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Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

Monday, 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


Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Dr. Hallowell on ‘Take Your Pills’ Netflix Documentary

Dr. Hallowell shares his thoughts in this VIDEO on how this well meaning documentary meant to alert you to the dangers of stimulant medications used to treat ADHD misses the mark. It doesn’t include any perspective on what medications can do when they’re prescribed and used properly.

While one should be aware of the dangers of medications, they should also be informed that when medications are monitored and taken properly, they can be remarkably effective.

If you’d like to learn more information about medication to treat ADHD, consult with your doctor.
If you’re unable to watch the video, LISTEN to Dr. Hallowell’s mini podcast on why the Netflix Documentary ‘Take Your Pills’ misses the mark.
Friday, March 16th, 2018

The Real Danger of Digital Addiction

The Brain Equivalent of Global Warming The Real Danger of Digital Addiction by Dr. Hallowell / Psychology Today

Nobody’s proven that digital addiction rots your brain.  Nobody’s proven that gaming 18 hours a day is bad for you; that texting 14 hours a day harms you in any way; that spending 16 hours in front of a screen per day is in any way toxic; that emailing is less healthy than face-to-face communication; that tele-communcation sacrifices any zest; as we gradually replace human moments with electronic ones we are losing anything at all. READ MORE.


  • DON’T WASTE TIME SCREEN SUCKING (a modern addiction of looking at your iPhone, computer, any type of screen): Break the habit of having to be near your electronic devices at all times by changing your environment or structure.
  • SET A GOAL. How much total time should be spent each day on electronics. Then break the total goal into time categories: how much time where, doing what, with whom.
  • PLAN DAILY PERIODS OF ABSTINENCE. These “brain breaks” provide intervals of time in which no electronic device may be turned on. Yes, this will be difficult for you. So try beginning with 10 minutes twice a day. Then increase that time by 10 minutes a week until you reach 1 hour a day or
    goal you all want to achieve. Then “Turn It Off.”
Monday, February 26th, 2018

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Source: Arlem Furlem/Shutterstock

It’s time to treat the chronic brain disease called addiction. Let’s begin by understanding what alcohol use disorder (AUD) is and how we can make a difference.  Learn more in my post in Psychology Today on Reclaiming Lost Talent by the Millions.

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Connection is Prevention: Start With Mindful Listening

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

What causes disconnection? Standards, expectations, comparisons, too many rules, too much time talking and not enough time listening, acting like you’re listening, words like “policy” and “should” are good examples. These words and behaviors invite frustration, isolation and alienation. If that is what surrounds you day after day, the anxiety and depression can get bad enough to cause harm to yourself and to others. If a person suffers from a mental illness on top of that, his or her reaction can be magnified to tragic proportions.

Mindful listening is one good solution for creating connection. When you are heard wholeheartedly, when you’re given a chance to express your feelings and given the attentive silence to do so, that lonely place inside you gets some friendly company. If you ever had a family member, teacher or friend who gave you that rare gift of listening, it is memorable. Do you recall? You were the most important person in the world to them during those few minutes. Note how they didn’t talk too much, give advice or interrupt you. They watched you intently – they ignored their phone and didn’t sneak a peek at the clock. It was all about you. Perhaps they didn’t agree with you, but in the end, you finished that interaction feeling valued and respected for your point of view. Your reality was recognized by someone else. You felt understood (or you got the feeling that at least they tried to understand you) and perhaps, quite grateful to that listener. That is the experience of connection I’m talking about.

Mindful Listening is a simple solution to disconnection, but it is not easy. It requires you to forget yourself, your agenda, and like at the movies, “get into the movie” of the speaker. Just like at the movies, you don’t interrupt, cast judgment or argue, you watch and listen with curiosity. As observers, we ask ourselves, what makes that person feel that way, say and do those things?  We want to understand. Connection is a two way street. Once you’ve put aside your agenda to understand someone else, you’re in a better position to help them. Your judgments about this person (i.e. “the troublemaker” etc) were temporarily put aside, and you got a clearer view of what it’s like to be him or her. That person’s story changed you. You, the mindful listener, are in the best position to help them, if you can. If you can’t help them, you can take what you learned and share it with those who are in a better position to help. At worst, just by listening to this person, you have helped them.

Learn more about Mindful Listening at www.MindfulCommunication.com and the book The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction by Rebecca Shafir.

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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