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This is why counseling can be so important for health care professionals and even family members trying to take care of loved ones in need. For reasons that are still unclear, young people seem to be particularly vulnerable to depression. According to statistics released by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2015, 12.5 percent of adolescents aged from twelve to seventeen have had at least one major depressive episode. Even more alarmingly, these figures seem to be part of a rising trend, with the percentage of young people dealing with depression showing a sharp rise over the past ten years. Research has also shown that adolescents who develop symptoms of depression at an early age (age thirteen or younger) are more likely to experience chronic depression as they grow older. In one study looking at adolescent depression, 35 percent of boys and girls who had significant depressive symptoms at age thirteen showed similar problems at age seventeen. Girls showed greater levels of depression overall, and boys suffering from depression showed little improvement with time. While there have been different explanations giving for the rising problem of depression in young people, one recent research study is suggesting that the rise of new technology, including smartphones and the Internet, may be playing a role. The study, which examined trends in emotional well-being in adolescents from 1991 to 2016, shows a significant drop in personal happiness beginning in 2012. Breaking these results down further, researchers found that adolescents who spent much of their time with electronic media (smartphones, electronic games, and the Internet) were generally less happy, were less satisfied with their lives, and had lower self-esteem than their less connected counterparts. Among the possible reasons for the depression-technology link are the general drop in face-to-face social interactions among adolescents seen in recent years, the loss in sleep time often related to excessive screen use, and potential addiction issues due to becoming too dependent on social media. There are also the mental health issues that can arise from cyberbullying or other forms of electronic harassment, which can also influence self-esteem and psychological well-being. You take a long, deep breath and your lungs fill up with the moist, fresh air. The leaves are the colour that only the first weeks of spring bring and the sun's rays dance off them as you slowly make your way through the forest. As you pause for a moment and close your eyes, the only sounds you can hear are your breath, a distant bird and the wind in the trees. More than 160 years ago, Henry David Thoreau prescribed the tonic of the wilderness for the discontent of men in his Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. Today, the practice of shinrin-yoku might spark a rise in similar prescriptions. Shinrin-yoku literally translates to forest bathing', or taking in the atmosphere of the forest, and refers to soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of a natural setting to promote physiological and psychological health. <a href=''>The</a> term was first coined in 1982 but, today, millions of Japanese walk along forty-eightforest therapy' trails, to get their dose of what I guess could be labelled outdoorphins'. <a href=''>Fans</a> of shinrin-yoku explain that it differs from hiking because it is about taking everything in and stimulating all our senses, and because it focuses on the therapeutic aspects. <br /><br /><a href=''>Professor</a> Qing Li at the Health Nippon Medical School in Tokyo has studied the effect of shinrin-yoku and found that the practice reduces the levels of cortisol in the blood and boosts the immune system. <a href=''>But</a> forest bathing may not be good only for our physical health. <a href=''>Researchers</a> from the University of Essex have explored how being active in a natural setting affects our mood. <a href=''>Looking</a> at ten different UK studies involving more than 1,200 people, the researchers found that taking part in activities like country walks, sailing and gardening had a positive effect on the mood and self-esteem of the participants. <a href=''>Overall,</a> evidence is building that time spent in the natural world benefits human health. <a href=''>As</a> you're completing the project, evaluate your performance at the end of each day and see where you can improve, save time, and push yourself harder to do better the next day. <a href=''>Once</a> the project is completed, look back at the entire process and evaluate your performance throughout the entire process. <a href=''>Be</a> honest. <a href=''>Document</a> it in detail as if you're the boss evaluating an employee. <a href=''>Take</a> detailed notes on what you did well, what you could have done better, and then focus on improving your performance for the next project. <a href=''>"Life</a> is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." - Confucius "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo Da Vinci "Simple can be harder than complex. <a href=''>You</a> have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. <a href=''>But</a> it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains." - Steve Jobs "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein. <a href=''>The</a> most successful businesses and people operate from the mindset of keeping everything simple. <a href=''>It</a> takes more time, energy, and work to simplify than to create complexity. <a href=''>It's</a> a natural truth that seems to defy logic but makes perfect sense once you consider how often we unnecessarily complicate everything beyond what is necessary. <a href=''>Simplifying</a> is stripping away any and all unnecessary elements and only leaving behind what's needed. <a href=''>Simplifying</a> seems so "simple", but most of us don't get it. <a href=''>We</a> don't take the extra time and effort to simplify tasks so we can get them done faster, better, and with less effort. <a href=''>Simplifying</a> before you start working and in the middle of working makes you more productive, more effective, and more efficient. <br /><br /><a href=''>The</a> field of addictions faces an extraordinary nexus of challenges. <a href=''>Substance</a> abuse and dependence involves genetics; environment; experience; social values; neural molecules, transmitters, and circuits; cognition; personality; and other vectors. <a href=''>While</a> science has increasingly good clues about the progression from substance use to compulsive use and addiction, Wernher von Braun reminds us that there is always more we don't understand. <a href=''>In</a> basic-science efforts, studied guesses (hypotheses) are subjected to the rigorous proofs of science. <a href=''>Work</a> in basic science includes biological and cognitive neuroscience studies into how our brains and minds work; how they are changed by internal and external events; and how to take action to promote desired changes. <a href=''>Neurological</a> molecular elements and physiological processes are all part of basic neuroscience. <a href=''>From</a> time to time, often through serendipity or because an alert scientist notes something unexpected, there is discovery, new knowledge. <a href=''>New</a> knowledge, however, can take a long time to be applied. <a href=''>How</a> might evidence of, say, down regulation (dampening) of dopamine receptors inform our understanding of the pathogenesis of addiction and direct our therapeutic efforts? <a href=''>How</a> can cognitive neuroscience, with its clear demonstration of the power of cues (conditioned responses), be used to help people with addictions? <a href=''>Here,</a> we use translational research to understand how knowledge can be "translated" into practice. <a href=''>The</a> so-called science-to-practice gap is the often exceptionally long time before knowledge becomes standard practice--for instance, achieving systematic hand washing in hospitals or detection of substance and mental disorders in primary care. <a href=''>Translational</a> research aims to highlight the best bridges from research to clinical care. <a href=''>We</a> know, for example, that buprenorphine can fill craving opioid brain receptors, but for which patients, at what point in their addictions, with which medical distribution channels, and with what associated programming can it work best? <a href=''>Who</a> will be better served by methadone as a medication-assisted treatment? <a href=''>For</a> whom and where will relapse prevention groups work best, and for how long? <a href=''>Will</a> mindfulness help as an addition to a substance use program, and if so, how can it best be delivered? <a href=''>Can</a> exercise reduce the need for medication of all types? <a href=''>What</a> types of health insurance coverage can help people with substance problems, and what barriers exist to their provision? <a href=''>The</a> more answers we have that can be demonstrated in vivo, in clinical and community settings during everyday patient care, the more likely we will see people with addictions and their families better served and resources most effectively employed. <br /><br /><a href=''>That</a> is what services research can contribute. <a href=''>If</a> it's been a long while since you've dealt with a complicated task, it's important to understand that it's only natural to feel apprehensive towards changing your approach towards "do"-ing; but keep in mind that we're not at the point where we're ready to deal with any of that. <a href=''>In</a> Section Two of this book, you will learn how to begin taking small steps at changing long-held habits. <a href=''>For</a> now, we only want to continue observing the behaviors of the human ostrich. <a href=''>Almost</a> all habitual procrastinators occasionally surprise themselves by acting on a task. <a href=''>However,</a> because they've usually been forced to act by a deadline or by an unsympathetic superior, their actions tend to be less planned out, and often more of a direct approach. <a href=''>Moments</a> before taking action, a habitual procrastinator's attitude is quite similar to an Army battalion taking a hill in a "now or never," "do--or die!" effort. <a href=''>Once</a> they've begun, many procrastinators are so determined to plow through and finish their task, they may rebuff the attempts of others to change from what they're engaged in. <a href=''>"Don't</a> try to stop me, I'm on a roll!" Karen excitedly says to a co-worker with her head buried in a pile of papers. <a href=''>While</a> Karen thinks, "When my back's up against a wall, that's when I get it done," her co-workers tell quite a different tale: "Karen's always late with her reports. <a href=''>Heaven</a> help anyone who asks her to switch tasks when her paperwork is late." Karen's dilemma is she can't switch from one task to another. <a href=''>She's</a> so used to putting things off that she only sees herself capable of either half-hearted attempts, or whole-hearted all-out attacks on her tasks--"No matter what!" Karen even calls this her "winning combo": "Put something off for as long as you possibly can, until you can't put it off any longer. <a href=''>Then,</a> take action!" It wasn't all that long ago that, like Karen, I would have found switching between tasks nearly impossible. <a href=''>Today</a> I can break a project into parts and work on one, or stop and switch to another part of the same task, or temporarily leave it altogether to work on something else entirely. <a href=''>Without</a> getting caught up in the hows and whys, just for now, understand that change within yourself is possible. <a href=''>As</a> vulnerable as young people in general appear to be, girls are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder as boys. <a href=''>Along</a> with differences in brain development, girls also go through the physical changes linked to puberty around two years earlier than boys. <a href=''>This</a> makes them especially vulnerable to the effect of social influences, including cyberbullying and peer pressure relating to personal appearance. <a href=''>It's</a> probably not surprising that girls are far more likely to spend time on social media sites than boys. <a href=''>This</a> leads to increased exposure to negative media influences, including images of "ideal" females who often make them feel inadequate as a result. <br /><br /><a href=''>They</a> are also prone to "body shaming" if they fail to meet these often unrealistic beauty standards, which can also lead to rejection from other young people their same age. <a href=''>So,</a> what are the long-term consequences of adolescent depression? <a href=''>Studies</a> seeking to answer this question have shown that adolescents suffering from depression were substantially more likely to develop depression as adults (aged twenty-one or over). <a href=''>They</a> were also more vulnerable to developing anxiety problems when older though available evidence is mixed on whether adolescent depression in linked to increased risk of suicide as adults. <a href=''>As</a> you can see, adolescents suffering from depression need to begin treatment as soon as possible to avoid the serious problems that can develop otherwise. <a href=''>Studies</a> examining different treatment approaches have been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of depression. <a href=''>Along</a> with medication to control depressive symptoms, supportive counseling can also be used to teach coping skills and help adolescent patients understand what is happening to them. <a href=''>While</a> cognitive behavioral therapy remains the gold standard in treating adolescent depression due to the numerous studies that have attested to its effectiveness, we have also seen a rise in newer treatment methods that can also help. <a href=''>Also</a> in the UK, researchers have created themappiness project', mapping happiness across the nation and now throughout the world. It's part of a research project at the London School of Economics and its aim is to understand how people's happiness is affected by the local environment. As they say, we can all agree that green hillsides are lovely - but we want to know how lovely they are. What is the quantitative evidence that a nice environment makes us feel better? The project uses real-time individual experiences, and I would encourage you to sign up. A researcher will beep you once (or more) a day on your phone to ask how you're feeling, and a few basic things to control for: who you're with, where you are, what you're doing (if you're outdoors, you can also take and send a photo). The project has already collected more than 3.5 million responses contributed by 65,000 participants. What the researchers find is that, on average, participants are significantly and substantially happier outdoors in all green or natural habitats than they are in urban environments. This study provides new evidence on links between nature and well-being, strengthening existing evidence of a positive relationship between happiness and exposure to green or natural environments in our lives. To sum up, there is growing evidence that nature has a positive effect on our health and happiness. In addition, shinrin-yoku may help you get out of your head and experience the data coming through your senses. In fact, I see a lot of parallels between shinrin-yoku and the increasingly popular practice of mindfulness.