If you or your children “wander off task” and are disorganized, this could be helpful.

If you feel like you need to move around constantly (even when it’s not appropriate) and you talk, tap, or stretch, then this information could increase your energy endurance.

Our ability to capture and USE focus comes naturally to some.  For those of us that need to stoke the focus-fire to stay mentally fit, there is hope.

Obviously, focus is the issue at hand. 

Understanding the basis of attention deficits and attention variability disorders can help your family learn the necessary strategies to positively leverage this well understood, but complicated brain-state.

The good news is that you can get started today. There are 3 simple steps you can take to propel your children’s performance in school, advance your spot in the company, or explode your budding business by fine-tuning your focus.

Step One

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Exercise.

Did you know that certain types of regular exercise have been proven by research and case study time and time again to repurpose and redefine the “extra energy” associated with ADHD?

Believe it.  Since the early 1990’s, neuroscientists have been producing study after study further defining the benefits of regular aerobic and complex forms of exercise on the brain, specifically when it comes to areas of the brain which are intertwined with our attention systems.  We know there are certain regions of the brain associated with specific functions like movement, reading, or vision. However, what makes holding our attention (and treating those who seem to struggle with it) such a tedious task, is that the attention systems are spread out throughout the whole brain in various regions, creating many contributing factors and variables.

What we do know is that through the act of exercise, our body can affect these variables positively. Even simply learning to breathe correctly can help to balance our brain’s chemical and electrical environments.  This a VERY EFFECTIVE tool for everyone, attention deficits or not.

There are many specifics pertaining the the types of exercise and strategies for beginning and advancing your athletic and mental training. Simply following through with 30 minutes of exercise and movement every day is a powerful tool that WIll change your life for the better, including the undeniable perk of a brain that is more adaptable and focused.

If you want to gather a better understanding of how incredible powerful movement is, read  this recommended book: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey MD

 

Step Two

Eat good stuff.

Is it any coincidence that as we increase our levels of chemical stressors (food additives, dyes, medications, chemicals, vaccines, etc) our society as a whole has a MASSIVE increase in neurological conditions like ADD/ADHD, dementia, depression, anxiety, and many more?

Not likely.

You may not have control over factors like the air pollution in your region, or the amount of trace heavy metals in your city water supply, but you CAN control what you stick in your mouth to chew up, which is destined to literally become the new cells that continuously grow to make up your body.

I’m not talking about “going 100% organic” by tomorrow which has the stigma of being both expensive and time-consuming, although it’s a quickly growing common sense approach to removing unhealthy toxic stress from your system.

I have a simple approach with my patients: get good at one thing at a time. 

If questioned, any of my patients will tell you that I rarely encourage them to immediately remove or restrict many of their current poor habits at first, but simply start by trying to sustainably add in one good thing at a time, and get good at it.  My favorite starter project is learning to make chocolate mouse that taste like chocolate Jello pudding, but is made of avocados and other superfoods.

You’re adding in avocado (one of the healthiest brain foods to date) along with local honey to help the immune system stave off pesky allergies while avoiding the ADHD side effects of processed or artificial sugars. You’ve got organic Cacoa powder full of life-giving minerals and anti-oxidants that produce the necessary neurotransmitters (chemicals produced in the brain) needed for proper electrical and chemical brain function.  Also, it’s damn good.

We like this one: CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERESTING RECIPE

AXIO 

I don’t put my name on many things these days, as it takes time to do the research on companies and products, what they are made from, and how they work into my patients lives. With one of my primary focuses on ADD/ADHD and attention deficits, this is one thing I recommend reading and learning more about.

Spoiler alert! If you want to cultivate your brain power, you and your kids need to ditch the sugary drinks, and honestly look at drinking primarily clean, fresh water. Anything in addition to water, you should be asking yourself “is this drink helping, or hurting me?”

If you want to learn more about this brain-booster: Click Here!

Step Three

Structure and Organize your daily activities around your brain and body’s Peak Performance Hours.

Let’s use my story for an easy example.

When I started the doctorate program in St. Louis, MO, I had been previously prescribed medications and advised to avoid caffeine and sugar as part of my strategy for a steady intense course load. I didn’t have any other strategies. I most definitely met the qualifications for having hyperactivity at the time, as I had since early childhood.

It’s a well known fact that the brain produces and uses electricity to effectively “run” our body.  You can imagine that if you have a brain that does not produce enough of this electrical activity, it could cause challenges for a person.  By studying EEG (the electrical activity of brains!) we have discovered that an under-aroused brain state produces a whole host of issues, as seen in the chart below:

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For me, starting my 5th year of college was like stubbing my toe as I stood staring down the hall into year-round classes, mid-term and final exams, 5 parts of national examination, and 297 credit hours.  My leg starts to bounce around just thinking about it again.

I knew I had to learn to focus on my own, so I started to independent study in the brain and it’s many mysteries. 

I learned that in order to structure and organize your daily activities, you should become aware of what is called peak performance. Peak performance eludes to the times where the brain and body are tuned for focus, naturally.  Think of it like the most calm and attention-rich state of mind, with effortless physical stamina.

Let’s unpack Peak Performance into types and see how I mesh them into my daily schedule…

One mental, and one physical. 

For me and my attention deficit story, a lifestyle change was necessary to stay healthy and recover from mental and physical stress all the way through graduate school. I had to learn how to keep a stable energy state by incorporating physical exercise and healthier eating habits, too.  I now spend my early mornings reading and researching, making phones calls, writing emails, and reviewing my schedule and most pressing obligations. I have found that short sessions of diaphragmatic breathing exercises help hold the calm focused brain state needed. This time span of 5:30-8:30 am is when I am most mentally alert and focused on staying in one spot for multiple hours. There are many DIY ways to create standing desk space with technology today, so that we can also begin to avoid sitting and working.

As this ability produce focus shifts nearing mid day, I begin to look for opportunity to get a recess activity.  Think of your childhood recess time, simply going outside for a minute or getting away from the desk for at least 1 hour. The rush of electrical stimulation that movement and new environments create in the brain allow us to pull through the rest of the day with a second wave of focus, positivity, and focused energy. Find a schedule that works for you and commit to taking a small step in the right direction with a short walk and an extra glass of water each day.


If you have variable attention or if you experience any of what is described above, then please take this information and pick one thing to get good at. The information in this article is not intended to replace specific advice from a physician on your health care team.

As always, I am personally reachable through the forms here and I am available for free 15 minute phone conversations with those of you looking to get the help you or your children need to start changing your brain and life, now.

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Dr. Cory St. Denis
Cory St. Denis, D.C. is a Brain Based Wellness Chiropractor| Co-Founder & Website Project Coordinator: The DCTree|Productivity Hacker & entrepreneur| Defeating ADHD and chasing his dreams has allowed him to help families and professionals with the stuff that matters most. He is passionate about bridging the gap between local Maine people and extraordinary Health.
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