The Drug Free ADHD Toolkit (part 1 of 2)
How I manage ADHD without medication (the foundations)
🚨 Apply for 1:1 coaching with me and learn how to manage your ADHD without medication with The Drug Free ADHD Toolkit. To apply, click here.
On the 11th August 2016 I woke up in Manchester Royal Infirmary.
Two days before, I’d suffered five large seizures.
I remember nothing of those few days aside from a short conversation with the neurologist Dr. Stefan Schumacher.
He asked me if I drink coffee.
I told him I drink ten strong coffees per day. He then told me I’d accidentally blocked my brain from knowing it was exhausted.
A year later I get diagnosed ADHD.
The self-medication realisation
All of a sudden the caffeine made sense — I was self-medicating.
Caffeine, a relatively harmless substance, had the power to put me in hospital.
As a result, I made the decision that I would do everything in my power to manage ADHD without medication.
The birth of The Drug Free ADHD Toolkit
Over the next few years I learned, through trial and error, what would become The Drug Free ADHD Toolkit.
Here’s a brief overview of that Toolkit — a method I use daily to avoid medication.
This is how I turned my ADHD from a disorder into a benefit.
With the foundations in place, everything else becomes easier.
It’s easier to build habits.
It’s easier to plan.
It’s just easier period.
Once the foundations are in place, your ADHD can become something that is beneficial to your life.
This is a profound shift.
And one that you have control over, rather than relying on medication.
1) Cold exposure
In 2017, I saw a bloke swimming in a frozen lake and immediately had to learn more about him.
That bloke was Wim Hof.
I learned his backstory. That he’d developed The Wim Hof Method after his wife committed suicide.
I immediately inhaled all of his videos. I wanted to do what he could do — swim in an ice cold lake.
So I began to prepare myself.
Firstly with a cold shower — just 10 seconds after a hot shower.
Then I gradually built up to 5 minutes (with no hot at all).
After I achieved this, I took my first ice bath. It became instantly clear that ice baths improved my ADHD symptoms.
I’ve been taking cold showers, ice baths, and swimming in ice cold lakes ever since.
Research proves that cold exposure leads to boosted dopamine and norepinephrine, essential ingredients in the management of ADHD.
I soon discovered that certain breathing techniques can instantly change our state.
Taking us from:
Anxious to calm
Tired to awake
Scattered to focused
If you learn just one thing from this toolkit, let breathwork be it.
You hold the power to change the way you feel within you at all times. It doesn’t require a bottle, an exciting experience, or even a bathtub full of ice.
With the power of your breath you can access states of bliss, peace, and joy.
This is why breathwork is a foundational part of The Drug Free ADHD Toolkit.
Most people with ADHD find meditation excruciating.
At least until I explain to them that meditation is NOT about quieting the mind.
Meditation is not about forcing your mind to shut up — it really isn’t.
Meditation is a state we reach when our awareness is no longer paying attention to the mind, the body, or other sensations.
Therefore the practice is meditation is the process for distracting our awareness away from our mind and onto some other object — the breath, a mantra, a candle, etc.
Once our awareness is distracted away from the mind, the voice in our head starts to get quieter — naturally (not by force).
This is why I teach people, via my coaching sessions, to focus on the sound “AYAM” because it distracts our awareness away from our thoughts rather than forcing our thoughts to be quiet — which is impossible and anyone telling you otherwise is telling porkies.
It really is a shame most people with ADHD believe they can’t meditate. Because meditation is the way out of ADHD being a problem.
When you’ve meditated for long enough, you start to realise that your thoughts are separate from you and that means you can ignore them — this is a game changer.
Part 2 coming next week.
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