Advertisement

Fine-Tune Your Focus

Fine-Tune Your Focus

A short attention span is a hallmark of adult ADHD. But even those with highly distracted minds can take steps to improve their focus. For starters, ADHD adults can minimize daily distractions, like cleaning up cluttered personal spaces, powering down attention-stealing digital devices and keeping daily to-do lists to a reasonable (and realistic) length.

Beyond that, there are lifestyle strategies that have a direct impact on the brain's ability to pay attention:

  • Catch more ZZZs. Lack of sleep—common in adults with ADHD—worsens daytime fatigue and seriously impairs concentration and productivity. It also messes with learning, memory, executive functioning and emotional stability. If you have a sleep-deprived ADHD adult in your life, suggest that they talk to their doctor about sleep aids or healthy sleep strategies that might help.
  • Hit the gym. According to research, exercise is a powerful tool to boost attention in adults with or without ADHD. But in ADHD-specific studies, exercise improved impaired attention, impulse control and executive functioning by enhancing neurological functioning in parts of the brain responsible for these jobs.
  • Be more Zen. Mindfulness meditation may train the brain to focus better. This ancient mind-quieting technique teaches people to reign in mental chatter and focus on the present moment. Although more research is needed to confirm its specific benefits for ADHD adults, one study did find that meditation boosted neural processes in regions of the brain responsible of sustaining attention.
  • Eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast leads to low blood sugar later in the day—and that means no fuel for your brain cells. Talk about a recipe for poor focus. According to several studies, eating breakfast improves concentration, mood, learning, memory and overall cognitive functioning. But watch what you put on your plate. Choose complex carbohydrates like fruit and whole grains, which trigger a slow, steady, attention-sustaining release of blood sugar.

Medically reviewed in January 2018.

Affirmation Important for Kids with ADHD
Affirmation Important for Kids with ADHD
Several years ago when Hank Aaron was asked, “What would you do differently if you played baseball today?” the always graceful home-run king (at the t...
Read More
How prevalent is ADHD in children?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Sources report a range of statistics regarding the numbers of children with attention deficit hypera...
More Answers
What's the difference between ADD and ADHD?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- an all-inclusive term that swallowed up atten...
More Answers
For Better Concentration, Diminish Digital Distractions
For Better Concentration, Diminish Digital Distractions