Uh Oh. You went to the doctor hoping to finally get control of your mile a minute mind. But all you have now is a car payment sized bill from your pharmacy.
What to do next? Are you doomed to a life of chasing squirrels, awkward conversations, and missed work deadlines?
Not so fast; by no means are you alone. Many people deal with ADHD without the use of meds. Here’s how you can be one of the high functioning ones with just a small few small tweaks to your diet and lifestyle:
A full dose of morning oxygen
I’ve met so many people who thought they suffered from chronic inattention, when all they needed to do was inhale and exhale a big breath of fresh air.
The morning blues is often a case of low oxygenation to the brain. This is sometimes compounded by a lack of iron or other essential vitamins — a blood test by your doctor will reveal a comprehensive answer.
On the topic of feeding your brain with its most essential resource: WellnessResources provides the following advice:
“[There are]… concerns that affect brain oxygenation. It can simply be due to lack of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle. It can even be related to the habit of short, shallow, breathing through the chest rather than the diaphragm or belly.”
One of the absolute best techniques to flood your brain with its most essential resource is morning exercise. Do it once, and you’ll see a BIG difference in your morning jolt. Walks are good, calisthenics or weightlifting is even better.
Start exercising… For focus
Just as you go to the gym to lose weight and gain muscle, you must step inside your mind’s mental gym to train it for better attention and stronger impulse control.
A study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital found that in as little as eight weeks, participants increased brain density in areas responsible for:
- Emotional control
- Learning and memory processing
- Empathetic skills
In addition, practitioners of meditation frequently report being able to notice their own thoughts. Such a level of control is invaluable to those of us who lack presence and conscious awareness in this area. Meditation truly is the all-natural solution to the part genetic, part cultural problem of ADHD.
Put the reins on your lifestyle
Your brain matter is made up entirely of what you eat. From there it is “exercised” into shape by your daily mental routine.
So if you’re lounging on the couch in front of the TV while downing potato chips and colas all day, you shouldn’t be surprised if your mind isn’t working how you want it too!
Lighting plays an enormous role in your attention state as well. Did you know that the lights in your room are affecting your mood at this very moment? A study done by the University of Minnesota found that bright lights improve health outcomes of other mental health disorders including depression, agitation, and sleep. A large body of studies also show a strong impact between time spent with nature, and reduced stress, anger, and an increase in pleasant feelings.
One study published in the National Library of Medicine suggested that natural environments assist in recovery from attention fatigue, providing a certain sanctuary from having to redirect attention to one’s surroundings. The article goes on to say:
“The sense of rejuvenation commonly experienced after spending time in natural settings may in part reflect a systematic restorative effect on directed attention.
Studies involving a variety of measures, treatments, populations, and research designs have produced evidence of enhanced attention after exposure to natural views and settings. “Nature” experienced in a wide variety of forms—including wilderness backpacking, gardening, viewing slides of nature, restoring prairie ecosystems, and simply having trees and grass outside one’s apartment building—has been linked to superior attention, effectiveness, and effectiveness-related outcomes.
I cover the three natural pillars of focus restoration… – Diet, meditation, environment – in a free webinar event on natural ADHD relief at home. If you’d like to reserve a seat at an upcoming event, check out our webinar page to see when our next event is.
Hopefully by now you see that medications are not the end-all be-all answer to getting back concentration and focus. Just the opposite, they shouldn’t even be the first place you go! Because by making small but strategic changes to the way you run your life – you can control where your attention goes.