Ned Believes Every Day Should Be Gratitude Day

Ned Believes Every Day Should Be Gratitude Day

Ned celebrates World Gratitude Day by sharing his appreciation for the life and service of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

October is ADHD Awareness Month and we want to hear your ideas for the show! What topics should we cover? What aspect of ADHD do you want to learn more about? Write an email or record a voice memo with your thoughts and send it to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners, you can SAVE 20% on your first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

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Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

As fall nears closer and the pandemic rages on it can be difficult to envision what next month, or even next week will look like. In this mini episode Dr. H shares some words of advice on how to think about the future and get ready for whatever comes next.

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us! Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners  SAVE 20% on their first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

And thank you to our sponsor, Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Click HERE to learn more the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson, and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

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Do Something Just For You

Do Something Just For You

In honor of National Just Because Day (Yes, it’s a thing!), Ned is going to float in his inflatable pool and create a silly walking zone in front of his house, among other things. In this mini podcast he challenges you to do something today that makes you happy!

Learn more at NationalDayCalendar.com.

Please reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas. Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners, you can SAVE 20% on your first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

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Minimize ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationships

Minimize ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationships

How do you work through issues that arise when you and/or your significant other have ADHD? Sue Hallowell (a couple’s therapist and Ned’s wife of 31 years) sat down with Ned in the kitchen of their Massachusetts home to talk about the realities of being married to someone with ADHD. Sue’s insights shed light on how to navigate the frustrations of being the “non-ADHD” half of the couple, and what predicts whether a relationship will succeed. You’ll hear the love as Ned and Sue talk shame, blame, excuses and more in this heartwarming episode.

Please reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas! Email [email protected].

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

This episode was originally released in August 2019.

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Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Families

Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Families

Mental illness is so prevalent in the U.S. that we now have a reduced life expectancy as a result of 2 specific causes, and the pandemic is only making things worse. Dr. Ken Duckworth, the chief medical officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), joins Dr. H to talk about how his organization helps those with bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, schizophrenia, depression, thoughts of suicide, and other conditions.

Looking for help? Learn about NAMI by clicking HERE.

Is there a topic you’d like Dr. Hallowell to explore in a podcast? Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

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Ned Loves Tuna Salad, Thunderstorms and Facts

Ned Loves Tuna Salad, Thunderstorms and Facts

Encouraged by numerous emails from listeners, our host shares more about who he is and what he believes in.

Is there a topic you’d like Dr. Hallowell to explore in a podcast? Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Click HERE to listen to this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. As you know, we release these mini episodes, people, I think, like them often better than the longer ones, because they’re short and we live in an age of, short is good. In any case, some episodes ago, I said, I asked listeners, “Is it okay if I go off topic and talk about things that I don’t have a degree in or written books about?” And you all answered me, “Yes, yes, yes, yes.” So, I felt wonderfully liberated by that permission you gave me, and so I thought I’d do this little mini on 10 beliefs I hold, so you’ll know where I’m coming from.

Get a sense of what I’m like, as much as I’d love to hear from you as to what you’re like. So, here are 10 beliefs or preferences or predilections that I have. I love tuna salad that I make on my own, and I put everything in it you can imagine, chopped onion, chopped garlic, chopped celery, capers, chopped olives, cayenne pepper, salt, celery salt, whatever I can put. I make this amazingly, I think, delicious. Some other purists would say, “Over seasoned and extra ingredient-ed.” But I love that tuna salad and I often make it for my lunch.

I love thunderstorms. I know I’m not alone in that, but I love thunderstorms, if I’m inside. I don’t particularly like being outdoors in a thunderstorm, but although that has a certain thrill to it as well, but the incredible energy that is released in a thunderstorm, really titanic and inspiring, honestly, when I listen to them. The third item, I really don’t understand people who reject facts. I don’t get it. I’ll go a step further and say, “I really don’t like these people because they’re getting in the way of progress, and they hold onto their ignorance as if it were a badge of honor.” Science means knowledge. You don’t believe in science, it’s not a religious principle. Science means knowledge. So, if you reject science, you’re rejecting knowledge. And isn’t that the story of the mistakes people make, rejecting knowledge, rejecting a proven fact? And it just, it boggles my mind, and the very pressing example of it, people who say, “I won’t wear a mask because it’s my personal freedom not to.”

Well, it’s like saying, “I won’t stop at red lights, it’s my personal freedom to drive through them.” Or, “I won’t wear a seatbelt because it’s my personal freedom not to wear one.” Or, “I think I’ll drive on the other side of the road because it’s my personal freedom to.” Don’t you understand that wearing a mask around other people, if we all would do that, this pandemic would come to an end? I just don’t get it. And people who, I hear them on talk radio going on and on about their personal freedom not to wear a mask and they’ll be blankety blank to fill, listen to blankety blank, telling them to blankety blank. Really? You want to have it be your personal freedom to infect other people and to perpetuate this horror of a pandemic that is absolutely hamstringing the entire country?

And it’s no accident that Europe and other countries have taken care of this. They’ve got it under control. We don’t because of these stubborn, and I would add, ignorant people who won’t wear masks. I mean, honest to goodness, why not? Why not? Why do you put your personal freedom over the welfare of the entire country? I honestly don’t get it. I just don’t get it. It must be wired into us that, in this country, that we, I don’t know, that we have to be selfish, that we can’t sacrifice for others. I mean, I know that’s not true, because I know most people are very self-sacrificing, but why won’t you sacrifice whatever freedom you have in favor of wearing a mask? Okay. Another one, I’m an ardent, ardent, ardent sports fan. I have wasted more time, although to me it wasn’t wasted, watching sports.

I grew up watching the Red Sox, and then the Patriots, and the Bruins and the Celtics. I don’t have a favorite. I suppose, if I had to pick it would be football. Baseball has just become so slow, I literally can’t sit through watching a game on TV. And if I go to the park, I want to leave by the sixth inning, but they really need to do something to speed the game up. It’s crazy. And the players saying they won’t do it, they’re being paid hundreds of millions of dollars, they should just learn how to get the ball and throw it and not stand there scratching themselves in various areas before they throw it. You can tell, I have feelings about that one too.

I love, love, love the beach. I grew up in Chatham on Cape Cod back when it was a small town, before it had become the megalopolis. But I love Chatham, I love the beaches around Chatham. I spent many, many, many wonderful times, Hardings Beach, I’d stand in the parking lot on the white lines, waiting to get a hotdog from the hotdog stand and then go back out to the beach and swim, and Nauset Beach and Monomoy, all of that. It speaks to me in a very special way, the way childhood memories do. Those of you who listen regularly know, I love dogs, adore, adore, adore dogs. Dogs are God’s best messengers and it’s no accident that God spelled backwards is dog. Dogs, just, they’re just, they’re the most wonderful loyal connectors, lovers, healers.

I have a patient who’s actually writing a book about how her dog healed her from her addiction and depression and place of abject misery. And her dog, for over the course of a year, loved her up and out of it. It’s going to be a wonderful book. I yearn for a time when humor and civility return to the national discourse. I am really worn out with rancor and accusation and gotcha, and just people going after people. I’m so worn out with that. There are no good guys and bad guys really, we’re all human and you know the wonderful line, to understand all is to forgive all. I’m really tired of people who just are in the business of accusing. One of my favorite prayers, I’m Episcopalian, so that’s where I’m coming from.

But one of my favorite prayers is, “Lord, help me always to search for the truth, but spare me the company of those who have found it.” So much damage is done by people who think they have the truth and they lord it over you. Self righteousness, thinking that you have the truth and it is your duty to impose your will on others. Now, I just said, “I wish you’d wear a mask.” But you have the right not to, I just can’t understand why you would choose not to. But I’m not imposing it, I’m begging, please, please look at the facts and wear a mask. This is the final one, I’m also grateful to be learning, I’m 70 years old, about systemic racism. I thought we had it licked back when I was in college, graduated in ’72, with the Civil Rights Act and whatnot.

But of course, we didn’t have it licked and with George Floyd, I’m learning about out the experience of black people, that I just didn’t know. I didn’t know that the average black person, regardless of level of education or income gets tailed and followed and gives their kids advice on, “If you get stopped, don’t put up an argument. Just obey.” And what it must be like to live right in that kind of fear. And I was blissfully, not blissfully, I was terribly unaware of it, until this recent movement. And I realized how in my own self, I have stock responses, that I guess have to be called racist. And if we can understand this, if I can learn about it, it’s all about empathy. It’s all about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and walking a mile.

And we say we do it, but it’s very hard to do it, and the beauty of the Black Lives Matters movement is to help those of us who didn’t really get it, get it. And I don’t feel like I’m confessing to some terrible sin at all, I feel like I’m happy, I’m grateful to be learning something I didn’t know. And I do feel badly that I didn’t know it, but I also know that an awful lot of people don’t know, and the best thing we can do is not to get defensive and say, “Oh, I’m not a racist, or I’m not a this.” Don’t be defensive. Just say, “Yeah, I have these stock responses and I need to learn about them, so I can counteract them.” You don’t have to act on your prejudice and you can empathize with the person.

And first of all, know about it, learn about it. What does it feel like to be a black man in a world that, where you are not looked at in a way that acknowledges your dignity and assumes your innocence? That must be so hard and I’m glad to be learning about that. Honestly, I’m grateful to be learning about that. Well, those are some of my likes and dislikes, and predilections and where I am in my life. And I’d love to hear from all of you about this or about anything else, please reach out to us with your questions, comments, show ideas, anything, and email us at [email protected] That’s [email protected]. And remember to check out our sponsor, they help us stay on the air. So, check out our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD, that’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E, intentionally misspelled, CBD.

I’ve been taking it for a little over three months now, and I highly recommend it. It’s good for mood and cuts down on impatience and reactivity. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third party tested and it works. And if you go to omegabritewellness.com and use the promo code PODCAST 2020, you’ll get 20% off of your first order. And as I said, please reach out to us, [email protected]. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the always reliable and always delightful, Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor as well, is the very multi-talented and very socially engaging Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell and I can’t thank you enough for listening.

The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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How to Start Using CBD with OmegaBrite Wellness

How to Start Using CBD with OmegaBrite Wellness

Dr. Carol Locke, the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness, returns to the podcast to answer some basic questions about CBD, including the different types that are available, how to start taking it, how long it lasts in the body, and other questions we’ve received from listeners. You will gain a clearer understanding of how CBD works and the best ways to incorporate it into your daily regime. Dr. Locke also shares some anecdotal evidence about the potential benefits of CBD for those on the autism spectrum.

This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness.

Learn more about CBD by clicking HERE for a list of frequently asked questions.

Shop OmegaBrite CBD online. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Listen to this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Brite CBD, formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega three supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction here with a special episode made possible by our wonderful sponsor, Omega Brite Wellness. Omega Brite Wellness, creators of Omega Brite CBD. Since their sponsorship of this podcast began, we’ve gotten some questions from listeners about how to start taking Omega Brite CBD. So I’ve invited my good friend and the founder of Omega Brite Wellness, Dr. Carol Locke back to the podcast to share her knowledge with us. It’s so nice to have you on the podcast again, Carol.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well it’s wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful to have you. Just before we went on, you mentioned some new research about CBD. You want to share that with our listeners?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Yeah, it’s an interesting study. It’s a survey, so it’s not a double blind placebo controlled study, but it is a survey of 547 parents from a Facebook group, who are using different treatments for their autism spectrum disorder children. What they asked is, did any of these people use CBD for their children? 40% had used CBD for their children. A remarkable, at the end, 78.8% said they were skeptical at the start, but 72% said their children had a better quality of life after taking it, with some pretty significant benefits that they saw. I found the study to be very interesting because we don’t have much research on children. This gave us a window into what people are seeing, what they’re using and what we want to study in the future.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. How long were the kids on it?

Dr. Carol Locke:

They don’t say. They started them on it. This is a Facebook group that is on autism spectrum disorder. They ask them a series of questions on what the benefits that they saw were. I can run through those with you, if you want. I think it’s very interesting for people to be aware of.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure, sure.

Dr. Carol Locke:

56% saw a positive mood in their children, 52.7% saw reduced anxiety, 45.5% saw stress relief, 40.5% saw increased appetite or nausea control, 38.2% saw improved sleep quality, 29.5% saw improved communication, 29.1 improved motor skills, 20.9% reduced pain, 19.1% improved cognitive function and 12.7% a reduction in their pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s quite an array of benefits.

Dr. Carol Locke:

It was. It’s what we hear from people, but I thought it was a pretty remarkable report. Again, this is a survey. This is parents who are self reporting what the diagnosis is in their children, and there’s no blind. They know that they’re giving CBD. They’ve chosen to. It is interesting information for us to have.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely. Let’s get to the original question that we had. What is the best way to start taking CBD?

Dr. Carol Locke:

That’s a great question, and I think it’s very important that you start in a way that will give you the best success. What we recommend is identifying the benefit that you’re looking for, so you can keep track what you’re looking for, whether it’s a stress reduction, anxiety reduction, help with sleep, a reduction in aches and pain, improve focus, mood, whatever it is you’re seeking. Then you want to get a notebook so that you can keep track of how you feel and any changes in how you feel. You want to choose the type of CBD that you want to use, whether it’s a tincture, a soft gel, capsule, or a gummy, or whether you’re going to use topical CBD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

How do you decide? You said you’ve got different choices.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Deciding is a personal choice. Some people feel it’s easier to take a soft gel capsule and just swallow it. Some people want to take a gummy, they feel more comfortable with the gummy. Some people want to take a tincture and feel that is a quicker onset in the tincture.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What is a tincture?

Dr. Carol Locke:

A tincture is an oil or an alcohol solution, but we use an oil. That’s an oil that a CBD oil has been added to. So you can take the CBD in a liquid form with a dropper and dropping those drops or the dropper full underneath your tongue. That’s an absorption rate, it usually occurs in about 30 minutes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Does CBD have to build up in your system before you feel the effects?

Dr. Carol Locke:

It doesn’t have to build up. You may require a higher dose before your particular body feels an effect, but there is no need for it to build up, say to a steady state in your bloodstream. You’re going to take a dose or you’ll slowly increase it over three days or five days until you begin to feel a benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

How will the person know if the CBD is working or not?

Dr. Carol Locke:

It’s pretty clear. People report when they reach a dose, they go, oh, and then they feel better. They feel less stressed. They might feel less back pain. They say, “Oh, I had a really deep sleep.” They know. So it’s not a subtle thing. It’s like you go, “Oh, I’m feeling this. This is helping me.” You may want to increase it, but you are going to be adjusting it personally.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Ned, when you started, how did you first feel on it? How did you choose the dose that you ultimately… You’re taking I think four capsules of full spectrum a day. How did you get there? What was that like?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

The way I do most things, just trial and error. It did nothing at first so I just kept increasing it until I noticed a positive result.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Then when you hit a sweet spot, you noticed it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yep, exactly. You said I’m taking full spectrum. What’s the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Full spectrum has the CBD. It has minor cannabinoids. So it has CBC, CBG and CBN in it. Those are very important and provide a lot of benefit. It has turpines in it, and it has less than 0.3% THC. Broad spectrum has the THC removed completely and often has less minor cannabinoids, which are very, very important and give a lot of benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Is it safe for kids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

CBD in children hasn’t been studied in a child without a resistant epilepsy, such as Dravet Syndrome or Gastaut Syndrome. The science is still out on that and we need more studies. What we don’t know is how CBD affects neuro-development in typical children without a resistant epilepsy. That’s something we don’t know, and that’s a big question.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

In the report you mentioned at the beginning, they all were on autism spectrum.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Those were a study parents with children that had autism spectrum that were using it. 547 parents were surveyed, 40% we’re using the CBD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. Does CBD interact in any way with other medications?

Dr. Carol Locke:

It can. CBD is cleared by the liver in the cytochrome P450 system. It is cleared by the enzyme that also is involved in clearing grapefruit. Often you’ll have medicines that have a grapefruit juice or grapefruit warning on them. CBD has that same warning. The medicines that are cleared by that enzyme in the liver may be affected by the CBD dose or the CBD dose may be affected by the medicine. That’s something that you would want if you’re on any medicine that has a grapefruit warning on it, or has an effect on your liver function, to talk with your doctor. It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before taking any supplement or CBD and say, “This is what I want to do. Review your medicine, your medical history, and keep an eye out.” That grapefruit warning is something that you’d want to look out for. Those medicines that can be affected include blood thinners, such as Coumadin, some antibiotics and antimicrobials, different anti-cancer medicine, antihistamines, anti-epileptic medicines, some blood pressure medicines, some cholesterol medicines, some erectile dysfunction medicines, GI medicines, some heart rhythm medicines, mood medications. If you’re on valproic acid, you’d want to be certain to be reviewing that with your doctor for liver function. Different pain medicines. A whole variety of medicines, if they are cleared by the liver can be affected. That’s something that’s really important to be aware of.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

As always, you’re so informative. I’m so thrilled to have you as not only a friend, but as a sponsor of this podcast.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s the time we have for today to learn more about Omega Brite CBD, go to omegabritewellness.com. Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code, podcast2020.

Remember to reach out to us with your show ideas, comments, questions. We take them very seriously and do our best to answer them all. Email [email protected]ast.com.  Distraction is created by Sound’s Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the brilliant Scott Persson. Our producer is the delightful, talented Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell and thank you so much for listening.

The episode you just heard was sponsored by Omega Brite CBD formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the #1 Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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7 Things Ned Will Never Talk About

7 Things Ned Will Never Talk About

Our host shares some lighthearted thoughts about topics you’ll never hear him talk about on this podcast, including sweet potatoes!

Reach out to us with your questions, comments and show ideas! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

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Life Will Never Be Stress Free, But We Can Manage It

Life Will Never Be Stress Free, But We Can Manage It

Nothing stresses Dr. H out like talking about stress, as you’ll hear in this episode! Our host shares several of the methods he uses to alleviate his anxiety in the moment, including the story of how our producer stressed him out while making this episode and what he did to get past it.

How do you de-stress? Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Episode photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Bright CBD, formulated by Omega Bright Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Bright CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabrightwellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction? Last week in our mini episode, I asked for feedback on whether or not you minded if I talked about topics other than ADHD, and this was in response to an email I got from one listener who said, stick to ADHD and don’t go off into other areas where you’re not an expert. And so I thought I’d ask you all how you felt about that. And thank you so much for the feedback you gave me, which was uniformly, please continue to go into different areas. One woman wrote, “it would be painfully boring to avoid any conflict and stay on the beaten path by only discussing safe topics. Please don’t do that to us.”

Well, thank you very much. And then another one wrote, “the individual who wrote to you most definitely does not speak for me.” And another one wrote, “I like it when Dr. Hallowell talks about topics besides ADHD.” And then another one, “love all the different types of episodes on all topics.” And I really appreciate that feedback, because the last thing I want to do is lose listeners because they don’t like what I’m talking about. On the other hand, I really don’t want to bore people or bore myself, so that would definitely be a bad recipe. So our producer, I didn’t know what I should talk about today, and our producer, Sarah, said, why don’t you talk about ways of reducing stress in this very stressful period? Well, her request caused me stress, because I think stress reduction is about the most hackneyed, cliched, overdone, overworked, ridiculously everywhere you look topic in the entire field of mental health.

You can’t go through any mental health grocery store without getting bombarded by stress reduction. And it’s stressful for me to have someone ask me to talk about it for that very reason. And I get impatient and I want to say things like, life is stress, get used to it. Yes, it’s stressful. Okay. Do we really need to have tips on reducing stress? Life is stress. Your heart is beating against stress. You’re dealing with gravity every day, standing up pumping blood throughout your body. You cannot be alive without stress. You simply cannot. What you want to do is maximize good stress, like working out, and minimize bad stress, like my getting worked up over being asked to talk about stress. And then to make matters worse, just before the session began, our engineer asked me if I had a clock in the room that was ticking. Well, yes I do, in fact, have a clock in the room, and yes, it does tick. But I can’t believe he could hear it.

Well, I guess that’s why he’s a sound engineer. So, stressed out, I stood up and went and took the clock into the other room. And then as I was sitting down to do this mini episode, I was so stressed out by having had to move the clock that I went and pushed the escape button, which took me out of my connection with the sound engineer and the producer. So I had to go through the laborious process of logging back in, reconnecting with them so I can deliver to you this episode on stress reduction, totally stressed out. So, now, collect myself, take a deep breath. That’s a good stress reducer. And then I said, okay, Ned, now come on. Think of some ways, honest ways of reducing stress in your life. And so, I did that. I thought of what I did when I used to play squash better than I play now, before my hip replacements. And I do still do play, just not nearly as well. And I’d be in a close game, and it was coming down to the end and I would feel stressed. What would I do?

I would visualize my daughter’s smile. Lucy’s smile. And I would visualize it when she was about six years old looking up at me smiling. So that visualization of Lucy’s smile, I do it to this very day, visualizing Lucy’s smile. So visualize someone you love or visualize a place that calms you down, and you can do it in the midst of a competitive squash game, or in the midst of a stressful meeting, or in the midst of traffic. Visualize a person or a place that you love. Another is simply associate with pleasant people. Pleasant people are stress reducers. Just as obnoxious, annoying people are stress enhancers, stress increasers, stress creators, pleasant people, nice people are stress reducers. Nice people are not boring. When I tell my wife she’s so nice, she says, oh, that makes me sound so boring. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Nice is wonderful. Nice is spectacular. Boring is good. Boring is no stress.

Now it just so happens that we, people who have ADD, we can’t tolerate boredom. Boredom is our kryptonite, so we can’t stick with it very long. But try to associate with pleasant people. Another stress reducer is good news. Oh my gosh. How can we find good news? One way is by not listening to the news, which is almost entirely bad news. And then looking for good news. What’s a nice message that you may have had? I got some good news this morning when I discovered that my daughter’s dog came back with a clean bill of health. We worried she might have some serious illness and she doesn’t, she’s healthy as a clam, or healthy is a healthy dog. Good news. Cultivate good news. Save it and pass it along. Pass it along. We all are starved for good news.

Of course, the near mention of my daughter’s dog leads me to my favorite stress reducer, which is a dog, as I’ve said many times. It’s not for no reason that God spelled backwards is dog. Dogs are the angels God put on this earth to help us get through life with less stress. If you can possibly have a dog, get a dog. Another one of my favorite stress reducers is a shower. I love the shower. So I’ll just stand in the shower for long period of time just letting the water splash my back, and stick my head underneath it, and splash around, and make funny noises and just enjoy the feeling of being in the steam and in the pouring down rain of the shower. It’s a wonderful feeling. And often toward the end I’ll make it cold and it’ll just be so invigorating. Invigorating and refreshing.

And then of course, another favorite stress reducer that almost everyone loves, except people who are hyper sensitive, is a massage. Massage, oh my gosh. If I could get a massage a week, I’d be so happy. But I can’t for any number of obvious reasons. And a final one that came to me, being a writer myself I had to stick this in, a cup of hot chocolate and a favorite book, a relaxing book. The one that came to my mind was a Robert B. Parker detective novel. I happen to love Robert B. Parker novels. And it goes well with a cup of hot chocolate because Robert B. Parker is famous for putting food recipes throughout his books. So there you have a list of stress reducers, and I calmed down enough to do the thing that I hate to do, which is join the parade of tips on stress management. But to sum them up, pleasant people, good news, dogs, a shower, a massage, and a cup of hot chocolate reading a book by someone you really like to read.

Well, that’s it for the mini episode. Before I go, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out Omega Bright CBD. They’re our sponsor and they’ve been doing a great job with us. I’ve been taking Omega Bright CBD for the past three months, and I feel it’s really cut down on my impatience, even though I did get impatient when being asked to talk about stress reduction. You can get Omega Bright CBD online at omegabrightwellness.com. Distraction listeners can save 20% off their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020. that’s podcast 2020. Go to omegabrightwellness.com. Okay. Remember, please do reach out to us. We love hearing from you. Love, love, love, love, love hearing from you.

Reduce my stress and send me an email. Record your thoughts and send a voicemail as a voice memo, and send it to [email protected]. And maybe include one of your favorite stress reducers and we’ll add it to our mini episode next week. Distraction is created by Sound’s Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the brilliant Scott Person. And our producer is the equally brilliant Sarah Guertin. And I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for listening.

The episode you just heard was sponsored by Omega Bright CBD, formulated by Omega Bright Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Bright CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabrightwellness.com.

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Should Ned Stick to What He Knows?

Should Ned Stick to What He Knows?

Should Dr. H avoid talking about politics, money, religion, sex and other non-ADHD topics on this podcast?

Ned reacts to an email he received from a listener who said he should stick to talking about ADHD in this podcast and reaches out to listeners for feedback.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Brite CBD, formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. As you know, during this period of COVID, each week we release a mini episode that in some way pertains to the experience we’re all sharing as we live through this unique period in our lives. And unique it certainly is. I wanted to reflect on an email that I was sent, but let me preface it by saying when I was growing up, and I grew up in a very Waspy family, where being polite was de rigueur, I was explicitly told and certainly implicitly told to stay away from certain topics in conversation, and those topics included politics, religion, money, and sex.

I can still remember watching my father shave one day. I must have been six years old. And I asked him, because I had just learned this word, “Dad, what is your salary?” And he looked down at me as if I had just uttered the worst curse word you could ever imagine. He said, “Ned, never, ever ask anyone that question.” And I got the strong message that talking about money, certainly in a personal way, like how much do you have, was completely off limits. And there are other instances where I got the same message regarding politics, religion, and as for sex, that was just so out of the question, unless the people in the room had been doing what they usually were doing, which was drinking, in which case sex would come up very easily.

In any case over the years, I’ve turned that advice in my mind over and over, and I’ve really decided it’s terrible advice. It’s good advice if you want to not make any waves, if you want to avoid conflict, if you want to be as bland as you can possibly be. Then yes, don’t bring those up, and for that matter, don’t bring up much of anything. Just talk about the weather and ask the other person to talk about themselves, and you’ll be safe. But of course that’s not my way. Having ADHD, I like to branch out, reach out, inquire, probe and try to find out what’s going on. And that’s what I encourage other people to do.

Well, I must have strayed beyond the boundaries of people expect. In one episode, I opined not overtly politically, but one listener took umbrage to what I said. It was not an opinion as much as it was, I guess, a intimation, but he emailed me and he said, “Dr. Hallowell, I enjoy your podcast, but stick to ADHD. If you go into politics, you’ll offend people, you’ll lose your listenership. We don’t like it. We don’t want it. So just keep that to yourself.” And I’ve been wondering, do all of you feel that way? I’d love to hear from you. Do you all want me to just keep this very G-rated and very conflict free and free of anything that I’m not a licensed professional to talk about?

I mean, I would much rather have an ongoing dialogue with you and it is certainly true, I will never turn this show into a Fox News versus MSNBC contest. I wouldn’t want that. I mean, I think you listen to this to get away from that. So I don’t want to join the haranguing and join the venting, and join the angry discourse that you can hear altogether too easily. And I do try to be a unifier. I do try to be a connector. But to me, that allows there to be availability of all points of view, listening to all points of view, honoring, as we say in my religion, to respect the dignity of every human being. That’s what I’d like to try to do and not to avoid hot topics, but rather cool them down by airing them out. You can cool them down by airing them out in a way that makes each point of view intelligent, responsible, and discussable.

To me, the minute you say something can’t be talked about, you give it power that it ought not to have. When a thing becomes forbidden, it takes on a secret power that tends to distort it and magnify it, intensify it in a radioactive kind of way. I’d like to get guidance from you all on this. So please email me, email us [email protected], and tell me, do you want me just to stick to the G-rated discussions about ADHD, which I certainly love to do, or do you like it if I go off that topic and get into politics, religion, money, and sex, and any other topic you might like me to bring up, like dogs and meatloaf, two of my favorites that are not on the beaten path? Let me know, give me guidance. Let me know if that man who wrote to me speaks for most of you, or if he speaks for a minority of you.

And let me thank that man. I’m not naming you at all and I don’t want to single you out in a negative way. I appreciate your giving me your point of view. You were trying to help me. You said I’ll lose my audience if I don’t stick to what I’m licensed to talk about, and instead if I offer my various thoughts, feelings, and ideas on other topics of human existence. As always, thank you so very much for joining us. We depend upon you. We need you. We want you. Please tell your friends about us, as we’re trying to grow and build a community of interesting and congenial listeners. And if you’re not congenial, that’s okay too. You can be whoever you want to be.

Before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out Omega Brite CBD. I have been taking this CBD supplement for three months now, and feel very much more calm because of it, not calm in a zonked out kind of way, but calm in an equanimous kind of way. Equanimity, Osler said, was the great goal of the physician. Equanimity is a wonderful state to achieve, and Omega Brite CBD helps me achieve equanimity. You can buy Omega Brite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And remember, brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. Omega, O-M-E-G-A, B-R-I-T-E wellness.com. Distraction listeners should use the promo code podcast2020 to save 20% off their first order, podcast2020. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works.

Remember, if you have a question, comment or show idea, we want to hear from you. Question, comment, show idea, or recipe for meatloaf, we want to hear from you. Send us an email at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the amazingly talented Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the almost as amazingly talented Scott Persson,  and I’ll catch hell for that. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for listening.

The episode you’ve just heard was sponsored by Omega Brite CBD, formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Pandemic-life these days can be quite stressful, so finding ways to give your brain a break is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Our host shares a few of the things he’s been doing to take his mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics in this week’s mini Distraction.

Reach out to us with your comments, questions and show ideas! Send us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. During the pandemic, each week, we do a mini episode that touches in some way upon this phenomenon that we’ve all been living within and today’s is going to be a lighthearted one. I want to talk about things that I have been doing myself to divert me from the perils of the day, to take my mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics. I just thought I’d go down the list of what I’ve done either alone or with family members, not an exhaustive list, of course, but just a few things that came trippingly to my tongue or instantly to my mind.

One thing, I have been binge watching Schitt’s Creek. Now, if you’ve never seen Schitt’s Creek, it is funny. I really recommend it to you. My wife started watching it and she described it to me and I said, “I don’t think that sounds good.” It is terrific. It is uproariously funny. It is so, so, so, so funny. If you don’t find the show funny, something’s happened to your funny bone. Just thinking about it, with Eugene Levy, with the big eyebrows, it’s just hysterically funny.

I also made a purchase while waiting in line because we have to wait in line to get into certain stores, and the line outside of Whole Foods happens to have a bunch of hanging flowers for sale. So I bought two of these hanging flower pots, one predominant color pink, the other predominant color violet, and I hung them from hooks on our front porch. Now, when you buy hanging flower pots, you have to water the flowers. So that’s what I’ve been doing each day, and in order to water the flowers, I’m not quite tall enough to reach the watering can up. So I bought a little step stool. So I have my step stool on the porch, along with my watering can and I get up there every day or every other day and water these flowers. I’m telling you, it’s really rewarding to see them flourish and grow and they’re bushier, and hanging downer more, and just lovely to behold.

Also, someone left us a pot of pansies as sort of a gift during this time and I’ve been watering that as well and they are just flourishing. My gosh, there were a few stray strands of pansy in the original. Now it’s just like a pansy bush. So we’ve got the blue pansies, the violet flowers, the pink flowers and the porch, it just lifts my spirits. I also wrote a letter to David Brooks, the columnist in the New York Times. He wrote a column on Friday, the 26th, about five problems that we’re dealing with that I just thought it was a wonderful column.

I’ve also been cooking. I go online and I look for recipes and there’s a gazillion recipes online. They’ll have 32 ways of turning ground meat into a meal or 17 side dishes for the 4th of July, and I love these and I go download them, I print them out and next thing you know, I’m cooking them up. Like tomorrow, I’m going to make a vegetable chicken stew in the crackpot. Tuesdays is my day to make dinner, so I’ll put it in in the morning, and by the time evening rolls around, we’ll have this yummy, delicious stew. Online recipe shopping is another activity that I highly recommend.

Play with a dog. We’re lucky because my daughter is here and with her comes her a little Chiweenie named Layla. As you know, I think dogs are God’s greatest creation. Been playing with Layla every chance I get. Then when my son brings over his dog, Max, we had to play with both dogs and out in the backyard, the two of them rushing around.

Then one final thing I got for my daughter, because she really wanted this, a inflatable pool, above ground obviously, that it’s big enough for her to put a inflatable raft in it so she can lie in the sun, in the water, on the water and to see the smile on her face, when this thing arrived. It didn’t cost a huge amount. It was $300. I know that’s not nothing, but it was affordable and it was joy, joy, joy, joy. This is all along the lines of specializing. That’s my term for making the ordinary extraordinary. Turning what’s a dismal situation into one that’s a playful, fun, rewarding, interesting, engaging.

So that’s my little list. Binge-watched Schitt’s Creek, water the hanging flowers, write a letter to David Brooks, cook up new stuff, play with the dog and get something special for your daughter, in my case, it was this inflatable pool. Let’s try to do these things for one another. Let’s try to stay connected, even though we have to keep our distance. Let’s try to bring each other messages and vibes of goodwill, of joy, of understanding, of harmony. Let’s try to get along.

Okay, before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking the CBD supplement myself for nearly three months and I have noticed it’s definitely helping with my feelings of irritability and random anxiety. You can get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E-wellness.com, Brite intentionally misspelled. They have a deal for Distraction listeners right now as well. You’ll save 20% off your first order when you use the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works.

Please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the multi-talented and several voice levels, Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the impish and brilliant Pat Keogh. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining our community and listening to our podcast.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Homemade Hamburger Buns, Inflatable Pools and Making Each Day Special

Homemade Hamburger Buns, Inflatable Pools and Making Each Day Special

As the pandemic rolls on, many are growing weary of things like social distancing, wearing a mask, and endless Zoom meetings, including our own podcast host. Dr. H shares feelings that many will be able to identify with, and offers some ideas on how to find a little bit of joy in each day.

How are you getting by? Send us an email and let us know. Email [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega three supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting pretty tired of the Coronavirus. I think we all are. I mean aside from the tragedy that it’s created, it’s just been hard to live with, even for those of us who aren’t sick. It’s a really dealt a body blow to the routines of everyday life. So I thought I’d give you a few suggestions on how to deal with the emotional impact of what we’re living through.

Aside from Zoom fatigue, which is an actually recognized syndrome now… Being on Zoom is more tiring than face-to-face interaction… I have some other terms for what we’re living through. I call it COVID collapse or mask misery, or we get into quarantine quarreling. I’ve seen quite a bit of that at my house. We have dismal distancing. I’m so tired of keeping six feet away from people, but I know I’m supposed to, and so I do it. We have the stay at home blahs, just the feeling of, “Remember restaurants, remember movie theaters, remember sporting events. Do you remember all that that we used to be able to do? We can’t do it anymore.” We get to develop the stay at home blahs. We love each other, but, golly, there’s only so much excitement we can generate.

I wanted to give you a few little ways that I’ve been delighting myself or trying to. It’s all in line of my basic idea that one of the greatest talents in life you can have is the talent for specializing. That means making something, anything special, be it an event, a person, a trinket. The master of it all that I learned from was my grandmother, Gammy. She could make anything special. She could make the most ordinary rainy day into a Canasta tournament or she could take an ordinary hard-boiled egg, and peeling it, into the search for the golden yolk. She could take anything and turn it into something special.

That’s sort of what we need to do now. It’s the challenge to our imagination, what can you do with the bones that we’ve got, with the sticks we’ve got, to make each day a little bit special to beat the stay at home blahs? My daughter gave me an idea. We have a backyard and we can’t afford a swimming pool, but she said, “Dad, why don’t we get a blow up pool?” I said, “Well, those are for toddlers, aren’t they?” She said, “No, they have bigger ones.”

We looked it up and did the Google, the Amazon, entering in blow it up pools, and sure enough, we found one that’s big enough to fit in a corner of our yard. It’s got several layers, so it won’t break. It only costs $300 with free delivery. Not that $300 is nothing, but the big above ground pools can cost upwards of 10,000, and of course the real pools are 30,000, 40,000. So the blowup pool we ordered. Then my daughter, again… She’s working at home and she texted me saying, “Why don’t we grill a pizza tomorrow night? We’ll make one with cauliflower crust and the rest that you guys like to eat.” So we’re going to grill a pizza. There’s an idea.

Every night now, we’ve been having movie night. The challenge, of course, is to get… There’s four of us living together, my two grown kids and my wife, Sue… to agree on a movie. The ladies like chick flicks and my son and I go for more action, drama kind of stuff, but we work it out. I’ve been pouring through the recipes. You go to Google and there’s Allrecipes and Southern Living, some wonderful slow cooker recipes. I love those because you put it in and go away, do your day and come back.

Then one of the recipes I’ve found, I can’t wait to make this weekend, homemade hamburger buns. Can you believe that? Homemade hamburger buns and you don’t have to be an advanced baker? I looked at the recipe. It’s straightforward. Yes, you have to use yeast, which I never use, but it looks like I could do it. There’s some waiting time while it rises and all that kind of stuff, but I’m going to give it a shot. If I can make homemade hamburger buns, sesame seeds on top, well, those are just several ways of specializing this situation, which can bring on the blahs.

Now, of course, I’ve no right to complain. We’re not sick. We’re not in a nursing home. These, I guess, sound very self-indulgent to talk about it, but I think most of us… It’s like having a low-grade cold or a low-grade fever or… There’s a great term, failure to thrive. We don’t want to let this keep us from thriving. We don’t want to let this keep us from taking delight in life. Gosh, it’s really good to be alive, but it can seem pretty challenging when you’re walking around with a mask and when you’re hearing the dismal news that comes out every day, the latest death toll, the latest people who have tested positive. Try to you avoid the worst thing, which is to feel isolated and lonely. Stay connected, which is always my advice. Try your hand at the art of specializing. Find something that can specialize each day so it doesn’t feel blah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Before I go, I do need to thank our sponsor. Otherwise, we couldn’t be on the air. Our wonderful sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. It’s formulated by Dr. Carol Locke of Harvard Medical School and her company OmegaBrite Wellness. I myself have been taking their CBD supplement for about two months now, and I highly recommended it. It helps me with my irritability. I can be pretty grumpy. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third-party tested and, best of all, it works. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com.

Well, okay, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the wonderful Pat Keogh. Our producer is the equally, if not more wonderful, Sarah Guertin.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega three supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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