Visit the same spot in nature periodically over the course of a year and really be mindful as to how the landscape is changing each time. Find and explore a forest. Take it slowly and forget about what would make a nice Instagram picture. Instead, listen to the wind in the leaves, watch the sun bounce off the branches, take a deep breath and see what smells you can detect. Try to visit the same spot several times a year, so you can appreciate how it changes over the seasons. Say hi to the first day of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Go alone or invite people to join you. Simplify every single step of every single project and goal as much as you can - even if it means more planning and evaluation. While everyone is complicating their goals, targets, and job and stressing out over the complexity, you're breezing through it because you were proactive enough to simplify as much as possible before starting. If something seems more complex and harder than it needs to be, figure out how to simplify the process and make it easier for yourself and everyone else. It may seem unnecessary and overboard to document every single thing that needs to be done, but it's not. It's better and smarter to document every to-do rather than attempting to commit it to memory and fail. The length of the list doesn't matter - as long as your top 10 goals are at the top. Every single day, go through the list and cross off what you're getting done. I use an app, available for windows, mac, apple, and android, called Wunderlist and it's 100% free. Once you download it and create an account, you can put it on all of your devices, log in to your account from each one, and all of your to-dos will be in one place. When I need to add to my to-do list while I'm away from home, I open Wunderlist on my phone, add it, and when I get home, I can open Wunderlist on my computer and my new note will be there. Very useful and easy to use. Dr Nora Volkow wrote in her inimitable way that addiction involves "the desensitization of reward circuits, which dampens the ability to feel pleasure and the motivation to pursue everyday activities; the increasing strength of conditioned responses and stress reactivity, which results in increased cravings . and negative emotions when these cravings are not sated; and the weakening of the brain regions involved in executive functions such as decision making, inhibitory control, and self-regulation that leads to repeated relapse." Each of the elements Dr.

Volkow so concisely describes represents research opportunities to help those affected by these common and destructive diseases. Addiction appears to follow a three-stage process. At first, use and abuse stimulate reward pathways and relieve physical and psychic pain. Users feel good and get relief from what ails them. But continued use can soon bring the dark side. As the acute effects of a persistently used drug wear off, the user feels withdrawn, fatigued, dulled to everyday life, depressed, and anxious, among other negative states--the second stage. When the disease progresses to the third stage, tolerance and dependence, users are continuously preoccupied with obtaining and using their substance of choice. Their lives revolve around the drug, with compulsive consumption, impulsive actions that dismiss bad consequences--such as family alienation, lost employment, financial ruin, and ill health--and relapse when they make efforts to stop. Each of these stages represents research opportunities to increase our knowledge and more effectively prevent, treat, and mitigate addiction. Eric Nestler, MD, at the Icahn School of Medicine and the Friedman Brain Institute in New York, has called addiction "drug-induced neural plasticity." This means that substance use changes brain cells and the way transmissions go from one cell to another, thereby changing the communication that goes on in the brain. Glutamate and GABA receptors, for example, are altered with addiction, producing measurable structural changes in the brain--that is, actual alterations in neural circuits. For example, learning and memory paths can be impaired; this is especially true of the adolescent brain, which we know to be "under construction" and thus highly vulnerable. Vaccines may be one way to prevent this villainous plasticity in addiction. Vaccines are attenuated agents that prompt the body to create antibodies against those specific agents; think of influenza or polio vaccines. A vaccine might selectively create antibodies, for example, to cocaine, nicotine, heroin, or fentanyl that would bind to the specific drug used and block its action. This is like the world of immunotherapy, which holds promise for cancer and other diseases. Though no adequately effective vaccine has yet been produced, it may only be a matter of time. Studies on primates have attached a virus (an adenovirus, such as the one for the common cold) to the drug of abuse selected--thereby using the virus as a Trojan horse to carry the drug of abuse, which will be fought by the body's natural defenses against the virus. The animal's liver can thus be stimulated to produce high titers of antibodies that are safe and lasting. A human vaccine study on people addicted to cocaine began in 2016.

Vaccines could be used in high-risk individuals, those with family histories of addiction or living in dangerous environments. Vaccines could also be used with substance-dependent individuals with advanced diseases to help them stay clean and rebuild their lives. Keeping one's nose to the grindstone and focusing on a task tends to be a challenge for many procrastinators. It seems as if our very nature were to shy away from our tasks. Just as two magnets with like poles repel each other, procrastinators tend to automatically shrink from their tasks. Why are we like this? Well, why shouldn't we be? After all, we procrastinators have been perfecting "the art of avoidance" for years, and if you practice just about anything long enough, you're bound to become good at it. When I attended college, I found that my math skills were rusty, so I went to the "math lab" for a brush up. I can recall watching the lab's volunteer tutor, an elderly gentleman who had the patience of a saint. He would go through a math example with a student slowly and carefully, and I would watch from a short distance, waiting to see if he showed frustration at a student's difficulty with a math problem, but quite the opposite was true. Instead of rushing things, this gentleman would work step-by-step with a student, and at that student's pace. While watching this gentleman that day, I felt a bit of discomfort. It seemed as though he had something I hadn't, and that something was patience. It may well be that the impact and the resulting memory of that day so long ago indicates just how in need of patience I was at the time. If only I had learned that lesson back then. If you find difficulty staying on track and keeping focused, you can train yourself to stick with a task by developing patience from within. If there's one thing that I know now, it's that "the enemy of procrastination is patience." Keep that filed somewhere in the back of your mind; I have a strong feeling that we'll be coming back to it later. Along with new treatment approaches such as dialectical behavior therapy and short-term psychodynamic therapy, therapists have also had success with a range of other treatment approaches such as art and music therapy. Family counseling is also available, which allows adolescent patients to attend counseling with a parent or other family members to help improve communication and cope better with stress.

Young people considering supportive counseling usually have the option of either individual therapy or joining a treatment group in which group members support each other and encourage social skills that can make depression easier to control. We will be discussing treatment programming in more detail in a later section. Aside from more traditional treatment approaches, school-based psychosocial programs have become more common in recent years to provide mental health care for children and adolescents who might otherwise "slip between the cracks." While most of these programs focus on issues such as substance abuse and suicide, they also provide information on depression and coping to help students recognize the symptoms they might be experiencing. One example of a program with proven effectiveness in curbing suicide and depression was developed by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for use in high schools throughout the Cincinnati area. The program, titled Surviving the Teens, provides information on teen stressors, coping strategies, and warning signs of depression and suicide. Research on the more than sixty thousand high school students who have already gone through the program has shown a significant drop in suicide attempts as well as reduced social anxiety and depressive symptoms. While programs such as Surviving the Teens are still in the experimental stage, treatment resources for young people dealing with depression can be found in most places. There are also online resources for young people who might be reluctant to talk about their problems in person. Check the Appendix section for more information about programs in your area. In some Bhutanese schools, the students and teachers start and finish their day with a silent moment of brain brushing', a short mindfulness exercise. <a href=''>Mindfulness</a> has its roots in Buddhism, where the belief is that the human pursuit of everlasting happiness leads to suffering. <a href=''>We</a> feel pain because nothing lasts. <a href=''>Mindfulness</a> is about being present. <a href=''>Right</a> here, right now, in this moment, and being loving and kind to yourself. <a href=''>Whereas</a> our thoughts usually revolve around the future or the past, mindfulness is all about the present moment. <a href=''>Because</a> the Bhutanese focus on Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product, the country is almost a laboratory testing out different approaches to improve well-being. <a href=''>One</a> of these efforts is the GNH Curriculum, which targets ten non-academiclife skills' in secondary-school students in a collaboration between the Bhutanese Ministry of Education and a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. One of these non-academic life skills is mindfulness. More than eight thousand students participated in the study, in which the researchers randomly assigned the schools taking part either to the treatment group, which received the GNH Curriculum over fifteen months, or to the control group, which received a placebo GNH Curriculum over the same period. The researchers tested two hypotheses.

First, does the GNH Curriculum raise levels of well-being? And second, does increasing well-being improve academic performance? It found that the GNH Curriculum significantly increased student well-being and improved academic performance. Don't let the length of your list intimidate you. If you get up on time and get things done, your list will shrink very fast and you will make things happen faster than everyone else around you. The most successful people, even billionaires, carry around notebooks all day long to keep track of everything they're doing and that needs to happen. They know trying to remember everything instead of writing it down is dumb and they'll forget a lot of very important information. Use note taking apps on your smart devices, keep notebooks in the car, and keep notebooks lying around the house. Once a week, or every day if you'd like, take your notes, copy them to one place, preferably an app with cloud backup, and cross off or delete your other notes from other notepads, notebooks, and places. Use calendars to track when things need to happen. This is a big "duh" but, once again, we use up too much time and energy trying to remember everything. If you're old school, use a physical calendar. It doesn't hurt anything. If you're technologically savvy, use an app. Google Calendar or similar, to be exact. You can do the same with Google Calendars that can with Wunderlist - keep track of all events in one place. And Wunderlist lets you incorporate Google Calendar as an add-on. Research on genetic variations may add precision to the selection of a medication-assisted treatment. As an example, in therapy for tobacco dependence, we have bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) to help smokers quit. But what if we could tell, say by genetic testing, which smokers are normal or fast or slow metabolizers of nicotine?