Articles on anger

Six Simple Ways to Manage Your Anger

Ms. Pallavi Tomar, Psychologist
Anger is one of the most challenging emotions we experience and a lot of us struggle with. It is one of the most difficult to understand and manage. This post addresses simple techniques to better manage your anger and ways to facilitate a healthier way to respond to it. As discussed in my previous post, the concern is not with experiencing anger, it is with understanding what makes you anger, why it makes you angry and how you choose to respond to it. Anger management begins with understanding your anger and what makes you angry. To better understand your anger, refer to my earlier post  'Why Do You Get Angry and How Well Do You Manage It?'.Let’s look at what does and does not help us manage your anger better:Venting DOES NOT help, ever!: Screaming, shouting and reacting in the hope that venting will help us feel better is a myth! Venting your anger only worsens the emotional intensity and does nothing to help. In fact, it may cause more damage to an already difficult situation. Especially if you find it difficult to manage your anger, reacting to it only escalate the feeling and adds fuel to fire.Time Out: Learn to catch your early signs of getting angry. Some people may experience tensing of muscles, some may feel an increase in their body temperature, few others may experience their heart racing, some may find themselves get easily irritable etc. Learn to step out of situations where you observe these early signs coming in. Take a time out and calm yourself down before engaging with the situation again.Preparing for difficult situations: Know your triggers and the situations you easily feel angry in. Think about how you would ideally like to respond and prepare yourself to respond accordingly. Changing the way you respond to challenging situations also alters the feedback and responses you get from others in the situation. You cannot expect a different outcome if you continue to approach the situation in the same manner as always. Hence, go over the situation, prepare yourself in terms of what you would like to communicate and go over the best possible ways to do so.Knowing what you can influence and what you cannot: A lot of anger is experienced in situations where people tend to influence change where no real change can be brought about. This eventually leads to frustration and anger outbursts. An important thing to understand about challenges in life is to know the ones you can really take up to change from the ones where the real challenge is of acceptance. Learn to differentiate between the two.Using Distraction: This technique works best in situations where escape is difficult and you know they bother you enough to elicit an unpleasant reaction. Learning to use distraction at such a time can be a very useful technique. Zoning out or thinking about something pleasant or simply focusing on your breathing will help one tolerate being in such a situation and even take away the need to react. Being assertive: The biggest problem with managing anger is that people think the only way out is suppression. This cannot be farther from the truth. Suppression of an emotion is as detrimental as its exaggerated and out of control expression. A lot of anger generally emanates from feelings of being treated unfairly, not feeling heard or understood by others. However, lashing out and losing control is definitely not helpful and neither is suppressing the emotion. The healthy way out is learning to be ‘Assertive’ – learning to express one’s dissatisfaction, concern or worries without getting abusive or threatening the other person. It is the ability to set boundaries and learning to say no when required without humiliating the other person, crossing their boundaries or belittling them. This is an important characteristic to learn when managing a challenging emotion like anger.  

The Ways of Dealing With Anger, Depression and Fears of Emotional Abuse

Mr. Azeem Dana, Psychologist
Emotional abuse happens to most of the women, even men, all over the world. Like physical wounds, even emotional abuse wounds are taking too long to heal. Those emotional wounds are so deep that adverse effects of it take time to wear off.It affects physical health as well as the emotional state of mind, relationship with others and behavior. Self-esteem to deal with abusersIn any Psychological Counselling we cannot generalize. The solution has to be found out based on particular situation. And it is true that every issue can be sorted out with a solution. In the case of abuse, it is nothing but part of personality or behaviour. Personality is influenced by psychological, biological and social factors and hence, we call personality is a learned behavior, and whatever a person has learned can either be re-learned or unlearned.In the case of the victim to maintain self esteem, the victim should understand the psychological, biological and social factors from both the end, of being a victim and from the end of abuser. If the Boss or a Relative is abusing, find out the cause for his or her outrage. One reason can be, that the person is not educated, i.e., not knowing what he or she does, or it can be that they are brought-up in such a way influenced by psycho-bio-social factors or it can be the pressure created by others or can be some sort of illness. As a victim, once I understand the abuser, find out what makes me a victim of abuse. Whether I do not remain assertive due to lack of communication skills - like using questions of what, where, when, how and with whom -  to know exactly what other person mean to say or what they expect me to do. Or do I have to get trained in coping skills, so that I can fulfil my responsibility in a better way and if required I can undergo the training to enhance my skills. Or find out if I have to learn time management or share responsibilities, or it can be simply that I have to voice my concern, that is to speak out rather than suffering within, so that the other person understands my concerns better. The ways of dealing with anger, depression and fearsTo deal with anger, fear and depression, I should understand that any emotion that I express is not there just because of current situation. It is a repeated pattern of expression that I have been expressing throughout my life at various situations since my childhood days. So, to deal with any particular emotion, I should know about, or write down, my complete life history and identify the various situations of my life that made me to experience this particular emotion or anger. Then I have to find out the psychological, biological and social factors that made me to experience that particular emotion repeatedly from my childhood days. Once knowing them, find out what is that inner strength or ability that I was lacking to deal with that particular emotion. Then work on to develop that quality within myself.Meditation - Practicing silence of mind by relaxing the physical body- helps to overcome any type of depression, fear and anger by strengthening our mind and will-power.Belief in abilities and self-love to get rid of effects of emotional abuseThe effects of abuse can be overcome by knowing that personality is nothing but a learned behavior, and whenever we want we can change our personality with the help of knowledge – understanding of self and others gained by using our logical mind, will power – to maintain the desire for change, acceptance – without any guilt feelings of whatever has happened in the past, patience - giving time for change, hope, determination, love for self and others. Even if we do not have control over the stressors – person, place,situations - or the abusers, still we can deal with them when we remember ourown inner abilities and strengths, when we have faith in our own self, when weare able to maintain our self respect. To remember this at the time of need,every day morning and evening, practice simple visualization or imagination ofown strengths and abilities that are appreciated by our parents, relatives,friends since our childhood days to till date. The victim can also visualize and see in their mind how they are dealing with their abuser maintaining their self-esteem.Stop being abusedInstead of dealing with the situation by seeing one as a victim and other as an abuser, focus on the cause and solutions. Instead of reacting by revenge, respond to the situations using the logical sense of mind. The points to remember is:1. Try to understand using logical mind - understand the abuser and own self.2. If the abuser is not really an abuser but has real reason, try to make him or her understand, and if required, try to improve the self.3. If you find, the abuser is really an abuser, for his/her own reasons like illness or when you feel out of your control, speak out being assertive or act finding a new job, complaining to police, complaining to mental hospital or move away from the abuser.4. Forgive the abuser by understanding and remove the victim attitude from the self, learn from the past to begin a better future by adding coping abilities to the self. 

Anger Makes You Unhealthy and Sick

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
There is now a clear evidence from worldwide research that it is unhealthy to indulge in angry thoughts, words or actions. Anger contributes to blood pressure disorders, cancer and stress-related illnesses, as well as weakening the very fabric of our society, the family.On one hand, an angry outburst can be a stress release, better for you than keeping seething feelings bottled up inside. But chronic anger can make you physically sick, researchers say.Frequent angry episodes can raise your risk of heart attacks and strokes and weaken your immune system, reports the U.K. Daily Mail. Chewing over past mistakes and missed opportunities -- "looking back in anger" -- can make you more sensitive to pain, too, say researchers at the University of Granada in Spain.It's well known that anger affects the body: The heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and blood flow to muscles is reduced; glucose levels and adrenaline rise to give the muscles a shot of energy for the "fight or flight" response.But never expressing anger when that's what you're feeling can be downright deadly. Swedish research shows that those who walked away from conflict without saying anything (though they had reason to be upset) had double the risk of a heart attack compared to men who challenged authority. Unexpressed anger is also linked to a lowered immune system.Here’s what you do to break the anger cycle:1. Keep a Diary - Write down every occasion when you feel angry in any way.2. Cool Off - When you notice yourself getting caught up in an angry situation, apply one or more of these 5 cooling-off techniques:- Move away from the situation, out of sight and hearing of the other person if possible.- Drink a glass of ice-cold water to cool the blood.- Lie down on your back until the anger passes.- Count to 10 if slightly angry, to 100 if very angry, before saying another word.- Do something very physical like furiously cleaning the house or garden, or a non-competitive exercise.If none of these works, look at yourself in a mirror and see how ugly your face has become. This will shock you into banishing the anger.3. Listen Well - When someone expresses irritation or anger towards you, try listening without interrupting, defending or attacking back. They will feel valued and understood, you don’t fuel their fire and there might be some useful tips in their complaint.4. Accept More - A lot of anger rises up because we want people or situations to be different. Accepting things as they are is not necessarily a sign of weakness. When we choose to enjoy a rainy day even though it cancels our plans for a barbecue, that’s common sense not weakness.5. Sympathize - A friend of mine handles customer complaints for a telephone company. When someone is angry, she sympathizes with them: "Your phone cuts out? That’s terrible! No wonder you’re upset." The caller feels grateful at being understood and anger dissolves. Look for the hurt underlying the person’s anger – then you’ll feel compassion instead of reacting with anger yourself.6. Be Assertive - If you say "Yes" when you mean "No", and "No" when you mean "Yes", resentment festers and builds up into anger. Get angry at your fear of speaking the truth, instead of feeling hostile towards the person you fear.7. Look for the Good - Seeing only the negatives in another person can fan a small spark of anger into an uncontrollable blaze. Look for the strengths and virtues in the person you feel angry towards. Insist on thinking that way, and speak well of them at all times. This smothers the blaze and the anger has nothing to feed on.We hope you find these few words helpful. However, it is not always easy to deal with anger by our self. Sometime it helps to discuss the matter with a professional. Don’t let anger ruin your life.

Why Do You Get Angry and How Well Do You Manage It?

Ms. Pallavi Tomar, Psychologist
Anger like any other emotion is a healthy, completely normal human emotion. We all are very familiar with the experience of anger. The main concern surrounding anger is not its experience but rather its management. It is when anger spirals out of control or when it’s experience is overly suppressed, is when it becomes a problem. It definitely is a very powerful emotion, and if understood and managed in the right manner it does help signal to us something of concern which must be addressed. If you have a tough time dealing with anger or know someone who does, following are a few ways to understand what’s going on and if you should consider doing something to change it.Before we come to ways on managing anger effectively, here are a few ways in which you can better understand your experience of Anger:Know the triggers: Pay attention and become aware of the people, situations and circumstances where you frequently find yourself angry. Is there something in common between these triggers? It’s generally not the person or the situation, but something about them which angers us, try understanding what that ‘something’ is in your case. ‘What about them makes me angry?’ Is it when you feel your authority is being questioned, or when you feel you are being treated unfairly, or a situation which feels difficult to manage?Know your Anger umbrella: Anger generally stems from varied emotions and feelings. It’s called an umbrella emotion because its expression may encompass experience of other emotions too. For a lot of people, when they get angry they are probably actually experiencing hurt, sadness, dissatisfaction or shame (to name a few). Try and understand what emotions and feelings you tend to carry under your anger umbrella. Are there other emotions that you respond to with irritation or rage?Physical changes: Observe yourself and notice the physiological symptoms you experience in anger. The state of arousal in anger may be expressed differently by different people. It may be tightening of fists, grinding of teeth, sweating, shortness of breath, heart racing or something very different. Ask yourself how intense are these changes and do they impact your reaction.Your response to Anger: The most important aspect in dealing with anger is understanding how you generally respond to it. What are your instinctive reactions to people or situations that anger you? People respond with aggression either towards the other person or themselves, physically or verbally. Some may move away from the situation till you feel calmer to deal with it. Some others may push away their feelings to avoid an unpleasant confrontation. Others response to your Anger: Apart from your own assessment of yourself, try to gauge and see how others react to your anger. It is an important aspect of assessing the intensity of your reactions. Do people step away and would rather leave you alone, have others made comments about being vary of your anger or that they feel intimidated? Or do you think others tend to push you in situations till you eventually react? Have you  frequently felt guilty about your reactions in anger that your regret in retrospect? Even feeling that you cannot ever share your feelings of anger with others is a concern. Such a strong emotion should never be suppressed or bottled up.Extent of impact: It’s important to understand how the experience of anger impacts your relationships and functioning in various domains of your life. Are there frequent difficulties in your relationships with family, significant other, colleagues or friends that surround the experience of anger or the suppression of it? Has your work or other activities been affected by anger? There may be feedback from significant  people in your life or even from superiors at work about your reactions to difficult situations. Reflect on those to understand how anger impacts your life and those around you.If most of your responses to the above aspects lead you to feel that your experience of anger must be better managed or that you feel at the mercy of this powerful emotion, its reason enough to proactively work on this.  

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

Dr. Bianca Nazareth Arya, Dentist
A lot of people grind their teeth, not just in anger or frustration, but a pathological continous grinding that occurs mostly during the night while they are asleep. This is a condition known as Bruxism and people who suffer from bruxism are called bruxers.Most bruxers dont even know that they are bruxers. When asked if they grind their teeth they will in all probability answer in the negative. The only people who would know (if at all) would be the person who sleeps next to them, the spouse perhaps, and that too only if they are light sleepers. If the spouse is easily awakened then many a time they are aware that a funny irritating clicking grinding sound is coming from the wife/husband at night. Most people ignore this and even if told that they probably are bruxers they feel, "Big deal! so I grind my teeth. What's that got to do with anything?" Actually - a lot. The signs of trouble may take a while in coming but come they will. Almost certainly. Unless your teeth and jaws are made of iron which they aren't. Maybe if you were a terminator but not otherwise. Given a sufficient period of time without correct intervention you could end up with:worn down teethchipped teethfractured teethsensitivity with your teethpain in the jaws/jointsmuscular pain in your cheeks What's more even if you get restorations done and do not attempt to correct the original problem - the bruxism will even wear down restorations/crowns/bridges.Lots of factors are responsible for the beginning of bruxism:High stress levelssleep disordersany kind of teeth maloccusion where teeth do not meet in harmonyuse of certain drugsThese and many other factors may be causing or aggravating the condition. Bruxism is not completely understood. Neither is its treatment totally straightforward. What is definite though that the teeth and the jaws need to be protected from further trauma. It is not enough to just restore the broken, chipped teeth.All patients of bruxism must wear nightguards/mouthguards. These are basically acrylic forms that are specific to each patient's dentition. The patient simple has to slip it on while sleeping at night. There is no pain involved and no complicated wearing procedure. This simple treatment protects the teeth from wear and tear throughout the night. Besides the mouthguard, the doctor will recommend some restorations if necessary. But a change in lifestyle and decreasing stress levels will certainly help.Find out what is causing your stress and get rid of it. Of course not all reasons for stress can be gotten rid of. Your husband's incessant cricket mania and your wife's latest credit card bill are some of them :)Do not ignore your dental problems. They don't go away. They may go into hibernation for a while and then they get worse. 

Is Sun God Angry This Summer? 15 Tips to Beat the Heat!

Dr. Anamay K. Bidwai, General Physician
This year the Son god seems to be extra active, with temperatures breaking past records. Here are few simple tips that can help you to keep your self safe and healthy in this season.Hydration: Keep your self hydrated well all the time, drink 3-4 litres of water, if you work demands you to work out doors or travel on motor bikes, drink even more water.Work out: For the work out freaks, drink water before you start work outs, even if you are in an AC gym, Drink water during and after exercise. If you enjoy out door work outs, like running or cycling, take a bottle of one litre water with you.Add quarter tea spoon of  salt and one tea spoon of sugar to this one litre of water, keep on sipping on this as you go through your  out door work out. This is a useful tip for people who need to work out doors for example construction workers, traffic police men, cab and auto drivers.Increase intake of carbohydrates ( rice, wheat, potato, beat root etc) by about 20 % in your diet,  when exposed to heat, our basal metabolic rate ( BMR) goes up, so body needs more energy, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy. Also, carbohydrates when metabolised ( digested) release water, so that become added source of water to the body.Drink water before you step out of your house, even if you are going to travel in a car. Always cover your head, 30% of heat exchange takes place from head, even you do not have a fancy hat, just two layers of cotton cloth is good enough protection.Always keep a bottle of water in car. You never know when you will be in a jam.It is a common misconception that chilled water intake benefits more, well, it does not make much of difference, even if you have water at normal temperature it will have the same effect.This excess in energy demand ( as mentioned in point 4) is the reason whey we feel tired early in summer, now we know how we can overcome by a simple measure. For best results, increased quota carbohydrates in diet be consumed before 5 PM, there after restrict intake of carbohydrates as much as you can.The most common problem faced during summer is heat exauction or Sun stroke. Simple measures mentioned above can prevent Sun stroke. Many people , after exposure to hot sun or out door work out take chilled shower or jump in to swimming pool once they are done with the activity, that is not a good idea. When body surface is exposed to cold water, the blood vessels contract, so blood is squeezed in to the " core" of body, in simple words  the heat is pushed in to the inner organs of body. Best way to do is to, wait for some time, sit under a fan, let the sweat dry, drink water, and then take shower or go for swim.Completely avoid intake of fluid with high content of sugar like glucose  water, colas, sugary juices,very sweet tea or coffee.  All these cause diuresis ( excessive production of urine),  resulting in dehydration. Do not eat cut fruits and fruit juices sold on road sides, the heat in weather makes these an excellent breeding ground for bugs, resulting in loose motions, vomiting, fever and food poisoning. Instead buy whole fruit, bring it home, wash well and eat.MANGO , the king of fruits, no one can resist having mango in this season, but those with diabetes and weight issues must avoid over indulgence, it contains very high quantity of sugar. However, mango is one of the best source of Vitamin A, anti oxidants and fibre, so moderate intake of whole fruit is encouraged. Please avoid packaged mango drinks as they do have added sugar.Fruits and salads like cucumber, watermelon, coconut water, tomatoes and onions are very good to beat the heat.IN CASE YOU DEVELOP FEVER, LOOSE MOTIONS, VOMITING,  PLEASE START TAKING ORS AND IMMEDIATELY SEE A DOCTOR, IGNORING THIS WARNING MAY PROVE VERY COSTLY..

When the Romance Is Over - How Do You Deal With a Break-Up?

Dr. Sulata Shenoy, Psychiatrist
Life is full of relationships. These enrich our lives and give meaning to our existence. As young adults it is normal for us to develop romantic feelings for another person; however this also makes us vulnerable to feeling devastated when the relationship ends. In this day and age, we see many relationships break up and whatever the reasons for the breakup it can turn one’s whole world upside down and cause anguish and regret. Why do breakups cause so much hurt? The reasons are many. Romantic relationships begin on a high heady note of intense psychological and physical need and hope for a shared future; many times the harsh realities of life leave a trail of bitterness, anger, suspicion and sadness at what could have been an amazing thing. You would have invested a lot of your time, energy and thoughts revolving around the other person and the sudden loss may leave you in confusion and doubt. Everything is disrupted – routine, career, health, other relationships and self identity. You can begin by treating the breakup as a beginning as well as an end. If taken in the right spirit, it could actually help you evolve over time into more meaningful and mature relationships. Coping with a failed relationship:   Recognize that it’s OK to have intense feelings. Its normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated and confused. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over timeBe kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at less than optimal level for the present. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you are accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; it takes time to heal, recoup and re-energizeDon’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels and get in the way of your overall recoveryRemember that moving on is the end goal - do not dwell on the negative feelings or to over analyse the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger and resentment will prevent you from healing and moving forwardRemind yourself that you still have a future - when you commit to another person, you create many shared visions and it is hard let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of a future you envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old onesMake time each day to nurture yourself. Help yourself heal by scheduling daily time for activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk in nature, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book or savor a warm cup of teaPay attention to what you need in any given moment and speak up to express your needs. Honor what you believe to be right and best for you   Stick to a routine. A relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcyAvoid using inappropriate methods to cope. When you are in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. Using alcohol, drugs or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with painful feelings. Don’t be afraid to get professional help from a psychologist if you need itExplore new interests. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here- and - now, rather than dwelling on the pastWish you all the best in your new journey ahead!

5 Practices To Make You A Happier Person

Ms. Mariella Zanoletti, Psychologist
According to Ben-Shahar, psychologists have traditionally focused on everything that is wrong with us—our anger, our anxiety, our depression. The field of positive psychology turns that strategy on its head, focusing instead on what is working well in our lives. If all we ever do is try to eliminate ailment, he points out, then the best we’ll ever do is not be sick. By learning to emphasize joy, happiness and personal development, we find benefits far beyond the “not sick” set point.5 Things You Can Do to Chipper up:1. Give Yourself Permission to Be Human: “When you feel like crying, cry,” Ben-Shahar advises. “When you feeling like laughing, laugh.”  Suppressing an emotion will only ensure its clear announcement later. Permit yourself unconditional acceptance and be okay with exactly who you are–tears, shame, crazy fits and all.2. Develop Self-Concordant Goals: In order to be happy, positive psychologists say, align your goals and values. When we register our accomplishments as meaningful PLUS pleasurable, we get document-able benefits in return.3. Cultivate Your Mind-Body Connection: Ben-Shahar emphasizes the impact of movement and physical affection on well-being. He describes one study wherein major depressive patients who exercised were less likely to “relapse” after ten months, compared to groups who improved  by medication alone.4. Value Your Healthy Personal Relationships: Too many folks make a big mistake when it comes to long-term relationships, says Ben-Shahar. We end up looking for friends and lovers who will validate us or assure us that we’re likeable and normal. That kind of validation should come from within. In healthy relationships, the partners seek to understand each other, to know one another’s most private fears, insecurities and motivations5. Focus on the Positive: This one is probably easier prescribed than carried out, but there are scientific reasons why we should develop a habit of dwelling on the positive. Positive psychologists find that happiness is more dependent on STATE of MIND than on any environmental factor, as long as basic needs are met.  A growing body of work that falls under the rubric of Gratitude Research finds that practices like listing everything you’re thankful  lead to statistically significant increases in happiness.

The Power of Your Menstrual Cycle and PMS!

Dr. Disha Sridhar, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
How to be more powerful in your life by understanding your hormones and menstrual cycle.Most of us consider our menstrual cycle as a liability and do not appreciate its true value. But the truth is that our real power lies in our menstrual cycle. If only we start listening and learn from its signals.One of the reasons that mood changes in the premenstrual week aka PMS frequently doesn’t respond completely to attempts to change it with natural hormones, supplements, diet, and exercise is that there is an emotional component that goes with it that has an underlying and important purpose in a woman’s life.Dr. Hanley has worked extensively with this aspect of PMS because she believes that without it, full healing often can’t take place. Dr. Hanley approaches PMS, with all its emotional volatility, as an important guide, and teacher. She calls it the goddesses’ gift. Menstruation is a time in a woman’s cycle when she is especially sensitive and has access to her deeper levels of intuitive knowing. This knowing is often filled with pain in our culture because of all of the conflict women have with feelings they are not supposed to have. Women are not supposed to have anger. They are not supposed to be anything but sweet and nurturing, and this sets up a pattern of repressed emotions and guilt over those times when anger and frustration do boil over. The typical woman who visits our clinic with PMS aggravated or fueled by emotional conflict says, “I’m not myself. I can not just take it all in stride anymore. I’m angry, I’m agitated, I have really strong feelings, I 'm reactive, I’m a witch and a bitch! What is wrong with me?” Rather than judging her, I would say, “There’s nothing wrong with you! What you’re experiencing is an important teacher, and we’ll use all kinds of wonderful tools to help you learn about what’s underneath that anger, to appreciate and honor your sensitivity, and to balance your body so that you have control of this phenomenon.”PMS helps you to have a moment, or a day, or a week to have access to parts of yourself that are not necessarily sweet and happy or just pretending to be sweet and happy. PMS gives you a window of opportunity for identifying and working with these feelings.At one time in history, menstrual blood was not considered dirty or a “curse”; it was cherished as sacred and used in rituals and to fertilize the fields. A woman who was menstruating went to a special lodge with her sisters where her increased sensitivity and cyclic ability to tap into her deeper knowing was used to help guide the tribe or village.Today a sensitive menstrual woman is regarded as a liability, someone to be feared and avoided. In fact, at any point during the month when a woman expresses anger or irritation, she may be accused of having PMS. If she has a strong opinion she may be accused of being a “ball-buster”or of trying to be like a man, as opposed to just being smart or competent.However, sensitive also means more intuitive, more in touch, more creative, more spontaneous, and more unpredictable. When these attributes are expressed and appreciated, first and foremost by the woman herself, they tend to be expressed in a more positive way. When a woman’s loved ones also appreciate her more sensitive times, it’s a true gift.PMS may push a woman to understand that she does have limits and that those limits are not shameful; they are to be honored. Women need to recognize for themselves when they are neglected, abused, overworked, unappreciated, and not respected. They need to know that they aren't bad if they can’t stay up half the night with a sick child, go to work all day and be competent, and then come home and be cheery, nurturing, and selfless while they cook and do laundry and then stay up half the night again. Feelings that have been suppressed all month may flare up out of proportion premenstrually. Women who feel free to express and discuss their feelings and to implement their intuitive knowledge have a much better handle on their emotions when they are premenstrual. When women learn to respect and listen to their own intuitive knowledge, they are taking their first step in healing themselves. We at Truhealing ask women to search for that kernel of truth in their anger, their frustration, their volatility. They can search through dance, journals, painting, sculpture,dream journals, women’s groups, exercises such as yoga and tai chi, or any other creative form of expression that takes them deeper into themselves.As this process takes place, women learn to be excited and intrigued by their increased sensitivity and to look for the wisdom and creativity available to them. Women who access valuable knowing through a creative process and their intuition find that if they need to, they can later express this knowing in a more linear, rational, or logical way. Many times, women are parallel processors,processing and integrating a large amount of information at once in a non-linear, non-logical way: They just “know.” This is a gift and a strength, just as thinking in a linear, logical fashion is a strength (and yes, both men and women have the ability to do both kinds of thinking.)  Acknowledging and appreciating the greater sensitivity of a woman’s premenstrual time is a core issue that profoundly affects her overall physical, mental, and emotional health and well ­being. This is why it’s so counterproductive and often destructive to walk into a conventional medical doctor's office with the emotional complaints of PMS. If anti-depressants don’t fix the problem, you’ll be given a “crazy” label, and that results in an even more crazy-making. With some personal sleuthing and creativity, and a willingness to keep track of what works and what doesn’t, PMS can usually be brought into balance within a few months. If you can find a sympathetic and knowledgeable health care professional to work in partnership with you and help you monitor your progress, that’s wonderful. If not, you have to do some work on your own to create healing and balance yourself.Here are some of my tips:Take a daily multivitamin/ mineral that includes zinc, 10 mg; B complex (all of the B vitamins);vitamin C, 500– 1000 mg; magnesium, 300– 400 mg; vitamin E, 400 IU daily. In addition, takeVitamin B6, 50 mg daily.Eat a plant ­based, fibre­ rich diet of fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.Get some exercise every day.Keep a journal and allow yourself to notice the deeper levels of your anger and pain. Seek to resolve unresolved issues the rest of the month.Wishing you more feminine power!Dr.