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How To Focus With ADHD: 10 Tips You Should Try 2023
If you’ve been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, chances are you struggle to pay attention when you need to stay focused the most.
Thankfully, there are various steps people can take to improve their ability to focus and minimize the risk of becoming distracted. Many people with ADHD find that medication helps solve their symptoms, but many lifestyle factors also show great promise. Check out 10 of the most well-researched below.
10 Ways To Focus With ADHD
Research suggests a variety of lifestyle changes may help to counter the symptoms of ADHD, including:
3. Less screen time.
4. Eating a healthy diet.
6. Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
7. Turning off your phone.
8. Healthy distractions.
9. Omega-3 supplements.
10. Green environments.
What Is ADHD?
The National Institute of Health defines ADHD as “an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning and development.” Both the causes and risk factors of ADHD remain unknown. However, researchers are currently exploring the role of brain injury and low birth weight as possible causes.
Overall, ADHD symptoms fall into two main categories, including:
• Inattention: Difficulty with organization, poor listening skills, and difficulty following instructions.
• Hyperactivity—impulsivity: Fidgeting, talking excessively, difficulty waiting, frequently interrupting.
These symptoms partly arise from processes observed within the ADHD brain. Altered brain chemistry results in lower levels of neurotransmitters responsible for attention and reward.
10 Tips For ADHD Hyperfocus
If you live with the condition, you’ve probably wondered how to manage your symptoms. While pharmaceuticals help many people manage their symptoms, there are also several ways to adhere to different lifestyle practices. Below, you’ll discover 10 tips to help you maintain focus and accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently.
Studies have examined the effects of acute aerobic exercise of moderate intensity in test subjects with ADHD, which equates to a light jog. So, going for a brief run before sitting down to study could put you in a better mood and increase your capacity for focus for longer periods of time.
Frequent exercise helps with keeping the body healthy and staying focused. Research shows that exercising helps produce dopamine and norepinephrine, which might help compensate for the lack of chemical signaling in people with ADHD that drives focus.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Excess stress, irregular shift patterns, and too much screen time mean many people have difficulty sleeping. Interestingly, ADHD and sleep deprivation feature overlapping symptoms. Getting adequate sleep helps optimize cognitive function, improve mood, and regulate behavior. Setting a firm schedule for restful sleep that equates with the amount that makes you feel at your best will help to keep your ability to focus at an optimum level.
Accumulative lack of sleep can cause cognition to drop off in numerous areas, including:
• Intellectual performance.
• Academic achievement.
Limit Screen Time
In the modern age, people spend more time watching television, viewing movies, and scrolling on social media feeds. Even children between the ages of 8–18 spend an average of 7.5 hours each day in front of a screen, which adds up to 113 days per year staring into a device.
While technology enables us to stay in touch and up to date, it can interfere with our ability to concentrate and stay on track with specific tasks when used excessively. A 2022 study found that as little as 90 minutes of screen time per day is associated with hyperactivity behavior in children under the age of three.
Minimizing screen time and choosing to read, play board games, exercise, or pursue other hobbies away from technology could help you pay attention for longer periods of time.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Consuming a healthy diet rich in whole foods and their nutrients brings benefits beyond physical health and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Scientists are starting to discover the crucial link between diet, the gut microbiome, and brain health and function.
Research suggests that an altered gut microbiome could underpin some ADHD symptoms by giving rise to neuroinflammation and oxidative stress. Scientists believe the microbiome could serve as a therapeutic target for ADHD. Common foods known to support this population of microbes include prebiotics and probiotics, such as:
• Pickled vegetables.
• Fruits and vegetables.
Try Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation serves as a simple but effective way to strengthen your ability to pay attention. The entire goal of the practice is to essentially tame the mind. Every time the practitioners feel their thoughts drifting away from the present moment, they are taught to redirect their focus and bring themselves back into the present.
Researchers agree that mindfulness meditation poses a feasible and accepted intervention for people with ADHD. It teaches how to focus on ADHD without medication.
Go To Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychological treatment designed to change negative thinking and behavior patterns. Concerning ADHD, CBT aims to help clients to develop adaptive thinking skills.
Research shows that CBT can significantly reduce ADHD symptoms, improve executive function, and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. If you don’t have any CBT providers nearby, you can always try online therapy.
Turn Off Your Smartphone
If you’re still wondering how to help with ADHD, several strategies to combat symptoms involve attempts to limit distractions. Of all of the possible factors that can pull you away from your work, mobile phones rank as one of the most tempting.
Ideally, you should turn off your phone when trying to work and even move it to another room to eliminate the potential distraction altogether. That way, you can remove the temptation and focus on reading, writing, and studying instead.
Use Healthy Distractions
It might surprise you, but another means of cultivating concentration is distracting yourself healthily and constructively.
Anything from using a stress ball and fidget spinner to chewing on some gum can help you to release some pent-up energy while still focusing on your work, especially when dealing with boring tasks. Music can also be a positive distraction while working at a computer, especially when using noise-canceling headphones. Combine these strategies with a concise to-do list, and you’ll check off one task after the other.
Supplement With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Studies have concluded that deficiencies in specific fatty acids correlate with ADHD behavior; supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids in high doses could help to resolve symptoms caused by a lack of key nutrients. While not a cure-all, these nutrients play an important role in brain health and may help to support people experiencing a lack of focus.
Enter A Green Environment
Changing your environment may help you to resist negative distractions. Instead of spending all your time cooped up in an office, why not take your laptop or book into your garden or a local park?
Reduced access to green spaces during early childhood is correlated to childhood ADHD, and research shows these natural areas could help to decrease symptoms.
Why Can’t You Concentrate With ADHD?
As you’ve read, ADHD impacts a person’s ability to concentrate for several reasons, including a deficit of certain neurotransmitters in the brain associated with drive and reward. Thankfully, researchers are constantly exploring new ways to help combat symptoms and cultivate ADHD hyperfocus. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to help with ADHD, you’re now aware of ten distinct lifestyle interventions that may help you pay attention for longer periods of time.
When To Seek Professional Help
If you find yourself struggling with ADHD symptoms, you should reach out to your healthcare provider, especially when you feel as though these feelings are impacting your relationships and job. Your doctor may refer you to a therapist to help reduce your symptoms or prescribe suitable medication if required.
The symptoms of ADHD are diverse and include fidgeting, trouble paying attention, and finding it hard to carry out instructions. While the exact cause of the condition remains unknown, research shows that a range of lifestyle factors could help to counter symptoms and make people more productive. If you’re struggling with ADHD symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
+ 15 sources
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