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People With ADHD
When I was first asked to write about the benefits of ADHD, I was taken aback for several moments. I watched someone near and dear to me struggle all of his life with the challenges that ADHD presents.
But after a while, I did reach the conclusion that there are some positive aspects of ADHD. People with ADHD have much to teach the rest of us.
Live in the Moment
While people who have ADHD often struggle with impulse control, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Often we are too polite and overthink everything. We forget to live in the present moment, instead focusing our energies on regrets and “what ifs.”
The present moment is the only time that we are guaranteed to have. Having goals is important, but we need to pay attention to each moment and live fully in it if we are to live well. By being aware of the present moment we will each be more grounded. We will pay better attention to how we live and our relationships with others.
Enjoy a Good Belly Laugh
While having poor impulse control can be troublesome at times, it can be a wonderful asset to laugh without fear of how we appear to others. Being less self-conscious is healthy, and laughter can lighten the mood, even when circumstances are challenging. When we can each be vulnerable and laugh at ourselves, we bond with those around us. Humor is great stress reliever, and is good for physical and mental health.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy for ADHD is to provide adults and children with strategies and skills to help cope with the symptoms of ADHD.
Let’s Be Honest
We can each learn to take ourselves less seriously and enjoy life more. Having less impulse control may also result in expressing ourselves more honestly; we don’t try so hard to be “politically correct” and we voice our true feelings. Our relationships become more authentic.
Take a Break
Sometimes people who have ADHD need time out to take a break. The same holds true for the rest of us. It can be helpful to take a break before we speak an unkind word. Taking a break can help us process our thoughts and come up with creative solutions to problems.
While taking any break is advantageous, taking a walk or run outside to burn off excess energy or clear our heads offers superior benefits. Getting outside is a great stress reliever. Studies prove that getting outside helps to lower blood pressure, feelings of aggression, pain, and anxiety. Exposure to nature increases feelings of connectedness, eases depression, and provides us with a dose of vitamin D.
People who have ADHD often struggle with distractibility. They function best in environments that aren’t cluttered or filled with unnecessary “stuff.” Most of us have too much stuff. We save money, leave a smaller imprint on the planet, and live better if we take a look at the stuff we own and consider whether or not we really need all of it. We may find that what we have would be better donated to a worthy organization. It is also important that we think carefully prior to adding more stuff to our lives and homes. In most cases what we already have is sufficient.
Cut Down on Noise Pollution
Having a quiet environment helps people who have ADHD concentrate better. The same holds true for the rest of us. Most of us are so used to background noise in our environments that we fail to even take notice of it. High levels of noise increase blood pressure, pulse and tension. Noise pollution is real. Keeping our environments quieter will not only help us to concentrate better, but we will also be more relaxed and healthier, and may be less distracted and have fewer accidents.
Learn From People Who Have ADHD and Live Better
The needs of people who have ADHD may be more pronounced than those of the rest of us, but we are all on the same continuum of life. What we all need to live well is the same. It is just a matter of degree of distractibility, impulsivity and attention span that make each of us unique. We can all benefit from less clutter, more laughter, simple living, honest relationships, and quieter environments. The only difference is a matter of degree.
As we adopt simpler, clutter free, honest lives we will all benefit. It is also the right thing to do that we are respectful to people who have ADHD or are simply more sensitive to clutter, noise, and other distractions. We will all live calmer, fuller lives if we implement these simple practices.