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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

April 17th, 2018

Managing Anxiety and Toxic Worry

In this video, I discuss anxiety and worry. Although these are common symptoms in life, excessive worry is not. Worry is like blood pressure: you need a certain level to live, but too high a level can hurt you. When worry becomes toxic, it ceases to serve as the useful built-in alarm system nature meant it to be and becomes instead a painful problem in itself. As a car alarm system that won’t shut off, our human alarm system can drive its owner crazy – and get him or her into trouble – when it won’t silence itself.

In order to set fear far enough aside for us to be able to act creatively and boldly, we need to find a method, other than denial, for doing so. So what do we do? What is a reliable non-medication method for controlling toxic worry? The 3 steps outlined in this video are something we can all use.

  1. NEVER WORRY ALONE! Toxic worry is rampant because people are so disconnected. We’re connected electronically, but we’re disconnected inter-personally. Our prime antidote to toxic worry is another person.

Remember that everyday with my just released “Never Worry Alone” mug.

Watch the video for Tips #2 & #3 and to learn more about anxiety and toxic worry.

Want more tips on managing worry? Click here.  Having problems coping with anxiety? Click here.

Worry Hope and Help for a Common Condition offers the perfect antidote to fear, nervousness, and prevalent feels of anxiety.

Remember: 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.  If you’re suffering from toxic worry, in  addition to consulting with your family doctor, be sure to consult with experts in other fields. Some options below:

The Hallowell Centers treat: Anxiety (worry, panic attacks, headaches), depression, phobias and more.

Learn more about Depression here. 

National Institute of Mental Health

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill 

Freedom from Fear

 

 

April 16th, 2018

Stuck in a Rut at Work?

How many times  have you found yourself sitting in a meeting, yawning, pinching yourself or grinding your teeth? How many days have you gone to the coffee machine multiple times, begging the caffeine to create some energy and get you out of this rut at work? Most people wake up, maybe grab some breakfast or at least a shot of caffeine, go to work, and assume they can stay consistently focused without taking any steps specifically designed to replenish and maintain their energy at work throughout the day.

If you’re having difficultly staying focused and feeling stuck at work, you can follow the 6 tips below, adapted from Dr. Hallowell’s book Driven to Distraction at Work, which was recommended in “8 books to Read When You’re Stuck in a Rut at Work

The Sensational Six*

Prep works relies on “the sensational six.” Do the things recommended below and your brain will give you much more time in flexible focus if you prepare it every day by following each of these practices so you’ll spend less time in a “rut” and be more productive.

  1. Sleep – one of the greatest favors you can do for  your brain and your entire body is to get enough sleep. Sleep is tonic. Reset your priorities to make time for sleep.  Set a regular bedtime and get-up time. Do make sure you have comfortable bedding. Reserve your bed for sleep; not work – don’t bring your screens into the bedroom.
  2. Nutrition – when you don’t eat right, your brain can’t function well. Eat a breakfast with protein. Eat a balanced lunch. Use a fruit snack and a burst of exercise to combat the blahs. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables to feed your brain the micronutrients it needs. Watch the amount of coffee you drink.
  3. Exercise is beyond doubt one of the best tonics available for your brain. You can start by walking every day with a friend; schedule time each week to play a game of some sort; i.e., golf, squash or tennis; or join a gym.
  4. Mediation can lower stress levels and blood pressure, increase energy and cognitive function, and make you calmer and happier.  You can start by sitting in a comfortable chair, both feet on the floor and both hands comfortably placed on your lap. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. In, out. Watch your thoughts float by like leaves on a river. Try not to evaluate your thoughts, but rather let them pass by without a comment or a care. You can meditate for just a 5 minutes or more. Try to meditate daily and it will help you focus better.
  5. Mental Stimulation – When you stretch your brain by trying new tasks or doing everyday tasks in a way you’ve never done them before, you are doing something that will not only enhance your ability to maintain focus, but also help stave off the ravages of aging, include dementia.
  6. Connection – The human connection is the most powerful force in the world for growth, health, fulfillment, and joy. I call connection “the other vitamin C” or “vitamin connect.” You can get tips on ways to connect here.

*Adapted from Driven to Distraction at Work

 

April 13th, 2018

Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD Family Summer Camp

Dr. Hallowell wants you to join him at camp this summer! Listen to his Distraction Podcast as he shares all of the details about his annual ADHD family camp on the shores of Lake Michigan July 15-30, 2018.

Learn more about Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD Family Summer Camp 

 

April 12th, 2018

Adult ADHD & Diagnosis & Next Steps

In this follow-up video, I discuss the steps towards making an ADHD diagnosis and the kinds of help available for adults.

Adults who have ADHD but do not know it are at much higher risk than the general population for serious problems. Depression and anxiety usually occur when ADHD goes undiagnosed. Even if depression and anxiety are treated, the underlying problem, if left untreated, leads to other problems.

The diagnosis of ADHD should mark the end of the worst times and the start of better times. Especially in adults, by the time the diagnosis finally gets made, a lot of bad years may have piled up and misery may saturate the person’s life. The diagnosis of ADHD tips all that to the good When this diagnosis’s made, right on that very day, right at the moment of diagnosis, the diagnosis shifts the bad that has happened into the light of science and out of the darkness of moral condemnation.

Most adults with ADHD are in such a hurry that even when everything appears to be going well in life, they don’t stop long enough to observe why their performance is inconsistent and they’re off their game.  By taking the time to consult with a professional to get an ADHD diagnosis, you take the first step towards laying claim to a better life. Give it some thought. No matter how well you’re doing, consider the fact that you could be doing even better.

Once the diagnosis is made, the next step is to find and develop your talents and develop. Usually a professional with set up a treatment plan.

ADHD Tips on Diagnosis & Treatment

Want to learn more about diagnosis? Listen to Dr. Hallowell’s Podcast on Unmasking ADHD: An In Studio Diagnosis.   

Fill out the form below to download 50 tips Free Handout NOW!

ADHD is a neurological condition that is usually genetically transmitted. It is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. These symptoms are present from childhood on, and with a much greater intensity than in the everyday person, so that they interfere with everyday functioning.

Adult ADHD: 50 Tips of Management by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.
Enter your name, email & state below and we will send you a link to your FREE Download!


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April 10th, 2018

ADHD 50-tips-free-handout

*50 Tips are adapted from Delivered from Distraction, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., John J. Ratey, M.D., Ballantine, 2005

The treatment of adult ADHD begins with hope.

We break down the treatment of adult ADHD into five basic areas:
•    Diagnosis
•    Education
•    Structure, support, and coaching
•    Various forms of psychotherapy
•    Medication

Fill out the form below to download your copy NOW!

ADHD is a neurological condition that is usually genetically transmitted. It is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. These symptoms are present from childhood on, and with a much greater intensity than in the everyday person, so that they interfere with everyday functioning.

Adult ADHD: 50 Tips of Management by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.
Enter your name, email & state below and we will send you a link to your FREE Download!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Edward Hallowell, M.D., 144 North Rd, Suite 2450, Sudbury, MA, 01776, http://www.drhallowell.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
April 10th, 2018

ADHD: late teens and twenties are often make-or-break years

Make or break years

One of the most pressing needs for people who have ADHD, or any other learning difference, is “getting launched,” finding a job, finding some activity in this world that someone else is willing to pay you to do that is meaningful and does not involve breaking the law.

The late teens and twenties are often make-or-break years for these young men and women.  If they do not do well in the world of standard college education or even trade school, if they have trouble fitting into learning institutions, if they do not fit a typical 9-5 environment, then their talent can go to waste, or not get recognized at all.

I’ve spent my entire career discovering that these people usually have enormous talent, and that it is worth the effort to go in search of it. Parents’ basements, unemployment lines, rehab centers or homeless shelters are not the places for them to find their talents.  Sadly, often there are few other places for them once they reach a certain age.

I’d been waiting a long time for the two incredible men who created InventiveLabs to come along when they did.  What they created is a godsend.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.

I have been an advisor for InventiveLabs since before they opened their doors and it has been impressive to watch two seasoned entrepreneurs, Rick Fiery and Tom Bergeron, work as hard as they have to evolve their business. Each year they have expanded their offering to people in the learning differences community where they work with people with ADHD, dyslexia or who are on the autism spectrum. They offer Gap-year, entrepreneurship and career prep programs, but I think their latest evolution is a real game changer for these folks and their families!

From the beginning, they knew that to truly make an impact, they needed to get corporations to buy into their vision of celebrating the tremendous strengths and abilities of people with ADHD and other learning differences. They are now engaging with companies to reserve some of their precious college internships and co-ops, for people who participate in InventiveLabs Career Prep program. These will be real pathways to employment in careers such as cybersecurity, programming or marketing; for positions that are normally offered only to college graduates. The first company they have signed up for this program should be celebrated as an innovator- Bentley Systems in Exton, PA.  They are a multinational software company, with subsidiaries in over 40 countries, and a CEO and team that truly get the mission. InventiveLabs is working with Bentley to define positions that leverage the strengths of people with learning differences. The Lab will then recruit candidates for these spots and train them on how to fit into an accepting corporate environment and prep them for the business elements of the chosen position. The interns will have the opportunity to earn a full-time position.

Why is this such a game-changer? Companies have almost become trained to simply tick the box that says “college degree required” for their internships and higher-level positions. It is almost becoming muscle memory. InventiveLabs is challenging that assumption by pointing out that they are missing some of the brightest minds on the planet. Many of these brilliant young people are trapped at home or in dead-end jobs that do not leverage their strengths. This movement, when it spreads to other companies, can liberate them and allow them to shine without constraint.

This is a movement that is long overdue.  I am proud to say that InventiveLabs, a group I backed from the very beginning, is leading the way. If you know somebody who is stuck, and could benefit from the opportunity to work with them, please send that person to www.inventivelabs.org to apply for the next session starting in September 2018. And, if you work for a company with an internship program, or you have the ability to take on interns from InventiveLabs yourself, please contact Rick or Tom. I know for a fact they will be thrilled to take your call. Their contact details are on their website –www.inventivelabs.org or you can reach them via email at info@inventivelabs.org.

Dr. Hallowell will host an Open House at InventiveLabs on May 31, 2018. Look for updates on our Events Page.

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