A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxiety

Follow the evidence - and science

A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxietyTimothy Caulfield suggests trying the following thought experiment. It’s far-fetched to be sure, but to test the “stranger danger” hypothesis – known to cause considerable anxiety among today’s parents – imagine placing your child alone on the street as bait for some shady character in a white van. How long would it take for that child…

How to cope when you work with someone you dislike

Address any fears, let go of the anger and look for the good in the relationship

How to cope when you work with someone you dislikeFaith Wood knows how to resolve conflict. Her years in front-line law enforcement taught her how to effectively de-escalate any situation to a successful conclusion. Faith will use her knowledge of conflict management to guide you through the often stressful experiences you may encounter in your personal or professional life. Her Conflict Coach column appears…

Concussions affect elite athletes’ mental health, new research suggests

U of A study shows anxiety, depression more likely among football players after a concussion than after other body injuries

Concussions affect elite athletes’ mental health, new research suggestsElite athletes report more anxiety and depression in the immediate aftermath of a concussion than those who have suffered an orthopedic injury, according to a concussion study that further builds the case that head injuries are an injury unlike any other. “Athletes get injured all the time and they have to deal with the stress of…

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilities

Ensuring physical accessibility is only the beginning of creating places where people can ‘be who they are,’ says design consultant and PhD student Lara Pinchbeck

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilitiesWhen designing spaces for people living with disabilities, there’s more to consider than whether they’re physically accessible. A greater challenge is making sure the environments we work and live in accommodate ‘invisible’ or ‘hidden’ disabilities – a long list of conditions that range from hearing impairment to autism to anxiety disorders. Understanding the space requirements of…

The one simple skill all leaders must harness

Taking a breath allows us to be more resilient when chaos looms

The one simple skill all leaders must harnessThe circle on the screen kept spinning. I stared, slowly feeling my heart rate rise as my mind raced with anxious thoughts: “How do I undo this update? What if I’ve been hacked? I’m not a tech genius!” With deadlines looming in the morning, 9:30 p.m. was not the time for my laptop to stop…

Tackling mental health issues in athletes

Mental health challenges also negatively impact sports performance

Tackling mental health issues in athletesAnxiety and depression are common mental health issues among college students. According to Daniel Eisenberg, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, one in three American college students experience significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. College athletes certainly aren’t immune to these mental health challenges. In…

Canadians embracing the joy of pandemic gardening

Canadians embracing the joy of pandemic gardeningThey say gardening is good for the soul. Apparently many Canadians agree as they have opted to ‘pandemic garden’ this year. The Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid, recently released a study on home gardening, just in time for Thanksgiving. The survey was conducted earlier this month and included more…

Are COVID-19 safety measures protecting Canada’s health workers?

Study assessing physical, mental health effects of treating COVID-19 patients one of two U of A projects receiving federal funding

Are COVID-19 safety measures protecting Canada’s health workers?There’s heightened anxiety among physicians and jumps in depression among nurses, health-care aides and personal support workers, according to early data from a University of Alberta study. The study is looking into the effectiveness of safety measures to protect the physical and mental health of Canada’s health-care workforce treating those with COVID-19. Occupational epidemiologist Nicola Cherry,…

Feeling anxiety? Here are some coping mechanisms

Form a mental picture of what is causing your anxiety to take control and set your feet on a better path

Feeling anxiety? Here are some coping mechanismsCalm down. Seriously. We all have things that leave us on edge. Sometimes it’s an event or a person (like a visit from your mother-in-law). Sometimes we’re more anxious due to more significant issues, leaving us unsure of our safety and well-being, like when a severe illness is going around. Whatever the case, anxiety is…

Use 30 minutes a day to control your worries

When you become accustomed to worrying, you have a constant stream of negative feedback and information in your brain

Use 30 minutes a day to control your worriesWorry can derail an entire day if you let it. But you have the power to stop it in just 30 minutes, freeing up the rest of the day to really live. The strategy is more straightforward than you might think. When you become accustomed to worrying, you have a constant stream of negative feedback…

Fight, flee or learn to manage stress

It may be that the impact stress has on our health has less to do with its cause and more to do with how we think about it

Fight, flee or learn to manage stressSocial science seems to have found the secret to a long and happy life. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal tells us, “Go after what creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows.” In recent years, however, we’ve looked at stress as our enemy, seeking instead to live in complete ease.…

Making caring a key for business

Kevin Zentner turned his academic career around by getting involved, working with the less fortunate

Making caring a key for businessIn the weeks before his first University of Alberta classes in 2016, Kevin Zentner nervously paced the campus, trying to keep the acronyms straight. “I had no idea what everyone was saying when they said SUB or HUB or CAB or whatever else,” said Zentner. “It sounds funny but that anxiety was massive for me.”…

Game helps people overcome fear of spiders

U of A grad student designs augmented reality game that lets users see and touch virtual spiders that get more realistic as they level up

Game helps people overcome fear of spidersA University of Alberta fine arts student has designed an augmented reality (AR) gaming platform to help arachnophobes overcome their fear of spiders. “The idea is, if I'm sitting here with an AR headset on, I can see a spider right in front of me,” said Anna Chakravorty, who submitted the project for her master’s…

Women are twice as likely as men to experience mood disorders

Not only are women more likely to have a mood disorder, but women experience different symptoms than men

Women are twice as likely as men to experience mood disordersAlmost anyone can attest to the fact that men and women are different in many ways. Scores of books – which have achieved varying degrees of success and acclaim – have been published that attempt to quantify and explain the differences. In the field of psychiatry, gender differences are an important phenomenon as men and…

Coping with panic attacks

Getting enough sleep and regular exercise and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine are among the effective treatments available for panic disorder

Coping with panic attacksPanic. Your heart races, palms sweat and body shakes. You feel as though you’re choking and losing your breath as a bout of dizziness overtakes you. This is out of control. Imagine feeling this way on a regular basis. People with an anxiety disorder called panic disorder experience recurring panic attacks – brief but intense…
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