One of my crucial missions as an ADHD Life and Productivity Coach is to help clients flip on their ADHD brain switch. Let me explain.
Think of a light switch. You either turn it on or off. When the light switch is on, the light works. Turn off that switch and the room goes dark.
The ADHD brain has a lot of similarities with that light switch. Since ADHD is a brain-based condition, we need to turn the brain on to make living with ADHD easier.
An ADHD adult with the brain switched on can get started and focused on the right things. Stuff gets done more easily. Motivation to do boring things appears. Personal systems and habits are set up to get (and stay) organized and productive. Living with ADHD becomes easier.
I’ve learned that the better I get at keeping my brain switched on, the less power my ADHD has over me. This has made an enormous difference in my life and my family’s life as well.
With my brain switched on, I can run a business that helps thousands of people live easier with ADHD. Having my brain on has allowed me to build the habits and systems to keep my home organized enough. To give me what I need to be happy in life and to be able to do the same for my family.
To live easier with ADHD, you also need to know what flips your brain switch off. The things you do that make you more distracted and impulsive and unmotivated. That makes your ADHD more out of control. What prevents you from getting started, being motivated, or finishing what you intend to do.
In a nutshell, when your brain is switched off, your ADHD is in the driver’s seat. When your brain is switched on, you are the one controlling and driving your life.
The Reality of Keeping Your Brain Switched On
Is keeping your brain switched on easy? No. It’s not. To tell you otherwise would be misleading. But the payoff is worth the effort.
The work of living an easier ADHD life takes grit. You have to want it. You have to fight for it. And it is a fight that’s worth it.
When you hear an ADHD expert like Dr. Hallowell talk about ADHD being a gift, do you wonder how that’s possible? Keeping your brain switched on is the trick. That’s when your creativity can shine. When you can bring your good ideas to life.
So what turns on a brain switch? Many things.
ADHD medication is the most commonly recognized tool for turning a brain switch on. Yet ADHD medication works for about 80% of people. Also, not everybody wants to take medication. And it can be hard to find a doctor who knows how to prescribe ADHD medication so it works.
But there’s good news. There are many ways to turn on your brain switch. Things like eating an ADHD-friendly diet and getting enough sleep. Exercising and meditating and drinking enough water. Strategic caffeine use and cultivating a positive mindset to name a few.
The members of my ADHD Success Club learn to think of this like a tool kit filled with choices for turning on that brain switch.
Flipping the ADHD Brain Switch Off
Remember that flip side? You need to do more than know how to turn on your brain. You need to also know what turns off your brain switch.
Ghost or hidden food allergies are often culprits in switching off the brain. The main culprits are eggs, wheat, dairy, sugar, and food dyes. Does this mean you can never eat any of these again? No!
Every ADHD brain is different and has things specific to them that turn their brain switch on and off. The trick is to become like a surgeon manipulating your ADHD brain switch.
For example, I know that eating dairy turns off my brain switch for a few hours. I get sleepy and my brain gets foggy. So that means that I don’t eat dairy when I need my brain to work. But I can have a piece of cheese before bed to help me fall asleep at night.
I have one client who can’t tolerate gluten. It makes her brain foggy for a couple of weeks. She has chosen to have her brain switched on so she can function and focus. So, she avoids gluten at all costs.
Is this an easy choice for her to make? No! Yet she has decided living easier with ADHD is worth it. She likes who she is when her brain is switched on.
Here’s what I want you to remember:
1. ADHD is a brain-based condition. That means ADHD begins and ends in your brain. Which, if you want to live easier with ADHD, means that you need to be very aware of what makes your brain work better. And what makes your brain work worse.
2. With knowledge and awareness you can become a master of manipulating how well your brain works. And when you learn how to keep your brain switched on, you become the boss of your ADHD. You can learn the habits and personal systems and skills to make your ADHD life easier.
I want to hear from you – can you tell when your light switch is on or off? Can you identify things that turn it on or off? Comment below!
Next week we will talk about the Realities of ADHD!
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