Posts tagged with "brain"

Lacking Self-Discipline?

5 Ways To Develop It And Reach Your Goals

Americans are known to overeat, abuse credit cards, marinate for hours in social media, and break New Year’s resolutions before the end of January. Self-discipline doesn’t seem to be a national strength.

And achieving self-discipline – and the success that can come with it – may never have been harder than it is in this instant-gratification age, says Dr. Rob Carter III.

“Self-discipline is an undervalued trait in a modern society that wants everything now,” says Carter, co-author with his wife, Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter, of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life (www.themorningmind.com). “Self-discipline is the ability to motivate and coordinate our efforts to improve our quality of life, but unfortunately most people are not taught it.

“It is, however, a skill that everyone can learn. Self-discipline is the skill that will allow you to reach any goal you set.”

Carter offers five ways to develop self-discipline:

Be aware of your resistance. Resistance, Carter says, is the biggest obstacle to developing self-discipline, and it often comes in the form of discouraging internal self-talk such as, “I can’t do it” or “Why should I have to change?” “The next time you embark on a new project that causes resistance,” Carter says, “fight it by asserting or writing down your intended goal and the benefits it will bring.”

Plan for every outcome. Plans go awry when people let excuses get in the way. “An example is having a goal of running in the morning for 30 minutes, but you have bailouts such as it’s raining, cold, or you don’t feel like it,” Carter says. “Developing self-discipline is recognizing and planning for these self-created obstacles and actively choosing to work through them. So when you set a goal to achieve, have chart in place listing “Even ifs.” List the potential obstacles to achieving your goal and counter each one with a promise to yourself that you’ll achieve your goal even if these challenges arise.”

Prepare to give something up in order to gain. Carter suggests compiling a list of the pros and cons of sacrificing for a certain goal. “To reach your goal, Carter says, “you will more than likely have to impose certain limitations on yourself in order to gain something. These limitations could be less free time, socializing, money or television. The upside is that seeing the rewards of the sacrifice on the pros list will keep you motivated and disciplined.”

Reward yourself with self-compensation. “Rewards are an incredibly powerful tool for motivating yourself to reach your goals,” Carter says. “Consider them the carrot on the stick. Have a reward in place for when you achieve a goal or part of a goal, and make sure it’s appropriate.”

Break your goal down into manageable steps. “If you break your goal down into bite-sized steps,” Carter says, “you’re much more likely to stay disciplined enough to complete every sub-goal. Each step accomplished gives you an encouraging boost. Consider using SMART goals — specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timed. This makes the goal more definitive and puts the steps in tangible action.”

“Self-discipline includes structured planning, organization, delayed gratification, and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone,” Carter says. “These things can appear scary, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. And once you take the first step, you have ventured onto a beautiful path that offers many rewards.”

About Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter

Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter are co-authors of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life(www.themorningmind.com). Rob Carter is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, an expert in human performance and physiology, and has academic appointments in emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in public health and health sciences at Los Angeles Pacific University, and in nutrition at the University of Maryland, University College. He holds a PhD in biomedical sciences and medical physiology and an MPH in chronic disease epidemiology.

Kirti Carter was born in Pune, India, and received her medical education in India, where she practiced as an intensive-care physician before moving to Texas to complete postgraduate training in public health. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress (FAIS), has more than 18 years of experience in meditation and breathing techniques, and has been facilitating wellness seminars for the past decade.

Neurotriggers

In the early to mid-1970’s, a million dollars was a great deal of money, and thinking about becoming a millionaire was thinking very big indeed. A million dollars was a fortune to be amassed. Today it is a yearly income, or, at best, a couple years’ income needed by anybody attempting to amass a real fortune.

In a documentary on Ted Turner, he was bemoaning the loss of much of his wealth thanks to AOL/Time Warner, and worrying about being “down to a billion” while still in his 70’s — he said he hopes to have enough left to retire on someday. You can, he pointed out, get by on a billion if you’re careful and don’t buy too many planes or yachts. He was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but not totally. Just as 80 is the new 60 and we hope 100 will soon be the new 80, a billion is the new 25-million.

The first arsenal of skills and strategies one should master are those of survival. How to be broke but live well. How to pay one credit card with another. How to look the part and act as if. Some of these skills have lasting value, but most become an impediment, standing in the way of developing the different set of skills one needs next. I think overall, one of the hardest things we do in life is shed the thoughts, attitudes, skills, habits, associations that worked for us when doing “A” but hold us back and get in the way of doing “B”. We shed skin easily and automatically. We do not shed thoughts and behaviours so easily.

The second arsenal one should master are those for making money. Lots of it. In chunks and surges. These days, to be a millionaire is not all that complicated. If you happen to be young, 20 or 30, you can very, very easily reach and surpass that benchmark purely with an intelligent retirement plan (or other tax protected savings plan) by saving and contributing the maximum amount allowed every year. Or by buying a few good homes and owning them for the long haul. That will get you a million dollars someday.

To take it one step further, earning a million dollars per year – even though that certainly puts you at the 1% pinnacle of society – is also actually not all that difficult. A great many businesses or combinations of businesses provide such opportunity. It is, for example, nothing more than 1,000 transactions of $2,000.00 each with 50% net. Or 100 at $20,000.00 each. Or 1,000 customers giving you $100.00 a month. Or 2,000, giving you $50.00. I just read a report of a Gourmet Bacon Of The Month Club providing its owner with such income. Bacon.

Making lesser but still significant income, $100,000.00, $200,000.00 a year, even easier. A good handyman with nothing but a cellphone could have a ‘concierge practice’, with, say, 25 clients each paying him $300.00 a month…$7,500.00 a month, $100,000.00 a year. Just not that tough. More mental barriers than anything.

But if you start to think in terms of creating and keeping a small fortune in the 10-million to 50-million-dollar neighbourhoods, rather than just a million or two, the arsenal of required once again changes substantially. The knowledge needed, different. The mind-set needed, different. Here, in this space, an odd combination of daring, speed, grabbing of opportunities must be counter-balanced with a concern for preservation of capital, a diligent management of the money, not just making it.

I spent time the other day with one of my long-time clients who personally earns about 5-million a year and is worth about 4 million. He is busily involved in dozens of high-pressure projects. He said, “I often fall into shit. Sometimes I come up with gold. Other times I come up with shit. My success rate does not distinguish me. Being willing to dive into shit, that distinguishes me.” Different mindset.

We’ve talked about speed. To become a millionaire, you can do things slowly, methodically, logically, sequentially, neatly and cautiously. To be a multi, multi-millionaire, you cannot.

To stay a millionaire once there, you need to conserve. To buy carefully, spend reluctantly, invest wisely. Never paying more than is necessary. To stay a multi, multi-millionaire you need to be more aggressive. You often cannot afford to get the very best buy, as your time and lost opportunity is far more valuable than the deal available across town.

There is a hierarchy of sorts for independent business. It is: shopkeeper; business owner, entrepreneur; entrepreneur-investor; investor-entrepreneur. One of the painful aspects of moving through these stages is doing less of something you’ve mastered (and can do easily), in favour of doing other things you’re clumsy and uncertain at; the constant setting aside of old tools with which you’re expert in and picking up new tools you are profoundly inexpert with; of climbing Maslow’s step again and again and again.

Questions: What skills do you have that are useful not just at present but for where you want to go? What present skills are holding you back? What skills do you lack currently, but will be needed for the spot just ahead on your chosen road? Do you even have a Personal Skills List each ranked 1-10, and a list of New Skills In Development?

For additional information visit http://neurotriggers.com/

Examining Concussions In Youth Sports

A recent article by Time Magazine cited that children who have been diagnosed with depression are more likely to suffer a concussion while playing youth sports. This correlation flips a common belief that athletes of all ages are more likely to experience symptoms of depression during and after suffering the effects of a concussion.

The article is just the latest in a string of new discoveries regarding brain injuries in American sports. Researchers from across the nation are looking at different angles in order to keep American athletes safer in the future. Consider that Philly.com reported that between 1.1 million and 1.9 million children and teens are treated for concussions caused by organized sports.

These numbers don’t tell the whole story as one of the links between depression and concussions is the fact that students who have suffered from depression are more in tune with their bodies. They are more likely to document the injury and speak up about an issue.

Not reporting a concussion can come from a fear of missing a game, school or after work job. It can also come from simply not understanding what is happening to a person’s body.  Concussion awareness is just as important as the equipment being used in the prevention and proper medical care after a concussion.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation has determined that at least 1 in 5 sports-related concussions are the result of a head impact with the playing field surface. The turf is the common culprit in all sports.

It’s why GreenPlay is helping athletes at all levels become safer through synthetic turfgrass technology. Turfgrass is the term used to describe engineered natural turf on playing fields. Pristine turfgrass is proven to be the benchmark for safety and performance. Compared to synthetic turf, turfgrass has shown to produce exceptional results under impact tests to access head injuries.

Owner of GreenPlay, Domenic Carapella, explains the impact pristine Turfgrass is making for athletes across the country saying, “Turfgrass helps lessen the harsh blows to the head and body that often happen during sports activities at all levels. When it comes to what we can control, the playing surface should be just as important as the equipment being worn.”

According to Greenplay Organics:

  • It’s important to discuss the issue of concussions in American youth sports in order to help drive change for the children of our country.
  • Pristine Turfgrass is the benchmark for the safest, high-performance playing surface.
  • Turfgrass is firm to run on, provides ideal traction and is resilient under bodily and head impacts.

VALEO

2018 Paris Motor Show: Valeo reveals its innovations at the epicenter of the three revolutions shaping the automotive industry

At this year’s Paris Motor Show, Valeo is unveiling its latest technological innovations. These innovations are at the epicenter of the revolutions that are disrupting mobility as we know it: the autonomous vehicle, vehicle electrification and digital mobility.

In particular, Valeo is staging the open-road world début of its Valeo Drive4U® demo car, the first autonomous vehicle to be demonstrated on the streets of Paris itself. The car is equipped exclusively with ultrasonic sensors, cameras, laser scanners and radars already series produced by Valeo, and artificial intelligence, giving it a full-fledged digital brain. The technology is able to manage all the information collected by the sensors and learn from the complex scenarios it encounters in the city.

Valeo Drive4U® can already handle a wide variety of driving situations in urban environments, including undivided roads, intersections, traffic lights, tunnels and even streets with no markings. The car also knows how to deal with cyclists and pedestrians.

At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Valeo is also presenting its 48V solutions to make electric vehicles much more affordable, as well as the first all-electric urban prototype powered by a 48V Valeo motor. The prototype gives a glimpse of what tomorrow’s affordable urban vehicles could be like, designed to be just the right size for their intended use. It can reach speeds of 100 km/h, has a range of 150 km and does not emit any CO2. Valeo is also unveiling the world’s first 48V plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Lastly, since usage patterns are changing, with digital tools giving access to new ways of getting around, Valeo is developing technologies that promote the rise of intelligent mobility. One example of this is the real-time map of air quality in Paris, a project in partnership with ARIA Technologies. A fleet of some twenty vehicles equipped with Valeo sensors will travel around Paris to measure levels of six pollutants in real time. For Valeo, understanding pollution levels in urban areas is a vitally important step toward creating new, cleaner mobility solutions. By having precise information on air quality in a specific location, it will be possible, for example, to generate customized routes to avoid peaks in pollution, or activate pollution control systems inside cars.

With these innovations, Valeo has once again demonstrated its capacity to imagine, design and develop technologies that are conducive to the development of electric, autonomous, connected cars that are widely affordable yet adaptable to individual needs

CBD: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs?

In the modern world, our first approach to treating an illness is to find the most suitable pharmaceutical drug, which we typically get either over-the-counter or on prescription. However, while these medicines are normally effective, they can unlock a whole new box of issues, including dependency and side effects.

Becoming reliant on medication can be mentally unsettling, and nasty side effects like nausea and dizziness typically require further treatment, leaving patients on a cocktail of pharmaceutical-grade drugs before they know it.

In the case of opioid painkillers, dependency may even be life-threatening, with the risk of overdose frighteningly high. In 2016, abuse of prescription opioid painkillers and recreational opiates accounted for more than 40,000 US lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This cycle of illness, drugs, side effects and more drugs is wearing thin with many, and combined with the new wave of medical cannabis science, a clear divide has formed between those who favor prescription drugs, and those who’d rather take natural, plant-based medicines.

From a historical perspective, medicinal cannabis use makes perfect sense, with the herb being used for millennia across the world, but particularly in Africa and Asia.

Technological advancements have greatly developed our knowledge of cannabis, and scientists now know which compounds are responsible for various effects. For example, the psychoactive “high” mostly comes from a therapeutic cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, numerous other cannabinoids have medicinal properties, sans the hallucinogenic effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most studied and seemingly most useful non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and the market for CBD products has exploded in the 2010s, thanks in part to the relaxation of laws surrounding non-psychoactive hemp.

CBD over opioids
Opioid-based painkillers like Tramadol are now regularly prescribed for chronic pain, with stronger synthetic drugs such as fentanyl available on prescription for the most extreme discomfort. These drugs are designed to interact with opioid receptors in the opioid system. The pain relief from these drugs is substantial, however sustained use leads to increased tolerance, stronger doses and addiction.

However, CBD may be helpful for chronic patients, and also those who have ended up dependent on opioids, as the cannabinoid seems to exhibit anti-addiction properties by interfering with pleasure-reward mechanisms.

By elevating concentrations of anandamide in the body, CBD is promoting a neurotransmitter that works to ease both physical and mental pain. How CBD tackles addiction is less clear, but some evidence indicates that CBD is active in the opioid system.

Not all pain is the same – for example, some chronic pain is persistent and always at a similar intensity, whereas the worst effects of inflammatory and neuropathic pain tend to come from flare-ups.

For internal neuropathic pain, CBD vape oil and e-liquid treatment is ideal, because the relief comes very quickly. Meanwhile, lingering pain is economically and perhaps more efficiently managed by orally-consumed CBD products (e.g. capsules, edibles, coffee).

Experimenting with gels, creams and balms infused with cannabis or CBD is a novel method of coping with localized pain. These ensure that the cannabinoid receptors in the affected area are directly activated.

If you’re unsure where to start searching for the right CBD product and form for your pain or you simply can’t decide with the long list of options, you can click here to learn more.

CBD: the new anti-inflammatory drug?
Immune system response is still not well that understood, and this has made it difficult to control. Researchers have struggled to find ways of influencing inflammation, but studies into the endocannabinoid system have found that immune system response is accessible via cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids look to signal a stoppage in inflammation, after a wound has fully healed or an infection is neutralized.

This discovery may be crucial, as the current leading class of anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) are known to cause concerning side effects, including stomach ulcers.

The best CBD product for inflammation depends, unsurprisingly on the type of inflammation. Internal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which could be exacerbated by endocannabinoid deficiency, respond well to both CBD vape juice and CBD edibles, or even tincture oils.

For osteoarthritis, a form of inflammation which affects the joints, CBD creams and other topicals are likely to produce better results.

CBD’s promise as an antidepressant
Cannabinoid research is providing genuine hope for antidepressant researchers, after decades of stagnation in medication development. The current situation with depression medicine is far from ideal, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) slow to show benefits – for up to 40 percent of patients, these drugs may not even work at all. And then there are the side effects to contend with, which range from drowsiness to impotence. Depersonalization and derealization have also been anecdotally reported with SSRIs.

However, a glut of promising studies on CBD and the brain have found that the ECS could be important in correcting off-balance brain chemistry. The CB1 receptor modulates many variables, mood being one, and the bond between anandamide and this receptor is important for good mental wellbeing. Factors outside of the ECS also affect mood, but the potency of anandamide as an antidepressant makes the link with the CB1 receptor an essential one.

Some of the most exciting research on cannabinoids has been on their neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties. Studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and cannabinoid treatments, which are associated with depression, have demonstrated that CBD is able to repair these regions of the brain, by restoring neuronal circuitry and helping to form new brain cells.

A 2018 study on rats carried out in Brazil showed that CBD was effective from the first treatment and for up to seven days after the last dose at blocking synaptic proteins which damage neuronal circuitry in the prefrontal cortex. Meanwhile, CBD-initiated neurogenesis in the hippocampus helps to regrow the brains of adult rats with depression. These results have not yet been replicated in humans, but rats are used for such studies because their brains are similar to humans. General memories and our autobiographical memory are stored in the hippocampus.

The only CBD products that aren’t suitable for managing depression are topicals, as the cannabinoids remain in the skin, and do not reach the brain.

Rock Solid Research On How To Prevent Dementia

Dr. Timothy R. Jennings speaks expertly on a subject that concerns over 5.5 million people across the nation: how to prevent dementia and keep our mind sharp as we age. A psychiatrist and international speaker, Jennings introduces his new book, recently rated #1 by Amazon in books on dementia, The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind.

Dr. Jennings prescribes simple, everyday actions we can take to stave off disease, promote vitality, and prevent dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s. “The choices we make now can help us to keep our minds sharp and maintain our independence as we age,” says Jennings.

An easy-to-use guide to maintaining brain and body health throughout life, The Aging Brain is based on solid, up-to-date scientific research, and the interventions discussed can prevent progression toward dementia, even in those already showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. The recommendations also may help reduce disability and depression.

“This book isn’t just for people hoping to slow the aging process,” says Jennings. “It’s also for anyone who is a caregiver to someone at risk of or already beginning to suffer from dementia. It offers a hopeful, healthy way forward.”

Jennings, who maintains a private practice in Chattanooga, TN, has authored several books, including The God-Shaped Brain and The God-Shaped Heart. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries.

For more information about Dr. Jennings, please visit the website: https://www.agingbrainbook.com.

To connect with Dr. Jennings, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/DrTimJennings/ and https://twitter.com/timjenningsmd.