If you’re living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you likely know a thing or two about overthinking. Finding yourself tortured by sleepless nights or stuck in analysis paralysis. Wishing you could just shut your brain off, stop going over and over the project at work, and combat all of those “what if” questions that pollute your mind. And it’s not just at night. It’s at work, at home, and with friends…it just seems like is a fight between the rational part of your brain and the emotional part of your brain.
You want to learn to just “be.” Instead of being five steps ahead or stuck thinking about yesterday’s mistakes. You want to overcome overthinking.
You wonder: is this anxiety, ADHD, or another mixed bag of emotions? The answer is all of the above. And the actionable steps to calming your mind might be easier than you think.
ADHD and Overthinking
The ADHD brain is fast. Real fast. So fast it gets caught in thinking loops faster than the non-ADHD brain. Think of a road with quadruple the on-ramps to the highway.
The ADHD brain also gets easily consumed. This means ADHD and overthinking kind of go hand in hand. The ADHD brain grasps hold of your thoughts and runs away with them, while emotions keep the engine running. Thinking of a project due tomorrow turns into worrying about a project due tomorrow, which turns into reviewing everything wrong you’ve ever done…ever. Sound familiar?
Sometimes those racing thoughts feel bigger than ADHD and overthinking. ADHD and anxiety often go hand in hand. In fact, 50% of adults with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. Of course, they do! It’s stressful feeling overwhelmed by simple tasks or in shock when tasks are forgotten. Feeling like you can’t trust yourself leads to analysis paralysis and overthinking every decision you make. So it makes sense that you’d be left feeling anxious and frozen.
Anxiety is a brained-based response to chronic stress or a trigger for fear. Once the stress hormones are triggered, the brain’s amygdala, or “warning system,” goes off and shuts down logical thought. So when you feel like it’s a battle between the rational and emotional sides of your brain…it is. Literally.
ADHD and Shame
The underbelly of anxiety is shame. For people with ADHD, shame comes from the failure to meet others’ expectations. Chronic shame comes from a lifetime of dealing with an overly critical world that feels built for someone else. The shame is deep. It means feeling bad, not for something you’ve done, but for who you are. It triggers the mind to get into its time machine and go backward and review a history of mistakes.
Three Ways to Overcome ADHD and Overthinking
1. Know your triggers.
It’s likely your “overthinking moments” have a common theme. Is it when you think you haven’t done a good job at work? Is it with your kids, when you’re trying to decide whether to go to the park or the movies? Is it when you speak with one of your parents? Finding the trigger can lead to understanding the “why” underneath your overthinking.
2. Take action.
Taking action, however small, can help alleviate overthinking. Worried about how long it’s been since you’ve engaged with a hobby? Engage with your hobby. Worried about finances? Call that financial planner you’ve been thinking about. Small actions aren’t as big as they feel, but the relief they offer is larger than expected.
3. Practice mindfulness.
One of the best cures for overthinking is building the ability to ground yourself in the here and now. Notice the colors in the room or notice your breathing. You can even get mindfulness or meditation apps on your phone. Whatever you choose, grounding yourself to the present helps shift your focus from worryland to reality.
Getting Outside Help For Adult ADHD and Anxiety in Columbus, OH
You might be thinking that you overthink more than a blog can help manage. Overthinking can be paralyzing. It can stop you from moving forward with life. In that event, it would likely be beneficial to find a caring ADHD specialist to help you with relief from worry, shame, and racing thoughts. We offer support from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice. It’s time to manage ADHD and overthinking. Life is too short to spend so much time feeling frozen and overwhelmed. Just imagine what you could do with that time instead.
To start feeling freer, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation
- Meet with an adult ADHD specialist
- Tame your busy mind. Live life to the fullest!
Other Adult ADHD Services offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
If you’d like more help overcoming overthinking, a Columbus ADHD specialist can help. ADHD treatment for anxiety can help you manage racing thoughts. Because ADHD impacts people in different ways, our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice offers a variety of services including adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our Columbus therapists.