Last updated: February 3, 2017 The following ADHD tips are based on my real-life experiences with ADHD. They’re the rules that I live by. And, they continue to serve me well every single day.
If you apply these 15 ADHD tips to your own life, I’m confident that your life will change in big ways.
Ready for a dose of reality?
Just keep reading to see the complete list of tips for living with ADHD.
ADHD Rule 1. Don’t tell most people that you have ADHD
I rarely tell people about my ADHD in the real world for the following reasons:
- Most people don’t care if you have ADHD – not your boss, co-workers, friends, or even family members in many cases (an unfortunate reality)
- The mainstream media has convinced most people that ADHD isn’t a real condition (another massive problem)
- Most people think you’re playing the victim card when you tell them that you have ADHD
- Most people think that taking prescription ADHD medication to manage your ADHD is like ‘cheating’ (people will become very envious of you)
- Everyone wants to give you their personal opinion on your medical condition
- Some people will try to exploit your situation by asking you for ADHD medication (never do this – not once)
After making the mistake of telling people about my ADHD in the past, and getting literally zero benefits in return, I now realize that it’s in your best interest not to tell most people about your condition.
I understand talking about ADHD with your significant other, and other people who you’re extremely close with.
But, in my experience, telling people about your ADHD usually leads to other people holding your condition against you (it’s really unfortunate – but it’s also reality).
ADHD Rule 2. It’s time to move past your childhood traumas
If you’ve ever spoken with a psychologist or a similar health professional, you realize that plenty of adult problems stem from childhood traumas.
Maybe your needs weren’t fully met as a child. You might have experienced fear, abandonment, loneliness, malnutrition, or abuse.
I know these things are unfortunate. I had a messed up childhood, too.
But, the truth is that your childhood traumas are no longer preventing you from making the most of your life with ADHD.
The clock is ticking, your time is limited, and the choice is completely yours.
You can feel angry about your past, or just choose to let go, and make the most of the time that you’ve been given.
ADHD Rule 3. Get your physical fitness in check
Your physical fitness and mental health are connected.
You will experience awesome mental clarity when you exercise regularly. It’s really hard to deny this fact.
Go to the gym for 45 minutes each day. That’s all it takes. If you want to think clearly with ADHD, and live a better life in general, then you have to get your physical fitness in check.
No, you don’t have to get shredded or hit a certain body fat percentage to be physically fit.
But, if you want to feel your best, you do have to make yourself sweat every day.
ADHD Rule 4. Know how your ADHD brain actually works
ADHD is most likely caused by your genetics, nutrition, and/or the environment in which you were raised.
It’s been shown that the ADHD brain is biologically different compared to most ‘normal’ brains.
Your ADHD brain isn’t normal. But, it isn’t bad either. It just works differently. My psychologist actually referred to ADHD as a ‘brain style’, and I really enjoy how she re-framed ADHD in a positive light.
Your ADHD brain works by making you more impulsive, open to taking risks, super-interested in certain subject matters, uninterested in most subject matters, etc.
I’ve always naturally rebelled against authority figures (teachers, work, parents), so my ADHD brain has always been in full force.
The most important thing for you to understand about the way your ADHD brain works is that you have to find a common overlap between your interests and your strengths, and then follow that path in life.
Your ADHD brain is ultimately going to make you hate doing stuff that you don’t want to do.
So, to get the most out of life, you have to find a way to intertwine your strengths with something that interests you, and run with it.
ADHD Rule 5. Have a good diet
I don’t buy the idea that you need to completely eliminate all sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients from your diet. That’s just unrealistic in the environment that we live in today.
But, you should absolutely do your best to make green smoothies, eat high-quality meats (minimal hormones), and drink mostly water or natural juices (no sodas).
I still eat junk food on occasion. But I also make sure to follow the Pareto Principle:
80% of your results comes from 20% of your effort.
Always remember this rule.
The Pareto Principle applies to everything in life – especially your ADHD diet. I can’t believe that more people don’t know about this.
The majority of your lifelong health benefits will stem from eating mostly healthy food, drinking a green smoothie every day, using herbs and spices with medicinal properties, taking care of your gut, and taking the right supplements.
Of all the ADHD tips on this list, optimizing most of your diet just might be the one that saves your life.
ADHD Rule 6. Take the right supplements for ADHD
I take a few supplements each day to help me manage my ADHD and feel my best. The following supplements give me good results, and I take them as consistently as possible:
- Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B Complex (Amazon) – This is a food-based, twice-a-day multivitamin from a trusted brand that I use.
- Thorne Research Magnesium Citrate (Amazon) – I take 2 to 3 capsules of this nightly.
- Rainbow Light Vitamin D3 Sunny Gummies (Product Review) – Perhaps the most important supplement you can take for helping your brain function.
- Jarrow Milk Thistle (Amazon) – Make sure to keep your liver healthy.
- Life & Food Ultra Probiotic-50 (Amazon) – This is a high-quality probiotic supplement that will keep your gut healthy.
I’m also big on taking ancient herbs and spices – the stuff that your ancestors used as medicine way before modern medicine came into existence. So, I personally like to get a big bag of raw organic turmeric (Amazon), sprinkle a tablespoon over 3-4 organic eggs, and then add some black pepper on top (black pepper contains bioperine, which helps your body absorb all of turmeric’s health benefits).
However, some people prefer to take turmeric in capsule form. To those people, I recommend using Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95 (Amazon), which is a concentrated form of turmeric (high-potency).
Note: If you take ADHD medication like Vyvanse or Adderall, make sure to take your multivitamin in the evening. Multivitamins contain b-vitamins which can interfere with your ADHD medication. So, I like to take my multivitamin a few hours before bedtime.
ADHD Rule 7. Use the ADHD medication that works best for you
Some of the most popular ADHD medications include…
- Adderall XR
- Provigil (occasionally prescribed off-label for ADHD)
- Wellbutrin (prescribed off-label for ADHD)
I’ve tried 5 of the above prescription ADHD medications, and I like Vyvanse the most. I currently take Vyvanse because it gives me the smoothest focus during the day along with the most manageable side effects.
Adderall and Adderall XR are effective as well, but they’re too ‘edgy’ for my sensitive system. I get annoyed way too easily when I take Adderall.
Provigil is unbelievably effective, but I couldn’t sleep at all while taking the drug. I’m not exaggerating. Your results may differ.
I don’t hear much about Ritalin being prescribed anymore. It used to be popular, I think. But, there are probably better ADHD treatment options out there.
My roommate was prescribed Concerta, and he was a sharp, funny, and an all-around great guy (law school student). That’s the only experience that I have with Concerta.
I’ve never tried Strattera or Wellbutrin, but I know that they’re two of the most popular non-stimulant ADHD medications.
ADHD Rule 8. ADHD is a gift or a curse (it’s up to you to decide)
Plenty of people with ADHD want to spend countless hours arguing about whether ADHD is a ‘gift’ or not.
When, the reality is that it doesn’t really matter whether ADHD is a gift or a curse.
Because if you have ADHD, the bottom line is that you must learn how to make the most of living with a life-altering medical condition.
What other option do you have?
Trust me, I know first-hand that ADHD is a tough condition to manage. Your ADHD brain isn’t a good match for modern society. You embarrass yourself in public often. You quit jobs. People think you’re weird. I get it. I’ve been through these problems many times over, and I recognize the very real struggle of trying to ‘make it’ in modern society with ADHD.
But, you can choose to complain about the negative aspects of ADHD, or make the most of what you’ve got.
If ADHD is a major problem in your life, that means you probably aren’t suffering from dire hunger, Lou Gehrig’s disease, cancer, severe poverty, imprisonment, or thousands of other terrible scenarios.
The hand that you were dealt in life is far from being the worst.
ADHD is ultimately what you make of it. It can be a gift, or a curse.
ADHD Rule 9. Get out of your head
ADHD doesn’t cause anxiety, but it’s common for people with ADHD to suffer from anxiety.
If you feel like you’re stuck in your own head, this is an anxiety-related symptom that can really hurt your quality of life.
Getting out of your head is by far the most difficult symptom of ADHD that I’ve had to deal with. To be perfectly honestly, it’s a daily battle that you constantly have to be mindful of.
But, the good news is that getting out of your head is 100% doable.
Getting out of your own head is a mental and physical process.
First, you have to internalize the belief that you’re ‘good enough’. Believing that you’re ‘good enough’ means that you can do whatever you want to do in life without having to worry about what other people think of you. It’s a powerful mantra to remind yourself of daily.
Secondly, you have to take more action. The process of taking constant action leaves you very little time to think and get stuck in your own head. You need to get busy working on anything to get out of your own head. Actively engage your mind with something. Do push-ups if you have to. Jump around. Just get moving now!
This type of mindset will help you stay present to the moment, and out of your head.
ADHD Rule 10. Persistence beats intelligence
One of the biggest advantages of ADHD is having the ability to become obsessed about something that you’re interested in.
This is a major benefit of having ADHD that most people really don’t talk about.
Your persistence at a certain hobby, business, sport, art form, strength, or passion can lead to earning a side income, escaping a job that you dislike, or even just helping other people.
Find out what you can become persistent about, and turn it into your mission.
Your persistence will always beat ‘intelligence’ in the end.
Because at the end of the day, having the ability to channel your energy with persistence and focus is a massive part of achieving success.
ADHD Rule 11. Eliminate energy vampires from your life
Energy vampires are people who want to take energy from you without giving back anything in return.
These people are unbelievably self-centered and downright evil in many cases.
You probably have a friend, family member, co-worker, lover, or someone else in your life who wants to waste your energy right now.
It’s your job to not let this happen. Cut energy vampires out of your life immediately. Or, you’ll have to live with some real regrets.
Your time and energy are your greatest assets. And, they’re already scarce as it is. On top of this, ADHD makes it especially hard for you to manage your time and energy properly, as you’re naturally inclined to waste both.
You, as someone with ADHD, needs to be extra-careful not to let energy vampires creep into your life.
ADHD Rule 12. Your first few hours of the day are crucial
Your first few hours of the day will dictate how your entire day will go.
If you wake up and immediately check your emails, watch TV, or read gossip on Facebook, you’ll set a negative outlook for your entire day.
Because, if you hope to be productive and accomplish awesome things throughout the day, you can’t start your day on a low note.
Instead, as soon as you wake up, you should thank God (or the universe) that you’re alive. The fact that you’re living in a Western nation with access to great medicine and doctors is amazing. Make sure to appreciate this luxury.
Then, eat some eggs on multi-grain bread, brew a pot of coffee, do some morning stretches, shower, and get dressed.
That’s how you launch into your first few hours of the day with positive momentum, and create a successful outlook for the rest of your day.
ADHD Rule 13. Be social
Most people with ADHD are introverts who want to be left to do their own thing. This isn’t always the case, but it usually is.
You probably spend a lot of time thinking about stuff, taking care of your own needs, working, and just generally trying to get by in life. I realize that this leaves very little time for socializing.
But, here’s the thing:
You have to make time to be social, or your life will suffer in big ways.
I’ve always found that spending time with positive people who like to joke around, have fun, and not gossip actually gives you more energy in life.
Socializing with the right people is amazing for managing your ADHD symptoms.
If you don’t have good friends, that’s okay. I know where you can look:
Comedy clubs, fitness classes, gyms, health and wellness seminars, local events, recreational sports leagues, music festivals, etc.
These are all excellent places to connect with positive people who are trying to enjoy high-quality experiences in life.
Going out to bars and nightclubs can be a lot of fun too, but it’s harder to find quality people at these sorts of venues.
Just know that wherever you go, most people would love to talk to you. But, most people are also scared of approaching others and making the ‘first move’.
So, it’s up to you to take the initiative to approach others wherever you go, talk with people, and be a social human being. It’s in your nature. You have to do it.
ADHD Rule 14. Take care of yourself first
You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.
By taking care of yourself first, you will actually put yourself in a position to help other people more.
Pay special attention to your own needs, and treat yourself like a trusted friend. Especially with ADHD, you have to dedicate extra attention to your needs.
You need good food, love, fitness, nutrients, emotional health, and a mission or central focus in life.
Dedicate the first hour or two of your day to taking care of yourself first, and you’ll set the right trajectory for moving forward in life.
ADHD Rule 15. Always have fun
While ADHD is a serious condition, it’s good to remember not to take yourself so seriously.
Your time on this planet is limited, so it’s important to make sure that you’re regularly setting aside time to have fun and create new memories – regardless of your situation in life.
I like to schedule some kind of adventure or trip at least once a month, if not more often. I realize that most people say they don’t ‘have the time’ to have fun. But, that’s truly just an excuse. You have to make time to have fun, or life will pass you by and leave you with regrets.
You can have it all.
So, always have fun with life.
ADHD Tips and Rules for Life Conclusion
These 15 ADHD tips are some of the most important rules that I live by.
I hope you decide to apply at least one or two of these ADHD tips to your own life today, and immediately start to enjoy a higher quality of life with ADHD.
Results can happen quickly if you decide to take action right now.
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