Dr Meek loves to share his perspectives on learning difficulties and ADHD challenges with anyone of any age.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your brain must “fire up” in order for you to focus and pay attention to incoming information. This “fire up” of the RAS is reasonably automatic for most people. Those with ADHD find that the RAS “fires up” less automatically and less predictably. Here are the 5 top tips to offset that challenge.
5 top tips to help anyone with ADHD get focused
(1) Be sure that the content is interesting for you since that encourages your RAS to “fire up” automatically.
(2) If the content is not interesting for you, and you are required to engage the material anyway, “dress it up” with color or music or humor or nonsense, since that will typically “fire up” the RAS regardless of content. The RAS loves novelty.
(3) To “dress up” dull or boring material, “look up” (make an imaginary mental movie of the content—with sound—in an imaginary computer screen straight out in front of you, slightly above eye level) and simply add some color or music or nonsense to your movie so the RAS says, “Yes!”
(4) What kind of nonsense does the RAS like? Well, say you are listening to a boring lecture, so you add some spiky purple hair to the image of the person speaking, or you make his/her voice sound like Donald Duck. Your RAS loves it, and you tend to stay more focused and you can follow the content more easily.
(5) What! You don’t have a creative imagination? Nonsense! Every person born on this planet has a delightful imagination (and sometimes it has been “squished” by repetitive schooling experiences or by other means). Simply “unsquish” your fabulous creative imagination by getting it out of storage and start using it. You will find it will spring alive with delight very quickly!
(6) Bonus Tip: make sure your brain has an adequate supply of the “magic” mineral magnesium. Magnesium is essential for calm alertness and tends to be in short supply in westernized diets. Try a supplement of high-quality pure calcium and magnesium, as this “dancing” pair has been known to work wonders in helping to focus brains for the tasks at hand. Try a ratio of 1200 mg of calcium to 600 mg of magnesium for best results.
J Collins Meek PhD has been helping children and adults overcome learning and attentional challenges for more than 30 years. He is an ADHD expert. He has a private practice in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and in South Jordan, Utah, USA. His blog is at www.docmeek.com
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