Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Manage Anger

In this era of modern technology and fast-paced life (more so in the Metropolis), people tend to get impatient more easily. Impatience leads to irritability, irritability leads to annoyance, and annoyance leads to anger. Yelling, throwing things, and generally blowing your top aren't the only signs of anger. Sulking, nagging, and crying are also common expressions of anger.

Besides alienating others, chronic anger can contribute to a variety of unpleasant ills, including headaches, skin rashes, stomach upsets – even high blood pressure.

If you tend to get angry easily and often, take these steps to help you control this negative reaction:

  • Count to ten at the first twinge of anger, and take three or four slow, deep breaths.  The angry impulse may pass.
  • If it’s convenient and you feel a major outburst coming on, take a short walk until you calm down.
  • Don’t resort to nagging or door slamming. If someone says or does something that bothers you, discuss it calmly.
  • Distract yourself.  If you’re stuck in traffic, for example, try to accept the delay and recognize that it’s beyond your control. Pounding the horn and cursing at other drivers only prolongs your agitation.  Instead of sounding off, play pleasant music on the radio or listen to an interesting program. 
Remember that anger is a negative emotion and affects our body in a negative way.

Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Anemia refers to a deficiency of either red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying protein) in the red blood cells circulating in your blood vessels. 

There are many tyes of anemia:

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia.  The primary cause is blood lost during menstruation.  But eating too few iron-rich foods – or not adequately absorbing iron – can compound the problem. The recommended daily allowance for iron ranges from 7 to 20 milligrams. 

Folate deficiency anemia occurs when folate levels are low, usually due to inadequate dietary intake or faulty absorption. This frequently occurs during pregnancy.

Pernicious anemia is the inability of the body to properly absorb vitamin B12.

Sickle cell anemia and thelassemia anemia are both inherited disorders.

  • The first step in treating iron deficiency anemia is to pinpoint the cause. If it’s due to a poor diet, you’re in luck. Iron deficiency anemia is not only the most common form of anemia, it’s the easiest to correct if it’s due to being female or inadequate amounts of certain foods.
  • Eat more food sources of iron. Concentrate on green, leafy vegetables, red meat, poultry, fish, wheat germ, oysters, fruit, and iron-fortified cereals.
  • Boost your iron absorption.  Foods high in vitamin C – like citrus fruit, tomatoes, and strawberries – help your body absorb iron from food.
  • Don’t drink a lot of tea as it contains tannine, substances that can inhibit iron absorption. Herbal tea is okay, though.
  • Take iron supplement. 

Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Don’t Get Burned Out

Last week, we discussed workaholism. Now we shall tackle burning out

Burnout can and does strike anyone – corporate go-getters, office workers, construction workers, homemakers, artists – anyone who’s under continuous pressure to perform or achieve.

Burnout isn’t something that hits out of the blue. Rather it’s a long, slow process arising from many factors. Some symptoms include:
  • Loss of energy
  • Weariness
  • Self-doubt
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Apathy

Different people respond to burnout in different ways: by feeling guilty or irritable, denying anything’s wrong, blaming others, or working even harder. These responses are futile and will make your situation even worse.

Here’s what you can do to prevent burnout:
  • Pay attention to any signals your body is sending.  Insomnia, overeating, and other minor complaints may be signs of burnout.
  • Ask yourself what you really expect to accomplish in your career or personal life.  Are your expectations realistic? If not, reevaluate your goals and make sure they’re reachable. 
  • Mentally distance yourself from work.
  • Treat yourself to something special from time to time.  A pleasant break, a change of scenery, or a slight indulgence can reduce some of the resentment that often leads to burnout.
  • Reduce work hours if possible. Take breaks. Learn to delegate some tasks  - anything to prevent yourself from feeling like a galley slave.
  • Learn meditation or practice other relaxation techniques to help you through stressful periods.
  • Pursue some kind of physical activity.  But be careful not to choose exercise that reinforces the feeling of hopelessness.  If your job is highly competitive, you may have to avoid playing highly competitive sports.

Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.

Monday, July 7, 2014


With all the fast-growing technologies, we think we are simplifying our lives. Instead, we discover we have more and more things to do, things that can be done.  People nowadays seem to be always busy and tend to become workaholic. Longer hours working and less time to rest lead to:
  • Less productivity or inefficiency.
  • Neglected family and social life.
  • Distorted concepts of what’s important and what’s not.

Oftentimes, a workaholic is the last to know that a problem exists. Ask your spouse or a close friend if they think you’re a workaholic. If the answer is yes, here are some ways to create a healthier balance between work and play.
  • Gradually cut down the number of hours you work each day or week. Avoid radical changes but take measurable steps, like making it a rule not to work on weekends. (If that means you have to cut your workload proportionally by skipping unimportant tasks or delegating some work, so be it.) 
  • Plan time for recreation in your schedule as though it were an important commitment.  (It is.) Set aside some time for fun, however brief, everyday.
  • Get some physical exercise everyday. Take a walk, do some stretching, or particiipate in some other non-stressful, noncompetitive activity.
  • Avoid talking about work over lunch.  Go on a picnic or meet an old friend and talk about something unrelated to work.
  • Choose a hobby that contrasts with the kind of work you do. If you work on highly technical mental problems all day, take up a handicraft hobby like woodworking or needlework. If you stay indoors all day, take up an outdoor activity like gardening or bicycling.
  • Select leisure activities carefully. You need at least one activity you can share with family or friends.
  • Refuse to feel guilty when you’re not working.  This is probably the most important step of all.

So before you burn out, address your workaholism.

Next week we shall discuss what happens when one gets burned out. – J.P.

Used with permission from A Year of Health Hints by Don R Powell, PHD and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, copyright 2010.