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When we do not understand how to effectively deal with anger, we often choose coping methods that are harmful.
Here are some unhealthy ways of coping with anger:
Kim and Jack have been married for six years. While they’ve always gotten along, enjoyed each other’s company, and have had few big arguments, for the last few months they have simply been snipping and snapping at each other about admittedly little things. They both agree it’s time to call a truce, to lower the temperature. And so, they do—they each work hard to bite their tongues, and tamper down their feelings. Essentially, they both are walking on eggshells.
The concept of self-care has been receiving some backlash lately, but that's largely based on a misunderstanding of what self-care is. Let's dispel some negative stereotypes about self-care. If you think of self-care as indulgent or selfish, you’re thinking about it wrong.
We tend to have a narrow definition of self-care. We think self-care means engaging in healthy habits: getting enough sleep, eating nutrient-rich foods, meditating, and moving our bodies.
Or we see self-care as synonymous with pampering and little luxuries: massages, manicures, long baths, shopping trips, soft pajamas, mid-day naps, fancy face masks and creams, beautiful flowers.
Or we think self-care is taking breaks and savoring solo time. Or we think self-care is all about saying no. Or we think self-care is anything that relaxes and soothes us.
Sadness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of unhappiness and low mood. It is considered one of the basic human emotions. It is a normal response to situations that are upsetting, painful, or disappointing. Sometimes these feelings can feel more intense, while in other cases they might be fairly mild.
Panic attacks are scary to experience and scary to observe. Far more extreme than feeling “panicky,” a real panic attack is when someone experiences sudden, intense physical symptoms — racing heart, sweating, shaking, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea. The individual interprets these symptoms to mean something is terribly wrong. People often believe they’re dying or “going crazy.” It is not uncommon for people to go to the emergency room for fear they are having a heart attack or another medical emergency.
Hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, we were already complaining about “mask fatigue” by June.[i] True, masks that are too thick or too tight can interfere with breathing, causing both discomfort and anxiety, and heavy-duty masks like N95s can be downright painful. Not to mention the practical difficulties, such as navigating your way through crowded store aisles with fogged eyeglasses if you don’t wear your mask low enough on your nose, and the laborious practice of sanitizing them. But despite the downsides of complying with mask mandates, research indicates that masks might actually improve our mood.
As mental health professionals, we are always concerned about the risk of suicide with depression. As a nation, we acknowledge this week as National Suicide Prevention Week to spotlight the importance of prevention. Given the stressors modern life presents to all of us, awareness of this vital mental health issue is now, more than ever, important for us to discuss.