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Anger and Anxiety
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Anger and Anxiety

Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias

 

By Dr. Bob Rich, M. Sc., Ph.D., M.A.P.S

 

 

1. Why You Need an Anti-stress Switch.

Believe it or not, originally 'stress' was an engineering term. It refers to the effects an external force has on a body—for example, the effects of wind forces on a bridge.

It makes sense to apply the same idea to people and the effects which their surroundings have on them. Every day, we face a number of situations which are annoying, frightening, worrying or infuriating. What we feel in response to these attacks on our peace of mind is 'stress'. I'll give a few examples.

Emergency

All mammals, from minuscule mice to weighty whales (with us somewhere in the middle) are built similarly. In particular, we all have much the same means for coping with life-threatening emergencies.

There was a sudden roar ahead, and Hurd shouting, "Bear!"

They snatched at spears. Hurd appeared from among the trees, sprinting for his life. The bear was on all fours, ten steps behind him and rapidly gaining. With great discipline, Hurd held his line until the beast was within range of their spears, and almost upon him; then he suddenly jinked to his right.

Ralosh and Tacinda threw their spears, hitting the bear's two shoulders. Ralosh immediately ran diagonally forward towards Hurd, who had stopped himself against the trunk of a fir and was ready with a spear. Tacinda ran to the side to give Gitugel a clear throw if the animal decided to follow her.

However, young Gitugel didn't wait. He took a few skipping steps forward. As the roaring bear started to rise on to its hind legs, he threw his spear with all the force he could muster.

The spear entered the bear's gaping mouth, angling up towards the top of its skull. The beast reared up to its full height, took three more steps, then collapsed.

Panting, the four came together over the still twitching body. Tacinda said, "Gitugel, what a wonderful throw! Right in her mouth and through the brain!"

Adapted from The Mother's Sword by Dr Bob Rich

Our not-so-distant ancestors were hunter-gatherers. In many ways, their lives were a lot more free of stress than ours. But they certainly were equipped to deal with dangerous situations which needed maximum response, like suddenly meeting a savage animal.

And so are we. In terms of the way our bodies are built, we are no different from our ancestors. Like them, we have special equipment for dealing with 'fight or flight' reactions.

Most people have a fair idea of what this equipment is. We all know about 'butterflies in the stomach', the sweating brow in response to fear, the thumping heart and all the rest of it. Probably everybody knows that when you are angry or scared, your body produces adrenaline, which has widespread effects inside you. I'll describe all these reactions in the next chapter.

I am driving in my car, happily minding my own business, when a beginning driver suddenly comes out of a side street, goes through a Stop sign and swings in front of me. Action is quicker than thought—I manage to avoid a crash. We both stop. The young person is shaken, and apologizes profusely. Frankly, I am shaken too. I have just narrowly avoided death—or, at least, serious injury.

I get back in my car and drive off. Unfortunately, there is a change. My previously smooth, automatic performance as a driver is replaced by a more dangerous style. I find myself driving too fast, following other cars too closely. When I catch myself doing this I slow down, but too much, and become an obstacle to other drivers. My attention is concentrated on fewer things, with the result that I miss important information. My steering and acceleration are jerkier than usual. I react too fast—for example, starting forward at traffic lights before the green comes on. At the same time, I still feel shaky and exhausted. All I want to do is to pull over to the side of the road and have a rest. I can't—the unscheduled stop has made me late.

In this story, I am now an accident looking for somewhere to happen.

I desperately need a switch to turn off the 'fight or flight' reaction.

Different people react differently to such a situation. Some 'freeze' and are unable to do anything. But for everybody, driving after a near miss is a dangerous activity.

Anger

When I was a teenager, I joined a boxing club for a while. The coach was a cluey little man. One of his bits of advice has stayed with me for life: 'Hop in there and keep your cool. Get him angry, and you've won.'

How many times have you lost an argument because your anger got the better of you? Have you ever said (or worse, done) things in the heat of the moment that you regretted later? Wouldn't it be better if you were in control of your anger, rather than the anger being in control of you?

Madge was going to leave Tim: she was no longer willing to put up with his physical violence. He insisted that he loved her dearly, but when he lost his temper, he went berserk. And no one could make him lose his temper as quickly as Madge.

When she gave him her ultimatum, Tim decided to seek help. He attended a group for violent men. The group meetings helped him a lot, and promised to give a long-term solution to his difficulty. But, in the meantime, the immediate problem remained. Only two weeks after the start of the group, Madge happened to say something that set Tim off. He saw red, raised his fist—then, at the last instant, punched the wall instead of his wife.

Well, this was an advance. A hole in the plaster is more quickly fixable than a broken jaw. Madge, however, didn't see it quite this way. She took the kids and moved out.

Wouldn't it have been good if Tim had had a switch that allowed him to gain control of himself, at least for an instant? If he'd just had a second's respite from his anger, he could have used some of the techniques he was being taught in the group, like walking out of the room and examining the thoughts behind his emotions.

Worry

Worry is probably the most self-damaging activity you can engage in. It is the 'fight or flight' reaction in slow motion, over a long time.

When you worry, you think certain thoughts, which involve anticipation of trouble. This is the 'what if' syndrome. The adrenaline starts pumping, causing a whole string of changes, which will be with you for as long as you worry.

Over time, your body can get used to being this way, and you can suffer the physical effects of worry even when you are not aware of thinking about your problems. The next chapter describes the changes worry causes in your body. You will then understand why chronic worriers are likely to suffer from various 'stress-related diseases': heart attack, strokes, stomach ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, asthma and several others.

Worry has lots of other effects. Many people try to escape the distressing thought patterns by using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, by taking sedatives, or through participating in self-defeating activities like gambling.

So now you have one more thing to worry about: what worry is doing to you!

If only you had some control over worry...

Situational stress

There are about three hundred people in the hall, all professionals. I walk out on to the stage. The chairman introduces me. There is the microphone. I know my stuff; all I have to do is to deliver my well-prepared talk.

Only trouble is, I can't get the first word out. My mouth is too dry; there is sweat on my forehead; my hands are shaking. The 'fight or flight' reaction is in full force, but completely inappropriate in this situation. If only I could switch it off for long enough to get out the first sentence, I'd be all right.

Jim is a policeman. He is driving along one day, when he notices three or four young men making a nuisance of themselves. Jim is alone. He is not that keen on getting into a physical tussle against overwhelming odds. What is he to do?

He gets out of the car, walks slowly over, then tells them off with quiet but firm authority. They give him some backchat and show resentment, but do as they are told.

But what if Jim had felt afraid? This would have affected the way he walked, his facial expression, the tone of his voice, the size of the pupil in his eye, even his body smell. People pick up these subtle cues, and react to them without realizing it. Jim had to be genuinely unafraid in order to handle the situation. He felt some fear before he got out of the car. How did he switch it off?

Teachers are in a similar position. How come some teachers can keep discipline effortlessly, while others have constant trouble? The little monsters will find every chink in a teacher's armor. The secret is to feel fully in control—then you will be!

Phobias

Most people are afraid of something. Many of these fears are unreasoning, unrealistic—and acknowledged by the person to be so. 'I know most spiders are harmless, but they just give me the shivers.' Others hate to go into water, perhaps because of an unpleasant swimming accident many years ago.

Unfortunately, for some people the fear doesn't stop there. It is something that takes over their lives. One of my friends crashed a car because there was a spider on the windscreen. (The spider escaped unhurt.) A client of mine was house-bound by the fear that if she got into a car, it might have to go across a bridge over water, and she couldn't stand the thought of water under her. Such debilitating fears are called phobias.

Here is my friend Helen's account of her husband's very special fear.

SNAKE!

Geoff has been scared of snakes since childhood.

This is an understatement. Geoff is terrified, petrified and disgusted by the very thought of snakes. The sinuous, slithery, scaly, slippery serpent gives him the shivers.

The letter "S" itself is too snakelike in both looks and sound for him. When he was young, he'd date any girl—as long as she wasn't a Sally or a Sue, a Shirley or a Sheila. And later, he almost walked out of our marriage when I wanted to call our firstborn "Stan" after my wealthy uncle.

Other than snakes, Geoff is happy with the offerings of Nature. As the years went by, he used to feel increasingly constrained by city living. He dreamt of a little farmlet, not too far from prospects of work, but out of the suburbs with their noise, pollution, unfriendliness and increasing danger. Being a country girl, I agreed.

And then Uncle Stan died. My share of the inheritance was a house valued at $150,000.

"Now is our chance to buy that farm, Geoff," I said. "We can pay off the mortgage on this house, and still have enough left for a deposit on something."

So we spent the evenings looking at the classified ads in the paper, and the weekends driving around the countryside. Eventually, we found a nice five-hectare block in Healesville, which was close enough to Geoff's work, and close enough to "country" to satisfy us. There was even a little old clapboard cottage on the block. I was pleased by this: we would have somewhere to live while having a proper house built.

Geoff was not so sure. He knew that snakes love to inhabit old wooden houses. However, he had to give in when I hired a pest exterminator, who declared the cottage to be free of snakes.

So we put the house in Balwyn on the market and moved out to Healesville. We coped like champions with the challenges of a frontier lifestyle: roof leaks during a ten-day downpour; the lack of dry firewood; the chimney fire caused by burning wet wood; the mud and the cold. At least it was too cold for snakes.

Anyway, eventually it was spring, then summer. The kids had made friends by then, I was happy and busy, and Geoff enjoyed coming home to clean air and birdsong. The Balwyn house had fetched a good price, and the builders were working on the new residence.

Of course, there was the snake in the grass—or, at least, the fear of one. Geoff made it a habit to wear rubber boots even in the hottest weather, and carried a stout stick.

I used to laugh at him. The children and I went about barefoot. But did this reassure my husband? Not likely—in fact, once more, Geoff's phobia threatened to disrupt our happy marriage.

Then, one Monday morning, it happened. Geoff was a little late for work. He gulped his breakfast, grabbed his briefcase and the stick, and ran to the car. He braked at the gate and hopped out. As always, the stick was in his hand, just in case.

And there it was, in its evil sinuousness! Coil upon black coil, flat triangular head, beady eyes, flickering forked tongue and all, the snake lay by the roadside, as if the land belonged to it.

Geoff froze for a moment, then went into attack. "Get away!" he screamed, and hit at the surprised snake with his stick.

The snake uncoiled and took off. Sweat pouring off him, breath short, Geoff followed, taking ineffective swipes at it with the stick.

Then, by some fluke, the stick connected. The snake flew through the air, and did a flip as it landed. This disoriented it, and it now slithered towards its tormentor rather than away from him.

Geoff panicked. He swung the stick and missed. The snake was right in front of him, so he kicked at it. At this final provocation, the poor animal swiftly raised its head and struck.

"AAARGH! I've been bitten!" Geoff screamed. He threw the stick at the now retreating snake, rushed back to the gate, opened it in record time, then got into the car. He drove to the hospital in perhaps three minutes—normally, the trip would have taken him at least ten.

Chalky white, beads of sweat on his face, he entered the hospital with his right leg held stiff, the rest of him trembling. "Snakebite!" he got out before he collapsed.

"Where were you bitten?" the nurse asked.

Geoff mutely pointed to his lower right trouser leg, where the venom had left a wet stain.

The nurse rushed off and returned with a large pair of scissors. At a nod from her patient, she cut the trouser leg open to inspect the wound.

Only, there was no wound. The snake's teeth had failed to penetrate Geoff's trousers.

From the outside, the way Helen sees him, Geoff looks ridiculous. This is one of the problems with a phobia: many others refuse to take you seriously, make fun of your fear. They try to argue you out of it.

But from the inside, the fear is terrible. You may or may not acknowledge that it is unrealistic. Regardless, it is crippling. Your whole life centers around it. You try and reduce fear by avoiding situations which remind you of situations which remind you of the fear. And, as in Geoff's case, often the fear goads you into action which brings about exactly what you have been terrified of.

A phobia never stands still. It grows, slowly taking over more and more of the victim's life.

It can be controlled.

The annoyance cycle

Getting stressed is not something that happens to a person in isolation. Usually, it involves the reactions of other people. As young Johnnie said to the teacher: 'It started when I hit back!'

"Hi, Mom, I'm home!" Laura called out as she walked through the door. She snatched an apple from the fruit basket without stopping, then disappeared into her room. A few seconds later, her favorite CD started blasting through the house.

Mom sighed, pulled her shoulders back and marched to the door. She wrenched it open and yelled, "TURN THAT THING DOWN!"

"You don't have to shout!" Laura put down the magazine she was just starting and adjusted the volume control. "All I want is to relax for a few minutes before I get into my maths!"

Mom took a deep breath. "Laura. I've been waiting for you to come home. Can't you at least stop and have a chat before hiding in your room?"

"Well, it's not fair. I've hardly come home, and all you can do is shout at me and come barging in to tell me off. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!"

This may sound all too familiar. I am sure you can give similar examples from your own life—at home or at work—where two nice, well-meaning people get each other angry over nothing.

What was happening between Laura and her mother?

Laura had had a hard day at school. Doing the final year of High School is no joke. One of her major assignments was being marked. It was due to be returned to her in a couple of days, and she was worrying about the mark she might get. She had to do her maths homework and she didn't really know how to go about it. And she just had to get it finished before going out with Steve in the evening.

Mom had her own set of worries. Most of them concerned money, now that she'd been laid off from her part-time job. But mostly, she had spent the day alone, and was aching for some human contact. She'd hoped her daughter would have a coffee with her before starting her homework. When Laura raced straight through into her room, Mom felt hurt and ignored.

So they started a fight, by both of them hitting back first.

So what?

Much of the rest of this book will teach you how to 'install a switch' that will control fear and anger in their various manifestations.

Used alone, this technique will not solve your problems. You still need to deal with the source of the anger, with the cause of the fear. But immediate, temporary control gives you a breathing space, so you can cope with the task of the moment, and so you have the energy to deal with any underlying issues. The last chapter deals with doing just that.

Summing up

  • 'Stress' is a person's reaction to challenges.

  • We are biologically designed to respond to threats with a 'fight or flight' reaction.

  • The effects of this reaction can be harmful and counter-productive.

  • In particular, anger can make us say and do things we regret later.

  • 'Worry' is the 'fight or flight' reaction in slow motion, and is particularly damaging.

  • In social situations, fear is almost always a hindrance.

  • Fear can sometimes grow until it takes over the sufferer's life as a 'phobia'.

  • Stress is often mutual, the result of an unhelpful interaction between people.

Over to you

  • This is not so much a book to read and then forget, but a tool for changing your life. You can achieve change only by doing.

  • Just the same, the exercise for this chapter is to make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and relax for a while. Celebrate the fact that you have taken the first step to conquering emotional problems that may have been making you miserable for a long time.

  • This first chapter has set out the problem. After you have had your celebratory rest, you might want to write down a summary of your own problem in two or three points.

 

Table of Contents


1. Why you need an anti-stress switch.
2. The Caveperson in you.
3. The man who got dogs to dribble and drool on command.
4. Phobias.
5. Making the switch.
6. Help from those who care.
7. Talking back.
8. And so...

 

"Anger and Anxiety" Copyright © 2000-2002. Dr. Bob Rich. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.

 

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Author Bio

Bob Rich is a multiple award-winning Australian writer, mudsmith and psychologist. He has done enough different things to fill a couple of life-times, but is too busy to worry about it.

Dr Bob Rich has been a psychologist for thirty-two years. He held teaching positions at Monash University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, then was a Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization. However, he retired at thirty-five years of age, in order to devote himself to building a sustainable future for his children.

In the process, he became a writer. He has had a regular column in Earth Garden magazine since 1980, and many freelance articles in other places. Every now and then Bob indulges in a splurge of entering writing competitions, and has accumulated a long list of prizes and awards. His book, The Earth Garden Building Book: Design and build your own house (with Keith Smith) is still selling well in its third edition, and has been in continuous print since 1987. His second book, Woodworking for Idiots Like Me, was also successful.

In 1991, Bob did a short ‘apprenticeship’ with a colleague, and started a counseling practice. Since then, he has attended a number of courses, and helped many hundreds of people to overcome their problems.

The e-book, Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias describes the use of a number of tools Bob uses with many of his clients. About 90% of his clients succeed, using tools like these. In this book, he has presented his methods in such a way that any person can apply them. Bob also writes fiction. He has written a science fiction book and an historical adventure series, of which three books have been published so far. A short story collection, Striking Back from Down Under is also available.

He welcomes contact from readers of his books. Email him at bobrich@bobswriting.com.

TTB titles:
Anger and Anxiety
Striking Back from Down Under

Author web site.

 

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  Reviews

Real help for sufferers of uncontrollable anger and anxiety, August 27, 2004

Dr. Rich uses clear, real-life examples to move from the abstract concepts of fight-or-flight, phobias, worry, arousal, and anger to help you understand how your own life may be impacted by these phenomena. In addition, he ties concrete physical symptoms to these areas that you may never have suspected were linked. Understanding what is our normal and natural heritage as human beings is one key to regaining your power over these phenomena. It also allows complex cause-and-effect relationships such as Pavlovian conditioning to be readily comprehensible. For example, I had never really considered the possible explanation that some phobias are passed unintentionally from parent to child. The method of behavioral modelling clearly explains the mechanics of how this can be produced.

True to the Cognitive Behavioral Technique, the text emphasizes that you may not be able to change what you are thinking or feeling but you can change what you are doing... and the rest will follow. Fortunately, each chapter ends with a self-directed survey to increase awareness of anger and anxiety in your life. Part II of the book details specific actions you can take to conquer anger and anxiety. Wolpe's method of progressive muscular relaxation is developed in sufficient detail for anyone to be able to apply it. Though a useful skill in itself, muscular relaxation increases sensitivity to tension and therefore supplies an early-warning system for anxiety and anger. This also works in conjunction with systematic desensitization through imaginary and real experiences. When confronted by a distressing scenario, the client applies learned relaxation techniques and thereby scores a victory over phobia.

Although "Anger and Anxiety: Be In Charge of Your Emotions and Control Phobias" is first and foremost a self-help book, the author does recognize when situations require outside help. Chapter 6, "Help from Those Who Care" is a frank discussion about the limits of self-help and when to go for outside assistance. The book wraps with a grab-bag of CBT tools and tricks you can use to empower your life: thought-stopping, narrative therapy, role-changing, and a quick glimpse into Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy techniques. I would strongly recommend "Anger and Anxiety" to anyone who has a history of unexplained anger or overreactions to situations as well as anybody who finds more of their life occupied by worry and fear than they are happy with.

Reviewed by Victor R. Volkman (Ann Arbor, MI).
 



Over the past two decades I read at least fifty self-help books covering a variety of neuroses, psychoses and phobias. The reason was that I suffered from social anxiety and a choice of both common and exotic phobias, and was desperately looking for a way out of my private hell. I found a way, many ways in fact - thanks to loving parents, a caring husband, patience, perseverance, and last but not least, counseling sessions with a psychotherapist. Today I am more or less the person I always dreamt of becoming, except for some left-over symptoms of shyness.

When I started to read "Anger & Anxiety", I soon wished it had been published twenty years ago. All of the exercises and strategies outlined in this book are of the kind that I found to work best after trying what seemed to be every therapeutic approach ever invented (not all of them worked, some even aggravated the problem). And here it was in a nutshell: only the best of the best, the top therapies on my personal hitlist.

Dr. Bob Rich presents his methods in a brilliant and entertaining manner, illustrated with interesting case examples. I thought that as a life-long guinea-pig extraordinaire I "knew it all", but throughout the book I found invaluable insights that were totally new to me.

I warmly recommend "Anger & Anxiety" to everyone suffering from uncontrolled anger, panic attacks and anxiety. Even those who cope perfectly with their lives can benefit, by enhancing their personal potential and their happiness. Being relaxed and in control is always a good choice, isn't it?

Reviewed by Christine Spindler, author of "Faces of Fear"
 



Wouldn't it be great if we all had an "anti-stress switch" that we could flip whenever we started to feel anxious or angry? It may sound like fantasy, but in this book, you can learn how to make it reality. You can train your mind to "let go" in an instant.

Abundant with relevant anecdotes and filled with practical advice and exercises, this book is a wonderful tool for those who have trouble with anger or anxiety (or both!).

In the first part, the book describes the physical symptoms of anxiety and what causes them-- for example, it explains why your heart races and your digestive system shuts down when you're in panic mode.

I particularly liked an example Rich used in the book about stage fright. When he had to give a lecture once, he was undergoing a lot of nervous tension. The chairman of the conference said to him, "Bob, I can see you are really excited about this opportunity to talk about your work. Several people have mentioned to me that they are keen to hear you." This immediately changed the way Rich interpreted his own body symptoms. Now he could think of himself as excited rather than nervous. Truth be told, our body doesn't know the difference!

Rich explains the difference between healthy and unhealthy arousal, and warns us about the possible health problems associated with persistent arousal (such as high blood pressure, digestive problems, and muscle tension).

He encourages readers to keep a diary that charts stressful and angry episodes, noting what led up to the behavior and what happened as a consequence of it. By doing this, we can find patterns in our life.

I've often done progressive muscle relaxation, but I never knew that there was a "correct" way to do it-- Rich explains the proper order and proper way to tense and relax your muscles for optimal results.

One of the things I liked best about this book is that it doesn't offer a "one-solution-fits-all" approach. There are many different techniques discussed in the book-such as narrative therapy, desensitization, flooding, and rational emotive behavior therapy-and you are encouraged to find out what works for you.

The book gave me a lot of food for thought, and after reading it, I feel better equipped to deal with my own anxiety. I'm eager to try out the methods Rich detailed.

Anger and Anxiety is reader-friendly and doesn't get bogged down with psychological jargon. I highly recommend it for anyone who is committed to change his or her negative thought patterns and learn how to manage anger or anxiety.

Reviewed by Jenna Glatzer, a full-time writer and former agoraphobic. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and eight books for children and adults. She is also the editor-in-chief of Absolute Write, a massive website for writers
 



Dr. Bob Richs' book "Anger and Anxiety: How To Be In Charge Of Your Emotions and Control Phobias" is a fine addition to the self-help toolkit in coping with emotional problems. It explains an important aspect of the Cognitive-Behavioral approach in easy to understand language.

Psychological information is quite useful but often rather dull and drab. This makes it difficult and tiring even for professionals in the field to plow through at times. The problem is much worse for most lay people. The complaints I hear from my clients most often about self-help books is that they are dull and rarely give practical information about how to solve the problem. Dr. Richs' book shatters these two problems.

Dr. Rich describes in detail how anxiety and phobias develop and are maintained. He delineates the natural physiology of the arousal state that underlies one of the processes that is such a great benefit to mankind and one of its most glaring weaknesses if the system is overwhelmed. He intersperses this vital information with a narrative prose that allows this information to become embedded in the subconscious.

As an Ericksonian Hypnotherapist, I was most impressed by how his approach mirrors many of the principles of Milton Erickson. Ericksonian psychotherapy is indirect and attempts to hold the conscious attention of the client while metaphors are directed towards the subconscious. The theory is that change will be more easily developed by this technique since the subconscious comprises 85% if the brain. Clinically this reduces resistance and promotes change.

Many of the martial arts, such as Judo, use the same principles of distracting attention and then concentrating on a specific area where they can use their opponent's own momentum to achieve the desired result. Bob Rich uses the problem as the opponent, and teaches the client to attack it in the same way.

Reviewed by Jef Gazley M.S.
 



As someone who has suffered from anxiety disorder for 19 years I found this book a must read. Dr. Rich's easy to read insights on the mind makes this a book for the lay person as well as the professional. He intertwines his professional knowledge with clear cut examples for change and recovery.

The book further explains coping techniques made personal with case studies. Dr. Rich's use of case studies introduces the reader to individuals who have experienced anxiety, anger, and various phobias. The reader can readily identify with these individuals. They become teachers and symbols of hope for recovery. Allowing the reader to say if they can do it I can too.

By explaining his ABC method he teaches one to understand the C or Consequences of one's Behavior. This causes one to rethink the A or "Antecedent" which triggered the unwanted behavior. Dr. Rich gives the reader a blue print to think before reacting. He shows that one must first realize what triggers result in negative consequences. This then enables the reader to rethink the reaction to these triggers. Dr. Rich demonstrates how an interruption of thought can create a positive reaction.

He further gives tools to help change unwanted reactions. Everything from relaxation techniques to journaling one's behavior. Again he gives personal examples to further demonstrate his point. For example creating a diary teaches which circumstances create a negative effect on our sympathetic system. With this new found awareness the individual can move onto "thought stopping." Interrupting or changing the negative triggers before they can create the unwanted result.

This book is a combination of techniques, case studies and insights into the mind. I recommend reading this book more than once. It is not only a how to book but also a valuable reference book. A necessary teaching manual for anyone with anxiety disorder and other negative behaviors. This book will teach you how to change these behaviors and improve your mental and physical health. Why put of these positive changes get a copy of Dr. Bob Rich's book today.

Reviewed by Mary Ellen Popkin, author of Anxiety Disorder Handbook.
 



Dr. Rich gives us an indispensable tool for everyday life in his book Anger and Anxiety: How to be in charge of your emotions and control phobias.

With easily understandable language and well researched and proven therapy techniques, Dr. Rich explains fear, phobias, conditioning, assertion training, thought stopping, cognitive and narrative therapy. He details each, giving examples.

Therapy techniques are explained in simple easy to follow terms and steps, in such a way that they can be applied and used by anyone.

Sitting here at my computer, reading through this interesting and informative book, I gave it a little test. Dr. Rich explains the muscle groups, and a relaxation technique for dealing with stress. I followed the simple directions, tensing and relaxing each muscle group. Reading this book was certainly not stressful, in fact, just the opposite. However, after doing this relaxation exercise, I immediately felt relief, especially, in my neck muscles, which always tend to tighten when I spend long sessions starring at the computer screen. I certainly will continue to use it. I will also be applying several other techniques to handle everyday frustrations.

Whether you looking for help in handling stress and problems in your own life, or seeking directions and do's and don'ts for helping someone you care about, or just want to relax a little, Anger and Anxiety is an excellent resource and starting point. The recommended resources for seeking professional help in Dr. Rich's homeland of Australia, can be easily converted and applied to the US or other countries.

Relax and enjoy, or read and then relax, Dr. Robert Rich's Anger and Anxiety: How to be in charge of your emotions and control phobias.

Reviewed and © Charlene Austin for Writing Road

 

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