How do I tame anxiety?

by Angela Slade

In some cases, having anxiety requires medical intervention and/or treatment. However, here are some self-treatments one can do to tame anxiety. The first step is to identify your patterns. What specific triggers are linked to your anxiety? Notice what sets your anxiety in motion, and give it a name. Once you bring it into awareness, you can begin to make sense of it and then to address it. Second, write your specific worry down, and then develop a plan to address it. Tackle one or two worries at a time.

This task-oriented process can give you a feeling of satisfaction; more importantly, it makes you feel less vulnerable, more in control of your life. Third, don’t worry alone. In the absence of realistic feedback, we often can create some real doomsday scenarios. If something is troubling you, get the reassurance and validation you need. Consult someone you trust–a friend, family member, or a counsellor. Anxiety often diminishes when we share our worries. Finally, exercise can be one of the best self-treatments for anxiety. It doesn’t matter how you move your body— what does matter is that you get regular exercise. Even minor housecleaning, a few minutes of gardening, or some simple stretches can help tame anxiety.

How Do I Control Anger?

by Angela Slade

The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.

People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious ways to control anger. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Anger can be suppressed. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it, and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inward—on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression. Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.