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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Archive for January, 2018

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Managing Toxic Worry

While a healthy level of worry can help us perform efficiently at work, anticipate dangers, and learn from past errors, excessive worry can make an otherwise sane person seem crazy, devoid of sound judgment, peace of mind and happiness. So how do you curb the anxiety associated with stress and toxic worry?
First, it helps to understand what I call the basic equation of worry. This is a good way to conceptualize where toxic worry comes from:

Heightened Vulnerability + Lack of Control = Toxic Worry.

The more vulnerable you feel (regardless of how vulnerable you are) and the less control you feel you have (regardless of how much control you actually have), the more toxic your worrying will become. Therefore, any steps you can take to reduce your feelings of vulnerability and/or increase your feelings of control will serve to reduce your feelings of toxic worry.

But how do you stay out of the paralyzing grip of toxic worry? If you’re walking through a minefield, how do you not feel so afraid that you can’t take another step? You need a plan. When you have a plan, you can turn to the plan for guidance, which immediately makes you feel as if you are less vulnerable and more in control whether you are or not. So whether the danger you perceive stems from the poor economy, a concern about your children, or a mole on your forearm that you think might be melanoma, you need a method to keep your fear from running wild so you can systematically dismantle the problem and take control.

10 Tips for Controlling Worry

  1. Never worry alone.  When you are alone, toxic worry intensifies. So talk to someone you trust – a friend, your spouse, a colleague, a relative. You often find solutions to a problem when you talk it out with someone. The mere fact of putting it into words takes it out of the threatening realm of the imagination and puts it into some concrete, manageable form.
  2. All worry is not bad. Identify all the things you worry about and separate out the toxic to your health worries from good worry. Good worry amounts to planning and problem solving. Toxic worry is unnecessary, repetitive, unproductive, paralyzing, and life-defeating.
  3. Get plenty of vigorous exercise.  Exercise is an anti anxiety agent and reduces the accumulated noise and helps relax you.
  4. Repeat the mantra “I’ll fix what I can and, then I’ll put the rest out of my mind,” when you feel anxious thoughts emerging.
  5. Add structure to your life where you need it. Often disorganization, poor time management creates anxiety. To help get you on track and calm your stress, consider hiring an organization coach. BLUBERYL.org empowers individuals to identify, organized and master their organization skills. The National Association of Professional Organizers is another resource for finding coaches.
  6. Reality – test your worry. Regain perspective. Share your worries with someone who should know if what you are worrying about makes sense or if you have exaggerated it. So many of our problems are the result of overactive imaginations.
  7. Use humor. Make friends with amusing people, watch a Marx brothers movie, tune into Comedy Central or a humorous sit-com. Humor restores perspective; toxic worry almost always entails a loss of perspective.
  8. Get plenty of sleep. One good way to fall asleep naturally is to focus on counting your breaths. Inhale on 2-3 counts and exhale on 5-6 counts. This relaxes you and gives you something neutral to think about.
  9. Avoid watching too much TV or reading too many newspapers and magazines.
  10. Get regular doses of positive human contact (connect – the other vitamin C.) Avoid doses of negative human contact.  In other words, try, as much as you can, to be around people who are good to you and not be around people who are not.   

Learn how the Hallowell Center Can Help You.

Listen to Dr. Hallowell’s Podcast discussion on Worry.

For a dose of optimism, listen to Dr. Hallowell’s Podcast on “If You Believe It, You Can Do It!

Adapted from: Worry: Hope and Help for a Common Condition
Edward M.Hallowell, MD, Ballentine, 1997

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

What are the keys to living a life of joy?

 

Dr. Hallowell invites you to listen to his interview (airing today 1/30/18) on Creating a Connected Life in a Disconnected World at the Retraining the Brain: The Determined Woman’s Guide to Finding More Meaning, Joy and Success in Midlife summit.

Dr. Hallowell discusses:

  • Women going undetected as having ADHD
  • What to do about ADHD if you discover you have it.
  • Why it’s vital to build a connected life in a disconnected world
  • How to stop being crazy/busy and start living more fully in the present
  • The true keys to living a life of joy and meaning

Register now to access his interview and hear from other experts too. It’s free to sign up.

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Don’t Let Anxiety Hold You Back!

If you’re struggling with anxiety, it may be hard to recall the last time  you weren’t feeling tense, worried, or on edge. Anxiety can cause sudden panic attacks, may interfere with your personal or professional responsibilities, and is often tied to depression and insomnia. When you feel overwhelmed, you need a safe and rapid solution that can relieve your anxiety and help you regain your confidence and zest for life.

The Hallowell Center Boston MetroWest has a solution. They’re offering Alpha-Stim: A New Technology for Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia. 

The Alpha-Stim is a new technology designed for patients with anxiety, insomnia and/or depression who prefer a non-medication treatment approach, or for those whose medication regimen is insufficient for treating their symptoms. The Alpha-Stim is a small, hand held, FDA approved device that uses electromedical technology to relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia in a safe and painless way. It provides long-lasting, cumulative relief without the risk of negative effects.

Listen to an audio recording of Alpha-Stim with Rebecca Shafir, M.A., C.C.C. and Jeff Marksberry M.D. Vice President Science and Education at Electromedical Products International, Inc.

Come to the Hallowell Center Boston MetroWest and experience a safe, effective and medication-free approach.

Call (978) 287-0810 to set up your 30 minute Alpha-Stim trial session with Rebecca Shafir, Coordinator of the Alternative and Complementary Services.

Go to www.alpha-stim.com to read how Alpha-Stim works and the supporting research.

Dr. Hallowell reports, “We are very pleased to discover Alpha Stim, a safe and effective approach for our patients; I highly recommend it — our results have been excellent.” Here’s what some of our Alpha Stim users say:

“I have tried several medications for my anxiety over the years with little relief and many side effects. The Alpha Stim works for me so much better without the side effects. I’m very pleased to have found this device, and recommend it to my friends.” Ben J.

“My 12 year old son had always fought medications and other more traditional relaxation approaches to curb the anxiety he experiences with his ADHD, but he thinks the Alpha Stim is cool. He uses it every morning before school to set the tone for the day. I use it a few hours before bedtime to help me quiet my mind. We love it!” Kathy O.

Looking for tips on ADHD & Anxiety?  

Anxiety is often brought on by “worry.” Dr.Hallowell offers the following 3 Antidotes for putting worry in perspective:

  1. All worry is not bad. Identify all the things you worry about and separate out the toxic to your health worries from good worry. Good worry amounts to planning and problem solving. Toxic worry is unnecessary, repetitive unproductive, paralyzing and life-defeating.
  2. Exercise at least every other day. It reduces the accumulated noise and helps relax you.
  3. Repeat the mantra “I’ll fix what I can and, then I’ll put the rest out of my mind,” when you feel anxious thoughts emerging.

Dr. Hallowell offers 5 tips on Clearing out your mind in Distraction Mini Episode #34.

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Do You Know an “At-Risk Entrepreneur?”

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest 

It is midterm. This is the time of year, between December and February, when many college students drop out. Depending on your sources, the annual dropout rate ranges from 10-35%. Many of these students are very bright and aspire to entrepreneurship, but they don’t fit into the square boxes of academia. I call them my “at-risk entrepreneurs.” Despite their high IQs and creative gifts, they do not succeed in college because they exhibit one or more of the following:

  • Task Procrastination
  • Lack of control over social media and electronics
  • Disorganization
  • Poor time management
  • Irregular sleep patterns*
  • Untreated ADHD*

During a probationary period they can learn core skills and routines via coaching, or if necessary, get medical consultation.*  They can return to school better equipped. College is more tolerable; they can graduate and eventually start their own ventures.

If these At-Risk Entrepreneurs do not take charge of these weaknesses as young adults , they become the 50% or more of founders or wantrepreneurs aged 30-60 who drop out of entrepreneurship. Many of them either denied or tried to push past the need to develop better habits, core skills and routines. Anxiety, depression and deep financial woes ensue. But, they too can “go on probation,” and get the coaching or medical help needed to re-engage with their passion more psychologically and cognitively equipped.

Do you know an At-Risk Entrepreneur? If they are a dropout, tell them they can drop back in! Read about my CollegeCore for students and my CoreFour coaching for entrepreneurs. Write me at Rebecca@mindfulcommunication.com.   

Friday, January 26th, 2018

ADHD and Young Adults Who Self-Medicate

Teens experience a whole lot more than freedom after high school. New school or work experiences may introduce stress, social pressures and relationship concerns. Many young adults with ADHD experiment with alcohol or stimulants in addition to (or instead of) their past ADHD treatments to cope with these changes. 

Dr. Hallowell explored your concerns about young adults with who self-medicate and identifies what symptoms to look for and what resources are available for your child in this webinar with Understood.org on ADHD and Young Adults Who Self-Medicate, you can watch it HERE!
Thursday, January 25th, 2018

What Jobs Are Bests for ADHD?

Dr. Hallowell advocates finding the right job.  Whether you have ADHD or not, this is the key to happiness for just about everyone. As Freud said, if you can find love and happiness in love and in work, you will be a happy person. The only reason it is worth mentioning such an obvious fact is that people who have ADHD so offer err in both decisions. They marry and work for controlling, demeaning people who constantly reprimand them for their shortcomings while not even noticing their talents and strengths.

So what jobs are best for ADHD? What workplace accommodations help the most?  How can you learn to navigate office communications and politics?  Click here to find out how Dr. Hallowell and Peter Shankman, two successful entrepreneurs with ADD, answer these plaguing questions and more  from ADDitude readers trying to manage their symptoms at work.

Listen to Dr. Hallowell’s podcast on “Should I Tell My Employees I Have ADD?”

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