Archives for May, 2010
Have you ever wondered this? I know I have, and as an ADHDer it is especially hard, because often times you lose focus and are on to creating the next greatest thing a habit. So you start a lot of great new approaches, but they never seem to stick. Ann Graybiel of MIT's McGovern Institute has shown through research that neurons change their firing patterns when habits are learned, and then change them again when unlearned. However, as soon as something kicks back in the habit, they are fired back up. That is why it is so easy to pick back up negative addictions like smoking and drinking, but also why if you establish good habits but lose them, you can kick them back up much easier as well.
We often speak of forgiveness as a virtuous trait, but rarely do we talk about it in terms of the physical health benefits. I write about this today because as ADHDers we need a lot of structure, and often times we lose focus, forget some of the structure we set-up for ourselves and then beat ourselves up for not following that structure. So I went on a search looking for actual research as to why it is important to strive to forgive others, and then applied that research inwards to highlight the importance of forgiving ourselves as well. I did not have to go far to find research on the benefits of forgiving others. The Mayo Clinic's recent article about forgiveness, explains that letting go of anger and practicing forgiveness can help lead to: Healthier relationships Greater spiritual and psychological well-being Less stress and hostility Lower blood pressure Fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and chronic pain Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
I'm not sure what prompted me to recreate this tool and put it out there, but it's something I learned in graduate school and think is indispensable. I find it difficult to make decisions at times, especially when there are a number of factors involved that are important to consider in the ultimate answer. Being ADHD certainly doesn't help, as it often speeds up the my thought process, creates more factors to consider, and is liable to make me act impulsively without thinking an opportunity through. So I use this tool when I have a big decision or one I am particularly stumped on and I hope you find it useful as well.
Last year I attended a conference called 'The Creative Brain; Learning and the Brain' in Washington DC. At this conference I met John Ratey, and saw him speak about exercise and the brain, specifically in regards to children in school. The insights made through his research are amazing, and I believe it is especially critical for those with ADD / ADHD to read and understand as the benefits of incorporating regular play into school are profound. Through his research, Ratey has shown that children with 30 minutes of recess have more attention and less behavioral problems. It was critical that the recess does not have much material, is unstructured, and allows kids to be creative with what they do during the time.
I'm at a complete standstill, as a matter of fact it was hard to write this blog today. My mind feels like it's on vacation, only it hasn't gone anywhere. The more I try to work, the harder it is to do so. In all honesty, my brain is probably saying it needs a break, a long, well-deserved break for having fought so many tough issues for so many years straight. Only I don't listen, I don't think it has time for a break so I push harder to focus and one thing at a time and I have a lot to do so keep at it. I get mad at myself for resting because I want so badly for things to happen and know I can help so many people and if I just take a little more time...
You might not first understand how it is possible someone with ADD / ADHD is brilliant. On the outside they may look to be a mess. They might show up late for meetings, lose their keys, forget your name, not catch a detail or jump from one subject to the next without you following. Working with them can be the most frustrating experience at times. Lucky for you, those with ADHD are also the most likely to come up with your next product line, provide a new solution to your customer service issue, think of a new angle on a legal case, introduce innovative laws that address multiple parties, or come up with an exciting PR campaign. The number of ideas people with ADHD have, and provide when their skills are appreciated and utilized, is simply staggering.