Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine T2A


06/24/2017 06:22 PM
Myths of Addiction
This is a recent talk I presented at the South African College of Applied Psychology Festival of Learning and at the University of Cape Town Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health addictions forum.

In it I dispel the myths that: 
  • Addiction is caused by drugs, 
  • once an addict always an addict, 
  • addiction is progressive 
  • abstinence is required to initiate treatment or for remission.


I feel strongly that if we allow these myths to continue, we will not develop practical and helpful treatment modalities or public policies. At the end of the talk I made some suggestions regarding treatment. Comments and criticisms are welcome!


All around us, on a daily basis, we find news about addiction. We are exposed to a variety of messages, but most of them seem to carry a common theme. Many treatment programs and websites define addiction as a primary, chronic, relapsing, progressive disease of the brain usually caused by the uncontrolled consumption of alcohol or other drugs. What this means, among other things, is that addiction is:
  • a separate entity on its own – it is a disease in and of itself, not a symptom;
  •  a lifelong disorder from which recovery is unlikely;
  •  that stable remission is unlikely;
  • the longer you have it the less likely you are to remit;
  •  that the alcohol and drugs are the cause of addiction.
What we do know, for certain, is that addictive disorders are complex. They result from a confluence of confounding and poorly understood factors and yet the field of addiction treatment is full of categorical statements, such as those I have mentioned, that the data does not support.
No matter what you have heard or been told, there is no unitary proven model that explains addiction to any degree of satisfaction. 
Addiction is hugely stigmatised, but even so most people have some sort of addiction-like behaviour. Rather than see ourselves as being on the addiction spectrum, we prefer to examine those that are the worst sufferers of addictive disorders – those that are on the extreme end, the one’s accessing treatment.
 
Read Full Article Here:  Myths of Addiction

06/18/2017 11:58 PM
American Drug War History

America’s War on Drugs – a four-part documentary on the History Channel that began on Sunday evening.

I watched the first episode (“Acid Spies, and Secret Experiments”) – a fascinating look at the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on the CIA’s involvement in Cuba and how that shifted mafia drug trafficking to the US, the introduction [...]

06/15/2017 06:23 PM
Sessions makes Franken and Paul come together

In the Daily Caller: Rand Paul And Al Franken Come Together For Weed

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are introducing medical marijuana legislation Thursday protecting states from federal interference in the wake of a request to roll back protections from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Members of the House of Representatives and Senate are backing a [...]

06/14/2017 03:15 PM
Do you want some booty juice with your burritos verdes?

Just for fun…

Phillip Smith over at AlterNet has The DEA’s Top 10 Most Insanely Ridiculous Slang Terms for Weed

Quite a fun list, including:

Bambalachacha Booty Juice Burritos Verdes Fine Stu Good Giggles Joy Smoke Love Nuggets Pocket Rocket Righteous Bush Smoochy Woochy Poochy

Some of these terms would be a really bad idea [...]

06/13/2017 02:19 PM
Sessions continues to attempt his hard line on marijuana

Jeff Sessions personally asked Congress to let him prosecute medical marijuana providers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asking congressional leaders to undo federal medical marijuana protections that have been in place since 2014, according to a May letter that became public Monday.

The protections, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, prohibit the Justice Department from using [...]

06/04/2017 11:06 AM
Steve Rolles on the drug war

Steve Rolles has been one of the best voices in drug policy reform internationally. This fantastic article — Recreational drugs market should be managed by ‘governments not gangsters’, says expert — talks about his book, Legalizing Drugs: The Key to Ending the War. This interview in the Independent is loaded with quotes from Steve that [...]

05/24/2017 12:34 PM
Trump and Duterte

Jeremy Scahill at The Intercept has the story about President Trump’s phone call to Philippine President Duterte. TRUMP CALLED RODRIGO DUTERTE TO CONGRATULATE HIM ON HIS MURDEROUS DRUG WAR: “YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB”

“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told [...]

05/22/2017 06:17 PM
Debate

For your enjoyment…

@ISSUE: Should we make marijuana legal?

The arguments for and against legalization are debated… by advocate Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and by opponent Kevin A. Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.


05/15/2017 11:26 AM
AG Sessions’ move, while despicable, isn’t the real problem

In the last post, Sessions’ Justice Department goes all-in on sentencing, we learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has mandated a revival of the discredited “tough-on-crime” charging and sentencing approaches.

And, as comforting as it is to blame Sessions, there’s a more important point.

Sessions is only able to do this because horrendous laws exist.

[...]
05/12/2017 09:34 AM
Sessions’ Justice Department goes all-in on sentencing

Sessions Tells Prosecutors To Seek ‘Most Serious’ Charges, Stricter Sentences

In a memo to staff, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” — a move that marks a significant reversal of Obama-era policies on low-level drug crimes. […]

Holder had asked prosecutors to avoid [...]

05/01/2017 11:34 PM
Pushback on drugged driving hysteria from… MADD?

Study on drug-impaired driving gets pushback — from other safety advocates

A week after a report suggesting that drug-impaired driving is moving to the fore of concerns in traffic safety, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) jumped in Monday to express concern that the report could lead the public to believe the country has turned the [...]

06/10/2017 06:35 PM
DoseNation 7 of 10 - Undun
James Kent continues his look back through the dark side of psychedelics. Topics include integrating psychedelics into the mainstream, psychedelic marketing, a history of bad ideas, analysis of Huxley's valve theory, and shocking case studies of psychedelic misadventure.

Download MP3 [ 109.85 MB, Duration 02:50:58 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


03/23/2017 05:39 PM
DoseNation 6 of 10 - The Master
James Kent continues his look at the darker side of psychedelics and discusses bad psychedelic memes, the new age fascination with gurus, the myth of shamanism, problems with ayahuasca, and tragic misadventures in ayahuasca tourism.



Download MP3 [ 91.75 MB, Duration 02:26:26 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


01/07/2017 06:45 PM
DoseNation 5 of 10 - Mr. Wonderworld
James Kent continues exploring the darker side of psychedelics with discussions of pseudoscience, delusional reality, ketamine, paranoia, psychosis, and the inability to realize when your own sanity is in danger. Includes interview with special guest D.M. Turner, featuring Elizabeth Gips.

Download MP3 [ 92.97 MB, Duration 02:32:24 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


11/14/2016 11:24 PM
DoseNation 4 of 10 - Psychic Wars
James Kent continues his journey through the dark side of psychedelics and discusses the perils of underground research, disinformation, the power of the paranormal, the allures of the New Age, Terence McKenna, Psychedelic Illuminations, a personal DMT Elf study, and case study number four in the ongoing collection of existential psychedelic tragedies.

Download MP3 [ 90.13 MB, Duration 02:18:24 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


10/11/2016 02:22 PM
DoseNation 3 of 10 - Horror Trips
James Kent continues a discussion on Psychosis, Psychotic Episodes, and Psychedelic Philosophy, then deconstructs Albert Hofmann's famous Bicycle Day trip and reconsiders Hofmann's parting words in "LSD My Problem Child".



Download MP3 [ 54.37 MB, Duration 01:23:50 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


09/26/2016 12:50 PM
DoseNation 2 of 10 - The Unravelling
James Kent continues to wind down DoseNation as he discusses Psychedelic Prohibition, the Legitimization of Psychedelics, Psychedelic Myths, Party Culture, Psychotic Episodes, and shares a Startling Personal Revelation from the past.

Download MP3 [ 55.91 MB, Duration 01:25:48 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


09/12/2016 04:47 PM
DoseNation 1 of 10 - The Beginning of the End
The first of the last ten episodes of DoseNation. James Kent presents "The Beginning of the End". Topics include How to Kill a Blog, The Darker Side of Psychedelic Culture, personal stories from earlier times, and reflections on personal interviews with Terence McKenna and Kat Harrison from 1993.

Download MP3 [ 76.17 MB, Duration 02:00:34 ]

Podcast RSS Feed | Podcast on iTunes


08/09/2016 05:58 PM
Dear Mr. Carolla: Institutional Racism and the War on Drugs

08/08/2016 01:23 AM
James?
Is james ok? Any word when he will return? Miss that guy!

MANAGING EDITORS NOTE: James' is fine, just very busy! He'll be returning for future shows soon!


08/02/2016 04:27 PM
DoseNation presents: The Ten
After a year on hiatus DoseNation.com returns to podcasting to present The Ten, a run of ten radio episodes exploring the darkest reaches of the psychedelic landscape. Conceived by James Kent, the founder of DoseNation, the goal of The Ten is to address a list of controversial topics that were left out of the original podcast run. "Over the course of 50 episodes we covered a wide range of territory from chemistry to religion to neuroscience and shamanism and elves and aliens," says Kent. "But looking back I realized there is a great deal of unfinished business we wanted to cover that we never got to. The Ten will give us the opportunity to address those issues head on."

James Kent will present The Ten to focus on the darker side of psychedelics rarely covered within the culture. Topics like bummers, bad trips, mental illness, HPPD, self delusion, mind control, brainwashing, psychosis, miracle cures, conspiracy theories, psychedelic mythology, psychedelic revolutions, and the hidden agendas of psychedelic ideology will be scrutinized in DoseNation's unique and unflinching perspective. "People take psychedelics very seriously," says Kent. "Psychoactive drug use generally starts out as fun and experimental but often mutates into a kind of cultural revolution or spiritual crusade. There is a level of self-importance in psychedelic experimentation that rises to Earth-shattering grandeur, and in service of proselytizing about expanded consciousness or psychedelic therapy the pitfalls and dangers of psychedelic use are often downplayed or ignored. We've never addressed these issues on the DoseNation podcast, and in retrospect this seems like a glaring omission."

James Kent is an expert on the neuroscience of hallucination and is the author of Psychedelic Information Theory: Shamanism in the Age of Reason, widely considered to be the most authoritative text on psychedelic hallucination ever published. He is the former of editor of Psychedelic Illuminations Magazine, former publisher of Trip Magazine, founder of the DoseNation blog, and his writings have appeared in High Times and many other journals and compilations. Over his career he has interviewed dozens of psychedelic luminaries including Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, Alexander Shulgin, David Nichols, Dennis McKenna, John Lilly, and many others. James Kent regularly speaks at conferences on the topic of psychedelics and hallucination, and appeared in the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule as the lone voice of skepticism among the promises of psychedelics as a shortcut to spiritual awakening.

The Ten is scheduled to premier in the first week of September, 2016, and will run weekly through the end of the year. Listeners can find back episodes and subscribe to the DoseNation podcast at DoseNation.com or at iTunes, or through mobile podcasting apps such as Stitcher or Podcast Addict. Guests who would like to contribute on the show during the The Ten are encouraged to email the team at contact@dosenation.com to schedule an on-air interview.


06/25/2017 11:49 PM
5 Things Productive People Do Every Night

You're reading 5 Things Productive People Do Every Night, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Though we often assume that a good night’s sleep starts when we turn off the lights, setting yourself up for a restful seven to eight hours goes far beyond closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. The routine we follow before we turn down the covers can have a greater impact on our hours of rest than anything that happens overnight, equipping us for a more restful, productive night’s sleep. Start with these five steps to capitalize on that crucial time and improve your odds of waking up feeling truly rested each morning.

Get organized.

You know you have a full schedule tomorrow, and you’re already thinking about it. Rather than letting the next day’s obligations hang over your head as you binge-watch one of your go-to shows, Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and specialist in sleep medicine, says to set aside a few minutes between dinner and bedtime to get organized ahead of your busy day. If bringing running clothes to work with you cuts down on your morning stress and rush, make time to do so. If having a pre-packed lunch keeps you eating healthy, nutritious food (rather than making a regretful stop at the office cafeteria), then pack a bag the night before. Instead of tossing and turning while imagining the amount of tasks awaiting you when the alarm goes off, you’ll be able to fall asleep knowing you’re organized and ready for the day to come.

Unplug.

With the amount of devices at our disposal, it’s not surprising that this is such a difficult task for most of us. However, we now know for a fact that harsh blue light emitted from phone, television, and tablet screens has been proven to alter the body’s natural production of melatonin before bed, confusing our internal clock and making winding down more difficult. The National Sleep Foundation recommends removing electronic devices, especially smartphones, from your bedroom or nightstand to eliminate their impact on your sleep. If you must use a device before bed, switch it to a dimmer, night-specific screen setting, or make it something that you can set up further away from your eyes, like a television instead of a smartphone. If you really want to see a difference, follow the National Sleep Foundation’s suggestion to turn devices off 30 minutes before bedtime to let your mind wind down at its own pace.

Take care of your body.

Though we’d all love to get a massage each evening before bed, for most of us, that’s just not a reality. Instead, one of the easiest ways to take care of your body without adding an extra obligation to your schedule is to invest in a quality mattress. Doing your homework and picking out the right mattress once will ensure that poor support doesn’t impact your quality of rest and your physical well-being over time, making you less productive. Not sure where to start or wondering why your current mattress has never felt right? The average person will spend about 23,000 hours on their mattress over the course of its eight-year lifespan, so do your research to ensure you make a smart, informed investment in a mattress and your overall health.

Read.

For most of us, reading an actual book has sharply fallen to the wayside in favor of quick articles, social media scrolling, and television. However, researchers have repeatedly championed the cognitive benefits that reading can lead to, including improving our empathy and making kids smarter later in life. Better yet, unlike your phone or tablet, a paperback book doesn’t emit a single nanometer of blue light. Try incorporating a few pages of a book into your evening routine, perhaps alongside a steaming mug of (decaf) tea, and relish the chance to engage your imagination and engross yourself in the world between the pages. In time, reading can become a key part of your wind-down routine, signaling to your body that sleep, and relaxation, is near.

Meditate.

This revered wellness practice touts dozens of physical and mental benefits, but trying to empty your mind for twenty minutes right off the bat is enough to make most novice meditators give up. Easing into the practice, either with a few minutes of mindfulness meditation or the structure of a guided practice from an app or video, will help you slowly integrate it into your nightly routine in an accessible way. As an added plus, meditation also acts as a powerful complement to existing physical activities or fitness routines. According to Parinaz Samimi, a health and wellness consultant at MattressFirm.com, "[Meditation] helped me find myself . . . It reminds me not to be so quick to judge new experiences, new people, or even myself."

Now that you’re armed with these tips, be diligent in keeping your pre-bedtime ritual a part of your everyday thinking. Continue to stay informed, and you’ll soon develop a wind-down routine that’s both practical and productive for your everyday life, and sets you up for the best night’s sleep possible.

You've read 5 Things Productive People Do Every Night, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/24/2017 04:06 AM
Symbolizing Your Way to Success

You're reading Symbolizing Your Way to Success, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

How tiny objects can have a massive influence on the world

”The feeling of having no power over people and events is generally unbearable to us—when we feel helpless we feel miserable,” writes the author Robert Greene. “No one wants less power; everyone wants more.”

Research shows that feeling powerless or experiencing a lack of control decreases happiness and well-being. By influencing the world around us, we gain a sense of control. We all want to make our own meaningful mark on the world.

On this quest towards influence, something that we often underestimate is our use of symbols.

A symbol is anything that conveys meaning. It’s something that brings to mind associations beyond the definition of the symbol itself. It can trigger mental representations that are far broader than the symbol’s inherent meaning. In that way, symbols are powerful.

Letters and words are symbols of course. But so are the clothes you wear, the car you drive, and the job you have. The twinkle in your eye, the smirk on your face, the timbre of your laugh. What a person says, how they say it, and to whom are all symbols. The same goes for companies—everything it does forms a symphony of symbolism.

We cannot always decide how other people will interpret our symbols. But what we can control is what symbols we use, and how we use them. We can be deliberate about their usage, instead of spraying them around us like a sprinkler.

One of history’s great men can show us how to harness the power of symbols.


The fur cap man

In 1776, the American congress sent Benjamin Franklin to France as special commissioner. His mission was to seal an alliance with the European power, and to secure weapons and financing for the ongoing Revolutionary War.

Franklin knew that this was a delicate, precarious situation. His newly-founded nation was depending on him. Without the support of the French, the United States was destined to be nothing more than a temporary uprising.

Luckily, Franklin was a master of symbols (as well as a master of many other things). He knew that gaining the ear and the trust of the stingy French elite required the right image. His reputation as a simple printer, politician and scientist wasn’t going to cut it. He needed to become the “American version of the French spirit and way of life,” and to appeal “to their notorious narcissism,” as Robert Greene writes.

What symbols did Franklin use to express the right message to the French? The best example was the soften marten fur cap. He had picked up the headpiece several years before during a trip to Canada, and he knew it was the perfect ruse for his new foreign mission. Franklin wore the cap everywhere he went in Paris.

“The cap … served as his badge of homespun purity and New World virtue, just as his ever-present spectacles (also featured in portraits) became an emblem of wisdom,” writes his biographer Walter Isaacson. “It helped him play the part that Paris imagined for him: that of the noble frontier philosopher and simple backwoods sage.”

He struck the perfect balance between deep thinker and exotic influencer — exactly what was needed at the time. Franklin made such an impression that the local ladies even started wearing wigs that looked like his cap. They called the new fashion trend coiffure á la Franklin.

Franklin clearly knew what he was doing. He was deliberate about the symbols he used. “He carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity,” writes Isaacson. “Wherever he went he assumed the look, the outward morals, and the behavior of the culture at hand, so that he could better make his way,” says Greene.

In the end, his mission was a success. Franklin became beloved by the French, secured their financial support, and sealed a vital military alliance. The United States’ success in the Revolutionary War, and the country’s existence, owes much to Franklin’s masterful use of symbols.


Symbolizing yourself

Franklin’s fur cap shows that some objects can have disproportionately large effects on the world around us. On our journey towards influence, leveraging symbols is one of the most powerful tools we can use.

Reflect upon your own symbols, or your company’s use of symbolism:

What are your most important symbols?

What symbols express the wrong message?

What are you not expressing right now? What symbols could you use to get those messages across?

Try as we might, we can’t control how others perceive our symbols. But what we can do is to be more deliberate about the ones we use and how.

A simple starting point is to consider your use of the quintessential symbol: words. “The word is only a representation of the meaning; even at its best, writing almost always falls short of full meaning,” says writer Stephen King. “Given that, why in God’s name would you want to make things worse by choosing a word which is only cousin to the one you really wanted to use?”

Where do your symbols fall short? What are the symbols you really should be using?


Alex Carabi is a brand and leadership consultant and coach, helping people and organizations to rethink reality and bring meaning to what they do.

You've read Symbolizing Your Way to Success, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/23/2017 04:10 AM
5 Ways To Show Courage Every Day

You're reading 5 Ways To Show Courage Every Day, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Courage: noun

1.the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery.

2.Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.

Displaying courage is often one of life’s most difficult challenges. As a child, you first come into contact with it when you’ve done something wrong and have to own up to it. As a teen, admitting that you’re infatuated with someone takes just about everything you’ve got. And as an adult, courage is required daily: to ask for a raise, to quit your job, to make yourself vulnerable with someone.

But what is it that enables courage? That overwhelming moment when the adrenaline kicks in and you take that step into the unknown?

That’s where the second definition comes in: the heart as the source of emotion.

The Latin word for heart, cor, forms the basis of courage.  Taking your cue from your heart, from that compelling emotion that comes from deep within.

Too often however, our minds over-ride our hearts’ true desires. And I am not talking about material desires – although those have a place too! True desires, that will enable happiness, joy and fulfilment.

Palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware wrote a heartfelt article about the deathbed regrets of her patients.  Out of the top 5 regrets, 2 wished for more courage.

Here are 5 ways to follow your heart and show courage daily, to enable joy and happiness in your own life.

1. Learn to say NO

Stop putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own. We often feel obliged to a friend or family member to do something that causes stress or anxiety: say no to that! You might hurt their feelings, but they will get over it and you will feel better for it.

2. Ask for what you want

Don’t hold things in anymore. Ask for a raise, or a date, or whatever it is that you have been holding in the back of your mind, too afraid to utter. Even if the answer is no, you will know that you’ve at least tried and should feel good about that.

3. Say you that love someone, forgive someone, or are angry at someone

Be brave with your emotions and speak your mind. Bottling up only leads to an outburst, usually when it’s unfounded.

4. Let go

As contradictory as it seems, it is often easier to hold on to something that causes us pain, than what it is to let go. Your cause becomes your crutch: that thing that happened to you ends up defining you. To let go of a painful event in your past takes tremendous courage because it has become a part of your identity, but it is also holding you back on so many levels. By letting go of that emotion you take back control of your life. And this is not only true of big, life-changing events: we also hold on to the little negativities in our everyday lives.

5. Defy the Status Quo

Just because things have always been done a certain way, it doesn’t mean that is the only of the best way. Try something new, put yourself out there.

Courage should be a daily practice, where you listen to your heart and act accordingly. So let got of the reigns and be brave today!


I have trained in various personal development modalities with some of the world’s best teachers and have been to workshops and read more books than most people I knew. In a driven quest to ‘fix’ myself I have tried more therapies than anyone I know, and trained in some of them.

I’m impatient and intolerant in the absence of integrity, trust and accountability; I stand for high quality and hold myself to a high standard.

I believe pretty much anything is possible and am still learning (often, the hard way) not to confuse that with ‘I can do everything right now’.

I bring my 20 years of experience in the corporate world with my in-depth knowledge of human behaviour and a passion not only for excellence but for transformation and collaboration. Information and motivation have a place, I know …. but transformation, now that gets my juices flowing!

You've read 5 Ways To Show Courage Every Day, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/22/2017 12:55 AM
How Does Diet Affect Productivity? 5 Diet Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs To Stay Productive

You're reading How Does Diet Affect Productivity? 5 Diet Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs To Stay Productive, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Entrepreneurs are one of the most occupied groups of creatures in today's world. All of their focus track is how to get things done on time and how to be super productive. Yet, a lot of entrepreneurs rarely give much consideration to what they eat or drink. They often get engaged with the overwhelming day-to-day schedules and forget the body needs to be replenished with good food.

Everything is not just about working; working in good health condition increases productivity and puts you in a dynamic shape. World Health Organization  revealed that “Adequate nutrition can raise your productivity level by 20 percent on average.”

Everything we eat gets converted into vital minerals needed for our entire system to function efficiently.

With that stated, follow these 5 diet hacks to be a healthy entrepreneur as being healthy alone will boost your productivity.

  1. Take caution with your breakfast habit

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a slave.” this is a popular and yet very accurate description of how the eating routine should be.

A productive day starts with a healthy breakfast. Your breakfast doesn't need to be a huge one but must contain nutrients that will position your body and brain into a good shape for the day’s activities.

A  Food Council Survey revealed that 93 percent of Americans believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet only 44 percent actually eat breakfast on a daily basis.

A study conducted at the University of Bath shows that “people who eat breakfast tend to engage in more physical activities in the morning than those who skip breakfast.”

Your breakfast should contain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat protein, and low-fat dairy. These are the food group you can give your body to have the best result for the day.

  1. Eat On Time And Not When You Are Extremely Hungry

It’s common among entrepreneurs to skip a meal on the basis of working. The body system is like an electronic machine that needs a power supply for proper functioning; once the power supply quenches, the machine stops working.

Eating on time is one of the effective ways to stay productive.

The effect of not eating on time most times result in dizziness and weakness and can make it difficult for you to focus.

Avoid eating only when you are extremely worn out and hungry -- this also has its health hazards. Always have some fresh fruits or snacks nearby when engaging in some important tasks.

  1. Drink More Water

Most people find it difficult to take a glass of water in the morning, or after eating.

As an entrepreneur using a large portion of his brain all the time, you need water to sustain yourself and to get out of dehydration. Dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and affects the thinking ability. Most entrepreneurs don’t know this, even the ones that do don’t take it as a priority.

Having a lot of water intake increases productivity, and helps brain for proper function. Research shows that almost 60 percent of the human body is made up of water, that is why a lot of water is needed in the body for proper function.

“Water is like a fuel you need when you are working and doing several activities,” said a successful and well-known internet entrepreneur, Bamidele Onibalusi.

Aigars Silkalns, founder of Colorlib, also attested to how much drinking more water has helped shape his entrepreneurial journey to the path of success.

It was not possible to get in touch with people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to know their take on drinking more water, but with how much they’ve declared healthy lifestyle as their key to success, it’s arguable that they also exercise the habit of drinking more water than the average man.

  1. Avoid Junks And Take More Of Fruits

Junk foods are what most people enjoy eating especially during working hours, just because it’s easier and faster to access.

Meanwhile, most of these junk foods are high in calories with low nutritional value, which is extremely dangerous for the health.

The body needs calories for proper functioning, however, when too many calories are stored in the body, the remaining is converted into excess fat, which can be very dangerous to your health.

Replace your snacks with fruits, as most fruits are low in fat and calories and they have no cholesterol. Taking more Fruits can reduce the risk of several health issues.

  1. Follow The Routine To Get A Good Result

Most people find it encouraging to start something because the motivation and the drive are still intact. But a lot of people suddenly get sick and tired of it after some time.  

The best and only way to get a desirable result in your health status is to follow and continue with the routine daily. Don't just start and stop after some time, but let it be part of your habit and make it your daily must do; as time goes on, you will definitely drop the old habits and focus on food that only nourishes your body.

To round Things Up

Watch what you eat, eat what is right; you are the product of what you take in. What doesn't benefit your health destroys you gradually. And an unhealthy meal, no matter how little, will deter your health in due time. Eat what is right today and your body will appreciate you for it tomorrow.

-----------

Joseph Chukwube is an experienced content writer, link builder and SEO specialist. He is the Founder and CEO of Dream Chase Achieve, a rapidly growing lifestyle and self-improvement blog.

You've read How Does Diet Affect Productivity? 5 Diet Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs To Stay Productive, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/21/2017 12:23 AM
Mind Over Matter: How To Train Your Subconscious Mind Part 2

You're reading Mind Over Matter: How To Train Your Subconscious Mind Part 2, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In the first part of this 2-part article on how to train your subconscious mind, we were looking at how the mind consists of both conscious mind and sub-conscious mind. Both are equally you, but they feed off each other in a positive loop or a negative loop. Which one dominates, is what you will have to decide.

Who runs your part of the Unknown?

The Sub-conscious.

Where does the Sub-conscious get its information from? The Mind. What happens if the Mind thinks “I don’t want to put myself out there again and be vulnerable, it hurt so much last time, I don’t want to go through that again, I better just stay home / not call / not send the email / Whatsapp / friend request”?

The Sub-conscious takes this feeling or vibration that you are putting out there, and it forms a very powerful bubble around you that protects you from all forms of connection where you could be hurt. That is when you decide to NOT try.

Let’s say that you think the same thing as above, but you decide you’re going to try anyway, that you will be brave BUT your mind is running the same commentary and your Sub-conscious is experiencing the same feeling or vibration.

What do you think will happen?

There will be some strange negative result or self-sabotage that happens that you can’t quite explain, but you will probably think something like “I knew it, see I should never have tried this”. Now you are in a downward spiral and it is painful to experience as it usually leads to a crash because the momentum is too big to stop.

So that is one scenario where your Mind controls your Sub-conscious and the latter creates some very powerful situations to protect yourself – remember, it cannot discern what is true and what is false.

Another scenario is the following: What if you can reconfigure your Mind to take on a role that it is not always used to? What if you can reason with your Mind and ask it to be cautious in communicating with your Sub-conscious. Even better yet, what if you can assign your Mind the extremely important title of “Guardian to the Gates of the Sub-conscious” and implore it to protect your Sub-conscious by not letting in any unwanted thoughts. To keep guard and prevent entry to any negative thought patterns, doubts, fears, anxieties, guilt, judgement and vanity. To ask it to only allow in thoughts of courage, acceptance, hope, faith, abundance and love.

What if you asked your Mind to let you know when negative, energy draining thoughts are on the horizon, trying to break down the gates to the Sub-conscious? What if you asked it to empower you with this awareness of a threat to your Inner World, and that you could call on your Mind to take action to stop the negative thoughts and be the hero?

What kind of Inner World would your Sub-conscious create for you with the protection of a strong Mind letting in good, energy giving thoughts?

What would you choose the next time a thought comes around that wants to stir the pot and take you on a journey of fear, guilt or judgement?

What do you choose? In this moment, before you move on, make that choice.

If you liked this article and would like to know more about the connection between your Inner and Outer Worlds, contact me here.

Ann x


I have trained in various personal development modalities with some of the world’s best teachers and have been to workshops and read more books than most people I knew. In a driven quest to ‘fix’ myself I have tried more therapies than anyone I know, and trained in some of them.

I’m impatient and intolerant in the absence of integrity, trust and accountability; I stand for high quality and hold myself to a high standard.

I believe pretty much anything is possible and am still learning (often, the hard way) not to confuse that with ‘I can do everything right now’.

I bring my 20 years of experience in the corporate world with my in-depth knowledge of human behaviour and a passion not only for excellence but for transformation and collaboration. Information and motivation have a place, I know …. but transformation, now that gets my juices flowing!

You've read Mind Over Matter: How To Train Your Subconscious Mind Part 2, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/19/2017 10:40 PM
5 Reasons Why You Must Actualize Your Dream

You're reading 5 Reasons Why You Must Actualize Your Dream, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

‘’Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson

You probably never gave it a thought before, you assumed it wasn’t worth all the effort, but the truth is that you need to actualize your dream.

Your dream is whom you are; outside your dream, you are leaving another person’s life and you can never make it.

You are living a makeshift life. You can only end up being a member of the pack at best. The alpha status is not for you. You will always be led and directed to places you never wanted to go and you will never have any option.

‘’Why?’’ You may want to ask, the reason is very obvious -- You refused to actualize your dream.

All hope is not lost as these 5 tips, will get you raring and ready to go.

  1. You will have rest of mind

The fact is your mind can never relax if, you have not actualized your dream. You will find yourself drifting, you can’t be stable because you are into the wrong thing. You are in another person’s world.

You will always be fidgety, confused and lack composure. People will use you and then dump. You can’t aspire to get to the top, you are in a strange land.

Since all these will happen to you and more, why won’t you get into your own world, by actualizing your dream? Just then, you can call the shots and be responsible for your own fate.

When you actualize your dream, things will flow, you will live your own life and stop being an attachment, an appendage.

  1. Silence your detractors

There are a lot of people out there who are only waiting to see your downfall, who don’t wish you well, who only want to mock you. They constantly want to see you trip and stumble.

They will put obstacles in your way, they reason that, if you move up, you won’t hero-worship them again, after all, you had been at their beck and call all along.

You can put a stop to all their trash, once you decide to silence them by actualizing your dreams.

A dream actualized, is a sucker punch, a deafening grand slam to your detractor.

‘’Hold faithfully to your unique vision and your detractors will eventually tire and give up.’’ -Bryant McGill

  1. Set a pace

Have you ever visualized yourself as a pacesetter before?

Don’t you know there is much joy in being an inventor?

When you set a pace, the recipe belongs to you. All others can only copy from you.

Your dream may be an innovation, nobody has ever tried it before, or even advancing ideas of others just as theme platforms like Colorlib were created to provide themes that will make WordPress more user-friendly.

Probably, you have always wanted to fashion out something, but you don’t know why; it is because you need to, and must allow that hidden ingenuity of yours, to burst out and cascade.

  1. You will be contented

Who on earth, wants to live a life full of worries? Such a life is only fit for those, who have refused, to actualize their dreams; those who have decided to live under other people’s shadows.

It is a rather useless thing to seek contentment elsewhere, you can only get it by actualizing your dream.

When you are contented, you are rich.

The whole world can only belong to you when you realize there is nothing missing, and that can only be when your dream is actualized.

  1. You will become a conqueror

You have been afraid to venture. You didn’t want to explore the unknown! But that is where your crown is, waiting all this while for you to come and fetch it.

Always have this in mind, work is lazy, it’s a chawner, a slackjack.

When you actualize your dream, you will be able to say with Gaius Julius Caesar ‘’I came, I saw, I conquered.’’

Apart from having a rest of mind, bashing your detractors, other benefits that have been mentioned above, you will have all the other sought-after things in life; the summer sun-tanned body, private yacht, adventurous holidays, surfing and other goodies will come in a jiffy.

All you have to do now is, devise the best approaches and strategies, and apply them to actualize your dreams.

And you’ll no longer be an appendage but the master.

---------

Joseph Chukwube is an experienced content writer, link builder and SEO specialist. He is the Founder and CEO of Dream Chase Achieve, a rapidly growing lifestyle and self-improvement blog.

You've read 5 Reasons Why You Must Actualize Your Dream, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/18/2017 10:43 PM
7 Philosophies to Move You in the Right Direction

You're reading 7 Philosophies to Move You in the Right Direction, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

It’s easy to wonder if you’re going to get everything you want out of life. Perhaps you want the ideal income, the recognition you deserve, or else. But instead of focusing on what you want, you can experience far more happiness by cultivating the right philosophies.

  1. Stay in Touch With your Family

We don’t choose our parents, or our brothers and sisters. But if you’re lucky enough to have a family, let that love flow into your life regularly. They’re not going to be here forever, so reconnect in some small way if it’s been awhile since you last spoke. Make it a routine to keep in touch.

Your family may not be perfect, but maintaining your connection with some of, or all of your family will give you the gift of a greater sense of belonging. If there’s anything you can do to heal the past, be patient — and do your best to move through it.

They’ll be thankful for it. And so will you.

  1. Meet Friends Every Week

Based on the longest study on happiness by a group of Harvard researchers, the major finding was that the quality of your relationships — determine the quality of your happiness.

And yet, it’s so easy to let your social life slide down into a small corner of your life. But by continually nurturing it, you’ll be taking care of one the most important parts of your happiness. According to positive psychology, that means you’re likelier to move in the right direction in all the other areas of your life too.

Strong relationships have been shown in numerous studies, to be the strongest predictors of life satisfaction. When you express yourself with a couple of different friends every week (something so simple), you give yourself the best chance of being happy. Life then doesn’t seem like it’s all about the pursuit, but more like an experience, you share in common with everyone else.

  1. Laugh Every Day

Some of us live under the idea that we need to be serious to achieve big things. Based on a whole library of research documented by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, people who laugh more are happier, and also counter-intuitively likelier to achieve more. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times per day. As adults, that number gets whittled down significantly.

Humour is our primordial philosophy, but we only cultivate it through being mindful of the looking-glass we navigate our lives with. Dr Wayne Dyer once famously said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

If you’re usually feeling tense and pressured because of the way you look at life, your character is going to eventually, permanently reflect that. But if you’re usually feeling amused, despite whatever’s going on, you’ll help shape your long-term character and life for more happiness.

  1. Do what you Love Daily

Since your whole life will always be live within the confines of a single day, you do what you can to enjoy each one. While you may have goals, you realize that you only move closer towards them by fully embracing your present.

Thomas Carlyle once said, “Our main business not to see what lies at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” In the myriad responsibilities of work and life, you realize it’s important to keep your sense of play.

Sometimes doing what you love is a struggle. Sometimes you feel like procrastinating. But you still do your best make the time for what you love each day. Your love could be anything from practicing an instrument, drawing, writing, painting, playing basketball, reading, or else.

  1. Make Yourself Feel Good Each Morning

Your daily morning routine is the foundation for your life. If you start off each day with an arbitrary script, then you’re going to get random results. And while it’s good to take chances in life, gambling on being intentional with your life isn’t a chance you take.

So, start your day by consistently doing whatever it is that makes you feel good; making it likelier you’ll make good things happen.

With a morning routine, you cultivate the mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional areas of your life. You head into your day already feeling fulfilled. Whether you read, exercise, journal, meditate, take a cold shower, or else — a sign that you’re moving in the right direction is that you know exactly what puts you in peak mental and physical state each day.

  1. Travel to Different Countries Every Year

While life may partly be about the hustle, it’s also about having a holistic life that makes you feel energized to be the best person you can be. Going abroad allows you to come back home renewed, ready to fire on all cylinders. When you look back on your time on this planet, you’ll savour every opportunity you took to push yourself out into different realms.

Traveling is about much more than taking the time to have some fun and relax. It’s about going on adventures that disconnect you from your existing culture — so that you see yourself with a little more clarity.

It’s about enriching your life, with unique, memorable experiences.

  1. Realize That Everyone is your Teacher

Everyone you meet knows something you don’t. Every person you come across is a potential teacher or mentor. Since you know this truth, you’re more open to building new growth based relationships. But only some people can offer you advice and wisdom that’s truly life changing — so you look for people wiser than you in the right places.

Marcus Aurelius, the famous Roman Emperor, in his book, Meditations wrote: “the span we live is small — small as the corner of the earth in which we live it.” To make your view of the world clearer, and life larger, all you need to do is to: be open, ask the right questions, and continually test out new ideas. You need to reach out to potential teachers, as you look for the gems in what they share with you.

With time and application, the different components of your life will start clicking into place.

My Last Words

If you’re a creative and interested in learning how to improve the way you live your week, read my free book on Spiritual Productivity.

  • You'll learn about how to split up your day into four chunks, so you worry less about external influences.
  • You'll discover the small hacks that will take your creative work on your PC to the next level.
  • And much more…

 Samy Felice is a writer who brings meaning to words. His Free Book explores how to make success easier. 

 

You've read 7 Philosophies to Move You in the Right Direction, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/16/2017 11:59 PM
This Is How Childhood Bullying Affects Your Adult Life

You're reading This Is How Childhood Bullying Affects Your Adult Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Bullying is a serious problem and it's effects are going to be seen in a couple of decades, as today's kids will grow into adults, bearing the scars. There are people who still try to find excuses for this behavior, saying that kids will be kids and so on, but the reality is childhood bullying does leave a mark on the adult to be, which is not a pretty picture.

From cyberbullying to gang stalking, there are many forms of bullying out there and all of them have consequences for the traumatized child. Parents can try to protect their kids from this phenomenon, as you can yet they can prevent bullying completely .

If we look at the numbers, we can see that bullying is more frequent than one would think: up to 28% of all US students were bullyed in school. The victims are usually told to toughen up and get over it, but bullying does leave a mark on the future adult, being more than a funny rite of passage.

Victims of bullying are prone to developing both anxiety and depression.

A study conducted in 2013 proved something already suspected by all the bullyed people: the phenomenon increases your risk of developing depression and anxiety. Victims of bullying are at high risk of developing mental disorders as adults, while the bullies are at high risk of developing antisocial personality disorders.

The  victim can suffer from toxic stress

Harvard University researches showed that bullying is one of the causes of toxic stress in kids. Other causes are violence, poverty and a parent's mental illness, which shows just how severe bullying can be. Toxic stress has a huge negative impact on the child and when it's not addressed properly, it can leave a mark on the future adult, such as high risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and developmental delays.

Bullying changes the brain's structure

Bullying has clear physical effects on a teen's brain structure, according to a study conducted at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.

In boys, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that deals with fear and anxiety, becomes enlarged in victims of bullying. Girls, on the other hand, experience a thinning of the temporal and prefrontal cortexes, which control the social behavior and emotional reactions.

Both of these changes are linked to anxiety in adults and dangerous behavior.

Victims of bullying are more likely to smoke

If you are a smoker, your behavior could be traced back to childhood bullying, according to a study from King's College London. The same study found that former victims of bullying experienced lower levels of satisfaction, had higher risk of dropping out of college and they are socially isolated.

Bullying can alter your DNA

When you are stressed, the body releases cortisol in the bloodstream, which is one of the stress hormones that triggers the stress reactions of the body. Bullying makes your body produce less and less cortisol, leading to a change in the genes that control the serotonin (happiness hormone) production. In other words, bullying makes your brain prone to depression.

All in one, bullying is not a child's game, as it can lead to severe consequences for the future adult.

 

You've read This Is How Childhood Bullying Affects Your Adult Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/16/2017 07:27 PM
How To Deal With Rejection

You're reading How To Deal With Rejection, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

[caption id="attachment_49877" align="alignleft" width="300"] Expressive landscape of Marconi Beach in Cape Cod, created with oil and melted wax[/caption]

I was just denied entry into another much anticipated exhibit - very last minute, completely unexpected. I spent all this time advertising it through various media, as well as with my friends and current clients. Now that it isn't happening, I was at a complete loss as to how to proceed. Rejection is terrible. So I rushed to the studio to medicate myself, to pour my negative energy into a piece that has long held my thoughts. Here's what went through my head as I was processing the very last stages of its completion. Here's how the process helped me heal.

It's a stage when topography no longer matters. It's when I can simply revel in the color relationships, in contrast building, in texture nuances. I want to soar, to be free as a bird, to feel like a teenager overseas discovering new worlds. I want absolute freedom. But there's always something holding me back, something gravitational that does not let this ecstasy to fully play out. I need an anchor, a reference to reality, a thread to hold onto. It's an ultimate struggle. Part of me wants to violently slash the canvas with my palette knife, create energy and raw emotion. Another part really wants to look back on the watercolor sketch and keep referencing it, keep to a plan.

Maybe I'll always be stuck in this paradox. How do I stay true to myself, yet operate fully in this world? Perhaps it's what my work is about - the push and pull of a struggle between an inner reality vs the outside world? It could be that it'll never turn abstract because that is just not me. It'll always hover over a precipice of a gorgeous cliff. This might not get me anywhere, but you can't jump over your head, can you?

Maybe people will at some point understand this struggle being depicted in my work. Perhaps they never will. But that's not what it's all about. It's about me keeping up a good fight, navigating this course called life with the most dignity I can muster, keeping sane on my tightrope. To view some of my artwork and process videos, feel free to browse to http://www.dianastelin.com

You've read How To Deal With Rejection, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


06/16/2017 12:12 AM
Simple Ways To Boost Your Confidence As A Writer

You're reading Simple Ways To Boost Your Confidence As A Writer, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

It's easy to feel disheartened as a writer. You compare yourself to other writers, and you feel as though you're lacking, somehow. No matter what, though, you can be a great writer. Here are some tips to help you boost your confidence in what you do.

Stop the self-sabotage

“The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.”- John Campbell

Everyone's done it. They put writing off, or send off work that they know is subpar. When they don't get the work done, or they get rejected, they say 'it's because I'm not good enough.' In fact, you are good enough, you just need to put the effort in. Put in the hours and only publish your best work.

Analyze your writing activities

“To be a writer is to sit down at one's desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone - just plain going at it, in pain and delight.“- John Hersey

If you feel as though you're not getting anywhere with your writing, you may need to examine how you're writing. Track how much time you spend writing, what's happening around you as you write, and how much you get written. You may find that your environment is affecting your writing, or that you're writing at the wrong time of day. If you go ahead with this, try Easy Word Count as a good way of tracking your output.

Ignore your inner critic

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”- Gustave Flaubert

Everyone has a critic that lives in their head, telling them that their writing just isn't good enough. When you listen to that voice, it sap your confidence and energy. How can you get any writing done when you're listening to it? When it starts up, try telling it 'This may not be the best thing I've ever written, but I made it and that's good enough.' Soon enough, you'll find it's much easier to ignore that negative voice.

Use rejection as a stepping stone to better writing

“Engrave this in your brain: Every writer gets rejected. You will be no different.”- John Scalzi

Getting a rejection letter is a real blow to your confidence as a writer. However, you can turn it around and use it to increase the quality of your work. For example, if you've been rejected for typos or other errors, use it as a chance to tighten up your proofreading skills. If you need some help, try getting in touch with the time-savers, for example, UK Writings  proofreaders.

Try something new

“You know how creative people are, we have to try everything until we find our niche.” - E.A. Bucchianeri

If you're stuck in a rut, it's easy to think that you're never going to make it as a writer. In fact, all you need to do is try something different. If you normally write prose, try your hand at poetry. If you normally blog, try writing a longer form piece. Whatever you do, switch it up. You may discover a talent you never knew you had.

Ensure none of your work is plagiarized

“When you take stuff from one writer, it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research.”- William Mizner

Obviously, you're never going to take someone else's work and pass it off as your own, but you may be heavily inspired by someone's writing. A lot of time, plagiarism charges are laid at writers who didn't even know they'd done it. To remove the threat of this happening, run your writing through plagiarism detectors such as the ones at Plagium or Academized.

Don't compare yourself to others

“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.”- Robert Benchley

Finally, don't worry about what other people are doing. It's hard, as you have to read to be a good writer. When you're reading, it's easy to think 'I'll never be as good as they are' or 'I could never describe that in such a vivid way.' When you do this, you're doing down your own writing. Instead, recognise that every writer is different, and they're all loved for different reasons.

You can make it as a writer, all it takes is a bit of confidence. Use these tips the next time you're wobbling, and you'll soon find reasons to love your work again.

You've read Simple Ways To Boost Your Confidence As A Writer, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.