For people with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), using positive thinking to overcome frustration can be a challenge. But there are ways to turn everyday difficulties around, develop a more positive attitude, and take control of your life.
Positive thinking and Attention Deficit Disorder do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Many people with ADD develop negative thinking patterns. They become frustrated by daily challenges and often feel overwhelmed. This negative outlook makes it even harder to manage those challenges and move forward.
Practicing positive thinking allows people with ADD to focus on strengths and accomplishments, which naturally increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows them to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and helpless.
The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:
Take Good Care of Yourself
It’s much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. When your body sends signals that it is fulfilled, your mind will surely follow.
Accentuate the Positive
Remind yourself of all the things you have to be grateful for. If you are focused on the things that are right in your life, then the stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad. Taking just sixty seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference.
Sometimes the fear of not being liked or accepted can lead us to assume that we know what others are thinking. These fears are usually false. If you worry that a friend or family member’s bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you behind your back, speak up and ask them. Don’t waste your valuable time worrying that you did something wrong, unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
Try to refrain from thinking and speaking in absolutes. Have you confronted a partner with “You’re ALWAYS late” or complained to a friend “You NEVER call me”? When you think and speak in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’, you can actually make the situation seem worse than it is. Acting in such a way can program your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering what you expect from them.
Let Go of Negative Thoughts
Don’t let your thoughts hold power over you. If you feel negative thoughts or opinions taking over, take a moment to detach from the thought, witness it, and let it go. Don’t follow it, and don’t let it follow you.
Squash the “ANTs”
In his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen addresses “ANTs” — Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are negative thoughts that are usually reactionary. For example, if you see a group of people laughing and automatically think that they’re laughing at you, that is an ANT. If your supervisor calls a meeting and you react by thinking it must be bad news, that too is an ANT. Squash those thoughts as soon as you notice them.
Lovin’, Touchin’ & Squeezin’
You don’t need to be an expert to be able to realize the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones and pets is a proven instant pick-me-up. Touching can also evoke warmer emotions from the people you contact. In one research study, a waitress touched some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. The waitress received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn’t touch!
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people whenever possible. Their positive energy will have a positive effect on you.
Everyone feels good when they volunteer for a worthy cause, or help another person. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your talents. The more positive energy you put unto the world, the more you will receive in return.
Use Pattern Interrupts
If you find yourself moping or ruminating, you can force yourself to stop by interrupting the pattern and doing something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focusing on something negative. This excessive worry is not rational, solution oriented or productive. If you find yourself in a rumination rut, try changing your physical environment. Go for a walk, or sit outside. Try a creative activity, listen to some music, pick up a book or call a friend.
By taking steps and making adjustments to your day-to-day outlook, it is possible to combat negativity with positive thinking. For people with Attention Deficit Disorder, this exercise is crucial, especially in the corporate world where protocol is everything.