7 Natural ADHD Treatments You Can Start Today
Many people think medication is the only way to treat ADD/ADHD, but stimulant pills aren’t for everyone, and they may even make some people’s symptoms worse. There are many natural ways to reduce the lack of focus, inattention, organization problems, procrastination, and difficulty with follow-through that are associated with this condition, which affects about 11% of children and 4.4% of adults in the U.S.
1. Focus on your breathing.
Oxygen is critical for optimal brain function. Slight changes in oxygen content in the brain can alter the way a person feels and behaves. Shallow breathing lowers the amount of oxygen available to the brain and may make you more inattentive, impulsive, or confused. A very simple deep breathing technique increases oxygen to the brain and helps to combat the lack of focus, anxiety, impulsivity, restlessness, and temper problems that are common in people with ADD/ADHD.
Start today: To learn how to increase oxygen to the brain, lie on your back and place a book on your belly. Breathe in slowly and deeply to make the book rise and when you exhale, make the book go down. Incorporate deep breathing into your everyday routines.
2. Try self-hypnosis to reprogram your brain.
People with ADD/ADHD often find themselves experiencing failure—failure to perform to their highest potential, failure to be able to sit still, failure to concentrate well, failure to organize well, failure to avoid distractions and addictive tendencies. This can lead you to believe that you are a failure and can trigger intense feelings of shame, guilt, fear, anxiety, and anger. One of the most powerful tools to help you change your beliefs and adopt a more positive outlook is self-hypnosis.
Start today: To help you practice this technique, get a self-hypnosis CD.
3. Eat foods that boost focus and motivation.
Many people with ADD/ADHD benefit from a diet that is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates. However, it’s important to note that not all people have the same type of this condition. In fact, there are 7 types of ADD/ADHD. People with a type called over-focused ADD/ADHD tend to do better on a diet that is higher in smart carbohydrates—think low-glycemic, high-fiber vegetables and fruits not bread, pasta, and chips.
Start today: Stock your kitchen with great sources of protein (fish, skinless turkey or chicken, beans, and raw nuts) and smart carbohydrates (vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes).
4. Take natural supplements to promote better focus.
There is growing evidence that supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids in helping with focus. Other natural supplements that have been found to promote focus include green tea, rhodiola, ginseng, and ashwagandha. For people with over-focused ADD/ADHD, tyrosine may support focus.
Start today: Consider adding supplements to your daily intake.
5. Get moving.
Getting your heart pumping can help reduce symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Exercise causes the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which aids with attention and motivation and is often in short supply in people with the condition.
Start today: Pick exercises you love—whether it’s dancing, stationary cycling, or walking fast—and get some physical activity every day.
6. Get better sleep.
Many people with ADD/ADHD have trouble getting up in the morning and feel groggy or fuzzy-headed upon wakening. Others find it difficult to go to sleep at bedtime or wake up frequently during the night. Sleep problems drain energy levels and can interfere with work, school, and relationships. When sleep deprivation becomes chronic, it worsens ADD/ADHD symptoms.
Start today: To improve sleep, turn off the TV, avoid playing video games, and stop scrolling through your social media feed 1-2 hours before bedtime. To help you get up in the morning, set your alarm to play up-tempo music that will get you moving and place your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
7. Try neurofeedback training.
Neurofeedback is a biofeedback technique that helps people strengthen their brain and boost focus by regulating their brain wave activity. Research has shown that people with ADD/ADHD lack the ability to sustain brain wave activity associated with concentration. Neurofeedback uses computer games to help you gain control of your brain waves so you can achieve the desired brain wave state. The American Academy of Pediatrics has given neurofeedback a high scientific evidence rating for the treatment of ADD/ADHD.
Start today: Find a neurofeedback provider in your area.
If you (or your child) are struggling with poor impulse control, lack of focus, disorganization, or a short attention span, don’t wait to seek help. About 40% of kids and 80% of adults with symptoms of ADD/ADHD don’t get the treatment they need, and it can have a lasting negative effect on all areas of your life.
At Amen Clinics, we have treated thousands of children, adolescents, and adults with ADD/ADHD. We use brain SPECT imaging as part of a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose and treat the 7 types of ADD/ADHD. We believe in taking a whole brain-body approach to healing that may include nutrition coaching, supplements, medication when needed, and other natural therapies. To learn more, schedule a visit today or call 888-288-9834.