ADHD

ADHD: Is Dopamine The Real Problem?

Day 27: The Problem

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ADHD…you think the problem is Dopamine…what if it’s not?

Don’t misunderstand me. When it comes to a formal diagnosis of ADHD, Dopamine, Seratonin and Norepinephrine are often involved. (And by the way I am NOT a medical professional. Should you wish to pursue an ADHD diagnosis, you should speak with your primary medical provider.)

But what I’m asking about is the part of ADHD that’s causing you the most pain. The part that’s giving you the most trouble. The symptoms that show up for you and how they make you feel about yourself.

If I were to ask you “why are adhd tendencies a problem for you?” You may say:

  • I just can’t make myself finish what I start.

  • I feel so disorganized.

  • It’s so hard for me to even get started.

  • Before I know it the day is gone.

  • I can’t find what I’m looking for.

  • I work hard and don’t seem to make any progress.

  • I can get so easily distracted or sidetracked.

  • Sometimes I just feel so bad I don’t want to even get out of bed and do anything.

  • I should want to be more involved.

  • I should be better at gettiing things done.

  • I’m horrible at managing my money.

The list goes on and on.

While Dopamine (and the other neurotransmitters) may be a part of what’s causing the problem.

The REAL problem is what you’re doing or not doing because of those neurotransmitters.

The REAL problem is what you’re making ADHD mean about you and your abilities.

The REAL problem is the shame that you feel and the boredom that you’re afraid to feel.

What I know for sure is that some of that, a lot of that, is actually within your control.

Say what?!

Yes, there is a percentage of ability that we all have to manage our brains better if we want to.

We have the capacity to use our brain as a tool instead of allowing it the freedom to work against us.

Come again?

Very often when we don’t manage our minds, whether we have adhd or not, our minds will work against us.

In an effort to keep us safe. This is true if you have adhd as well.

When you learn how to manage your mind effectively, your adhd symptoms will naturally be affected. They can be lessened.

You can experience your AHD in a new and improved way.

Learning to choose the way that you want to think about things will help you to better manage your feelings.

When you are actively managing your feelings, you will directly effect what you are doing (and not doing) in your day to day life.

Not sure? I’d love to jump on a consult with you so you can experience how it works.

ADHD and Feeling Stuck: 3 Reasons Why You're Not Moving Forward

Day 26: Feeling Stuck

When you have #ADHD tendencies your brain can tend to hold you in lock down.  There are some very good, albeit slightly annoying reasons for this.  I’m going to go over 3 of them below.   1) Sensory Overload    2) Safety    3) Black and White Thinking   Let’s take a closer look at each one.  Picture a power circuit board with relay switches running all throughout your house to provide electricity.  Let’s then imagine your home is running at max capacity. Generating electricity for all things. The a/c, the washer and dryer, the appliances, everything is plugged in and buzzing. (Not ideal, but just go with me.)  What would happen if your neighbor decided to then connect their entire house directly to your circuit breaker to power their home?  I’ll tell ya…Snap, Crackle, POP! Your power would go out and the whole switchboard would blow a fuse. It’d hit maximum capacity and overload.  This can happen to our brains.  We have so very much on our minds. All of the thoughts, and the things we need to do and want to do.  We’re bombarded with all types of “noise” day in and day out. Electrical frequencies surround us. We’re almost always “plugged in”, literally! To a phone, an iPad, a computer, a TV…  It can feel very difficult to carve out some time away from it all. Time to reset, recharge.  When we don’t take a step back we can hit “system overload.” It can freeze us in our tracks. We just mentally shut down.  Another reason we can feel stuck is that our brains want to keep us safe.  They are very efficient at sniffing out “danger”.  Back in prehistoric times, we would sense danger and our “life saving brain chemicals” would kick in to help us respond appropriately, and well, save our lives.  Nowadays, our sensors are a bit off. We’re not out in the jungle trying to avoid lions, but rather we’re out in the world trying to avoid the discomfort of failure. Same brain chemicals kick in, so our brain’s response is automatic and unnecessary.  “Save yourself! Hide!” It’s a bit of an overreaction that needs to be managed.  In comes black and white thinking. This tendency will have you believing that something either has to happen one way or another, you will not have the ability to consider all of the options in between.  You’re automatic response sounds something like “if I don’t get this done by tomorrow, it’s over.”  One option. One solution. When often what’s best for you is some unique approach. (Typically not the first method that comes to mind.)  There’s good news here, all 3 of these things are fixable.  You can reset by taking a brisk walk outside or spending an afternoon doing something you love. Disonnect and reconnect with nature.  You can use metacognition (the skill of thinking about what you’re thinking about) to decide if you want to be scared and yet still do the thing that feels hard.  You can step outside of black and white thinking by asking yourself positive questions such as “What would be the most fun way to ______? How can I work on my project and experience some joy today? What’s the most creative way to get this job done? How might I do this if I switched things up a bit?”  Are you someone that gets stuck easily? I’d love to hear what trips you up and keeps you from moving forward on a project? If you’d like to learn more about how coaching can help you get unstuck, book a free consultation below and let’s get you moving towards what it is that you really want.

When you have #ADHD tendencies your brain can tend to hold you in lock down.

There are some very good, albeit slightly annoying reasons for this.

I’m going to go over 3 of them below.

1) Sensory Overload

2) Safety

3) Black and White Thinking

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Picture a power circuit board with relay switches running all throughout your house to provide electricity.

Let’s then imagine your home is running at max capacity. Generating electricity for all things. The a/c, the washer and dryer, the appliances, everything is plugged in and buzzing. (Not ideal, but just go with me.)

What would happen if your neighbor decided to then connect their entire house directly to your circuit breaker to power their home?

I’ll tell ya…Snap, Crackle, POP! Your power would go out and the whole switchboard would blow a fuse. It’d hit maximum capacity and overload.

This can happen to our brains.

We have so very much on our minds. All of the thoughts, and the things we need to do and want to do.

We’re bombarded with all types of “noise” day in and day out. Electrical frequencies surround us. We’re almost always “plugged in”, literally! To a phone, an iPad, a computer, a TV…

It can feel very difficult to carve out some time away from it all. Time to reset, recharge.

When we don’t take a step back we can hit “system overload.” It can freeze us in our tracks. We just mentally shut down.

Another reason we can feel stuck is that our brains want to keep us safe.

They are very efficient at sniffing out “danger”.

Back in prehistoric times, we would sense danger and our “life saving brain chemicals” would kick in to help us respond appropriately, and well, save our lives.

Nowadays, our sensors are a bit off. We’re not out in the jungle trying to avoid lions, but rather we’re out in the world trying to avoid the discomfort of failure. Same brain chemicals kick in, so our brain’s response is automatic and unnecessary.

“Save yourself! Hide!” It’s a bit of an overreaction that needs to be managed.

In comes black and white thinking. This tendency will have you believing that something either has to happen one way or another, you will not have the ability to consider all of the options in between.

You’re automatic response sounds something like “if I don’t get this done by tomorrow, it’s over.”

One option. One solution. When often what’s best for you is some unique approach. (Typically not the first method that comes to mind.)

There’s good news here, all 3 of these things are fixable.

You can reset by taking a brisk walk outside or spending an afternoon doing something you love. Disonnect and reconnect with nature.

You can use metacognition (the skill of thinking about what you’re thinking about) to decide if you want to be scared and yet still do the thing that feels hard.

You can step outside of black and white thinking by asking yourself positive questions such as “What would be the most fun way to ______? How can I work on my project and experience some joy today? What’s the most creative way to get this job done? How might I do this if I switched things up a bit?”

Are you someone that gets stuck easily? I’d love to hear what trips you up and keeps you from moving forward on a project? If you’d like to learn more about how coaching can help you get unstuck, book a free consultation below and let’s get you moving towards what it is that you really want.

Wanting More When You Already Have Enough

Day 12: Wanting

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Life's pretty good, I really don't have much to complain about.

My husband and I were in Starbucks one morning not too long ago, and while waiting in line we started chatting with the people around us. We were all talking about how the design of the location had recently changed and it's not as "user friendly" as it used to be. 

The layout is not as nice as it used to be.

The chairs are not as comfy.

The line wiggles through the middle of the seating area.

It just feels less welcoming.

Then we realized it was 11:05am, and they throw out the Blonde roast at 11am!
Oh no! My hubby and another woman next to us both panicked. Now what?! They were both there for the Blonde.

I glanced down to notice that I had chipped a nail (they had been done like 3 days before) and a button had fallen off my coat.

In that moment I laughed out loud, shaking my head and said "first world problems"...as much for me as for anyone. Truly, I have nothing to complain about. Really.

I remember exactly 12 years ago, on 2/27/07 my mom passed away. It was a difficult time for me. She and I had some sweet conversations and during one of them she expressed just how much she wanted just even one more day to spend with us. One more day to spend time with her grandchildren. It was the hardest part of knowing that she was dying.

From that conversation, I decided whenever I was feeling sorry for myself or wanting to complain, I'd remind myself that "somebody somewhere was taking their last breath." It was a reminder to appreciate what I had, and to remind me that there was always someone going through something much worse. 

I was given the gift of ongoing gratitude.

Looking back over the past 12 years, there were definitely times that little reminder came in handy. Times when it really didn't serve me to stay down in the doldrums. 

BUT,

and this is a big but. I also believe that life doesn't have to be awful for you to want more out of it. 

I believe that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made, and sent here with a purpose. If we have things in life that are preventing us from becoming fully who we are meant to be, we owe it to ourselves to explore those things and move those obstacles out of the way.

We are given this one life and we get one chance at living it.

If fear, confusion, procrastination or something that you're not even clear about is holding you back, and preventing you from becoming who you want to be, or from accomplishing what you want to accomplish, it doesn't have to be that way.

I remember when I found my way to my first coach, my primary thought was "I don't know if I even know what a typical day feels like for most people. I want to talk to someone about that." 

I literally told my first coach "I don't even know why I'm here, I just want more."

It felt important. I just wanted some clarity.

I reached out to someone. Booked a free consultation and I've been doing the work on myself ever since.

What I love about that is that as I continue to grow, I'm able to help more and more people. 

By showing up for myself first, I'm able to show up for others.

There is nothing that I would ask of a client that I wouldn't ask of myself.

Wanting, what is it that you want just because you want it?

What are you missing out on by letting that slide by?