Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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Other techniques, some incorporated with CBT, include relaxation, breathing, imagery, problem solving, communication strategies and interpersonal skill training. The goal of anger management therapy isn’t to suppress feelings of anger but to understand the message or meaning behind the anger and to learn healthy ways to deal with it.

There are several things you can do to more effectively handle anger:

•  Recognize anger warning signs – Anger can trigger the body’s “fight-or-flight” response. Notice how your body feels: knotted stomach, clenched fists or jaw, tense muscles, pounding heart.

•  Recognize the feelings behind your anger – Ask yourself what initiated the angry feeling. Identify what triggers your anger and avoid those situations if possible.

•  Think before you speak – Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything.

•  Wait until you calm down to express your anger – Once you are thinking clearly, express your frustration in a firm, assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly without being hurtful. Use “I” statements. Be respectful and specific, such as saying, “I’m upset you left your socks on the floor” as opposed to “You never do any housework.” In this way, the other person will not feel blamed, criticized or defensive, allowing him or her to better hear what you have to say and understand how you feel.

•  Evaluate the situation – Ask yourself, “Is this really worth getting worked up over?”

•  Identify solutions – Focus on ending the cause of the anger rather than on what is making you angry.

•  Incorporate daily techniques for anger management – Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Take short breaks throughout the day; this quiet time will energize and restore you so you are better able to handle whatever comes your way. Develop relaxation practices such as breathing exercises, imagining a relaxing scene, repeating a calming word or phrase, stretching, listening to music, writing in a journal or working on a hobby.

If you’re dealing with a loved one who has anger issues, be sure to take care of yourself. Set clear boundaries about what you will and will not tolerate. Wait for a time when you are both calm to talk to your loved one about the anger problem – don’t bring it up when either of you are already angry. Remove yourself from the situation if your loved one does not calm down. Consider counseling or therapy if you have a hard time standing up for yourself. Put your safety first. If you feel unsafe or threatened in any way, get away from your loved one.

Anger is a common emotion everyone experiences. “Anyone can become angry; that is easy,” Aristotle wrote. “But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way … that is not easy.”

In most situations, it’s clear why people become angry, but other times, anger stems from an underlying feeling of fear, vulnerability or powerlessness. It can also be a defense mechanism against feeling hurt. Anger, like any other emotion, conveys a message – a warning that a situation is upsetting, unjust or threatening. But when your automatic reaction is to explode, you will never know the meaning behind your anger.

Experiencing and expressing anger can be difficult for everyone, but for some people, it can make their lives and relationships unmanageable. “We all experience anger,” wrote Raymond W. Novaco, a pioneer in the field of anger management therapy. “Anger only becomes a serious concern when an individual is angry too frequently, too intensely and for too long.”

Anger issues can have many causes. They can result from alcohol or drug abuse, biochemical changes in the brain, mental disabilities, a traumatic brain injury or PTSD. Frequent migraines can also cause angry outbursts. Anger can result from psychosocial issues, such as poverty, poor social or family circumstances, abuse or a simple lack of the



Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

skill sets needed for dealing with emotions. Anger can be a part of a larger psychological issue such as anxiety or depression. Prolonged bouts of anger or intense anger can cause physical problems – headaches, digestive problems, diabetes, a weakened immune system, insomnia, high blood pressure and heart disease. Chronic anger consumes a lot of mental energy and clouds your thinking, making it harder to concentrate. Anger can lead to stress, depression and other mental health issues.

Three clear signs of an anger management problem are having a hard time compromising; having trouble expressing any other emotion than anger; and viewing different opinions as a personal challenge. If you constantly feel frustrated no matter what you try; if your temper causes problems at work or in your relationships; if you have gotten into trouble with the law due to your anger; or if your anger has led to physical violence, seek professional counseling.

Psychotherapy to address anger management began in the 1970s. Novaco modified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques for anxiety to better suit anger management. CBT remains a popular method of anger management. Other