psychological tip that you won’t find anywhere. So, for me, when I have a panic attack, my heart races and I feel super jittery. To combat this, I like to start pacing. Now, I know this is a general coping mechanism, but for me, it definitely reduced the anxiety I feel when I’m having an attack. I usually pace in a circle. My theory is that your heart is pumping all this extra blood and nutrients and hormones into your body, but it doesn’t need them. Well, give them a purpose. Start pacing, moving those muscles, pumping that blood and give your heart an outlet to beat fast. Make sure not to overdo it or you will actually raise your heartbeat even higher.

at balanced meals

Eating a healthy meal and staying nutritionally healthy is vitally important to reducing stress in general, but it will also reduce the severity of your panic attacks. I highly recommend consulting a professional physician to get great information about what to eat and when to eat it. As a baseline, I suggest having one large protein source a day, such as steak, hamburger, peanut butter, or pork chops. Also, eating the correct amount of vegetables and fruits is super important in regulating many hormones and chemicals in your brain and body that are responsible for potential panic attacks. Every body is different, so every nutritional plan will be different.

Exercise daily

Exercising once a day for at least 30 minutes helps many people, and can actually start to reduce the total number of attacks per week. You can do cardio, calisthenics, or heavy weightlifting, as long as your heart rate was up, you’ll gain benefits. Obviously, each different type of exercise will work your muscles and brain differently, but there are plenty of studies an increased heart rate, as well as hypertrophy can lead to lower blood pressure levels in the long run and eventually reduced negative stress. I highly suggest a 30 minute jog in the morning, it’ll wake you up and get you ready for the day.

Breath deep

Now, I know some people don’t have the patience or time to meditate properly, but all you have to do is breathe deep. The cool thing is this is actually an active and passive way to reduce anxiety attacks. Breath in for 4 seconds, wait 4 seconds, breath out for 4 seconds, wait another 4 seconds. If you do this many times a day, eventually it will help reduce the total amount of panic attacks, or at least has in my life. As well as, doing this exercise during a panic attack will shorten the length of it and help ground you.

Talk to someone who is emotionally smart

When you are having a panic attack, make sure you have someone who loves you, and is patient enough to help you and talk you through the panic. This could be anyone, a friend, girlfriend, parents, or even a brother. Someone in your life that you trust and has the emotional intelligence to say the right things that calm you down, for most, this is someone you have an attachment with. When you do this, your brain will start focusing on the conversation and not what started the anxiety attack. Make sure you find someone who will do this for you, and you’ll be very grateful in the long run. Try to talk with them before, and make sure they understand that it could be midnight or 5Pm when you have one, and it could last from 5 minutes to half an hour.

Get in routine, make a schedule, something to expect

When you get in a routine, your brain automatically starts to expect things. You can start to establish psychological comfort when you have safety in your environment. For many of those with PTSD, any reminders of previous trauma or the environment of it, can induce an attack. I suggest getting in a routine and setting apart certain blocks of the day for certain things. For me, 6AM is used for waking up, taking a shower, and drinking coffee. Try to bookend your days, making sure the first hour and last hour are almost the same every night and automated. This will also give you double comfort and help reduce total panic attacks. Sometimes just having a chaotic or new environment is enough to cause increased anxiety.

Cut back caffeine

In fact, many of your panic attacks could be onset by high caffeine levels. So when you drink any caffeinated drink, the chemical compounds tell your adrenal gland to literally release adrenaline, which is what happens when you have a panic attack. I highly suggest not having any caffeine up to 8 hours before you go to bed, and it would be best if you could have 12 hours before going to sleep. The half life of caffeine is 6 hours, which would reduce the potency in your body to 25%. For this exact reason, I only drink coffee first thing when I wake up. I do know that cutting a caffeine addiction is difficult, and upon enough comments, I may make a video with tips on how I went from caffeine all day to just in the morning.

Talk to a doctor, medicine?

Sometimes Anxiety and stress problems can be caused by internal sources, stuff that is indirectly related to your environment. Stuff like chemicals in your brain that you can’t control. When this happens, you will need to talk to a specialized doctor who may recommend a certain medication to help with this problem. They may also have more tailored tips or exercises for you to take that are better than those listed in this video.

I hope you guys enjoyed this video, and if you learned something, please click the like button. If you want more videos like this, subscribe, thanks for watching!

7 Psychological Money Saving Tricks – How to Save More Money Each Month!

Learning how to save money can be hard if you weren’t taught any great habits when you were younger. Spending money is a major factor that is affected by how our mind works, and knowing the psychology tricks behind this puts you a step ahead in the money saving game. I’m going to give you 7 psychological tricks you can apply in your life to save more money each month. When you go out to eat somewhere, or buy groceries, or just to buy things, try to use cold hard cash instead of a debit card or check. When using cash, you have an emotional attachment to the physical material paper. I also recommend setting up a savings account and having at least 5% of your earnings go directly to that account.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” was said by the famous Peter Drucker, and it’s true. I started a monthly balance sheet around 6 months ago and it’s amazing to see where your money goes once you start managing it. Creating a budget and sticking to it can be difficult as first, but as you practice and stay persistent, that bank account will continue to grow each month.

1) Cash

So this is a big one. When you go out to eat somewhere, or buy groceries, or just to buy things, try to use cold hard cash instead of a debit card or check. When using cash, you have an emotional attachment to the physical material paper. It’s actually more painful to hand some cashier 8 $20 bill than it is to swipe a card, simply because it feels like you’re giving less when you swipe a card. Try to keep cash on you and limit that swiping. Bonus points if you only carry 100’s with you. Who’s going to break a clean crisp $100 bill for some gas station candy or milk at the grocery store? I know I wouldn’t.

2) Automatic deductions

This is an amazing tip because you can set it up to not even know the money is being taking out. Wherever you work, most places have the option to take a percentage or a certain amount out of your paycheck and to add it to a separate account. Do this and send the money straight to a savings account you can’t withdrawal from. After many years, and yes, becoming rich does take time, if there’s interest, you’ll have a ton of value from that simple $100 a month going into a savings account.

3) Monthly statement

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” was said by the famous Peter Drucker, and it’s true. I started a monthly balance sheet around 6 months ago and it’s amazing to see where your money goes once you start managing it. I spend wayyy more money on little things like food and small gifts than I thought I did. Here’s how I do it, and I recommend you try it too. I write expenses on the top and add in my monthly payments like phone bill, rent, videoscribe, automatic savings deductions, loan payment, and other personal things I pay along with the date they are deducted. Below that I leave space for extra unpredictable things, like gas, or fast food, and even stuff like movie rentals and clothes. Right under that, I write my income. This is usually a pretty small space since I don’t have very many income sources at the moment. At the end of the month, you add up total expenses and income and add up your monthly profit or deficit. It definitely helps knowing that if you spend $8 on some food that you’ll have to write it down and that little things add up. Try it and it WILL help.

4) Avoid advertising

This is kind of a passive tip to save money, but try to avoid general advertising. This will reduce your likelihood of impulse buying stuff like an extra pack of gum at the cashier stand or that super awesome coffee cup that doesn’t tip over you think you need. Reducing exposure to this type of content will reduce what you think you need.

5) Now vs later

Have you ever thought you were super hungry at some point in your life? I bet if you drank a glass of cold water and waited 5 minutes, your temporary starvation feeling will subside. It’s super easy to trick our brain we need something NOW, and it takes practice to cultivate delayed gratification. You can do the same principle as food with your money. Instead of buying that super cool tech toy, wait a month and see if you still want it as bad. Chances are something new will come out that’s better or some other area you’ll notice that will be a better investment. Try to delay the things you spend your money on and you’ll notice extra money in your bank account each month!

6) Prices into hours

What I mean by this is to psychologically trick yourself into converting that $50 shirt into how many hours you would have to work for it. Would you go to work for 5 hours for that shirt? Probably not. Would you work half an hour for a burger? Yeah. What about working an entire week for a new TV? This goes into value investing and will help you and your brain understand the value of what you’re buying and the opportunity cost of what you’re buying.

7) Increase income instead of reduce expenses

So the last tip to save money is a mentality shift. If you’re saving money because you want to buy something, you the best advice I can give you is to focus more on how you can increase your income. Simply focusing on how you can make more money will help dramatically more than focusing on reducing your expenses. Back to that balance statement, beefing up that income spot by $300 a month will be way easier than cutting my phone, insurance, gas and a couple other leisure items. I bet you have a couple hours in your life to spend working a bit more, if not at the company you’re employed at, working on your own life by starting a business or investing in your thoughts by reading.

That’s it guys, those were 7 psychological tips you can take to save more money in your life right now! I hope you guys enjoyed this video and learned something, if this video added value to your life, click the like button below to support my channel and subscribe if you want more. Thanks for watching!


8 Psychological Study Tips – How to Study More Material and Learn Quicker

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter for a test? Or gone into your room to study and just felt lost on some of the questions? There are times where we just do not study or learn correctly and we have to improve on that. It feels good to automatically know the answer to questions and even better to get a high grade in a challenging class. I went through most of my high school career just absorbing the information without having to study at all, but now that I’m in college, I have to prepare and actually work on my own time to earn my grades. Today we’ll be going over 8 psychological study tips to help you study more and learn quicker.

Tip #1: Use Different Media
Just as many of you watch my animated videos on book reviews rather than just reading the book, you should be using different methods of studying. You might have no motivation to read the book, and have slower reading skills, and watching a video with the same information will help you immensely more. A study in 2008 states that “The more regions of the brain that store data about a subject, the more interconnection there is. This redundancy means students will have
more opportunities to pull up all of those related bits of data from their multiple storage areas in response to a single cue.” There are many ways that you can use this key. One very well known site is Khan Academy, where you can watch videos, complete practice questions, as well as ask people in the community about issues that you’ve had. A few other examples of switching your study methods are: flashcards, YouTube videos, audio exercises, apps such as Quizlet, as well as just studying with friends at a library or over Skype.

Tip #2: Spread Studying Over Time
Many students cram on the last day, and if you’re watching this video while cramming, then you can still use this, just less efficiently than if you had planned better. Planning is a key component of life, and can be applied here. If you have a test Friday, and it’s currently Monday, then spread the studying over those 5 days. You will have much less stress, much less work each day, and will actually remember it better because each day you are only working on a certain sector of the chapter, leaving more room for focus. It might seem counter intuitive, but for most people you’ll be better off study a chapter a day instead of 5 chapters all at once. Be self-aware though, you could be in the slight category where this doesn’t work, you just have to know how you learn best. The same idea applies for essays. Instead of writing it all in one day and staying up until 3AM, each day of the week write one paragraph, and instead of 3 hours in one day, you get it done with 30 minutes a day and a higher grade.

Tip #3: Connect What You’re Leaning with Something You Know
This is a key tip. Whenever I had related an idea in class to something outside of school, I would remember it because I knew it actually applied to my life, rather than being something trivial that wouldn’t amount to anything in real life. For instance, in biology we were learning that energy could never be created or destroyed, but could be transferred or changed from one form to another. I had just finished reading a book on how any obstacle can be turned into an advantage, so negative energy was actually a good thing because you actually have something that you can convert into positive energy, so the same idea held true here where you can’t destroy negative energy, but you can use it for something productive. An example is if you are angry, it’s good you have the energy, and you can use it to workout, per say. Many ideas in science, history, English and math apply in real life situations. Think about how history repeats itself, or how you can use the English language to communicate more effectively as a leader, or even if you own a business, how you have to be good with numbers to succeed. Another interesting, yet useful example is to use any form of connection possible. For example, my brother was studying for his states and capital tests in 5th grade. I taught him that Florida looked like a… well, a tallywacker. I then told him what tallywacker meant, and he connected the tallywacker idea to Tallahassee and to this day he still remembers what the capital is. It doesn’t matter if it’s politically incorrect or crude or whatever, if it works, it works, and that’s what will get you a good grade on the test. Just, uhh… don’t write tallywacker as the capital for Florida.

How to study better tips

Tip #4: Test Yourself
This is self-explanatory. If you quiz yourself and you do well, the confidence will lead to a higher grade and will also show you where you need to improve. There are many ways to do this, one of which is searching up practice tests online, looking at questions in textbooks, as well as quizzing yourself with friends. There is no excuse to not do this as there are so many resources on the internet. Using this, you will see what you are strong at and won’t waste time studying the things you already Know. Again, quizlet is a great site to visit for this in a pinch. Also, typing in the initial questions and answers will greatly help.

Tip #5: Get Sleep
I get it, if you’re cramming right now or have pulled all-nighters in the past, then it may pay off once in a while. However, as a general rule of thumb you want to be getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night to function properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep your IQ actually drops if tested as you are not able to think as quickly, and your mental age drops. This can snowball into more stress, lower grades, and even less sleep in the future. If you sleep 4 hours a night consistently you will burn out. It not only leads to being miserable, which is horrible in this short life, but also to gaining fat and becoming less and less energetic. There’s rumors Einstein slept 10 hours a day, and had day-time naps as well, showing that even a genius needs sleep.

Tip #6: Sit at the Front
Those that sit in the front almost always get higher grades than those in the back. In some classes where you are seated alphabetically you can ask to sit in the front because “you can’t see very well.” It may be the stereotype that the worse students sit in the back or just the fact that it’s harder to concentrate when you’re not being watched by the teacher, however if you want to use statistics to your advantage, pick a seat in the front. If this is not possible for some reason(which is very rarely the case), then listen closer in class. This is more important than studying in many subjects as the teacher is the one who makes the tests, and will give tips inadvertently or purposefully, allow you to know what is important to know for the test and what is not. Asking the teacher questions throughout class will also raise your learning retention rate.

Tip #7: Use Study Breaks
For me, studying gets unproductive if I try to focus for too long, which is why cramming is ineffective after a while. You have to take breaks. What I like to do is break my work into chunks. For instance, if I have to read 20 pages of a textbook one night, then I will break that into chunks of 5 pages each, focus intensely, and then take a 5 minute break in between each chunk. This allows me to enjoy the process and not see it as a daunting task of reading 20 pages in one sitting, unless the reading captures my attention and I can’t put it down. It has been proven that after about 45 minutes your focus will begin to decline, but after a 5 minute break for walking, stretching, or watching an entertaining YouTube video, you will have enough energy for another 45 minutes of studying. If you want a more scientific approach to this method, check out the Pomodoro technique.

Tip #8: Workout
This is more of a lifestyle tip, however your entire lifestyle is more important than one test. Similar to sleeping, exercise gives you energy to enjoy life. I’d rather enjoy life and do well for the most part, possibly messing up on one test rather than cramming for a test, feeling drained for the next few days, and not having good habits. Working out makes you feel good about yourself. I’m not saying that unhealthy people are bad people, however if you want to do well in dating, social situations, and have more confidence, then having a fit body will help dramatically.

Now that you have those 8 tips for studying and learning more effectively, the key is to apply them to your life one at a time, and not only your grades, but your lifestyle will change for the better as well.

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