Monday, February 8, 2010

Change ADHD behavior with body building in the brain

Since ADHD is a brain problem, it seems logical that's the place to build new habits that replace negative behaviors of ADHD.

Similar to weight training for muscle building through repeated practice, new behaviors can be formed in much the same way. The more focus on the new habit is repeated, the more developed the involved parts of the brain become.

Mastery of a new habit results from repetition.

Mastery is correlated to development of the networks in the brain. It's like "body building in the brain."

Like you decide to become a physically better you, you may do the same mentally. The goal is to become a better you by developing good patterns that replace negative patterns. The habits procrastination, losing focus, or impulsiveness may be replaced with perseverance, mindfulness, and control.

Although changing set patterns can be difficult, the brain will adapt to new changes. The first job is to identify the new behavior you desire and get to work setting the pattern.

Visualize and Practice

Do your homework so that you are prepared to visualize. Know specific traits and characteristics of the new habit for use in your visualization exercises. Know how it will feel, look, and sound. Think of people you know or have viewed that are masters of the habit you desire. Model their behavior.

Choose a quiet, comfortable place for your visualization. One where you will not be disturbed. Get comfortable, quiet, gently close your eyes and listen to your breathing as it gets slower and slower, and you feel more and more relaxed. If you have a method for relaxation, perhaps on a CD or on a downloaded file, use it. The main thing is to get relaxed, comfortable, and quiet in body and mind.

Next, visualize yourself using your desired habit. Use as many of your senses as possible, making it real.

If you start to lose focus due to thought or unrelated visuals, remain calm, gently reach up and tap your forehead just above the right eye, and return to your task. No matter how often your focus may be interrupted, tap and return.

Practice your new habit. The more practice, the better. Repeated practice, and visualization will thicken the appropriate networks in the brain, establishing the new pattern. Don't give up, the exercise will pay off.

Keep your focus on the new you.

You may find tips, strategies, and suggestions in previous Let the Energy Flow blog entries that will help you practice desired habits.