People living with ADHD are some of the most amazing humans on the planet. They are energetic, highly creative and inventive, and exceptionally sensitive and supportive, and hyperfocused. However, just like with any trait, good traits can become bad if we’re not careful as to how we use them. Sensitivity can help us be attentive to our needs and the needs of others. Hyperfocus helps us maintain concentration until a task is finished. Both things combine to help us create a brighter and better future. However, both of these things can have a negative impact when we become so focused on changing a situation that we cannot do anything else.
Whether you accept it or not, there is a simple truth in life: You can’t control many things that happen in your life, let alone that happen in the world.
Some refuse to accept this truth and often end up trying to micromanage situations and people. They continually try to bend the world and others around them to their will., thinking if only they can gain enough control, they can bring about the outcome they want. Some already know they can’t prevent challenges, but instead of recognizing this and moving forward in a healthy way, they constantly worry about the ‘bad things’ that could happen. They allow their worries to occupy every corner and crevice of their mind even though they know they can’t prevent them. But worrying doesn’t do any good.
Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create with these simple strategies.
- Figure out what you can control. When you feel the worry troll strike, take a mindful minute to figure out what, if any part of the situation, you can control. You can’t prevent a hurricane from coming, but you can prepare for it.
- Focus on your effect. You can affect people and situations, but you can’t force things to go your way. To have the most effect, focus on your behavior. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and don’t try to fix others.
- Fix your fears. What are afraid will happen if things don’t go the way you want? The worst-case scenario usually isn’t as tragic as you might envision and there’s a good chance you’re stronger than you think. Visualize yourself handling the worst-case scenario, ‘like a boss’ so you can focus your energy elsewhere. The mindfulness practice of visualization will help you channel your energy in more productive ways.
- Find the difference between brooding and problem-solving and Focus on problem-solving. Ask yourself whether your thinking is productive. Replaying conversations in your head isn’t helpful. But solving a problem is. If, however, you’re wasting your time brooding, change the channel in your brain. Recognize that brooding isn’t helpful and do something else for a few minutes to get your brain focused on something more productive.
- Form a plan to manage your stress. Functioning at your peak productivity means you have to make the time to manage your stress. Pay attention to your stress and observe your coping strategies. Reduce/eliminate unhealthy coping strategies like drinking, overeating, & complaining. Find/boost healthy stress relievers like meditation, exercise, spending time with people you care about, and being creative.
- Forecast healthy affirmations. Instead of saying to yourself “I hope I do OK today,” tell yourself “I’ve got this” or “Make it happen.” While you can’t control everything, remind yourself that while there are many things you can’t control, YOU are in control of your actions.
You can control where or how you spend your time, your reactions to situations, where your focus is in each moment, your forgiveness levels, and how you show up in the world.