Master Feeling Intense Emotions in Three Reliable Ways with ADHD
We’re living in a world of constant flux, financial strain, health concerns, and consistently changing information. Life is chaotic, especially when you live with ADHD where it can be tough to regulate your emotions in stressful situations.
Many adults and kids with ADHD feel their emotions more intensely than others and struggle with calming their impulses and being flexible, particularly when change occurs.
Here are three reliable ways to master feeling intense emotions when you live with ADHD.
Listen and Acknowledge
• When the situation calms down, offer to talk about what happened. Offer a different way of dealing with the feeling. “I see you were really disappointed you didn’t make the team.” You worked hard, and it shows you really like soccer and playing is important to you.”
• Use open-ended questions, such as those beginning with “what." “I can tell you really like soccer. What else can you do so you can play?” Give them space if they’re not ready to take the next step.
• This same approach works with adults in a conflict. Rather than defending yourself, listening and acknowledging the feeling can help your loved one to feel heard. “I can understand how you’re feeling let down that I couldn’t be there for your presentation.” Then, stop without defending what happened and why.
Replace Fear-Based Communication with Choices
• Use I-statements to make choices for yourself. Rather than “You’re making me crazy…” Try, “I’m going to take a break…”
• Stop “should-ing” on yourself. Choose what you can do and make the decision. Rather than “I should cook dinner,” you could tell yourself, “I could cook dinner now, but I have some work I want to do first.”
• Realize you can’t “make” your loved ones behave the way you want them to. “When we ask, ‘How can I make them listen….,’ it’s a sign that we’re looking for a control strategy.” – Becky A. Baily (Becky Baily, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline).
• When you are making choices for yourselves, you become better at empowering your kids/partners and others to make choices, take ownership, and be accountable for their choices.
• Recognize others for their choices. For example, you notice your child has trash all over his room: “Feel free to grab some garbage bags to clean out your room now or after school.” Then, acknowledge their choice. “I can see you found out a way to get your room cleaned up.”
Focus on What You Want
When you emphasize what’s missing, you get in the way of creating change. When you focus on the outcomes you want, you create opportunities for transformation.
In a moment of chaos, this isn’t easy to do, especially when you can’t seem to let go of what’s frustrating you. You may have a tendency to ‘hyperfocus’ on what’s dragging you down, rather than zeroing in on what you want.
• Discuss what you want. If your partner is late coming home, instead of arguing back and forth about the lateness and what happened, discuss what you want to happen. Notice any differences in the tone of your exchange.
• Ask yourself if there is another way of looking at the situation. When a conflict happens, or someone does something that pushes your buttons, rather than letting them take your power away you can ask yourself if perhaps that person made a mistake or error in judgment. This can help you zero in on what you need and want rather than focusing on how disempowered you felt.
• Accept that this is a process. There are going to be conflicts and when we are at odds in a situation, consider it a learning opportunity.
• Listen and Acknowledge
• Replace Fear-Based Communication with Choices
• Focus on What You Want
Try these and let me know how they go for you!
PS. Need more assistance with making mastering feeling emotions and staying committed to your choices?
Contact me for an ADHD Strategy Assessment and we can talk about some realistic steps for you now!
Transforming Parents Lives®