Before utilizing customary medication, medicines, and brain science, self improvement can be the initial step at comprehension and dealing with your disorder. Self improvement includes a normal example or routine to deal with your time, relationships and workplaces. For adults who have dealt with their symptoms since they were a young, this might be less troublesome. Be that as it may, others may require extra support from family, companions and specialists. Here is the means by which you can begin to help yourself by dealing with your regular daily existence.
1. Do More Exercise
Exercising or working out is a great way to let out that nervous energy and aggression. You may opt for anything you find interesting to you, such as team sports, or exercising regularly with your friends. It is advisable to work out outdoors because it has been observed that people with ADHD find the green surroundings pleasing. Also, if you have problems with controlling your behaviour, you may also consider taking up some meditation, tai chi or yoga classes.
We all know about the importance of daily exercise for improving and maintaining health, but did you know that it can help with ADHD, too? It may not be obvious, but exercise is a tremendous tool for relieving some of the symptoms of adult ADHD.
Exercise has obvious benefits for the body, from helping to improve heart health to building strength and endurance. However, exercise also has enormous positive effects on the brain. Many mental health experts agree that regular physical exercise is the simplest and most effective strategy to lessen the signs and indications of ADHD. Regular physical exercise does not only help in maintaining a good mood but it can also greatly enhance your focus and motivation.
When you perform a physical exercise, your body can instantly feel the effect through the increased production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in your brain system. All these chemicals are known to have a positive effect on mood and concentration. In fact, these brain chemicals have the same effect as Ritalin and other ADD/ADHD medications so you can enjoy the same benefits without risking the side effects.
Choose a physical activity that you truly enjoy so you will have the motivation to continue doing it. Don’t force yourself to run a marathon or play tennis when you really don’t enjoy doing those activities. You can check out your local organizations to see if they have dance classes and other social activities that can help you be active.
These natural chemicals not only help you stay in a better mood. They also increase your cognitive functioning. This means you are able to think more clearly and will be less apt to become distracted. They also combat unhealthy stress chemicals in your body. This way, you can feel less restless or anxious.
By practising you are not just keeping your body solid you are keeping your mind sound. It works off overabundance of vitality and hostility, two things that are more predominant in individuals with ADHD. By accomplishing something productive you soothe the brain and quiet the nerves.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Eating healthy foods and sleeping right are core activities for reaching the highest potential of good health. You must also find ways of treating your mental health in order to achieve the best level of managing, alleviating and recovering from ADHD. You probably know all too well that if you become stressed or angry, your ADHD symptoms automatically increase as well. In return, the body also affects our thoughts and moods if it is too hungry or tired.
Getting 7-8 hours of rest around evening time will legitimately permit your body and cerebrum rest to have the capacity to deal with stress, undertakings, work and work out. When it comes to your sleeping routine, erratic sleep may only make your ADHD symptoms worse. More precisely, you will feel more stressed, which will not allow you to cope with everyday tasks that are already challenging to you. Moreover, you already have a hard time focusing and concentrating on something, but when you are deprived of sleep, focusing on a task will be mission impossible for you. Because of that, you have to plan your sleep routine just like you plan everything else. For instance, do not drink coffee late at night because the caffeine in the coffee may keep you awake, take a hot bath or shower just before going to bed, make your sleep-wake routine or schedule and stick to it.
Ensuring that you get enough sleep every night is one of the best ways you can work with your brain’s disposition, rather than against it. With regular sleep, your brain will better be able to focus, avoid distractions, and retain memories.
3. Keep Your Stress Levels Low
Stress throws all the body’s processes out of whack. High levels of stress hormones in the body keep the heart rate up and take a huge toll on the body’s organs. High stress leads to a number of health complications later in life, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and more.
Stress will also worsen your symptoms. In the body, stress hormones serve to heighten your body’s reactive responses and inhibit rational thinking and concentration. We evolved this way to go quickly into action when a predator was near so that we could run away and protect ourselves. In today’s world, however, this response is frequently obsolete, but stress keeps us in this inhibited state long-term. Reducing stress will help your brain and body relax and focus, and your symptoms will be less severe. The health of your mind has everything to do with the health of your body, and vice-versa. While many illnesses and disorders treat one or the other, true healing comes when you focus on treating both the mind and the body at the same time. Eating right and getting exercise benefits both the mind and body by offering required nutrients and keeping healthy levels of chemicals flowing through the body’s system, including the brain.
In order to give your mind, the space to recover, it is important that you create structure in your life. What that means to you, of course, will depend on your lifestyle. There are basics that should be followed as closely as possible, no matter what type of busy lifestyle you are living.
Many people think that becoming structured means life will become boring. However, there is actually a great amount of freedom when you know what you are doing from one minute to the next. This freedom comes from being more organized and effective.
Along with creating a structured routine for yourself, you will also want to do everything you possibly can to lower stress. Of course, it is impossible to avoid all stress in life. For that stress, learning healthy coping skills can help a great deal. When you remove or learn to better cope with stress, you will naturally reduce or remove your symptoms as well.
It is important to regularly consider what your biggest stressors are in life and make any changes to remove or manage that stress. For instance, if you have an extremely stressful job, you may want to meet with your boss to see how the stress can be lowered. Or, it may be time to find a slower-paced job.
You may need to start setting healthy boundaries with loved ones who are adding stress in your life. This can be as easy as saying, “No” to doing things that you would rather not do, such as attending a social event. In some cases, setting boundaries may be more difficult. For instance, if you have family members who take advantage of you to do things that they can and should do for themselves.
Remember that self-care is never selfish. Kindly setting boundaries with others, so that you may pursue your own health and wellbeing, is an essential habit to develop.
Another powerful way to remove stress is to focus all of your attention on the immediate present. When you can objectively look around and realize that all is well in this moment, it will immediately calm the mind. This practice is called “Mindfulness” and is a very simple practice to pursue. All you do is challenge yourself to become aware of everything that is going on in the present, without becoming attached or placing judgments.
4. Try to Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Many people with ADHD are drawn to using drugs and alcohol. Some drugs provide the novelty and stimulation that people with ADHD crave. Others choose to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol that might help with relaxation. The use of illicit substances and alcohol is a dangerous gamble with one’s health and safety, as many of these substances are extremely addictive and could lead to death.
Besides the obvious dangers, drugs and alcohol present another challenge for those working through the symptoms of ADHD. Drugs and alcohol severely disrupt the brain’s chemistry, interrupting the production of those very compounds that are necessary for focus and memory. As tempting as they may be, drugs and alcohol are best avoided.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
Diet can play a huge role in how well you cope with your ADHD symptoms. Whereas a bad diet can exacerbate your condition, a good diet can help tremendously with successful symptom management.
Foods that are high in protein help with the body’s production of neurotransmitters, which are crucial to your ability to concentrate and retain memories. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains will also put your body at an advantage, whereas an unbalanced diet will put you at a disadvantage.
Eating foods or taking supplements that are high in zinc, iron, B vitamins, omega-3s, and magnesium is especially important for people with ADHD. These minerals are necessary for the brain’s production of neurotransmitters like dopamine that are responsible for maintaining the attention system.
It is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new diets or making major changes in your lifestyle. However, with the proper guidance and supervision, taking steps toward living a healthier lifestyle can have huge implications for your success in coping with ADHD.
A diet for ADHD can be used to improve the functions of the brain and reduce ADHD symptoms.
ADHD dietary or nutritional supplements include additional nutrients, like vitamins and minerals. Taking these supplements makes up for the nutritional deficiencies in the diet known to aggravate symptoms of ADHD. It is assumed that the nutrients the body requires could not be sufficiently gained from diet alone.
An ADHD elimination diet is all about avoiding the foods or food components known to trigger or aggravate symptoms. It is assumed that the person ingests types of food that are not healthy and bring about adverse behaviours. A person’s diet per se is not the major factor that triggers the numerous cognitive and behavioural symptoms observed in individuals with ADHD.
Here are some dietary recommendations to help regulate ADHD symptoms in Adults:
- High protein diet – This may include eggs, beans, meat, nuts, and cheese. Choose protein-laden foods for breakfast, as well as during snacks in the afternoon. Doing this can help enhance attention, focus, and possibly lengthen the duration of effectiveness of ADHD medicines.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – These may also be taken in the form of supplements.
- Add more complex carbohydrates – These include vegetables and fruits, particularly pears, grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, kiwi fruits, and apples. It has been found that ingesting complex carbohydrates during dinner can help improve sleep.
- Limit intake of simple carbohydrates – Simple carbohydrates include honey, candies, sugar, corn syrup, white rice, peeled potatoes, and food products made using white flour (like bread).
Control of ADHD Symptoms Through Diet
Controlling ADHD through diet is more about the way a person eats rather than what they actually eat. The majority of nutritional issues among adults who have these conditions are caused by poor planning and being impulsive. The objective is to be more watchful of one’s eating behaviours. It is imperative to plan and shop for ingredients that can be used to make healthier dishes. It’s also crucial to know when it’s appropriate to eat, and when to prepare meals ahead to avoid getting hungry. Make sure to have healthy snack choices available, to avoid opting for unhealthy food.
Eat meals or snacks every three hours. Lots of individuals with ADHD/ADD eat irregularly. They can usually last for hours without eating and when they get hungry, will simply order fast food or eat whatever is close by. This kind of eating behaviour is not beneficial for any person’s physiological or emotional wellbeing. It can also trigger or aggravate ADD/ADHD symptoms.
Adequate amounts of iron, zinc, and magnesium must be in the diet. Taking supplements or multivitamins can help maintain sufficient levels of these minerals in the body.
Just enough complex carbohydrates and proteins can improve alertness, and at the same time can help diminish hyperactivity. These kinds of food can also provide adequate energy for daily activities.
In this process, it is vital to keep a journal of the modifications, as well as of the effects. For every change in the diet, indicate the time and date this was made, and also write down the effects observed. Presenting this journal to your attending physician during consultations can be greatly advantageous in treating ADHD.
6. Do Some Massage Therapy
The numerous forms of massage available make it one of the best-personalized forms of treatment out there. Generally speaking, massage therapy is not only a physical remedy to muscle tension and fatigue, but also has therapeutic qualities on the mind, with stress relief, better moods, and anxiety reduction as some of its effects.
The reason massage works for those with ADHD is actually due to the fact that getting massaged not only lowers cortisol levels (stress), but also released dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, the transmitters responsible for things like mood and focus.
The biochemistry as well as overall physiological information was gathered from testing patients to see the results of massage therapy, and the results showed that there were distortions in brain waves that helped increase sensitive attentiveness. This basically means that massage therapy will help to calm patients and therefore increase attentiveness.
For adults, you should start to set weekly appointments to get a massage. It seems like something that might be done only for a luxurious spa day, but you would be surprised at how getting a massage can end up being as routine as getting a haircut. We put our bodies through some difficult things, sit in weirdly shaped chairs, and don’t always have the best posture. A massage can do wonders for more than just ADHD. Look into different massage styles offered in your area and try various methods to see which ones feel the best. Be sure to do your research and choose a reputable location and practitioner – don’t sacrifice quality for cost.
Going to a massage therapist is the easiest way to get this done. While it can be tempting to simply ask for massages from other people, if they don’t know what they’re doing they might put your body through more stress, even if what they’re doing feels good at the time. It’s best to go to a professional to make sure they are actually helping to resolve your issues.
If you don’t have anyone in your life to help out with massages, and the idea of going to someone else freaks you out, then there are other options. You can buy a massage chair, look for gyms that include jet tubs, or get a Jacuzzi for your home (If affordable). There are other tools as well that you can find, and simple stretches can help to alleviate tension when a massage isn’t possible.
7. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness (sometimes called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) as a therapeutic technique is considered a new yet acceptable approach by clinicians in fending off depression, anxiety, ADHD, and various other health conditions. However, many psychologists face issues when attempting to utilize it as a treatment, largely because of the lack of formal training they received on the subject.
This concept, found in meditation and yoga, facilitates one’s ability to also actively observe their thoughts, but not silence them. When a person notices their trail of thought without actually judging themselves by it, they gain a better understanding of who they are and what might be causing their troubles.
The regulatory systems, which help balance focus and attention, in those with ADHD are out of whack. It can be hard to focus when we don’t have a solid platform to keep our attention. Mindfulness is the attempt to balance our focus and ground us in the “now.”
When we are mindful, we are increasing the skills we have within ourselves. We become more attuned with our focus and stronger in our attention control systems. Mindfulness teaches us to reflect on ourselves, our thoughts, and our surroundings all at once. We can become planted in the now, reducing the other symptoms that come along with ADHD.
Mindfulness is something that we need to practice at all ages, whether or not we have ADHD. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce anxiety and feelings of stress overall. We need to be mindful in order to be more aware of ourselves so that we can improve on our behaviours, thoughts, and actions. Mindfulness is something you should be practising now and a way that you can teach your children to grow their own skills.
You can get treatment by starting this right now. There are a few simple mindful activities that you can try at any time. Mindfulness starts by freeing your body of any tension you’re holding onto and suddenly becoming aware of where you are. Let your shoulders, forehead, and jaw all relax.
This is how mindfulness starts. Look around and notice all the things that you see. Our first activity involves all five of your senses. You’re going to want to identify one thing that you can taste. You don’t want to taste it right now, but just think about how that thing has a flavour, whether it’s edible or not. Next, focus on two things you can smell. The same thing goes for this. They don’t have to be two things that smell good, just notice the scent that two different objects might have. Now identify something that you can hear. Maybe it’s the tapping of someone’s foot, or the rain hitting the window. Then pick out a few things that you can touch. You don’t have to touch them, though. Simply think about how they feel, and what sensation you’d get from their touch. Finally, pick out five things you can see. Maybe it’s the person across from you, or the painting hanging above your bed. Just observe whatever you can see without making any judgments about it.
You’ll start to realize as you go through this that you become relaxed and more aware of what’s going on around you. From there, you can transition into paying attention to whatever it is that you need to at the moment.
Sometimes, when we lose focus, it can be hard to jump back in. If we’re sitting in class and we lose focus of what the professor is talking about, it can be hard to jump back in. Practising a mindfulness technique will help to bring you back into the real world and away from your thoughts.
Another mindful activity you can do is muscle tension and release. This starts with the top of your head, your ears, jaw, chin, and neck. Go through each of these parts of the body and flex them for a few seconds, then release for a few seconds. After you’ve done your head, now do your shoulders and arms, chest, and stomach. Move down to your hips and legs, thighs, and feet. After you’ve done all this, you’ll feel that your body is much more relaxed, and you are also much more aware of it.
Repeat these mindfulness techniques over again if you have to. No matter how many times it might take, do this so that you can get to a place where you’re in the present moment and not lost deep in thought.
8. Try Some Yoga
The effect of yoga that both patients and practitioners notice in regard to symptom improvement is actually the most tangible aspect of it.
The benefits of the physical aspect of yoga come from the impact it has on the vagus nerve, the longest one in your body. With things like digesting food, breathing in and out, and circulatory system regulation being part of its job description, vagal tone (the activity of the vagus nerve) serves as one of the best indicators of mental and physical health.
What’s great about yoga is that it’s proven to even help increase your level of self-awareness. Yoga works in this way because it increases your breathing and puts a focus on clearing your mind. This reduces anxiety and stress, which helps to create a clearer mind.
How you are thinking now can alter your brain chemistry. When you can take time out of your day to focus on something and really put your attention towards relaxation and positive thinking, it can rewire your brain. When you do yoga, you are changing your response to certain stimuli, helping to bring relaxation and composure to stressful situations more frequently, as yoga is practised.
It’s clear to see that many different types of individuals can benefit from yoga practices. Some of the practices in yoga include conscious breathing, half-smiles, postures that involve the chest and throat, standing postures, postures like cat and cow poses involving the abdomen, self-love meditation, and meditation in relaxation.
8. Learn To Regulate Your Emotions
Symptoms of ADHD, including mood swings, feeling restless or anxious, and feeling impulsive, can make it very difficult to regulate emotions. If you notice yourself often acting on thoughts or feelings, and have meltdowns or other emotional outbursts that affect others, then you will want to learn important coping skills.
It is important to realize that regulating emotions when you have ADHD can be more challenging for you than for others. Yet, there are a variety of coping skills you can learn that will make it easier for you.
Understandably, some emotions are easier to remain aware of than others. You may have a tendency to try to ignore or push away bad feelings, but that becomes a problem when they build up.
When you are aware of your anger, for instance, you can consider what made you angry, how you feel in your body because of the anger, and what the appropriate steps are to take in regard to appropriately dealing with the anger.
On the other hand, you may feel your emotions and “become” them. When you become your emotions, you allow them to take over. When you “become” your anger, you may give in to being impulsive and may start yelling or otherwise acting out in anger in ways that are not appropriate. Your anger may tell you that it is okay to act that way when it actually is not.
The most important thing to realize about emotions is that they are not who we are. Instead, they are more like the weather on the inside of the body. Happiness is like a clear, sunny day, and anger is dark and stormy. But you see, storms pass, and you are still who you are, even after the storm passes.
Speaking of stormy weather, there is an excellent mindfulness practise called RAIN. This practice will help you gain mastery over your emotions. For the best result, work through this technique several times throughout the day and for every emotion, you are experiencing.
9. Be More Spiritual
Along with your mind and body, your spirit is affected when you are struggling with ADHD symptoms as well. It could even be the opposite where your ADHD symptoms are more prevalent, because of spiritual illness.
If you are religious or spiritual, you may already be aware of how much better you feel when you have a deep spiritual connection. If you have not considered religion or spirituality, you may want to take a second look at it.
Reading spiritual books are a great way to learn how to connect on a spiritual level, and finding a church or spiritual center can offer you spiritual benefits and many others, including important social support. Not all churches are the same, so it is important to take your time and visit different churches a few times each. This will give you time to make sure and find the church that you feel great about attending.
As you grow in your spirituality, you will find that your mind and body health improves in ways that just might be nothing short of miraculous.
10. Learn to Relax and Unwind
When you have adult ADHD, being able to relax and unwind is one of the toughest things to do. Excess energy, anxiety, and your brain’s tendency to run at a hundred miles per hour mean that you can be wound pretty tight pretty much all the time. However, relaxing and unwinding is crucial for allowing the body to recover from expending high amounts of energy and getting good sleep. Without giving your body the chance to recharge, you start running on fumes. Pushing your body to these extremes only increases your stress levels, creating a dangerous and unhealthy cycle to live in.
With a dedicated effort, you can train your body to relax regularly. When your body learns how to relax, you can reduce your daily stress and feel healthier overall. Here are a few ways you can help yourself relax and unwind every day.
11. Live More in the Moment
Stop thinking about everything that happened and everything that still needs to be done when it’s time to wind down and get ready to sleep. Write unfinished tasks in a list to put them out of your head a few hours before bed, then focus on letting yourself relax for the night.
12. Give Yourself Frequent Breaks Throughout the Day
Doing so will train your body to relax. This can also reduce stress and anxiety levels, which prevent you from relaxing when they’re high.
13. Understand that relaxing does not make you “lazy”
Resting is a necessary part of being healthy, like staying hydrated and eating right. Especially in countries that value a high work ethic such as the United States, it can be hard to reverse this thinking to cultivate a value for rest and good health. However, your work will improve when you allow yourself to rest and can show up more focused and less restless throughout the day.
14. Work Relaxation Time into Your Daily Schedule
Life gets busy, and with so many important tasks needing your attention, it can be easy to overlook your body’s fundamental need to rest. Like every other task you need to accomplish, working in the time to relax and unwind also needs to go on your daily schedule.
Though it may take some effort, you’ll feel the difference when you start taking the time to relax every day. Training yourself to unwind is worth every effort you give it.
15. Organizing and Structuring Your Daily Life
For those living with ADHD, getting through each week can be a trying process. It can start to feel like you’re constantly playing catch-up, always a few steps behind everyone else and never able to get on top of things. After a long week of running late, forgetting and missing appointments, losing track of time and misplacing possessions, the weekend can be a welcome relief—except that weekends become times for catching up rather than resting.
Many give in to the temptation to harbour negative self-thoughts. “Why is it so impossible for me to get on top of things?” “I always run late.” “I must just be really bad at handling life.” “I’m so stupid.”
This kind of negative self-talk adds to the stress of getting through each day. Worse, it never actually helps improve the situation. You can be hard on yourself until you’re blue in the face, but unless something changes, the cycle will continue to be the same.
The good news is, that these negative statements don’t have to be true. You can get your life into working order, one small step at a time. With ADHD you’ll have to work a little harder than most to get organized and establish a structure that will help you get through each day successfully, but once those are in place you’ll feel so much better. Plenty of people with ADHD have managed to create these structures for themselves, and you certainly can, too.
16. Organize Your Home
Home is where the heart is, and it’s where all your stuff is, too. Our homes provide the foundation for the rest of our lives, giving us a place to sleep, eat, practice hygiene, and prepare for the days ahead. The way we keep our homes is directly related to the way that our lives flow. A messy home means a chaotic life, while a clean, organized home helps us to create smooth, organized lives.
When you know where everything is right when you need it, you’re much less likely to waste time looking around for your possessions. Less time searching means more time doing, giving you a distinct advantage when it comes to completing projects, tending to hobbies, taking care of your and your family’s needs, and getting out the door on time.
Organizing your entire home may seem like an epic task, but when you break it into smaller steps and take those steps one at a time, you’ll find the chore easier to accomplish than you thought. Here are some tips for organizing your home so that it’s conducive to helping you flow, rather than stumble, through life.
17. Structure Your Daily Life
Life will flow more smoothly when you create plans and establish routines. With a solid structure in place, you’ll be able to get where you need on time each day, have everything you need to get through the day and have fewer appointments and obligations slip through the cracks.
Life structures such as routines bring some regularity to our lives so that we know what to expect every day. Being able to anticipate the day’s needs ahead of time gives us a greater degree of control over what happens, how it happens, and when it happens. With this kind of empowerment, you’ll be ready to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
18. Spend More Time Managing Your Finances
Managing money and bills may be a real challenge to people with ADHD simply because this includes attention to many details, lots of paperwork and too much time. If you want to avoid any penalties for missed deadlines or overdue bills, you can create a simple system that will be your guide to accomplishing these tasks.
19. Create a Budget
In order to control your budget, the first step is to learn where your money is going. To do that, you have to keep a record of all the money you spend and do this for a monthly period. Analyzing this record, you may learn that you spend lots of money on some unnecessary things, which is due to your impulsive decisions. Then, you can compare your income and the money spent and think about making a plan to distribute your money differently. If this is the case, then you will make a plan of the things you need to buy for that month and stick to that list of things to save yourself from unnecessary costs.
20. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Feel free to take advantage of technology. You can decide to switch to online banking so that all your payments and deposits will be tracked automatically, so that at any time you can see how much money you have spent.
Taking care of your finances may be a difficult task for you in case you suffer from ADHD. To make this easier for you, you can make a plan that fits your budget, and even use technology to have control over your account.
21. Give More Effort To Managing your Relationships
With your impulsive behaviour and forgetfulness, you are likely to offend other people or leave a bad impression. To avoid that, look at and learn about simple methods that may come in handy.
22. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Fulfil
What you also have to learn is to say NO. You know you cannot remember all those important dates, appointments or given promises. If you don’t want to unintentionally hurt someone, make sure to minimize the promises you make.
23. Identify & Control your impulsive behaviour
If you want to get on well with other people, you have to learn how to control your impulsive behaviour. Instead of acting out instantly, overreacting, or blurting something out, you may consider writing something down instead of saying it aloud. This will give you some time to think first and then decide on how to act. Some people tend to interrupt others and react abruptly. So, count to ten before acting out. Just as it appears suddenly, the impulse will suddenly disappear.