Author Archive

How Not to Lose Things

Friday, September 14th, 2012

 

How Not to Lose Things

Most ADHDers have a challenge when it comes to losing things. Our brains are focusing on something interesting, and we simply forget to pay attention to where things are – That’s boring!! BUT, losing things can really make you feel stupid and out of control, much less cause a lot of hassles in your life. Here are a few tips that, we have found from experience, are “Tried and True”.

Put your hand out and look at your palm….. I’m going to give you 5 things to help you always have what you need in that hand – one for each finger.

1) Remember, EVERYONE LOSES THINGS from time to time – it’s a normal part of being in a busy world! You don’t have to beat yourself up! Tell yourself that, you can get really good at being a finder!! Turn this negative trait into positive expertise!!!

2) Try to create LOCATION STRUCTURE. Structure the location of your “stuff” by always putting your keys in the same place, always putting your glasses in the same place, always putting your wallet in the same place, etc. Organize your world so that there is a place for everything and everything in its place.

This may take some initial organization on your part, but once you get things organized, it only takes 3 seconds of focus to make sure you PUT things back in their place each time you use them.

Another important trick here is to make a habit of stopping to FOCUS for 3 seconds on where you are putting something down. For example;

“I’m looking at my hand put my cell phone on top of the book by my chair”

“I’m feeling the keys in the pocket of my red coat”

3) PLAN AHEAD – Take a few minutes each evening and each morning to PAUSE and locate or organize the things that you need the next day. We call this a “launching pad”.

4) CHECK YOURSELF – before you leave in the morning, to make sure you have what you need on you……..before you lock the car, before you walk into the meeting, before you leave the store.

5) WHEN you lose things – because you will – DON’T PANIC – try the three “R’s”

REASSURE yourself. Repeat “I will find it! It is somewhere waiting for me! “

RETRACE your steps. Go back and relive what you were doing the last time you had the lost item. Relive the thoughts, feelings, sights, sounds etc.

RELAX! Remember, the logic part of your brain shuts down when you are anxious or overwhelmed. Stop and take a break to just think and reassure yourself that it is not the end of the world. Stopping for awhile may actually help you find it faster.

OK, Now look at you hand again, – Five fingers – Five rules!

1) Every one loses things- don’t beat yourself up.

2) Create location structure in your life.

3) PAUSE – to plan ahead each night and each morning.

4) PAUSE – to check yourself before you leave.

5) Use the three “R’s” when searching REASSURE, RETRACE & RELAX

Then, you will always have everything you need right there in that hand!

The Power of Pause

Friday, September 7th, 2012

 

The Power of Pause

 

ADHDers often have a tendency to react impulsively rather than responding after thinking. We like to make snap decisions. Unfortunately, that is not always the best plan. The Power of Pause is the key to managing that impulsivity and making better decisions. It is the difference between reacting irrationally, and responding intelligently.

For ADHDers, the ability to pause is a real challenge. It is interesting to note that with ADHD, pausing is a bio-neurological challenge. It doesn’t happen naturally. Reacting immediately is naturally programmed into our brain. However, if we can learn to become aware of certain situations that trigger our impulsivity, we can take control and pause.

Everything begins with a pause.

First, what does it mean to pause?

Stop! Take a breath and notice, “what’s going on here?” It is like watching the movie of your life from outside your body.

The key is to observe WITHOUT judgment or blame and NOTICE what is happening and what might happen if you don’t get control. Don’t beat your self up! Just think, “What do I really want to happen here?” You can learn to observe yourself consciously. Just pause and notice.

Pausing only takes about 3 seconds! After that, make a better, smarter choice. The purpose of pausing is to change the patterns. You can change from reacting negatively to choosing a positive response – in just 3 seconds!

How do you know when to pause? Our body has wonderful radar that can tell us it’s time to pause. We can pay attention to signals of overwhelm in our body (tight shoulders, tense lips, stomach pain). When these appear, pay attention! Time to pause, observe and choose

If we don’t pay attention to these signs, WATCH OUT!! It takes just 1/32 of a second for these negative thoughts to set off the amygdala. When this happens, the amygdala does two things.

1) It sends a message to our adrenal gland to flood our body with negative adrenaline – our fear response – fight or flight! We are in overwhelm!

2) It also turns off the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the source of logic. We can’t think! We are pumped with adrenalin and not thinking! We are in a spiral of negativity without the ability to choose a positive outcome. Bad things will inevitably happen! Not good!

However, a three second pause to observe, relax and think, overrides that amygdala and reignites the pre-frontal cortex. In three seconds, you are smart again! You get to pick how you respond. That can make a huge different in how your whole day goes!

Try it! You will be amazed what three seconds can do!

Easier, Faster Stronger

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Easier, Faster, Stronger Brain Training

Training your brain is like lifting weights at the gym. Well, these are not real weights. Rather, these are the positive thoughts that sometimes, at first, can seem so “heavy” and hard to think – because, naturally, 80% of what our brain thinks about ourselves and the world is negative. Sad, huh? But it is true that we tend to regret things we did in the past, worry about things in the future, or just constantly criticize how we are doing in the present. Not fun!

Today’s tool will help you turn that negative voice into a positive, realistic voice.

When something happens, we have a thought about it. The first time we think that thought, it begins to cut a path between those brain cells. Then, the next time that same thing happens, our brain follow the path that was cut by the first thought. It is like a pile of dirt on a rainy day. The rain cuts a path down the dirt pile, and the next time it rains, the rains follows that path. The path becomes Easier, Faster and Stronger – it becomes automatic!

The first time you do this will be hard, like folding your arms the wrong way – try it!

However, when we think, say and do the new, more positive thought, it gets Easier, Faster and Stronger every time. It becomes automatic!

It is like going to the gym. If you only exercise one arm, it will become Easier, Faster and Stronger and the other will atrophy. The good news is that our brains are the same way! The old connection will literally atrophy and the new connection will become Easier, Faster and Stronger.

So, this week, every time you have a negative thought about yourself, STOP and reprogram it! Little by little you will create new brain programming, new brain pathways that will make your positive thinking Easier, Faster and Stronger!

Happy Reprogramming!

ADHD Success Strategies #2: What You Focus On Grows

Friday, July 27th, 2012

 

Success Strategy: What you focus on grows

We all know that if we want to learn something new, all we need to do is practice over and over again. Then, – we can do it automatically! It’s like learning to drive a car. At first, you had to think a lot and it seemed stressful and overwhelming!! You weren’t you could ever do it! However, now, how much do you even have to think about it? It is automatic! What you focused on grew! We now know, because of neuroscience, that what you focus on actually, physically grows in the brain, at a cellular level. When you practiced driving, you created a “car driving” program in your brain. If we could scan your brain while you were driving, that “car driving” part of your brain would literally light up now.

Now, let me tell you about how that happen in your brain and how you can control what you focus on and therefore, what grows in your brain

The brain has three main parts.

1) Hindbrain: It is the maintenance room. This part of the brain keeps your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your body temperature at a perfect 98.6 degrees and makes sure you sleep each night.

2) Midbrain: This is basically where most of the programming or memory is. This is like a hard drive. It is the “how to” part of the brain.

3) Pre Frontal Cortex: This is the boss of the brain. It decides what to focus on and what to do about it.

So….. There are thousands of things that you could focus on at any given moment. Things you see, hear, taste, touch, smell or feel. It can be overwhelming to ADHDers because their filter lets in too many of them – making it hard to choose. It’s overwhelming!

Your brain, however has a SUPER POWER that you can use to help you focus. It is call the reticular activating System. Here’s how it works.

Out of the thousands of things your brain could focus on, the reticular activating system works like a louvered door, only letting one thought at a time go from focus to memory. The thought with the highest electrical charge is the one that gets through. Guess what gives that thought the electricity? FOCUS!

You have the ability to choose what you focus on. What you focus on is what will be stored in your programming – your memory. By focusing, you are giving that thought the super power to push through to your memory – your programming

So, if you are looking at your day, feeling overwhelmed by too many things to do and you just want to shut down and do nothing, use your super power! You could focus on how overwhelmed you are and program that into your brain, or you could use your reticular activating system to choose to focus on one positive thing that will make your day go smoothly. Maybe you could just make a priority list and choose the three most important things. Then give the first item lots of electricity – focus on it! You will be surprised that, after a short time, it will be done! You focused on a positive activity rather than the negative overwhelm. Great job!

You can use this super power every moment of every day! It just takes practice! Remember how you learned to drive????

Depression Indicators

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Depression Indicators

 

“SIGECAPSS”

Must have 5+ for three weeks or more

S SAD

I Loss in INTEREST in things previously interested in

G GUILT

E Loss of ENERGY for no other logical reason (walking through mud)

C Lowered ability to CONCENTRATE

A Higher or lower APPETITE, sudden weight gain or loss

P PSYCHOMOTOR: Feeling either driven by a motor or in slow motion

S Changes in SLEEP

S Suicidality (talking about, thinking about, planning, self harm)