Health

How Often Do You Really Need to Wash Your Comforter?

How Often Do You Really Need to Wash Your Comforter?

If your pets sleep in your bed with you, there’s a higher chance you’ll end up with outside invaders in your bed. “Dogs bringing in ticks [which then attach] to owners is a very real and not uncommon situation,” Dr. Russo says. “Likewise, cats go outside and may hunt and kill other animals with potentially dangerous infections, like tularemia, and can infect owners.” Allergens—particularly dust mites—are the biggest cause for concern.While bacteria and sweat aren’t likely to build up enough to make you sick, dust mites sure can. Obviously, not everyone is allergic to dust mites, but if you are, it’s more important to regularly clean your sheets and comforter.“The most common types of allergens found in mattress and pillows and comforters and blankets are dust mites,” Denisa E. Ferastraoaru, MD, assistant professor of medicine in allergy and immunology and attending physician at Einstein/Montefiore and Jacobi Medical Centers, tells SELF. “Dust mites are small, little creatures. They live wherever we live because they feed on our skin flakes.” And they’re most commonly found in the bedroom, she adds.It’s sort of impossible to rid your bedroom of dust mites—everybody has them, no matter how clean you keep the house, says Dr. Ferastraoaru.Other allergens can linger on your comforter, too. If you sit on your bed in your outside clothes, you can transfer things like pollen, grass, and ragweed onto your comforter. And if your dog or cat is running around outside and then sleeping in your bed, they can drag in these seasonal allergens, too. This may cause problems for you, depending on how sensitive you are, Dr. Steele says.How often should you wash your comforter then? You should generally aim to wash your comforter once a week. There are some logistical challenges that make it difficult to wash a large, bulky comforter this often, which is typically what experts recommend to keep linens fresh and minimize allergens. Another option: Slip your comforter into an allergy-proof cover, and wash that once a week, Ryan Steele, DO, board-certified allergist-immunologist and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Yale School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Adding an allergy cover, which might also be called a dust mite cover, will add an extra layer of protection to lock in dust mites and reduce the number of allergens,” Dr. Steele says.These covers work by basically locking dust mites inside the comforter so that they can’t get out and be inhaled, Dr. Ferastraoaru explains. “The fabric is very tight and will not let dust mites and dust mite allergens through.” Even better: If you’re in the market for a new comforter, put an allergy cover on it before you use it the first time to prevent dust mites from getting inside in the first place, she says.Dr. Steele recommends washing your sheets and all covers, including pillow and comforter covers, once a week on the hottest setting possible to reduce the number of allergens. If you have seasonal allergies, use the dryer. “A lot of people like to get that fresh scent on linens by drying them on the outside clothesline. That may be great for the smell, but that is a giant pollen trap,” Dr. Steele says. “Using the dryer is going to help reduce the load of the allergens.”If your allergies are acting up despite regularly washing your sheets and comforter cover, you may need to kick your pet out of the bed, Dr. Steele says. It could be a difficult transition if you’re both used to cuddling all night, but you’ll ultimately sleep more soundly if you eliminate all potential sources of allergens. No matter who’s in bed with you, it’s worth it to keep things clean.Related:

Ashley Graham Shares Photos of Her Postpartum Hair Loss Journey

Ashley Graham Shares Photos of Her Postpartum Hair Loss Journey

Supermodel and mom of three Ashley Graham shared a series of photos of her postpartum hair loss on Instagram this week. In the caption, the 35-year-old joked, “I mean at least it’s growing #postpartumhairloss.”This isn’t the first time Graham has been open about the effects of pregnancy on her body. She’s been vocal about how being a mom has changed her since her first child was born in 2020. In January 2022, she gave birth to twins, and she’s documented her postpartum experience on Instagram throughout this year.In June, Graham shared a video of herself modeling underwear and wrote in the caption, “Posting this video for all the mamas who haven’t and may never ‘bounce back’ and for anyone who needs to be reminded that your body is beautiful in its realest form. This is my strong, five-month-postpartum-been-pregnant-for-two-years body. As it is. In hopes to further normalize ALL bodies in every and any stage of life.” Graham has also talked about relying on disposable underwear after giving birth the first time: In a February 2020 post, she shared a photo of herself wearing them with the caption, “Raise your hand if you didn’t know you’d be changing your own diapers too…No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through. I wanted to show you guys that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies!”Instagram contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Now, Graham is keeping it real about yet another unexpected change that can happen to the body after giving birth. Postpartum hair loss is completely normal after having a baby, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). This happens as a result of falling estrogen levels. Unfortunately, it can be more intense than a few fallen strands here and there. Per the Cleveland Clinic, it’s not unusual to notice “handfuls” of hair coming out in the shower. It usually starts one to six months after giving birth, and it can last for 18 months, but it can come back sooner. Per the AAD, most people see their hair return to “normal” during their first year postpartum. The good news is, we’re not talking about permanent hair loss. It’s only temporary, which is why dermatologists actually refer to postpartum hair loss as “excessive hair shedding.” Furthermore, you don’t need to do anything to stimulate hair growth—it’ll come back on its own, per the AAD. 

Why ‘Make Sure to Pee Before You Leave the House’ Isn’t Always Good Advice

Why ‘Make Sure to Pee Before You Leave the House’ Isn’t Always Good Advice

You’ve certainly heard this advice before: Always pee before you leave home. These seemingly wise words, often drilled into us as children, are meant to help us avoid smelly rest stops and that awkward moment when you rush into a store to ask if they have a bathroom, only to be turned away.But even if you followed this recommendation consistently, you may experience a frustrating phenomenon: You still need to pee while you’re out and about. You might even have to pee more than once or have trouble holding it in. So what gives? Here’s the gist: By forcing yourself to pee before you head to your next destination, you’re probably achieving the exact opposite of what you’d hoped for. What happens when you habitually pee without the urge?First, some anatomy 101: The bladder is a very flexible organ, like a balloon. It has really stretchy muscle fibers. This means you shouldn’t hold in your pee for too long, because your bladder may start to stretch out and have trouble bouncing back, like a big floppy balloon. On the flip side, one of the reasons you shouldn’t pee when you don’t need to is that you can build up muscle in the organ, which stiffens the bladder wall. Both of these habits can lead to issues emptying your bladder down the road.However, the brain controls every bodily process, including urination, according to Victoria Handa, MD, MHS, the director of the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. “There’s absolutely a mental component to needing to pee,” Dr. Handa tells SELF. (If you’ve ever been hit by a bout of nerves and felt a subsequent urge to use the bathroom, you know what we’re talking about.) Thanks to this mental association, peeing if you don’t have the urge may actually prime (and train) your brain and bladder to go more frequently.“The connection between the brain and the bladder—how and when and why the bladder sends its ‘I’m full’ signal to the brain—is complicated, but in short, the bladder is a very trainable organ,” Lauren E. Stewart, MD, an ob-gyn who specializes in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and an assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, tells SELF. Over time, Dr. Stewart explains, if you continue to pee before your bladder is actually full, it may learn that it should empty itself when there’s less inside. “This means that you’ll be urinating more frequently since your bladder thinks it cannot hold as much,” she says. Also, know that the bladder can hold quite a bit of urine: Research1 suggests people with vaginas can store up to 500 milliliters of urine—or about two cups—in their bladders; if you fall into this camp, you’ll probably feel the urge to pee when the bladder has between 200 and 350 milliliters of pee in it.So before you head to the bathroom, you might want to make sure that you actually need to pee so you’re not sending your bladder mixed messages. Of course, there’s no need to stress over this too much either; you won’t instantly train your bladder to go all the time by partaking in a precautionary pee every so often. “Generally speaking, the bladder takes time to learn (and unlearn) these behaviors,” Dr. Stewart says. How can you tell if you’re peeing too often?There’s the “just in case” pee before you leave the house, and then there’s peeing too much in general. Because peeing is so psychological—in other words, you can talk yourself into needing to go—it can be hard to tell when it’s necessary to see a doctor about urinary frequency (needing to pee often), overactive bladder (the urge to pee suddenly), or even stress incontinence (when some form of pressure causes urine leakage, rushing you to the bathroom).

6 Ways Constant Anger Can Hurt Your Health Long-Term

6 Ways Constant Anger Can Hurt Your Health Long-Term

Here’s what you should know about the many ways anger can impact your body in the long run, and what to do if you’re concerned about how it might be taking a toll on your health. 1. Heightened inflammation A growing body of research suggests chronic stress, as well as the negative emotions associated with it, is strongly linked to higher levels of inflammation in the body and dysfunctional immune system responses. Your immune system is designed to attack potential threats to your body with inflammatory cells, Dr. Duijndam explains. “With chronic stress, including anger, these markers of inflammation increase as well.” So even if you don’t have, say, an infection brewing, these inflammatory cells may start to get rowdy and go after healthy cells instead if you’re a person who deals with lots of anger, she says. That, in turn, can set the stage for various health issues, especially as you age. For example, a 2019 study that followed 226 older adults for one week found that those who had higher levels of self-reported anger were more likely to have higher levels of inflammation and a higher risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and even certain cancers. On top of that, constantly feeling rage-y can also impact your everyday habits, some of which may lead to further inflammation, or simply damage your health in other ways. “The significant confound we have in any of this research is that people who are chronically angry tend to engage in lots of unhealthy behaviors,” Dr. Martin says, such as smoking, excessive drinking, and overeating or loading up on food that isn’t as nutritious as it could be. “Those unhealthy behaviors will have an impact too,” he stresses.2. Heart disease“The bulk of the evidence that we have on the health consequences of anger really has to do with the heart and [the rest of the] cardiovascular system, and we’ve known that for decades,” Dr. Martin says. Try to do a quick body scan the next time your blood starts to boil—that is, take a moment to notice how the various parts of your body feel, one by one—and it won’t be hard to understand why anger can do a number on your heart. “When you keep ruminating in a state of anger, it leads to poor cardiovascular recovery,” says Dr. Duijndam. Again, that’s because “it keeps you in a state of stress.” Anger can spike your blood pressure and heart rate, two factors that place immense pressure on your heart muscle and therefore heighten the risk of chronic hypertension. An influx of stress hormones can also boost your blood sugar levels and blood fatty acid levels, which can damage blood vessels and lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, respectively. That’s one reason why regularly getting and staying angry could potentially play a role in conditions like cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. 3. Reduced lung functionQuick and shallow breathing is one of the first physical effects anger triggers for many people. “When we need to ‘fight or flight’ from a situation that’s threatening, it makes sense,” Dr. Duijndam says. It’s your body’s way of trying to supply more oxygen to areas it perceives as essential, like the brain and muscles. It follows, then, that strong emotions like anger are a common trigger for asthma attacks in those who are susceptible. 

When Postpartum Depression Shows Up as Intense Anger

When Postpartum Depression Shows Up as Intense Anger

“After delivery, there’s this incredible change in reproductive hormones,” Katherine L. Wisner, MD, the Norman and Helen Asher Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Hormones—such as estrogen and progesterone—go from the highest they’ll ever be down to almost nothing as soon as the placenta is delivered.” And some experts believe these rapid hormonal shifts are linked to the development of PPD in people who are biologically susceptible. Plus, recovering from a vaginal delivery or a C-section is hard and can be incredibly painful. Giving birth does not always go smoothly, and some estimates suggest one-third of people who give birth experience some form of trauma while delivering their baby, which may contribute to PPD or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While trauma can include things like enduring premature labor or feeling worried about a baby’s well-being, many people report that the people in the room—their care providers, including doctors, midwives, and nurses—are responsible for these distressing experiences, say, by dismissing the severity of a birthing parent’s pain, among many other scenarios.But one of the biggest changes that will affect your day-to-day functioning as a new parent is the ability to get enough sleep. Recovering postpartum with little to no sleep is a challenge that’s underestimated by society, Dr. Wisner says. And, as you might be able to guess, studies have shown a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and emotions like depression, anxiety, and anger.In a Canadian study of nearly 300 women, published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth in 2022, 31% of moms reported feeling intense anger, while more than half said their sleep quality was poor. The researchers concluded that a parent’s sleep quality, as well as feeling angry about their infant’s sleep quality, were two major predictors of postpartum anger. A range of disparities also contributes to the rage.For Black birthing parents, in particular, the stigma anger carries can be a huge barrier to seeking necessary mental health support. “Anger and rage are widely under-recognized. There’s a natural shying away of emotions in fear of being the stereotype of the ‘Angry Black Woman,’” Lauren Elliott, the CEO and founder of Candlelit Therapy, a perinatal mental health care service for underserved new and expectant parents, tells SELF. “Black maternal health is in extreme crisis.”There are a host of systemic issues that prevent Black people and other people of color from receiving proper mental health care. Birth parents of color experience higher-than-average rates of postpartum depression, and yet, they are less likely to be diagnosed, less likely to know that the symptoms they’re experiencing are related to PPD, and are therefore less likely to be properly treated, according to a report from the Center for American Progress.“Black women are less likely to be screened in pregnancy for depression and anxiety,” Elliott says. The consequences of these disparities can be devastating. As SELF previously reported, Black and Indigenous women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These Stress Relief Activities Actually Work, According to Experts

These Stress Relief Activities Actually Work, According to Experts

If you feel like your stress has been next-level lately, you might find a tiny bit of comfort in the fact that you’re definitely not alone. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress in America report, concerns about money and global uncertainty, to name two huge factors, have spiked personal stress to sky-high levels in the US.Part of the reason we’re all so unnerved: 87% of respondents agreed that “it feels like there’s been a constant stream of crises over the last two years” (understatement) and 73% reported that they feel “overwhelmed by the number of crises facing the world right now.” And on top of an ongoing global pandemic, ever-upsetting news cycles, and rising gas and grocery costs, many of us are also still dealing with common daily-life stressors like family, career, and relationship drama. There’s no quick-fix way to make stress disappear, of course. (And if it’s a chronic issue that’s preventing you from living a fulfilling life, talking to a professional may be the best way to relieve some of the pressure and improve your well-being—more on that later.) But there are expert-backed stress-relief activities you can experiment with when you’re feeling overwhelmed.By drawing from research on psychology practices including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and meditation, you might be able to build a kit of coping tools that work for you when life becomes too much. Below, two licensed therapists share their favorite strategies for getting short-term relief from stress and anxiety. What is stress, exactly? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress is your body’s reaction to something that’s happening to you or around you. An important presentation at work, a hectic and noisy commute, or even a date with someone you’re excited to meet can all put your body on notice that something big is happening, which can activate your fight-or-flight stress response.1 A stressor can be a one-time thing (like an upcoming exam or turbulent flight) or a long-term occurrence (in the case of a chronic health condition, for example, or an overwhelming job).Stress is a bit different than anxiety, though, which many of us are also familiar with. When you’re stressed out, your physical symptoms will usually naturally resolve once the stressor goes away. Anxiety, on the other hand, which is your body’s internal reaction to stress, might not dissipate so quickly. Even when there isn’t an immediate physical or emotional threat, anxiety is a psychological state that tends to linger. Some physical symptoms of both stress and anxiety include:An elevated heart rate Increased blood pressureHeadacheRestlessness or insomniaRacing thoughts or worry No matter how your stress manifests, if it starts to feel overwhelming and you’re looking for relief, consider trying some of these expert-backed stress-reduction strategies for relaxing your mind and body:Stress-relief activities that actually workCount down to get grounded.When your internal pressure is high, tuning into your external environment is one stress-relieving practice that might help you feel a bit more chill. Rhayvan Jackson-Terrell, LCSW, wellness director at NYC Health and Hospitals and a telehealth therapist, tells SELF that she often recommends the “5-4-3-2-1 method” to her clients as a mindfulness activity designed to get you out of your head and into the present moment. 

How to Stop Taking Your Anger Out on Loved Ones

How to Stop Taking Your Anger Out on Loved Ones

The good news, according to Dr. Bobby, is that situational rage is the least complicated type of misdirected anger to work on. “The first step is recognizing, I’m not myself right now; I’m going through something difficult that’s making me think and feel in angry ways,” she says. “Instead of following your feelings, it’s much more helpful to say to yourself, I’m not going to get tricked into believing this narrative is true.”Take this scenario: You’re healing from a surgery and the pain is making you irritable to the extent that it’s clouding the lens you view life through: A slightly messy home looks hopelessly squalid to you. Whether or not you’re partly to blame for said disarray, you’re now furious with your partner for “never” cleaning up. Dr. Bobby recommends asking yourself, “How are my emotions coloring this story?” before you accuse your partner of chronic disrespect, which will likely leave them hurt, confused, and/or defensive.In other words, rewriting your anger-provoking narrative may create some space between you and the hot feelings that seem to be whispering, “Slam the cabinet doors real loud and just go OFF!” in your ear.Examine the patterns you learned from your family.The behavior and beliefs you’ve learned from your family of origin can majorly inform how you handle most things, including anger. “When we’ve watched them either raging or bottling stuff up and then exploding, we unconsciously absorb that as how to be in the world—particularly in relationships,” Dr. Bobby says.This can be uniquely complicated for those raised within a non-Western family culture, Siddiqi says. “A lot of first-, second-, and third-generation children grew up in families where anger wasn’t really talked about because it was a collectivist culture,” she explains. “It was never about their individual needs, but about what’ll keep the family unit happy.”Ultimately, Siddiqi says, this can lead to “a lot of cognitive dissonance” and pent-up frustration that people never learned to express directly. “Some clients that I work with will be totally fine with their parents on the surface, but actually be really angry at them about something and then take it out on their partner,” she explains.Siddiqi works with clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds to help them unlearn family-modeled patterns of destructive behavior through reflection and devising new “scripts,” meaning clearer language that lets them express their true emotions. “You’d be surprised at how many times people tell me, ‘I want to express my anger, but I don’t even know what to say,’” she says. “A lot of people don’t have the emotional education to know the difference between healthy and defensive words, or that a ‘you’ statement versus an ‘I’ statement can have a really big impact on the other person.”For example, when you’re asking for that alone time after work, Siddiqi recommends saying something like, “When I come home, I need time by myself before I share about my day. I feel overwhelmed when you ask me a lot of questions at once. I’d like to talk in 15 minutes so I can decompress. Does that sound reasonable to you?”

8 Coping Skills Therapists Use When They’re Really Angry

8 Coping Skills Therapists Use When They’re Really Angry

If taking a few deep breaths simply isn’t cutting it (you know, when you’re super ticked off), you can still use the power of your lungs to your benefit. Atmakuri recommends exhaling forcefully (think a dragon breathing fire), sighing loudly, exercising in a way that gets your heart rate up, or just crying it out to expel the negativity.6. Consciously think about anything else.Once you reflect on your anger and start to process or release it, you might realize you’re upset about something that’s actually pretty trivial—say, your partner is running a few minutes late. In this scenario, Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and the author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety, turns to something she calls the “mental shortlist” technique.The practice involves focusing on other thoughts whenever you’re tempted to stew about something that’s truly insignificant—a “nothing burger,” if you will. So, in the case of your slightly tardy partner, your “mental shortlist” might include things like catching up on reading, sorting through pictures on your phone, listening to that podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on, or anything else that will force you to redirect your thoughts intentionally. Or if you want to give things a positive spin, it could involve “brainstorming gift ideas for your [partner] or conversation topics you’re excited to discuss when they arrive,” Dr. Carmichael says.If you find yourself constantly irritated over “nothing burgers,” though, that’s worth paying attention to. “You may want to do a deeper dive to see if there’s something bigger that’s bothering you and resulting in irritability,” Dr. Carmichael notes.7. Physically adjust your body to temper your emotions.Therapists are no strangers to the mind-body connection, a concept that often comes up in their personal approaches to frustration. For example, when she’s swirling in her angry thoughts, Wang adjusts her facial expressions and hand positionings. Specifically, she turns to a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) technique called “Willing Hands and Half-Smiling.” For “willing hands,” she places her arms alongside her body, keeping them straight or bent slightly at the elbows. She then turns her hands outward, unclenched, with her fingers relaxed and palms facing upward. To practice “half-smiling,” she tries to relax her face, letting go of her facial muscles and tilting the corners of her lips upward, adopting a serene facial expression. “It’s very difficult to stay angry with ‘Willing Hands and Half-Smiling.’ I can feel the tension and energy lift off me when I practice these skills,” Wang says.8. Give your body the attention it deserves.“Emotions live in our bodies,” Wang stresses. “So, when I feel irritated, my initial thoughts are: Have I eaten? Am I hydrated? Do I need to take a nap? Most of the time, I feel better when my physical body is taken care of.” When you nurture your body, you’ll also nurture your mind and give it the support it needs to cope with the stress of anger.To better learn about her own body’s needs, Rachel Weller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, turns to a mindfulness skill called body scanning. It involves relaxing in a comfortable position while noticing external sensations (like sounds and odors) and observing your breath. Then, starting from the top of your head, mentally scan your body—section by section—while acknowledging how each part is feeling. Are your eyes heavy? Is your neck tense and achy? Is your stomach rumbling? As Dr. Weller explains: “Tuning into our physical sensations, like muscular tension, breath, pressure, and tingling, often allows us to increase the connection between our brains and bodies.” This, ultimately, can help you uncover the deeper meanings behind fiery emotions—anger and everything in between, she says. After all, she says, “Our bodies often hold facts that our mind is unable to discover.”Related:

Hailey Bieber Shares Symptoms of Apple-Sized Ovarian Cyst – See the Photo

Hailey Bieber Shares Symptoms of Apple-Sized Ovarian Cyst – See the Photo

Hailey Bieber shared a photo of herself on her Instagram story Monday, drawing attention to what she says is an apple-sized ovarian cyst. “I don’t have endometriosis or PCOS but I have gotten an ovarian cyst a few times and it’s never fun,” she wrote, joking that the cyst is “not a baby.”Bieber explained that the cyst is causing all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. “It’s painful and achey and makes me feel nauseous and bloated and crampy and emotional,” she wrote.An ovarian cyst is exactly what it sounds like: a fluid-filled sac in or on an ovary. Most people with ovaries will develop an ovarian cyst during their lives, per the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). These cysts usually form during ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg), and most of the time they’re small and generally harmless. Though most ovarian cysts don’t cause major issues, some can cause immense pressure, bloating, swelling, and pain if they get big enough, per the NLM. Usually, ovarian cysts simply go away on their own, but in some cases, surgery might be needed to treat it—say, if the ovarian cyst ruptures, as SELF previously reported. “We often see someone come to the ER at night with terrible pain that came on all of a sudden during intercourse from a ruptured ovarian cyst,” Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, a New York-based gynecologist, previously told SELF. Symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst run the gamut but can include dull or sharp pain; a heavy feeling in the abdomen; fever; vomiting; pain during or after sex; weakness; referred shoulder pain; quick breathing; chilly, clammy skin; and abnormal vaginal bleeding.Again, ovarian cysts can happen to anyone with ovaries and are pretty common, but certain health conditions may cause them to develop more frequently in some people, per the US Office on Women’s Health (OASH). These include pregnancy, PCOS, and endometriosis—all of which Bieber ruled out in her Instagram story—as well as severe pelvic infections.This isn’t the first time Bieber talked openly about her health this year: In March, she was hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms, as SELF previously reported. At the time, she said on her Instagram story: “They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.” The reason for the blood clot was originally unknown, but Bieber eventually shared it was caused by something called patent foramen ovale (PFO), for which she underwent surgery. In late April she shared that she was recovering from the procedure “really well, really fast.” In her recent post about her cyst, Bieber offered a word of encouragement to her Instagram followers. “I’m sure a lot of you can overly relate and understand,” she wrote. “We got this.”Related:

How to Stop Being Angry at Yourself for Your Mistakes

How to Stop Being Angry at Yourself for Your Mistakes

Recognizing similar experiences in your past can be illuminating, Dr. Chu-Peralta adds. For example, if the last time you experienced chronic headaches and self-recrimination was when you were a kid with a hypercritical parent, it may be that feeling angry at yourself at work is a response to an equally fault-finding boss. Identifying these connections can help you begin to see the anger for what it is: a maladaptive coping mechanism that it’s time to let go of. If you try to dismiss the rage or white-knuckle your way through it, on the other hand, “it will often come back twice as strong,” Dr. Chu-Peralta says.If you can’t stop dwelling, try temporarily distracting yourself.While ignoring your feelings can be disastrous in the long-term, in the short-term, shifting your focus may help you get some perspective—and give yourself a break. Martin suggests harnessing the power of distraction, since merely interrupting a self-critical thought can often shut it down. “If you’re ruminating, try going for a walk, doing a crossword puzzle, or listening to your favorite playlist or podcast,” she suggests. It sounds simple, but it’s often enough to make a real difference, according to Martin, since rumination—the act of replaying negative thoughts on a loop—typically yields diminishing returns. The more you mull, the less helpful your thoughts become.Once you’ve halted the negative thought and have enough distance to look at your anger objectively, Martin advises that you then ask yourself a simple question: “Is it possible that I’m exaggerating my misdeeds or inadequacies?” Often, the answer will be yes, it is indeed possible. Another helpful question: “Even if I did really screw up, does beating myself up right now teach me anything new about the experience?” Nearly always, the answer will be a resounding no. This exercise is another way to put your self-directed anger in perspective.Resist the urge to keep score.“Try not to search for whatever the ‘ultimate truth’ of the situation is,” Dr. Chu-Peralta says. “Don’t try to determine who was right and who was wrong, including yourself.” You may think that identifying the rightful source of blame will finally adjudicate the issue, “solving” it somehow and allowing you to move on. You may also think that somehow if you dig deep enough into that long-ago occurrence, you’ll find the objective evidence that you are, in fact, a terrible person. But all this incessant judgment does is keep you pinned to that long-gone situation you can no longer change.Say you’re stuck on a friend breakup from several years ago. You said some things you regret. She said some things you hope she regrets. Either way, you have convinced yourself the friendship’s downfall lies on your shoulders. You ask yourself: Who was really at fault? Who was the villain? Who was the wronged party?But here’s what’s actually important, according to Dr. Chu-Peralta: Even if you could answer these questions definitively, which you can’t, the answers would likely have little impact on how you feel. Who cares if she said three unkind things and you said four? Either way, the net result is the same. What matters, then, is how you move forward—not how you interpret (and reinterpret, and keep reinterpreting) the past.Acknowledge your mistakes—to yourself or the person you hurt.Martin puts it succinctly: “If you’ve actually harmed someone else, make amends if you can.” Of course, there’s a difference between true misdeeds and those you’ve inflated or even imagined. But for all practical purposes, that difference may not matter. If you think apologizing might help you to stop engaging in self-directed anger, and if you think you really did cause harm, it’s worth the effort, Martin says. It may mean more to that person than you anticipate.

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