In this article, I will tell you about the methods of getting rid of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without drugs, based on my own experience of getting rid of this disease.
I used to be very restless, I could not sit idle, and it was very difficult for me to focus my attention on one thing and do one thing without being distracted by external stimuli.
If you find yourself having these symptoms, then the article is for you. I experience such problems no longer. Of course, there are moments when I find it difficult to concentrate at work, but I’ve learned to cope with it. Now, everything is much better than it was before. I have made much progress in fighting against ADHD.
I suggest you to do the first exercise to control the attention deficit: read the article till the end. Try not to get distracted. If you need to take a breath – just relax, move your chair away from the monitor, do nothing. And then return to the article.
Attention Deficit Disorder – Myth or Reality?
Many scientists express doubts concerning the point that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be called a mental disorder and appropriate treatment can be prescribed to it. Some of them even deny the existence of such a syndrome as a psychological phenomenon.
In the article, I intend neither disprove the opponents’ opinion of attention deficit diagnosis, nor prove its supporters’ concept, because I have no skills for participation in academic debates. I do not even need it. Because, within the considered by me question, it does not matter whether there is such a phenomenon as a disease, or it refers to some character traits.
There is no doubt that there are certain mental traits or personality traits, or disorder symptoms, or all together, which, in certain spheres, in aggregate are called attention deficit. It is undeniable that many people have attention concentration troubles, are restlessness, cannot sit still, are constantly fingering something in their hands and they find it difficult to sit still for a long time without any activity. All these symptoms are interconnected. That’s true. For the purpose of solving a particular problem, it does not matter whether this is a disease or something else.
The fact is that the above mentioned traits can lead to great personal problems and strongly inhibit the personality development. As a rule, ADHD begins to appear in childhood and then may pass into adulthood, as it has happened to me.
This peculiar disease fills up the list of my previous psychological problems, such as panic attacks, depression, emotional instability and anxiety. I got rid of some of these diseases both completely and partially, I made tangible progress in achieving freedom from these diseases.
In short, the experience of independent freedom achievement from a variety of psychological problems and the concomitant personality development contributed to the creation of the website.
How to Find Out if You Suffer From Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The following “symptoms” can reveal this syndrome:
- It is difficult for you to sit still for a long time: you constantly feel the need to keep your hands busy doing something.
- You could hardly keep your attention on a long-term process; you always want to be distracted.
- It is difficult for you to wait your turn: when you are standing in a store queue, waiting for your meal in a restaurant or taking part in a conversation.
- You could hardly listen to someone till the end. During the conversation, you are generally speaking not listening to your interlocutor. You are talkative, in the conversation you often jump from one subject to another.
- You feel a constant need for aimless movement. (Twisting in a chair, walking back and forth, etc.)
- Your Internet leisure spending is characterized by chaotic jumping from tab to tab, from one client window to another: you answer the ICQ-message, immediately update the e-mail, enter the website without reading the post till the end and go over somewhere else. This is how the most part of your working time using the Internet passes.
- You find it difficult to get your work done; your work is humming only during the short inspiration moments, when you’re really passionate about it. You are constantly distracted by external stimuli.
- Your hands and mouth are always busy with something: cigarettes, mobile phone or tablet with some game, seeds, nuts, beer, etc.
- You cannot spend time quietly when you are doing nothing, for example, lying on a beach for a long time or reading an uninteresting book you should read.
- It is difficult for you to reflect on something systematically and consistently without jumping from one thought to another.
- You experience impulsiveness in making decisions; you want to solve everything at once, right at the moment, without waiting for more suitable circumstances for this decision. If you are in need of something and you cannot wait to meet it this minute; you want to implement the idea immediately, without waiting for necessary conditions in order to solve the problem which has just appeared. As a result, you tend to make impulsive purchases and buy things you cannot afford. You find it hard to plan your life ahead by dividing it into time stages, and then hold to the plan. You want all at once and right now.
- As a result of some of the above mentioned points, you experience problems of self-construction and of order formation in your life, because you cannot plan, wait and endure.
Do not be frightened, if several of the above mentioned points are characteristic to you. Many disorders are characterized by symptoms that are somehow present in normal people and, in case of disorder, they manifest the disorder more intensely, have a great impact on the patient’s life and are always in conjunction with the accompanying symptoms. Namely because of this, many people, after reading about the depression symptoms, are frightened and diagnosis themselves with depression, since so many people experience, for example, inexplicable sadness. But that’s not depression.
It involves a whole range of chronic symptoms.
The same happens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We all find it difficult to keep our attention for a long time on things that do not entertain us, for example, reading a boring professional literature. This is normal. After all, we are not robots. You should not diagnosis yourself at once in case you find in the listed points something that is characteristic to you. You should consider all this in case when:
- An obvious fact of deviation from conditionally “normal.” For example, during the class almost everyone is sitting quietly and writing down, but you are twirling all the time, cannot sit still and listen. Your friends can focus on work, but you cannot. Among people you are chatting more than others, etc. In short, you see that you are not like the others.
- ADHD symptoms interfere with your life. Because of this you are experiencing difficulties in communication, in studying (you cannot concentrate), in working, in attempts to relax (you are always tense and twitching), in organizing your life.
- You find most of the listed ADHD symptoms characteristic to you.
If these three conditions are met, then you probably have the so called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Giving you the opportunity to compare, I would say that some time ago I had all of the above mentioned symptoms (on the one hand, there is nothing to it, because I made the list partially in accordance with my own experience), even in a rather intensive form.
And now I am able to endure a long wait, to relax, to make no impulsive decisions or keep no purposeless physical activity.
Attention deficit disorder can badly affect your life. I know it from my own experience.
Because of ADHD I could not work properly. I gave up the work undone, because I could not concentrate. As a result, I was nearly expelled from the university and I had a lot of problems at work because I could not perform my tasks in time.
I was nervous, impetuous and impulsive. In order to “extinguish” the clubbing over the edge energy of anxiety, I smoked one and a pack of cigarettes per day and drank 6 – 8 bottles of beer in the evening. I could not relax without it.
I often made hasty and impulsive decisions. And I had to face the consequences of such decisions.
I rarely manage to listen to my interlocutor up to the end. My communication with the people was not the exchange of ideas and opinions, but the transmission of my own thoughts to the surrounding people.
ADHD leads to bad habits’ development, to communication and work problems. The attention disorder increases stress and negatively affects your health. In general, you should not underestimate the negative impact of this disease.
Fortunately, you can get rid of it. And that’s good news.
Getting Rid of ADHD
I do not think that attention disorder is an ancient phenomenon, which has its roots in ancient times. In my opinion – this is mainly a product of our time, of current and past centuries.
Information avalanches are violently raging in our lives.
The mad haste and vanity pace our public life. Under the influence of these factors, our brain begins to operate in a multi-tasking mode and gets used to a constant activity, without which it cannot manage. Constant, chaotic and restless mind switching from one subject to another is fixed in us as kind of mental reflex, which starts working constantly. We become unable to direct our energy. It is conveyed into a lot of different tasks and unnecessary actions.
Some try to “cure” ADHD by psychostimulants and even give them to children (Ritalin use in ADHD prevention is the subject of fierce disputes. The drug is removed from medicines’ market in many countries, including Russia). The drug causes side effects and dependence. I strongly doubt the therapeutic success of such “cure.”
In my opinion, this is an attempt of doctors and patients to ignore the problem causes and come to an easy, but unreliable solution (it is like “curing” depression exclusively with antidepressants). Doctors do not want to understand the individual problem causes or simply do not know what they have to do. And patients are not willing to refine themselves or their children. In many cases, both doctor and patient look for a quick and easy solution.
But the effectiveness of such solutions is something doubtful.
For me it is obvious that ADHD cure requires a lot of work. First of all you should eliminate the disorder cause. This will bring a greater effect than all the drugs, will not do harm and will not bring addiction, as opposed to the latter. For me, it is as obvious as the fact that in order to quit smoking you should work with the main causes of addiction, and no nicotine patches and pills will help you, until you realize the reason of your smoking.
The truth sounds terribly corny, but even worse is the fact that the truth is not accepted by most people, in spite of its simplicity and obviousness. If ADHD causes are chaotic consumption of heterogeneous information, worry and fuss, then you need to get rid of these causes before considering pills!
ADHD is characterized by a strong sense of information and sensory hunger. The person affected by this disease is uncomfortable if his brain gets little information, and his feelings (sight, hearing, touch, etc.) are not engaged in any activity.
Therefore, the attention deficit disorder makes people move constantly, twist in a chair, smoke, talk without stopping, drink beer or coffee, because these actions excites the sensory perception and set the body in motion.
Internet and television satisfy the insatiable information hunger.
A person with ADHD likes to do many actions at the same time and to jump from one business to another. He goes to work, looks through his phone and listens to music in the public transport on his way to work. He gets out of the bus and lights a cigarette, simultaneously remembering to speak on the phone.
At work such a person opens the browser, QIP and Skype at the same time, and turns on the music while making coffee. Every ten minutes, he is distracted by new messages from Skype. Every 15 minutes he checks his email for updates. Every hour he runs out to smoke, and having smoked half of a cigarette he hurries back, because he cannot wait to check his e-mail again.
His attention is always busy with something and jumps from one subject to another. Once this process is stopped, once his brain ceases to receive information and body parts remains motionless, – a person with ADHD begins to suffer some “information withdrawal”, a keen sense of discomfort, which makes him move again, run somewhere again, get new doses of information again…
The point is not the fact that information is delivered to the brain and sense organs; the question is the way it is consumed. When suffering ADHD the person feels the need to get information quickly and spontaneously from different sources. He aims at being passionate about something and feels some stimulation every minute.
Namely this I mean, when I am talking about sensory and information hunger.
The method that has helped me get rid of ADHD is based on the fact that you need to learn how to control this sensory and information hunger, and then you will cope with this disease.
To get rid of the habit of eating much, you need to restrain your stomach need in constant food consumption. And then the constant hunger will stop pestering you and your stomach will no longer ask for food every hour.
But if you continue to indulge this hunger, it will become stronger and more uncontrollable.
The same refers to the attention deficit: once you learn to control the information hunger, the need to obtain new information and to be engaged in some activity will be significantly reduced. You will learn how to concentrate, relax and manage your information hunger.
1. Do Not Allow Your Body Purposeless Activity
Watch the posture of your body and its parts. If you find out that you began to twist in a chair or trifle with something, then give it up and try to sit still. Implement this principle in your everyday life.
If you wait for a dish in a restaurant that is not served for a long time – sit up straight, do not fidget, keep your hands in front of you on the table, put your palms down and try not to move too much.
Get rid of the habit of biting your lips, picking your nails, nibbling your hands, etc. These habits are markers of ADHD and you cultivate the syndrome by giving them a way. Watch your posture and let it be almost motionless, if circumstances require no movement.
I shall tell you at once that at first it will be difficult, when you try to implement these recommendations. You will feel the power that will refill you from inside, will make you move and be anxious. This is the ADHD “energy”. As if you’re trying to block some rapid water flow with your body and you are hardly able to hold it. Do not worry and be patient, it will be easier later. The flow will eventually turn into a thin streamlet, and your body, which blocks it, will become wider and stronger.
Watch the energy flow instead of giving it the possibility to lug you away. Realize the way this energy appears and disappears. In what body parts is it formed? What does it tells you to do?
It is difficult to watch yourself constantly, but over time it becomes a habit.
2. Observe the information hygiene, when you are sitting on the Internet
One of the ADHD causes is the continuous chaotic wandering in the information space. Such wandering, jumping from one thing to another, leaves some “mould” in our thinking. As a result, we lose the ability to focus on one thing for a long time.
It’s a bad habit of our thinking. You can get rid of it, as well as of any habit, by giving it no way.
Organize your Internet work by preventing the fast moving from tab to tab. To do this, limit your being in social networks, for example, choose a certain time for this: “up to 15.00 I log in neither Facebook, nor Tweeter, and at 15.30 I quit the social networks without coming back again until the evening.”
By the way, a wide-spread activity in social networks appears to be one of the ADHD causes. Social networks organize the information acquisition in such a way that it is consumed in small and diverse portions, rapidly and intensively.
You read the news, go to your friend’s page, simultaneously turn on the music, post a tweet – and you manage to do all these during 5 minutes.
The brain gets tired of intensive and different information received in a short period of time. Moreover, your ability to focus the attention suffers from this. Information avalanches, crashing on you from the Internet, provoke a strong information hunger over time.
This is the reason why social networks are harmful. If you spend time on the Internet, then, it is better to let the information come in big portions and with a larger time interval.
Read big articles. This activity involves some prolonged concentration. This is what you need. There is no need to interrupt the process and convulsively watch the update of your e-mail or personal page in social network by pressing F5.
During work, turn off the ICQ and Skype, not to be distracted by them. In general, when you use these programs try not to write to your friends there on every possible occasion. Also, remember that you are not obliged to respond back immediately as soon as someone wrote to you.
First, finish your work and then write, unless it is something very urgent. Remember, when something distracts your from some process, its implementation is less efficient. It is a proven fact.
3. Learn to concentrate
Read a book without being distracted by external stimuli. The more boring the book is, the better your training of concentration ability is implemented. But many boring books are rather helpful, so let this reading be a good reason for learning something new, for improving your professional and personal qualities.
Note the time during which you shall not be distracted, during which you shall only read. Let it be an hour or two. You can measure it in the number of the read pages, as you like. And until that time is gone – no other external affairs! The same refers to your work and affairs. Do all this without being distracted and note the execution time.
4. Talk less off the point
Among other people, there is no need to say everything that comes to your mind, to interrupt and hurry to speak out. Quietly listen to the others up to the end, try to speak and stick to the point.
Pause before answering, consider your answers. There is no need to gibber, keep an equal and quiet intonation.
5. Learn to listen to the interlocutor
At first, all this is very difficult. Your attention will be constantly floating away, but let it not upset and not annoy you. When you realize that you are distracted, quietly transfer again your attention to the subject of concentration. Slowly, but surely, your concentration ability will improve.
6. Lay aside bad habits
Smoking is the biggest ADHD ally: a cigarette occupies your attention and hands, contributing to the syndrome development. People often start smoking because of arching from within anxiety and excess of uncontrolled energy. This happened to me too. But I do not smoke for a long time.
Drink less alcohol, especially beer. People like beer not only because of its taste and ease. A bottle of beer is like a cigarette – one of the ways to use your hands and mouth, to satisfy your sensory hunger. Consequently, beer is another ADHD ally.
If you smoke during the pauses between sips and you chat between whiffs, looking at the TV screen with one eye, then, it occupies all your attention, contributing to the attention deficit development. In addition, it is also very harmful. Therefore, try to avoid noisy gatherings in bars with beer and cigarettes. You’d better rest in silence and try to relax.
Drink less coffee. Coffee, being a stimulant, can contribute to distracted attention and purposeless activity. If you drink coffee, do it moderately. There is no need to drink until limbs’ tremor occurs.
You’d better stop drinking coffee. I do not drink it at all. Recently, I’ve restricted the tea consumption. I found out that the inability to wake up and make myself work without coffee is just a consequence of habit and addiction. Once you got out of the habit to drink coffee, you can go without it very well.
If you consume not only legal drugs: alcohol, tobacco and coffee, but forbidden drugs as well, then you should get rid of these too. For example, marijuana has a very bad influence on the ability to hold your attention on one thing for a long time, not to mention something more “serious.”
7. Rest from information
Take breaks at work, during which you just relax and do nothing. Once you finished your work – rest 10 minutes. There is no need to stare at the computer screen, log in social networks and see what people answered you there. Tip back in your chair and relax. Think about nothing.
Close your eyes, if circumstances allow you to do this.
Stop playing stupid games using your phone, which are invented to fill in time. Such activities annoy sensory and information hunger. In a transport, try to relax, instead of playing a game using your tablet. Think of something that is not relating to the present day, let your mind rest.
8. Listen to relaxing music
Listening to music in a quiet atmosphere at home is a very good exercise at ADHD!
Usually, people suffering from this disease, find it is difficult to sit or lie down, listen to music and relax for a long time. When you listen to music and do nothing else, you get little information, because all your sense organs, except hearing, are having a rest.
When I had ADHD, I could listen to no musical album up to the end. I wanted to get up and do something else, because my attention could not hold on music for a long time. For me music was not enough to satisfy my sensory hunger. Therefore, at that time I listened to music only as a background, for example, I was listening to music on my player while riding the bus.
I think that listening to calm and relaxing music at home can teach you to control your sensory hunger. It is also a very pleasant exercise, because it helps get rid of stress. Stress is known to be associated with ADHD.
Turn on some calm and relaxing music. Such music is usually boring, but it is good for ADHD prevention! Your goal is to listen to such music during an hour! You can take an album and stay in bed until you will listen to it up to the end! If it is very hard, hold on at least half an hour. It is much better if you have not listened to this album before, because listening to some unfamiliar music is much more boring than listening to your favorite tracks.
During this process, resist the impulse of getting up, checking email and going on the Internet. Watch yourself from the outside. Watch the way this energy of anxiety is born and the way it dies.
9. Take exercises
Physical activity will help you direct the excess energy to your body recovery and your physical qualities’ development, instead of wasting it on a restless activity. Sports exercises bring you into the measured and monotonous rhythm, as opposed to the frantic and chaotic rhythm into which the attention deficit disorder plunges you.
During trainings, try to rest from information and concentrate entirely on your body work. Do not listen to music during the exercises; let your brain have a rest.
Sport strengthens the overall tone and normalizes the nervous system work with the malfunction of which ADHD can be connected.
10. Learn to tolerate waiting
Try to relax and do not fidget while standing in a queue. Do not run out to smoke every 10 minutes. All this time, try to relax.
11. Take long and quiet walks
A measured fresh air and exercise promote relaxation and quit of ADHD rhythm. Therefore, after work, instead of continuing to bombard your brain with new pieces of information (Internet, television, conversation) calmly walk down the street. It would be much better to do it alone.
Try not to think about today’s problems, think less at all and look around, noticing the surroundings. Thoughts flow calmly and measuredly, try to relax as much as possible.
This is, perhaps, the most efficient and failure-free method of prevention ADHD and many other unpleasant diseases!
Meditation has proven its efficiency in fighting against this disease. The conducted studies prove it.
In order to practice, you do not need to address an instructor. You can learn it independently at home. Read the article by following the link, if you want to learn how to meditate properly.
Kelly McGonigal’s book, “Willpower Instinct”, tells about the researches that have revealed the connection between meditation and the amount of gray matter in our medial prefrontal cortex.
Meditation increases the volume of this brain part, which is responsible for stress management and executive functions (planning, decision making, attention concentration, etc.).
Meanwhile, researchers connect ADHD with the volume reduction of medial prefrontal cortex. It turns out that meditation is the way to increase this volume and improve the executive functions of the brain.
But even before I found out these researches, the meditation benefit at ADHD was obvious to me. Because, namely practice, helped me get rid of attention deficit disorder.
Let me tell you in plain language, based on my own observations, why meditation helps fighting against ADHD.
In the preceding paragraphs, I have tried to teach you to control your sensory and information hunger.
My principle is that you should not give in to this hunger and this energy of anxiety.
Meditation is a session of relaxation and concentration, which has a very positive effect on your psyche and teaches you to hold back the ADHD energy. When you meditate, first, you try to draw your attention to one thing (an image, physiological process in your body, a phrase in your head), thus developing your concentration skills; secondly, you calm down, sit about 20 minutes in a motionless and relaxed posture.
You will want to get up and interrupt this process, your body will want some activity, but you will fight against this desire, manage it and try to focus your attention again.
Isn’t it the best exercise to learn how to be relaxed and how to cope with your inner restlessness? Meditation has helped me very much, and not only in getting rid of ADHD.
Meditation is not magic. It is a simple exercise that can be done by everyone.
13. Learn to manage stress
The studies, refer to the connection between stress and ADHD. Therefore, a good way to get rid of attention deficit is to learn how to relieve stress.
You can read the following articles to find out how to do this.
14. Organize the order. Develop self-discipline
An accurate schedule is a powerful enemy of the attention deficit disorder. Plan your actions and follow the plan.
For example, plan that you will start working and you will do it without being distracted until a certain time. And only then you will be able to go on the Internet and check what people have written to you on social networks.
Do the work in time, do not put away for later. If you gave yourself a promise, implement it.
Try to plan the following things:
- This week I shall smoke twice less cigarettes than usually
- I shall go on social networks no more than twice a day
- I shall check my personal e-mail no more than once in two hours
- I shall turn off the Skype while working
- I shall get up early and do exercises
- I shall meditate twice a day
- At work, I shall take breaks and go outside at least once in two hours and rest from information
These actions will help you maintain discipline and control your impulses and sudden desires. In order to contain the sensory hunger, you shall improve your willpower.
If Your Child has ADHD
Often, the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder begins to appear in childhood. When you are trying to understand whether your child has ADHD or not, remember the fact that children are always more active than adults, and they find it more difficult to sit still and keep their attention, than we do.
Something that is not normal for us – may be normal for a child. Therefore, there is no need to sound the alarm, in case you find that your child has some ADHD symptoms. Do not worry! Quietly work with him, using competent and soft educational measures.
If your child is too active and distracted, then those tips that are suitable for an adult can help him as well. Have long walks with him, train him to occupations that require concentration (chess, reading, airplane modeling, etc.), check his leisure time spent on the Internet, develop his memory and concentration, teach him to watch his body movements and calmly explain to him in plain language all the bad things that can happen to him if his anxiety and distraction will transfer into adulthood.
It is important not to push and not force him. Find the line that separates the wise education and aggressive dictatorship, and do not overrun it.
And if you teach your child to meditate since childhood, then it will be great! When reaching maturity, he probably may not have all the problems, which we can observe in ourselves: problems with our nervous system, anxiety, impulsivity, uneasiness, irritability, bad habits, etc. Remember that if an adult has to meditate 15 – 20 minutes per session, then 5 – 10 minutes will be enough for a child.
Do not worry if you work with a child does not lead to the desired result at once. Do not lose patience! Most of childish and adult problems can be solved only if you do not turn away from them, do not ignore their causes, do not give them to the arbitrary will of disorganized doctors, – but work with them consciously, methodically and independently.