Do 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!