Showing posts with label Attention Span. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attention Span. Show all posts

18 May 2017

5 Practical Ways to Pray When You Can't Focus

I cannot think of anything more difficult for my ADHD brain then the sustained mental focus sometimes required to pray. The good news is prayer comes in many forms and these 5 strategies are sure to help you engage in meaningful prayer - whether you have an attention disorder or not! 
Here are some of my tried and true methods for conversing with God even when I am completely out of focus.

Walk and Talk

Two Years ago I was struck with this crazy inspiration to get my butt outside to pray the Rosary.  Uncomfortable walking the streets alone, I decided to encircle my home. This was made easy, in my mind anyway, because I live on a fork-in-the-road and have a driveway that connects the two streets.  I am only on grass when I traverse my backyard.  Around and around I go, praying the rosary, talking with God, the Blessed Mother, my Guardian Angel and whoever else in Heaven (or Purgatory) will listen.

The practice has become so much more than I ever anticipated it to be.  The exercise has helped me drop some weight. The lack of distractions (ie phone, computer, housework) has made for some of the most connected prayer times ever.  There have been more than a few explained "wow" moments involving passing cars, butterflies and even Mack Trucks!

Reconciled To You CWBN Blog Hop for the Rest of these Simple Prayer Tips ... All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

11 May 2017

5 Ways to Reduce Your ADHD Symptoms

In the early 2000s, when I first began to uncover my own ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from the World Wide Web (see below), with all my notes jotted along the margins. In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life.
Educate yourself

“Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You'll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.” (Hallowell & Ratey)

Nonfiction is my preferred reading. Ironically, the origins for this preference most likely comes from living with ADHD. When I start to read fiction, my mind wanders; sometimes it goes so far I either forget I am reading or I drift off.  Nonfiction has quantifiable details. It is interactive. I can grab my purple, pink or orange fine-tipped marker and underline facts and jot notes in the margins. Since I perceive it as interactive nonfiction can typically hold my attention fairly well. This is probably why this directive from Hallowell and Ratey to “educate myself,” turned into my becoming a full blown early childhood ADHD education expert. Once I started to read and research, I could not stop.  I devoured books, magazine articles and anything I could find on the budding Internet.  In addition, I found lectures and conferences to attend.  Then began giving workshops, presentations, and even a keynote address, on the subject.


“It is useful for you to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADD.”

My friend, Karen, is a nurse and the most organized person I know.  She is also a very selfless and loyal friend.  After this accountability partner idea had come up several times in my ADHD resources I know it was something I had to implement.  The advice often included a very strict warning to avoid asking spouses, parents or siblings to fulfill that role.  A trusted, honest friend, who also happened to have a medical background, seemed not only the most logical choice but also soon revealed to be an answer sent directly from heaven.

Our plan was simple...  READ MORE 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras
Quotes From 50 Tips for Managing ADHD by Hallowell and Ratey

19 Apr 2016

Whispers in the Pew, Part 5

Most paintings of the Last Supper show the Apostles shifting restlessly--just like our children at Mass!

How long is your child’s attention span?

Most research suggests that children’s attention spans relate to their age: how many years old are they? That’s the same number of minutes they can sustain interest in an activity.

Four-year-old children, for example, can pay attention for four minutes. Some studies claim attention spans extend up to two times the child’s age. In that case, under the right circumstances, our 4-year-old children can accomplish eight minutes of acceptable church behavior.

Depending on your parish, the eucharistic prayer occurs about 40 minutes into the celebration of Mass. Forty minutes of liturgy is FIVE TIMES those eight minutes we can expect from our little ones. And some of our children struggle with medical or behavioral challenges that make the basic eight-minute mark a miracle.

Read the rest at Praying with Grace!

God, Love and Clouds

Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10 , describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions,...