By Adam Eyal
If you suffer from ADHD, you might have used a trampoline as a form of therapy as a child, but did you know that it can be just as effective a management tool when you reach adulthood?
Through a mixture of coping strategies and trying to fit into social expectations, most children learn to manage their ADHD by adulthood. However, that isn’t always the case, making life very difficult for those who still struggle.
The best ADHD management tools are those which can fit seamlessly into everyday life. Many households already have a quality trampoline to keep families entertained, so take advantage of this already-existing feature to help you have fun and manage your ADHD at the same time.
- Get fit
It’s no secret that trampolining will improve your overall fitness. From toning muscles to boosting your cardiovascular system, spending an afternoon rebounding or jumping on a trampoline is an excellent way to boost your health.
However, the physical benefits that come from jumping on a trampoline can do more for you than just make you look and feel good.
If you suffer from ADHD as an adult, you will know that thinking clearly can be a struggle. That’s because your brain has less dopamine, which is exactly what is necessary for clear thinking.
Regular exercise – such as jumping on a trampoline – encourages your brain to produce more dopamine, improving brain function. Add in the facts that exercise can ease stress, improve memory and release mood-boosting hormones, and it becomes clear that using a trampoline can have a positive impact on many areas of ADHD life.
- Beat mental health problems
While you’re dealing with your ADHD, don’t forget that around half of all adults who suffer from ADHD also have an anxiety disorder, which can be debilitating.
Dealing with just one of these conditions is a challenge, but with two together it can seem like a never-ending circle. Key to managing your ADHD is to tackle anxiety and any other mental health problems first.
It’s well known that exercise is one of the best treatments for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. This is because exercise reduces the body’s levels of cortisol – the main culprit when it comes to anxiety. Increased activity levels and extra endorphins are just some of the other results of jumping on a trampoline which can prove useful in battling mental ill health.
While some of these features might help you to manage your ADHD in themselves, getting on top of your anxiety will clear your brain of some of the confusion, letting you think more clearly, concentrate harder and regulate your mood more effectively.
- Boost your confidence
Many children who suffer from ADHD encounter feelings of inferiority when compared to their classmates. So much focus is placed on quick thinking and mental agility in schools that often, children with ADHD are left feeling like they’re doomed to fail.
Sadly, this is a feeling that can continue long into adulthood.
Bouncing on a trampoline can act as a highly effective tool for boosting confidence and feelings of self-worth.
It has been shown that exercise can reduce learned helplessness – in other words, something that you feel helpless about even if it’s actually a strength.
As such, the more exercise you get from jumping on a trampoline, the more you’ll realize that you can do it, so the more confident you’ll feel in your ability.
Once you start to feel confident in yourself and realize your own strengths, this will overflow into other areas of life. Improving your outlook on life is one of the hardest aspects of ADHD to overcome, but once you’ve mastered a high jump or a complicated trick, you’ll feel more confident and able to nurture your skills at work, in social situations and in other areas of life, too.
- Enjoy the social interaction
Often, adults with ADHD struggle with social interaction because it’s difficult to concentrate during in-depth conversations.
A trampoline is a fun way to improve your social skills without any pressure to behave in a certain way.
Get the whole family involved. Invite the kids to jump with you (as long as your trampoline is strong enough to take the weight) and just let loose.
Feelings of isolation are common among adults with ADD and ADHD, so spending an afternoon on the trampoline is a great way to combat this. It doesn’t require any serious communication: it’s just a way to be yourself and spend time in the company of the ones you love.
Choosing an enjoyable activity that you can return to year after year is the best way to manage your ADHD in the long-term. Kids never really grow out of the excitement that they get from jumping on a trampoline, so make the most of this by joining them right throughout their childhoods as they grow up. Even if you don’t have kids, get in some beer, put some meat on the grill, and invite a few friends round… then encourage them to revisit their inner kids by having a turn on the trampoline.
Manage your ADHD by using trampolining to remind yourself that you are not alone, and that you can have a great time interacting with others of all ages.
Adam Eyal is a content crafter at fringepursuits.com, where he covers extreme sports from paddle boarding to mountain climbing.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”