Don’t be discouraged. If you are dogged by impulsivity, you already know that it is one of the hardest parts of ADHD to treat, but it is possible to tame it. Learn more about it with the help of Lynda Hoffman Life Coaching in Montreal.
First, it is important to recognize impulsivity. It has many faces.
IMPULSIVITY LOOKS LIKE:
- The mental exhaustion of having thousands of ideas firing at the same time. When they all seem equally important, it feels really stressful. “Which one comes first? Argh!” The impulse is just to act on any one in case something is forgotten.
- When your husband tells you that he is frustrated that you forgot – yet again – to show up for an appointment, and the impulse is to list all the good things you were doing instead. To defend. Yell a little louder just in case the point was not heard.
- The urge to interrupt your colleagues because you are so excited about your idea and you can’t wait to share it.
- Doing something other than what you should be doing just because something else feels more interesting in the moment.
- Rapid-fire talking, talking over people or never giving them a chance to add a comment.
- Spending more on an outfit because you feel you just need to have it right now.
Which one of these resonated for you? You may see all or just some of these in yourself. Regardless of which rang true for you, here are some tips for tackling the urges.
Tips for tackling the urges:
- Understand your type of impulsivity. It will help you conquer it. Once you know it well, you can begin to make different choices.
- Develop a mindfulness practice so you get to know what being present feels like. Being ‘in the moment’ helps you choose how to respond to a situation rather than react to it. Once you develop this habit, you can then use it to observe yourself during the day, “Am I on track?” “Am I too revved up?”
- Identify practices for calming your system. These will you support you in making conscious choices. Brain gym, breathing, and visualization are some techniques which work well.
- Reframe negative thoughts. Once you are more mindful, you will notice negative thoughts more often. This gives you the power to change them. “What’s the matter with me that I keep interrupting my team?” can become “Oh, that is that thing my brain does. Time to slow down.”
- Anticipate when you may be impulsive. If you notice that you interrupt your wife a lot during marriage counselling, bring a notepad to jot down your ideas. If you typically overspend once you leave the office, leave your credit card behind.
- Learn to surf the urge. It will pass if you give it time. When you notice the urge, see it in your mind’s eye as a wave in the ocean. Watch it crest, breathe through it, and watch it fall. Describe to yourself objectively what it feels like. This makes it less personal and easier to detach from. Then congratulate yourself for riding the wave!
Impulsivity may feel hard to control, but it does become easier to manage with practice. It does not have to rule your life.