Driven to Distraction: ADHD and Your Environment – Part 2
Nagging Thoughts That Won’t Quit
It’s next to impossible to focus on the task at hand if you’re worrying about errands you need to run or housework that needs to be done.
Perhaps you’re still thinking about a conversation you had yesterday and it keeps replaying itself in your mind.
Nagging thoughts of any kind can be a powerful distraction that keeps you from achieving your daily goals. The best way to keep nagging thoughts from sticking around in your brain is to write them down.
You can make a list of errands, chores or other tasks you plan to complete later. Save it for review at a later time when you can actually tackle the items you wrote down. Learn to let them go while you give your attention to the present activity.
The Powerful Grip of Stress
As mentioned above, when you feel that you are doing too many things all at once it can be hard to focus on individual tasks.
To make matters worse, stress has a palpable negative effect on your body. You may develop pain in your shoulders, headaches or palpitation, all of which can hinder your ability to concentrate.
To decrease your stress level, you can learn stress reduction techniques, such as meditation. It can make it possible for you to lessen the impact of stressful thoughts so they don’t demand so much of your attention.
Researchers found that people who took an eight-week meditation class were able to significantly improve their ability to focus
Chronic Lack of Sleep
Not sleeping well night after night can lead to daytime fatigue. It can, in turn, make it very tough to concentrate even when you have just a few distractions. There are studies that suggest that too little sleep can permanently diminish your ability to concentrate as well as your short-term memory.
It is a well known fact that the brain can’t focus without fuel. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, is a top concentration killer.
Research clearly indicates that short-term memory and attention suffer if you neglect to feed your brain the proper nutrients. The best way to keep hunger at bay and give your brain a steady source of fuel is by always eating breakfast.
In between meals you should eat high-protein snacks like cheese or nuts. Do not rely on simple carbs (sweets, white pasta) to boost your energy and choose whole grain alternatives instead.
A Cloud of Depression
When we think of depression and its devastating effects we tend to think of sadness as its hallmark symptom. However, the National Institute of Mental Health says difficulty concentrating is one of the most common symptoms of ongoing depression.
If you’re having trouble focusing while also feeling empty, hopeless or even indifferent to people and things your cared about before, you may be experiencing depression.
If you think you might be depressed, always seek medical advice. Depression is highly treatable and you could significantly be improving your attention span and ability to complete tasks.