Drug-free, natural solution for ADHD and well-being

November 3, 2015

For kids with ADHD, it's hard to concentrate and focus. For parents, it can be even harder to try to help. Fortunately, there's an easy, drug-free solution that also offers relationship-building time with your child.

Drug-free, natural solution for ADHD and well-being

This natural ADHD aid improves well-being and focus

  • Time spent in green outdoor settings increases well being and improves focus in children with ADHD, according to recent studies.
  • Connection with nature, conducted through hiking or swimming, sitting among the flowers and listening to the sounds of nature or gardening, serves as a natural treatment for ADHD.

These outdoor activities improve well-being and focus in the classroom. Studies have found this is true across all demographics; so let's look at the research.

Improved focus when spending time in natural settings

  • According to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studies conducted on children diagnosed with ADHD and green outdoor settings found that parents reported an improvement upon ADHD symptoms when children read, played sports, or performed other activities in a green outdoor setting, vs indoor or non-green outdoor settings. They defined green outdoor settings as city and state parks, gardens, arboretums, and other natural spaces.

One of these studies was conducted in environments which varied in the amount of greenery they offered.

  • Children with ADHD walked in either a quiet downtown area, a neighbourhood, or a park, and were tested in a controlled setting.
  • The greener the outdoor setting, the better the children functioned on tests for attentiveness.

Significantly reduced ADHD symptoms

  • Additionally, National Institutes of Health published a paper on a study whose results found that "in this national, non-probability sample, green outdoor activities reduced symptoms significantly more than did activities conducted in other settings, even when activities were matched across settings."
  • Findings were consistent across age, gender, and income groups; community types; geographic regions; and diagnoses.

Well-being and focus improved in non-ADHD samples too!

  • The paper also mentions other research which found that exposure to scenic views and green settings reduce symptoms of ADHD, such as impulsiveness and difficulty paying attention, in populations who were not diagnosed with ADHD.
  • This showcases a natural environment's tendency to improve well-being and focus, not just in patients with ADHD but others as well.

Ideas for natural green outdoor settings

If your loved one has been diagnosed with ADHD, try these green settings to offer them a connection with nature.

  • City parks
  • Urban gardens
  • Arboretums
  • State and national parks
  • Rivers, creeks and fishing holes
  • Building a garden in your own backyard
  • Meadows of flowers
  • Abandoned city lots filled with plants

A wonderful green outdoor setting to improve well-being and focus while getting in your cardio is on the trail, surrounded by trees and birdsong.

  • To improve focus, try observing the sounds of the forest and taking deep breaths.
  • Family, friends, and even the dog can participate, so that loved ones can support your child in achieving a lessening of ADHD symptoms, improved focus and increased well-being.
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