Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anxiety: Laugh it off, then get back to work

After awaking from a nightmare she knew was brought on by her real-life workload, Jennifer Huget did two things her doctor told her to do when faced with stress or anxiety: laugh it off, then buckle down and get to work.

First, I smiled big and said, out loud, "Hello, anxiety!" Confronting my stress on friendly terms makes it less ominous, says my doctor, psychologist Joe Brown, who practices in the Hartford, Conn., area. Plus, the ritual is so goofy it takes the edge off.

Next, I made myself sit right down and get to work. Because, Dr. Brown helped me discover, procrastination is a huge source of my stress -- and stress-related behaviors such as cramming mini marshmallows into my maw by the fistful.

—Mellow Monk

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