by Kelli Cooper
Inability to focus is a hallmark of ADHD; if you are one of the 50 percent of people diagnosed with this condition as a child, who continues to battle the symptoms into adulthood, you may find that this problem comes with much more serious consequences at this stage of life. It can lead to angry bosses and angry spouses; maintaining relationships can be a challenge since people may perceive your behavior as lack of interest. You certainly face a challenge in reigning in this behavior, but there are many coping strategies recommended by psychologists — when applied with consistency and diligence these strategies can help.
Meditation is all about strengthening the mind and research on specifically looking at its effects on adults and adolescents with ADHD have produced encouraging results; many have reported a reduction in symptoms, such as inattentiveness, as well as less depression and anxiety—both of which may worsen symptoms of the condition. These benefits were achieved through sitting for just as little as 15 minutes a day, so lack of time is no excuse! Find a quiet spot and start reaping the benefits of this simple practice. This practice will help set the stage for a clearer mind that you can bring to all tasks requiring greater focus, whether it is a report for work or a one-on-one conversation.
If your inability to focus is rearing its ugly head while you are trying to read, study or complete some other task, some background noise can help reduce distractions. It can be as simple as a fan or some music at a very low volume. A white noise machine may also be a good investment. It is almost like a cocoon that helps bring you into the zone.
Write it Down
When everything we need to get done is swimming around in our heads, we may find it hard to focus on the task at hand; we worry we will forget the ten other things we need to get done. By trying to keep all this information in our current space of thought, it is impossible to give our full attention to the present. Never underestimate the simple task of writing things down. Make a list of all the things you want to get done; it is written down, you know now you will not forget and you can relax a bit.
Have an Accountability Partner
Most of us could use some outside support in juggling our lives, and this is especially important for people with attention issues; an accountability partner can help you stay on track with everything you need to do. Make a deal with a friend, family member or someone else you trust that you will send them a list of things you need to do each day, and as you finish each task, you will notify them through email or text message. When we make others aware of our intentions, it can motivate us to make good on them.
ADHD can cause a lot of fidgeting and urges to get up and move; if you are like many people with this condition, you may feel a need to fight this and stay put. But, research on school children has found that getting up and moving around may actually be beneficial to information processing in an ADHD-brain. So, while you may need to exercise some restraint in not getting up every two minutes, allow yourself to take some breaks and move around a bit. It will help expel some of that nervous energy and refresh your mind.
Image Credit: Chapendra