Archives for July 2013

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Breaking Out of Your Comfort ZoneThis week, I discovered an amazing quote by Thomas Jefferson

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”

It’s empowering, freeing and inspiring all at the same time! As you were reading the quote, did something pop into your mind that you would like to achieve? What actions would you need to take that you haven’t done before?

Sometimes the action is giving up an item, such as cigarettes or wine. Or it could be adding something into your life. E.g. exercise. Sometimes the action is emotionally hard, like leaving an unhealthy relationship. Or perhaps it’s learning a new skill, like how to write an awesome resume, so you can apply for a new job. Whatever the action is, it will involve shaking up your usual habits and breaking out of your comfort zone.

Breaking out of your comfort zone is scary. It makes you feel uncomfortable, vulnerable and fearful. It can also make you feel exposed and risk rejection. However, if you don’t take bold action, you will be stagnant and your life the stay the same.

Ironically, staying in your comfort zone doesn’t make life easier. In fact, it makes life seem scarier. If you always stay in your safe place, over time, your world gets smaller and you lose confidence in your abilities. Staying in your comfort zone requires just as much effort as breaking out of it, because with time, even small things seem huge.

This week’s challenge is: shake up your life!

1) Pick one area of your life you would like to change. It could be ADHD related, but it doesn’t have to be.

2) Think about what new thing would you be willing to do to make it happen?

3) Pick a start date.

4) Do it!

P.S. If taking a big action seems too scary, start small and build up.

ADHD, Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome

Most people are familiar with the term concussion. You can get it from a bang on the head (in sports or everyday life) and it can result in symptoms such as:

  •   Confusion
  •   Losing consciousness
  •   Disorientation
  •   Seeing ‘stars’ (before your eyes)
  •   Unable to answer simple questions, such as the person’s own name
  •   Slurred speech
  •   Faraway stares

Because we are very familiar with the term concussion, we forget how serious it is. It is a mild traumatic brain injury and rather than jump back into everyday life, it’s important to take time out and let your brain heal. People who have repeated concussions can experience depression and suicidal tendencies.

While most people know about concussion, not many people are familiar with Post-Concussion Syndrome.  PCS symptoms can continue for weeks, months sometimes even years after the bang to the head. Symptoms include:

  •   Anxiety
  •   Depression
  •   Dizziness
  •   Fatigue
  •   Headaches
  •   Poor concentration
  •   Poor memory
  •   Sensitivity to noise
  •   Sensitivity to light
  •   Problems sleeping

Many of these symptoms mirror ADHD symptoms which can cause a lot of confusion during the diagnosis process. People who have ADHD feel their ADHD has become worse while people who didn’t have ADHD feel like they do after a head injury.To help explain all about Post-Concussion Syndrome, I interviewed Robert McCrindle. Robert is a teacher and counsellor, who specializes in with ADHD and post-concussion syndrome.  If you have any questions you would like to ask him directly, you can find him at www.mccrindle.ca.

Download an interview about PCS with Robert McCrindle here: http://goo.gl/VuOH5

 

How to Manage Your ADHD Effortlessly

How to Manage Your ADHD EffortlesslyDo you feel like managing your ADHD is just more things to do? Taking Omega 3, exercising, meditating, getting to bed at a decent time and eating an ADHD friendly diet can seem like a constant stream of things to do, in your already busy life. Even though you know in theory that these actions would help minimize the negative effects of ADHD, it can seem like a lot of work.

However, there is an easy way to make these actions (and any others you want to implement) become second nature. It has all to do with your neurons!

In her book, ‘Meet Your Happy Chemicals’, Loretta Graziano talks about the neural pathways in our brain and how they influence our behaviour. Loretta compares our brains to the Amazon Jungle. The Amazon is made up of dense undergrowth, but in places the undergrowth has been chopped down and pathways have been created.

Our brains are a dense jungle of neurons but neural pathways have been created. Neural pathways are formed when we repeatedly behave in a certain way. The more we do a particular activity, the more permanent a path becomes. These pathways make doing the activities that are good (and bad) for us, effortless. Neural pathways were formed quickly and easily when you were a child, but it takes conscious effort to create new ones as an adult. However, it’s worth it, as creating new neural pathways is the key for new behaviours to become habits.

Loretta says that you can create a new pathway in your brain in 45 days if you do the behaviour every day. It’s important to do it daily; otherwise, the pathway will become overgrown and vanish back into the neuron jungle.

I decided to put this information to the test after visiting the dentist and being told (again) that I needed to floss daily. At the time, I was flossing weekly at best. I challenged myself to floss every day for 45 days to see if it would become an effortless habit. It did! Now, even when I am really tired and hear the naughty voice in my head saying, ‘you don’t need to floss this evening’, I do it anyway. Flossing is part of my daily life now. It’s easy, painless and would feel weird if I didn’t floss. I never, ever thought I would be able to say that!

This week’s challenge:

1) Pick one activity that you want to include into your daily life.
E.g. flossing, taking your supplements, etc.
2) Start doing that activity every day for 45 days.
3) Notice how it becomes integrated into your daily life.
4) After 45 days, pick a new activity!