emotional regulation

ADHD and Emotions: Feel Your Way Forward

Day 17: Feelings

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“ Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way. “ -Mavis Mazhura

Emotional Regulation can be challenging when you have ADHD tendencies.

You can have a tendency to feel strongly. It can be difficult to manage your emotions. Today I want to talk about how you can feel your way forward, rather than staying stuck.

You can take back the reigns when it comes to your feelings and practice managing them. It’s a skill.

The past two days I’ve been focused on the 5 step tool that I use with my clients that’s called The Model. It’s a framework that’s based on universal truths and was created by Brooke Castillo.

There’s an acronym to help you remember it. C-T-F-A-R. Each letter represents one of the 5 steps in order.

Step 1 is Circumstances. If you didn’t read the post that talked about how we define circumstances for purposes of using the model hop on over to that post here.

Step 2 is Thoughts. We looked at how a thought is just a sentence in our brain. You can read more about that here.

Today we’re going to focus on Step 3, which is Feelings. When we’re using The Model, we’re going to describe a feeling as a one word emotion that you can feel in your body.

Some examples of common feelings are happy, sad, excited, nervous, overwhelmed, distracted, or confused.

There are thousands of feelings available to us.

When we think a thought, it generates a feeling in our body.

For example, the thought “she shouldn’t talk to me like that” can generate the feeling of anger. For others it may generate the feeling of sad. For still others it may create the feeling confused.

What we think about something creates how we feel.

Growing up we often learn that other people cause us to feel upset. That other people can hurt our feelings. It’s just not true.

Here’s an example, someone can say something about us and we will have no idea it was said, and we will not feel any kind of way about it.

Once we find out we feel hurt, or mad or disappointed, and we tend to think it’s because of what they said. Because what they said was hurtful.

If that were true, we would feel hurt the moment it came out of their mouth. The actual act of someone talking about us doesn’t make us feel bad.

It’s the thoughts that we think once we find out that something was said, that make us feel bad.

Thoughts like:

  • “That’s not very nice.”

  • “They shouldn’t say things like that.”

  • “I would never say that.”

  • “That’s the rudest thing I ever heard.”

  • “I thought they were my friend.”

These thoughts (and others) then generate our feelings.

The good news here is that if you are creating the feelings, that means you can also stop creating them.

This gives you 100% license over your emotional life. When we allow ourselves to believe that our emotions are caused by others actions or words, it’s such a disempowering place to be.

Why? Because it takes things completely out of our hands!

When we take full responsibility for how we feel, we are operating from a place of what’s called Emotional Adulthood. When we believe that others are causing our feelings, we’re operating from a place of emotional childhood.

Where in your life are you giving your personal power away to others? Where do you feel at the mercy of what someone else says?

When we feel a negative emotion, we’re likely to get a negative result. When we feel a positive emotion, we’re likely to get a positive result.

The first step is just to become aware of what it is that we’re feeling and why.

~Shaun

If you’ve been thinking about booking a free consultation and haven’t yet, let’s do it. Learn how to stop the feelings of overwhelm, procrastination, bored, unfocused and generate more useful feelings for yourself. It’s not easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Other People's Opinions: When Praise Makes You Soar and Criticism Makes You Cry

Day 7: Opinions

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What is it about other people’s opinions of us that can have us all up in our heads or coddling our hearts?

There’s a part of us that believes them.

We don’t have rock solid beliefs about ourselves and so when someone else, especially someone we admire shares their beliefs about us we pay attention and give it more weight then it’s worth.

We latch on to what they say. We make it mean something really really good about us or really really bad about us.

When they rave about how amazing we are, it feels good because for a minute we believe we are amazing.

When they criticize us and tear us down, it feels awful because we believe them. Some part of us believes that what they’re saying must be true.

What if we decided to believe what we want to believe about ourselves?

What if we decided to believe that we are amazing no matter what?

Here’s three things to keep in mind about other people’s opinions of you:

1) They are never really about you. They are about the person sharing the opinion. They have all sorts of thoughts about you. So will the next person. And the next person. Guess what? Those opinions will vary. People like what they like for their own reasons. It has nothing to do with you. You may remind them of someone that they don’t like. You may remind them of someone that they love dearly and miss. Really, it’s not about you.

2) Their opinions of you are none of your business. When you’re busy being you, you won’t have the time or desire to try and figure out what someone else is thinking about you. Why spend time trying to guess what’s in their brain? There’s no reason to want to know their opinion about you because they’re allowed to have their own thoughts. They have the right to think whatever they want to think about you. This is a beautiful thing! It means you get to form your own opinions as well. Just because!

3) Let them be wrong about you. It’s ok for others to be wrong about you. If you’re not believing their story about you, over your story about you, there’s not a problem. The problem begins when you believe what they think more then what you think. If their opinion is bothering you, ask yourself why? Is it because you agree with them? Embrace it if so. Why resist something that has some truth in it?

Sensitivity Tuning Dial

Day 3: Sensitivity

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Most of the time I consider my sensitivity to be my super power.

It’s something that I was born with.

I care deeply. I feel deeply.

As a child I remember with my close friendships, the closeness I felt was all encompassing. I was either having the best time ever playing with a friend, or I was crushed because they were upset with me.

As I look at how it serves me today, I believe that it makes me an amazing coach. I care deeply about my clients. I spend time outside of our sessions considering how to coach in a way that will be most helpful for them.

I show up for my friends and family because I care.

I have a deep appreciation for nature and animals because of my sensitivity.

High quality doesn’t miss me. I appreciate quality time spent, nice quality fabrics, good quality food. I believe my sensitivity is a part of the reason why. I am sensitive to quality. I notice it.

With all this good there for sure come some challenges.

I can’t watch a scary movie with my family if I tried. Too intense.

I hate the feeling of conflict. It is an almost instant physical reaction for me. I know it’s necessary and even helpful, but I have to work really hard at not reacting to things as a way to prevent conflict. (Hello fellow #peoplepleasers of the world!)

Because of being sensitive to conflict, I tend to avoid having tough conversations. Or I sensor myself before speaking because it feels like I can unknowingly and unmeaningly (is that a word?) make people close to me upset.

It can be an exhausting way to live. I’m working on it. I’m working on being ok with me being me, and allowing others to react however they want to without thinking I should have, could have said something differently so they could feel better.

I’m sensitive to loud, unexpected noises.

I’m sensitive to clothing. Especially the tags! I tend to tear them out.

What I’ve been practicing is turning my sensitivity dial up and down.

When I want more sensitivity, really focusing on creating more by thinking thoughts like.

“I want to give them 100% of my attention.”

“All that matters right now is being present.”

“I wonder what they’re thinking.”

“What if there was nothing to defend?” (when I feel defensive).

When I want to be a little less sensitive in a situation, I’m practicing dialing down my sensitivity and speaking up. Thinking things like,

“I get to choose how I want to feel about this.”

“How do I want to show up right now?”

“Speak up and stop sugar coating the truth.”

I’m also going to start picturing a giant sensitivity dial in my mind that I can tune to the exact setting that I’d like it to be at in any given circumstance.

In my mind, it’s a type of muscle, or skill really, that I can build up.

Do you consider yourself a highly sensitive person (HSP)? How does it show up for you? Reply in the comments. ~

~Shaun