Is your brain on delay?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

PNG of brain.

Photo courtesy of

Five possible reasons for Brain Delays.

There are lots of ways to put your brain on delay. Once you do, it can be hard to get it working correctly again.

Your brain may be tired, worn out, beat up, or just plain over-full. No matter the reasons, once your brain is in the delay mode you will not get the sort of use out of that organ that it is capable of.

Here are some things that may be slowing your brain down and putting it on delay and some thoughts on getting your brain back on-line.

Fear can hijack your brain.

When our minds are occupied with fear and anxiety we use up a lot of working memory. You can spend so much time brooding on your troubles that there is not much capacity left to think things through, plan for the future, or even to enjoy the good things along the way.

Find ways to reduce the fear or anxiety. There are all sorts of methods, counseling, medication, or facing this event with a supportive person. You will see a lot about that in other posts on this blog.

Some fears are really cowards in disguise if you face them down and walk towards them the thing that you are afraid of will run.

Depression or Dissociation uses up brain capacity.

One symptom of retardation is “psychomotor retardation.”  When you are very depressed any effort, even thought, becomes more than you can manage.

If you feel “out of it” or “spacey” look for an emotional cause.

There is also a condition called dissociation. A small dose of this may be a normal way your brain protects you from physical or emotional pain. If this keeps happening or interferes with your life consider getting some professional help. You can get better and no this is not, “just the way I am.”

Alcohol or other depressants make thinking fuzzy.

What depression can do to us, we can do to ourselves by drinking alcohol, taking depressant drugs or even by excessive use of sedating prescription drugs.

Despite all the myths out there, alcohol does not give you energy, it depresses the nervous system. Drink enough alcohol and just remembering who you are and where you are, become major tasks.

Don’t let alcohol slow your brain down.

Abuse of stimulant drugs can cloud things up.

Using stimulant drugs to accomplish more is a horrific delusion. In the early stages, stimulant drugs like cocaine and meth seem to offer the hope of lots of energy, a more productive life.

But with repeated use, we become the dog who chases his tail. You run faster and faster but get nowhere. People on stimulant drugs get “Stuck.” They repeat behaviors over and over until they finally crash.

Once they crash they stay down for at least as long as they were up. All that downtime, their brain is set on fuzzy.

Stimulant use and abuse can get you both ways, when you are up you are stuck on things and when you are down you are off-line.

Physical health issues make thinking harder.

If you have not had health care or it has been a while since you saw a doctor, make sure you get yourself checked out by a doctor. If it has a medical cause then your problem is not an emotional one. Having a physical issue can make your emotions more difficult to cope with. Sometimes you may have both a physical and a mental health issue.

So if you find your brain on delay, think about what caused this condition. Rather than doing more of what isn’t working, try something new. Get help and get that brain back up and working the way it was designed to work.

Related articles

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at

4 Mindfulness skills to make you more productive

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.


Photo courtesy of pixabay.

Increase your productivity and happiness starting now.

People who practice four mindfulness skills become more successful in less time than you might think. Mindfulness is applied by highly successful people a lot more often than we suspect.

Mindfulness is a very practical skill. While it is often linked to meditation and eastern practices it has applications that will improve a student’s grades, make a businessman more productive, and reduce emotional conflicts at home or on the job.

Mindfulness means making more efficient use of your brain by practicing 4 thinking skills.

Have you seen someone walking along occupied by their electronic device that walked into an oncoming car? What about that person who is talking on a cell phone who drives straight through a crosswalk full of people?

Lack of mindfulness, that failure to be where you are, and to think about what you are doing is epidemic in our society. We all suffer when people do things in a mindless manner.

Here are four ways to apply mindfulness to your daily life and become happier and more productive.

1. Observe More.

Humans are cognitive misers. We spend the least amount of time observing things and the most amount of time preoccupied with things that are in other times and places.

Happy thoughts and good ideas take some time to soak in. Every day we walk from our homes to our cars but on each of those days, things around us are changing. For some of us, that flower blooms and fades unnoticed. To hold that image of the floral bloom requires as little as 30 seconds of time to pause and really genuinely notice that plant’s celebration of the day.

Observation is not limited to things but should include feelings and processes.

How many government agencies are still having clients fill out lengthy forms with places for several addresses and phone numbers while missing that the clients waiting in line are texting and emailing?

Successful businesses notice the changes in their customer’s patterns and respond to those changes rather than trying to maintain the status quo.

2. Describe more things.

The more words you are able to use the more thoughts you can activate. Most of us have difficulty managing our emotions because we are short on vocabulary to manipulate those feelings. To be able to work with something you first need to see it exists and then you need a word to categorize it.

Men in therapy often struggle with this issue. Men feel good, bad, or ticked off.  When we feel “bad” we try to change that feeling. But bad might also include sad, regretful, or nostalgic.

Sometimes we need to sit with that feeling and see how it might influence our actions and responses to the life we are living.

Feelings are not interferences with our lives, they are useful guides to action.

3. Act with awareness.

Impulsive acts get us in trouble. That few seconds pause to consider if this is an act that will benefit us, in the long run, can make one’s life more effective.

Being on autopilot is not the only way to live. Paying more attention to the things you do throughout your day can increase your efficiency and effectiveness.

As you move through your day pay special attention to the things you are doing and how you are doing them. Are there more productive ways to do them?

Outside consultants get paid big money to come in and point out patterns of inefficient activity, specifically because those who are doing these actions every day have become unaware of what they are doing and why.

4. Accept things without judging them.

Being more mindful will mean noticing things we do that are not as perfect as we would like them. Accept that not everything you do will be perfect. Acceptance does not mean you allow things to happen to yourself or others. You can accept that the thing happened and still mindfully move to change it.

Natural disasters happen more often than we would like. People can become fearful and immobilized or they can choose to spring into action and do what needs doing.

If you fail to accept that something bad has happened, you will stay stuck in the “it shouldn’t, we can’t” stage for a long time.

Denying the realities of life is one defense mechanism that needs to be discarded as soon as possible.

Accepting that things happen whether you like them or not and that you do what you do for better or worse allows you to move forward rather than stay stuck in the negative emotions of regret or self-blame.


There you have four mindfulness skills that can be practiced every day whether you practice any medication or not. Using these four skills can make you happier and more productive.

Do you practice any mindfulness skills? How has mindfulness helped you?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel