25 Daily Brain Boosts Used by ADHD Experts

Fish oil. Meditation. Breaks from screen time. And more little, important things that our expert panelists do every day to keep their ADHD brains sharp.

A woman with ADHD trying out a brain boosting exercise on a hammock

Ned Hallowell, M.D., best-selling author and a leading authority on ADHD

> I allow time for daydreaming (without screens), thinking, or staring off into space. This is “waking sleep,” and science has shown it is good for our brains.

> I get massive daily doses of what I call “the other Vitamin C,” which is Vitamin Connect (human connection). I have many “human moments” every day. I make eye contact with people who pass by. I offer smiles, and try to get them in return.

> An app called Calm (calm.com) has got me meditating regularly. I love it, and so does my brain.

> Supplements that help my brain and body are vitamin D, fish oil (Omega-Brite, specifically), SAM-e, NAC, acetyl-l-carnitine, rhodiola, and vitamin B complex.

> I give and receive positive energy. The more I do this, the better my brain feels. We live in a world that is starving for positive energy. So let’s all join the Positive Energy Brigade!

Eric Tivers, ADHD coach

> My top brain boost involves improving my mindset, which improves my brain. As a therapist, coach, podcaster, speaker, and entrepreneur, I take on a lot. Which means that sometimes, I drop a ball and fail. Because emotions sometimes hijack my ADHD brain, I have developed an intimate and trusting relationship with failure. I embrace failure, because it gives feedback. When something doesn’t work out, I seek to understand why, and I try to learn from my missteps.

> I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. My brain needs a constant flow of new information and ideas. I am an integrator, meaning that I take things that I learn and apply them to my personal and professional life. Learning fuels me. It charges me up.

> I do fun types of exercise. This year I bought a crazy piece of exercise equipment called an ElliptiGO (elliptigo.com), a cross between a bicycle and an elliptical. Exercise sharpens my brain, but I also know how important it is, especially for ADHDers, for exercise to be fun. This bike-elliptical crossbreed turns heads, which is sort of interesting and fun.

Terry Matlen, ACSW, ADHD coach

> I love nature and I love my dogs. I enjoy both when I walk the dogs in a park nearby. Studies show that spending time in green spaces is good for you and your brain. My brain feels much calmer afterward.

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> I’m an amateur, self-taught musician. When I need to recharge my brain after a day of intensive writing or other related work, I head to my home music studio and sing my heart out while strumming my guitar.

> When I need to get away from it all, but also need a creative outlet to stimulate my brain, I paint or make mosaic pieces. With ADHD, I am in constant search for mental stimulation, and these activities help me shut out the world yet still be productive.

> My favorite brain-resting activity is lying in my hammock and reading an engaging book. My body rests while my brain floats into the author’s world.

Elizabeth Broadbent, ADDitude blogger

> When my ADHD brain gets tied up in knots, I get out in nature. This can be as simple as hiking an urban trail or as ambitious as a long hike through the woods. Research shows that getting outside helps reduce ADHD symptoms. I’ve always loved being outside, and now I know why: It helps my ADHD brain.

> I make sure to put down my phone. Electronic devices are like crack for ADHDers, with their instant gratification clicks and quick transitions. While I love my phone and need it, I’ve found that taking time away from it gives my brain some relief from the need to go in 12 directions at once. My brain refreshes itself.


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TAGS: ADHD Time Management, Learn to Focus with ADHD, ADHD Relaxation Tips, Hyperfocus and ADHD

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