Everyone gets stressed out at times, in fact, it is a daily occurrence. Most people can handle your typical stressors, such as an exam, late for work, or even spilling something on your shirt. BUT for someone who has adult ADHD and Mood issues, having a stain on your shirt could ruin the whole day. In fact, something like this happened to me this morning. I am always late, rushing around in the mornings before work, even though i have a routine i can never finish it properly because I’m already 15min behind from not waking up on time. Anyways, i spilled coffee on not only my new jacket but my shirt, bag, and lunch. yuck! I was all ready to just drop it all in a heap and crawl back to bed. When something gives me anxiety or stress or both lol, I react in either of 3 ways, I get wicked angry, yell, swear a little, maybe take it out on someone else, or I completely shut down, or if the moons are all in balance, pigs are flying, I react in a calm matter, pick myself up, and continue on with my day. I usually react with a mixture of silence, anger, and attitude. Recently though, I’ve been reading a few books on anxiety and stress, and found out some neat ways to deal with reactions to stress better. I know the angry attitude was not the way I wanted to react when things got stressful, especially when the stress cooker is turned al the way to extreme heat! In case you are still wondering about what happened to me, I got angry but not too much and just complained a lot. I got an email from RealAge, kind of like a partner with Dr. Oz. I don’t even remember signing up but regardless, the subject was how adults with ADHD deal with stress and how to manage it better. I read through the list and the usual was on there, eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, blah blah blah. I wanted something new or at least something I haven’t tried yet.
Number one on the RealAge tip list is, of course, get regular exercise. I was tempted to skip to the next one when I really thought about how active my lifestyle was earlier in my life. Being super active on sports teams, dance, and swimming, those times in my life were good, goal-oriented, and fun. Even when the pressure was on for a meet, show, or championship; I still felt good after a nice swim or rehearsal. I felt like I was able to kick out the stress mumble jumbo in my mind by exercising. weird, but it worked. Now to just get motivated again…
Next tip was relaxation exercises, such a breathing, relaxing muscles one by one, and meditation. breathing was hard for me because i kept over thinking it. i was constantly wondering how i was doing the breathing instead of just listening to the inhale exhale, i was always making sure i had counted evenly enough, only then be distracted all over again. That one was not for me.
Relaxing muscles one by one, really helped a lot, but I can only do this exercise before bed because by the time I have relaxed every muscle head to foot I am asleep. So, if you have a racing, worried mind while you are trying to get some well-needed shut-eye this trick is for you. First, tense your whole body up, then from you toes to your head relax each body part muscle, very slowly, the slower the better. By the time you reach your head, you’ll be ready for sleep or already snoring!
Meditation is also good, but again for me this is more of a prayer time. It is really hard for me just to sit still and just breathe. I do meditate daily once in the morning at breakfast and at night before I go to bed. For me it helps me to connect with what’s going on in my life and tell it as if i am talking to a friend. This keeps me grounded and helps my mind not to blur the line of reality and what ifs.
The third tip is positive thinking and doing. Thinking your crap all the time will make you feel like crap, so do some positive journaling whether you use words, art, or music. Keep a thankful jar and every day write what you are grateful for.
Looking back on these especially during a low period can be a tremendous help in lowing your stress and anxiety. Caring for pets or others, helps you to feel wanted and needed. Volunteering is not only a boost for you but a major help to the organization or group you’re working with. I enjoy teaching kids at choir and Sunday school. Even though sometimes these things cause me stress, I don’t mind much because i am giving back and helping others.
So, there you have it a few things to combat poor reactions to stressful situations.
1. Exercise, 2. Breathing, 3. Relaxing Muscles, 4. Meditation or prayer, and 5. Positive actions and thoughts.
Give some of these tips a chance and over time, you will discover what works best for you.