Sunday, 25 October 2020

Seventeen strategies to boost your focus

Galvanizes: Libra and Aquarius Suns by getting them to see the writing on the wall. Is anyone's guess with: Scorpio and Capricorn Suns because it encourages them to play devil's advocate. Sometimes good because they're experts at exposing flaws in people's thinking, sometimes bad because argument for argument's sake might destroy something valuable in the process. Opposes: Sagittarius Suns. You see others as stirring the pot. When Uranus is opposite your Sun sign, you don't connect to its energy naturally, so you always get thrown for a loop until you do. The best way to harness this energy is to take what they're saying seriously. In any one person there may be one or more types active. There is more to healthy brain aging, however, than preventing or reversing cognitive decline. The goal is radiant brain health throughout your life span, well into old age. Get and stay sharp for as long as possible. The strategy of this article is to avoid the main causes of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's while you strengthen your brain and mental abilities. Preventing and reversing cognitive decline Since cognitive decline so often affects the hippocampus and reduces both neurogenesis and synaptogenesis, having the brain's growth and remodeling in an optimal range is mission critical. A study in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2019 showed that in genetic forms of Alzheimer's, neurogenesis is disrupted. When neurogenesis was returned to normal, the mice were fine, didn't show any memory deficits or signs of anxiety. This article looks at the many different factors that bring about cognitive decline and works to: increase neurogenic slowing, enhance the brain's metabolic and energetic functioning, reduce inflammation, heal the gut and blood-brain barrier, detoxify and regenerate the brain, work on the many mental and psychological factors involved in order to reverse this trend. CRA leverages these systems (the community) to compete as reinforcers with substance use. People need reasons not to use substances, and CRA helps them fill their lives with reasons. One of the benefits of 12-step involvement (if it fits an individual) is that it offers a positive community to join.

People welcome you, encourage your hard work, ask you to run meetings, ask you for advice, and so on--all rewarding activities and experiences that compete with using substances. Conversely, we see people come out of rehab and fall immediately back into using, because they haven't developed a life to compete with substance use. It's hard work building that life, but it is the long-term strategy that will keep changes in place. CRA uses CBT procedures, in a combination unique to CRA. Research evidence supports CRA across many types of substances, groups of people, and settings. As you might imagine (given that some of the early CRA developers expanded the ideas into CRAFT), CRA includes family as a powerful part of the recovery environment, and asks for your participation in your loved one's treatment. Where to Find It They may not share your moral concerns--indeed, some of their arguments sound like putting firearms into the hands of children--but things are better thought out than you give them credit for. URANUS IN CANCER Not all revelations are based on discoveries. Some are sinking feelings you get when you learn that you've made a terrible mistake. Wheels spin forward just as easily as they spin backward, and when you have Uranus in Cancer you're driven by this need to get things back to the way they were before. It's the premise of countless time travel shows, and if you've watched any one of them, you know that do-overs only make matters worse. So how can you fix what went wrong? Put your trust in the Universe and let developments unfold on their own. Revolution doesn't just mean overthrowing governments. Revolution also refers to the orbit a planet makes around the Sun, to things coming full circle. What if you're experiencing cognitive decline and anxious or depressed? If you're experiencing cognitive decline, it is likely that you are or soon will feel anxiety and depression. A weakened, damaged, or shrinking hippocampus is a common link between cognition and the regulation of anxiety and depression.

Read all sections of the article that apply to you. The Psychological Side of Cognitive Decline So much of cognitive decline is talked about from the physical side that it's easy to overlook the great importance of the psychological side. Given the medical slant to much of the popular literature, this is understandable, for physicians are trained to look to physical causes for disease states. Only in the past few decades has research shown just how important psychological factors are in fostering disease. The field of Yet as this article points out endlessly, the physical and psychological are two sides of a single whole. It may be hard to find in practice, especially in the private treatment system, but CRA has begun to show up in publicly funded programs (where government funding insists on proven treatments). There is also a substantial effort toward training in the adolescent version of CRA, called A-CRA. If you can't find CRA, look for other CBT approaches. Behavioral Marital Therapy/Couple-Centered Treatments BMT is a robustly supported approach that involves working with the couple (if there is one), as opposed to the patient alone, which is good news if it's a spouse or partner you're worried about. People hear marital therapy and think no holds barred, everything's on the table (I finally get a chance to talk about that thing you did when we were in Mexico ten years ago), but the behavioral bent of this approach makes it more contained and focused on present-day problems. BMT is a short-term behavioral approach that can supplement other treatment. The couples treatment, which takes place in anywhere from six to twenty sessions, initially focuses on helping the loved one achieve abstinence while also reducing overall tension and conflict between the partners. Abstinence skills include standard CBT strategies such as substance-refusal skills and coping strategies for trigger situations. Then therapy focuses on increasing pleasurable activities for the couple; Where you wind up is often back where you began when you have Uranus in Cancer, but the difference is you're wiser for the experience. Cancer Uranus . Electrifies: Cancer Suns with wake-up calls.

Gadflies: Gemini and Leo Suns because there's no going back the way they came. Enlightens: Taurus and Virgo Suns by showing them how to make what's old new again. Overthrows: Aries and Libra Suns when it uproots. Galvanizes: Scorpio and Pisces Suns by pushing them out of the nest so they can fly on their own. Is anyone's guess with: Sagittarius and Aquarius Suns because they can't go home again. Sometimes good because home might not have been so great, sometimes bad because it can turn them into rolling stones that gather no moss. Opposes: Capricorn Suns. When it comes to the mind and cognitive health, psychological factors loom large. These bring about either cognitive decline or cognitive enhancement, and a complete understanding of cognition must include both the physical and the psychological. First we look at psychological factors--emotional, mental, spiritual--that play a significant role in either eroding memory or keeping the mind sharp. The Emotional Level Feeling good is both a cause and effect of a healthy brain. When you feel good, the brain comes alive and the neurogenic rate rises. Conversely, when your brain is working at a high level, you feel good. Emotional health and brain health go together. How you feel impacts your brain Good feelings--of contentment, peace and calm, love and caring--produce coherent brain waves and increase both neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, as well as lowering inflammation and creating a better intestinal environment. BMT may include supervised medications when appropriate, such as Antabuse (see below). The couple produces a contract in this process, to clarify what each person in the couple is agreeing to do. BMT is the epitome of a behavioral approach: structured, with homework, including goal setting, tracking, and a focus on present and future events as opposed to reviewing the past.

Where to Find It BMT is so specific that it's easy to identify a prospective provider who has been trained in it. To broaden your options for couples therapy, you can look for other well-researched couples approaches (eg, Emotion-Focused Therapy, or EFT). Pharmacotherapies Medications can be a powerful component of treatment, especially in conjunction with a behavioral therapy program. There are several important categories of medications, which correspond somewhat to the stage of treatment in which they are used: detoxification agents to manage withdrawal; These types of medications all come under the heading of addiction-specific medications. You see others as walking out on you. When Uranus is opposite your Sun sign, you don't connect to its energy naturally, so you always get thrown for a loop until you do. The best way to harness this energy is not to squeeze too tightly. Give people their space. It may be frightening letting people come and go as they please, but instead of leaving you'll see them want to sit down and make themselves comfortable instead. URANUS IN LEO You don't know who--or what--you are and sometimes wonder if you ever will. Now, this doesn't mean you are confused, are in the dark, or have low self-esteem. On the contrary, you can be quite forceful and opinionated. What it means is that there's a wide-open space where an ego should be, and you like it like that. The brain functions best in positive emotional states. When you feel good, contented and excited to be alive, you think clearly and lucidly. Your immune system hums along nicely, you easily shrug off small upsets and bounce back fairly quickly from big ones.

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