5 Alternative ADD Treatments that DON’T Come in a Bottle
In a previous blog, I shared some interesting bits on meds that I theretofore just plain didn’t know. Some of the facts hopefully flipped on a light bulb of insight for some readers, too. Now, I enter into an area where I DO know a good deal, cuz it’s been a driving force behind my own mess-to-success story since the day of my adult ADHD diagnosis: alternative ADHD treatments.
First a statement: Medication is a potentially powerful part of an ADD-crushing plan. Crusher doesn’t take sides in the meds-are-good vs. meds-are-evil debate. I believe every ADHD adult should deploy every tool at one’s disposal – so long as it works and doesn’t somehow screw with wellbeing or health. And those tools should DEFINITELY extend BEYOND medication. As they say, “Pills don’t teach skills!”
Top 5 Alternative ADHD Treatments and Solutions I Use
So with that, here’s a list of the non-medication alternative ADHD treatments that help me most on a day-to-day basis. And importantly, most of this stuff is FREEEEEEEE. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good overview, with some links to additional info:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): For those not familiar with the term, ‘cognitive’ refers to how we think about things…’behavioral’ is how that thinking translates into our actions…and ‘therapy’ is the addressing of those thoughts and related behaviors. Now, CBT needn’t involve an actual therapist, though it can – and sometimes should. But I’ve made tremendous productivity, wellbeing and happiness advances by “treating” myself. One big way I did this was to change the way I view my ‘failures’ and successes. Negative self-talk is deadly when it comes to undercutting our potential success – and worse, depression and anxiety are greatly influenced by our negative perceptions. (I teach steps to a new mindset in Video II, Way 9: Score Your Successes.)
- Mindfulness: Related to CBT is simply being mindful. This is a broad area of alternative ADHD solutions, but the primary focus of mindfulness for me is knowing what stuff is whirling around in your noggin, recognizing your thoughts’ meaning and relevance, and ultimately, being able to prioritize those thoughts (also, see the quote below). I’ve blogged on this at Jennifer Koretsky’s ADDManagement.com. And if you’ve any doubts about the power of simply being more mindful of your thoughts and related emotions, get hip to neuroplasticity. This is the ability of the brain to change based on what you’re paying attention to – how the brain actually PHYSICALLY changes and adapts to alter certain brain deficits.
- Meditation: Don’t be put off by this woo-woo word. (Is woo-woo a word? It is now folks.) Anyway, I meditate throughout the day – not by sitting on a bed of nails and murmuring, but by simply quieting my mind – which is EASY once you are MINDFUL of what’s inside it (see above!). I call it “Shut-up-a-you-mind. And it can power up your mind in just a few minutes. More about that on the Crusher YouTube channel and in Video I, Way 3.
- Coaching: Try even a few sessions with an ADHD coach and chances are you’ll get more than my money’s worth. And now, group coaching is sprouting up more and more, making coaching more accessible and affordable. Give it a try. Is there a better way to stay on top of alternative ADHD treatments than having a coach and support staff remind you of them on a weekly basis?
- Proper Diet, Exercise and Sleep: OK, I know – “Booooorrriiiiing”. But I gotta beat a dead horse here, cuz you’ve probably heard my mantra that “If you’re eating a donut for breakfast, your kicking your own ass down the street!” These three things are the most POWERFUL and FUNDAMENTAL of all, in my view. The YouTube channel and Video I, Way 1: Feed Your Brain have the basics on this topic, as does this link on ADD diet tips.
A Note on Supplements as Natural ADHD Remedy
This is where things get tricky. I won’t go into any detail here other than to say two things. First, the only supplements I use are ones that are research-based, no-BS brain helpers, easily remembered as ZIMB6. Zinc, Iron, Magnesium and B6. Get some quality supplements and take ’em every day in keeping with the recommended daily allowances. Second thing on supplements is: Beware any claims about a natural ADHD remedy that sound too good to be true. Research the crap out of supplements, herbals, etc., that 9 times out of 10, are…crap.
There are many other alternative ADHD treatments, remedies and solutions, but these are my mainstays. I’ll write some more down the road about others, some of which I’ve yet to try, like neurofeedback.
P.S. If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! – Team Crusher