Chewing on My ADHD Habits

I’ve discovered that chewing gum is a great way to help me combat my ADHD fidgeting and it helps me stay focused at work.
ADHD College Blog | posted by Rebeka Covell
The ADDitude college blogger writes about surviving college and succeeding in school with ADHD

One thing I’ve found that really helps me to keep my focus is chewing gum. You’ll almost never find me without a piece, it’s one of my tricks to combat the small attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) annoyances I face.

If I’m at work, I’m chewing gum. If I’m in a lecture, I’m chewing gum. Often, when I’m driving, I’m chewing gum. The mindless chewing somehow helps me focus on my work; it’s kind of like fidgeting, which helps those of us with ADHD. However, I’ve found that gum is less annoying to those around me than tapping a pen, drumming my nails, or shaking my legs.

I probably go through four packs of gum a week, because one thing I can’t stand is stale gum. It’s gross tasting, it’s hard to chew, and it distracts me more than nothing at all. Needless to say, I’m spitting it out and getting a new piece every 1-2 hours, depending on the type.

I’m pretty picky about my gum, mostly because mint flavored gum gives me a stomachache after about 20 minutes--not good if you’re chewing it 24/7. One of my all-time favorite kinds is Trident; the flavor lasts longest out of all the kinds I’ve tried. Stride is pretty good too, Orbit isn’t bad, but most of their flavors are mint. Gum that has flavored liquid inside is really good for about 10 minutes, but after that, it gets stale too quickly. I also found that traditional flat sticks of gum like Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, and Extra don’t last very long either.

If you like to fidget while working, I highly recommend chewing gum instead. It’ll please everyone who is driven crazy by pen tapping, and moving around, and you might even burn 3 or 4 calories in the process.

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