Anxiety

Managing Anxiety With The End Of The Pandemic Lockdown – Cochrane Now 91.5 Radio Interview

Tune-in to Cochrane Now 91.5FM radio on Monday May 4th for Dr. Pat’s tips and strategies to help lower anxiety to a manageable level during COVID-19. You can listen to the interview at the top and bottom of the hour between 6:00 am and 10:00 am and then at the top of the hour until 6:00 pm. Tune-in for the interview and share your questions and comments with Dr. Pat below.

2020-05-04T15:12:43-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, COVID-19, In the Media|

Finding the silver lining: Coping with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic by noticing positives

In this article, I discuss how you can cope better with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic by appreciating the positives while acknowledging and acting on the negatives. While watching a special coronavirus episode of Dr. Phil, I was struck by the excellent advice a psychiatrist guest offered on how to cope with the stress of the pandemic. Among the guest’s advice was to focus on the positives at the start of the day and at the end of the day. This entailed beginning the day by making it a point to look for the positives followed by a bedtime routine of thinking of the positives you encountered throughout the day. The psychiatrist’s advice led me to focus in this article on the soundness of the strategy of coping with a negative situation by noticing the positives...[more]

2020-04-13T15:23:55-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Depression, Stress|

Managing anxiety when there is a reason to be anxious: Coping with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic

In this article, I discuss strategies you can use to manage your anxiety amidst the stress of the coronavirus pandemic. Sometimes it takes me a while to decide on a topic for my blog article. In this case, there was no hesitation. The coronavirus pandemic is the primary concern of the vast majority of people so focusing on it in my blog article was an obvious choice. My goal in this article is to give you strategies to help you manage your anxiety during this difficult time...[more]

2020-03-15T22:03:59-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Stress|

Swimming blind: A demonstration of coping with adversity by an Olympic legend

In this article, I discuss how to deal with unexpected challenges as demonstrated by Michael Phelps. In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, American Michael Phelps sought to make history by becoming the first swimmer to win eight gold medals in a single Olympics. While this was a daunting challenge in and of itself, it became even more so when he was faced with adversity while swimming for the gold in his strongest event--the 200 meter butterfly. In the following sections, I will describe the magnitude of the challenge presented to Mr. Phelps, how he dealt with it and the lessons you can learn from his experience on how to cope with adversity...[more]

2020-02-16T22:10:27-07:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Sport & Performance|

How to manage your moods behaviourally while waiting for cognitive skills to take effect

In this article, I discuss how you can use behavioural skills to manage your moods while waiting for your efforts with cognitive skills to pay off. My work with clients typically entails helping them learn cognitive and behavioural strategies to address their issues. Many of these issues involve managing moods such as depression, anxiety, anger and frustration. One challenge in using this dual-pronged approach is that behavioural strategies generally show more immediate benefits compared with cognitive strategies. This occurs because behavioural strategies usually involve taking some action in a straightforward manner whereas cognitive strategies entail learning and applying skills to change your interpretation of situations in order to experience emotional relief...[more]

2019-07-28T21:40:18-06:00By |Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Depression|

Self-focused coping strategies to manage stress: Use them but try not to overtax them

In this article, I discuss why you should try not to rely exclusively on self-focused coping strategies to manage stress.In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, clients often ask for my help in managing stress. My plan to help them typically involves using two categories of strategies—(1) Problem-focused coping in which they take action to reduce or eliminate sources of stress like problems at work or school, relationship issues, and financial difficulties; and (2) Self-focused coping in which they use skills and activities to improve their emotional reaction to sources of stress...[more]

2019-05-08T15:13:14-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Stress|

How to address social anxiety issues:  Be aware of and target self-fulfilling prophecies

In this article, I discuss how you can become less anxious in social situations by recognizing how your beliefs affect your and other people’s behaviour. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with clients who become overly anxious in social situations. The discomfort these people experience can be so strong that will often avoid social situations or leave social events prematurely. A key factor which contributes to excess anxiety in social situations is negative thinking the person has regarding how others are likely to respond to them when they enter such situations. This negative thinking sets in motion a negative self-fulfilling prophecy in which...[more]

2019-03-12T09:49:18-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Relationships|

How to catch hot thoughts so that you can check and change them to feel better

In this article, I discuss several techniques to help you pinpoint the negative thoughts which are causing your emotional distress. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often have clients who can benefit from skills from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). One of the most beneficial CBT skills is a thought record. The use of thought records helps a person to feel better by catching, checking and changing ‘hot thoughts’. Hot thoughts are negatively skewed beliefs which people have when they are experiencing strong and unpleasant moods like sadness, anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, shame and embarrassment, among others...[more]

2018-08-26T21:08:13-06:00By |Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Depression|

Overcoming obsessive-compulsive disorder by using exposure and response prevention

In this article, I discuss how you can use principles from cognitive behavioural therapy to address obsessive compulsive disorder. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often see clients who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This disorder is characterized by a person experiencing: (1) Obsessive thoughts—These are typically disturbing and overly negative beliefs which drive up their anxiety; and (2) Compulsive behaviours—These are repetitive and ritualistic actions the person performs to lower the anxiety created by their obsessive thoughts. The compulsive behaviours typically work in the short run for the OCD sufferer by temporarily lowering the anxiety which stems from their obsessive thoughts. Unfortunately, these behaviours can be so time- consuming that they often interfere significantly with the person’s daily life...[more]

2018-07-17T14:10:32-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety|

How two categories of stress management skills complement each other

In this article, I discuss how using each category of stress management skills is improved by using skills from the other category. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, clients often ask for my help in managing stress. My plan to help them typically involves using two categories of strategies—(1) Problem-focused coping in which they take action to reduce or eliminate sources of stress like problems at work or school, relationship issues, and financial difficulties; and (2) Self-focused coping in which they use skills and activities to improve their emotional reaction to sources of stress. In turn, self-focused coping strategies are of three kinds...[more]

2018-03-11T22:51:39-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Stress|
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