How to Cope With ADHD Without Meds
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder that occurs commonly in children and, if left untreated, can progress into adulthood, according to KidsHealth.org. ADHD is broken down into different types, inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, or a combination of the first two types. Symptoms of the various types of ADHD include fidgeting, inability to focus and follow directions, organization issues, forgetfulness and excessive talking. Medication is commonly used to treat the disorder; or, you can try alternative methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dietary changes and vitamin supplements.
Keep a list of daily tasks that must be accomplished. Although ADHD cannot be cured, you can reduce the severity of it by attempting to keep your life as organized as possible. Each time that you complete your list of tasks, you should reward yourself by eating your favorite food, watching your favorite television show or by making a small purchase. According to HelpGuide.org, the goal is to train yourself to become a diligent worker through a punishment and reward system. Punishment includes forgoing leisure time or your favorite food until your work is done.
Manage your anger and stress levels. Anger and stress can exacerbate restlessness and inattentiveness, which means you’ll need to learn calming techniques to reduce stress. Not only does stress worsen your ADHD symptoms, it can also cause physical health complications, such as high blood pressure. Meditate in the morning before your day begins. Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey’s book “Delivered from Distraction,” recommends meditating for at least 10 minutes to ease your mind and prepare you for the rest of the day. Deep, slow breathing can also calm you down when you’re feeling anxious and stressed. Inhale through your nose deeply, hold it it for 3 seconds, and exhale through your mouth until all of the air is out of your lungs.
Change your diet. Although there is no conclusive evidence that changing your diet can reduce ADHD symptoms, the Mayo Clinic reports that food additives have been linked to increasing or worsening ADHD behavior. Such food additives include sodium benzoate, FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Yellow No. 5 and FD&C Red No. 40. Caffeine, wheat, eggs, milk and sugar can have an affect on hyperactivity, and should be eliminated from your diet or consumed in limited amounts to determine if they affect behavior.
Take Omega-3 fish oil supplements or eat more fish. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, those who suffer from ADHD have lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids than those who don’t have ADHD. According to the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should not consume more than 6 oz of fish daily.