In “The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies to Take Control of Your Worry,” psychologist Margaret Wehrenberg spells out quick anti-anxiety techniques. Most of the advice is to some degree familiar, including deep breathing and muscle-relaxing exercises. But the book’s brevity, specificity and use of catchy mnemonics make it more appealing than some more pompous psychological self-help tomes.
First, Wehrenberg helps you identify your type of anxiety. Panic attacks, for example, are “bouts of sudden, intense physical and emotional feelings of fear or terror that last for 11 to 13 minutes.” If that’s what happens to you, she says, you have a panic disorder and you will probably get the most use out of anxiety busters 1, 2 and 5. This is No. 1: “Avoid CATS (not the furry ones).” The CATS she has in mind are caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and sweeteners. Not that you have to do without all of them all the time, but managing your intake can make a difference.
People who suffer the less dramatic but more persistent general anxiety, she says, might benefit from a different set of busters, including this one: “Worry well and only once.” The idea is to take one source of worry very seriously, figure out what action(s) might be taken to deal with it, and move on. “Whenever the worry pops up again,” she writes, “declare, ‘Stop! I already worried!' “ and replace it with another thought.
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When a patient is rapidly losing blood, it’s often difficult for even trained medical personnel to keep the person alive long enough to get treatment. That’s the issue addressed by VetiGel, a polymer that, when spread on a wound, is said to stop bleeding within 20 seconds. The gel – not yet being sold and not yet approved for use on people – is being distributed to veterinary clinics to be tested on injured animals.
As described by Matt Safford for Smithsonian.com’s “Game Changer” feature, VetiGel is made of material from the cell walls of plants. The company that makes the gel says it speeds up production of fibrin, which is formed during the body’s blood-clotting process. The product stops internal as well as external bleeding, its developers say, and helps form strong clots. It can be left in place to be absorbed by the body as the wound heals.
Safford notes that little information is available about the gel except from the Web site of Suneris, the small, private company that is developing the product. According to that site, the Department of Defense is interested in seeing if the gel could be used to treat wounded soldiers. The company hopes to begin human trials in 2015.