But you don’t have to let stress rule your life just because you have ADHD. With some relaxation strategies at the ready, you’ll find that it’s possible to calm your mind and find relief. Here are some of the techniques and tips to try when you need to destress.
Strategy #1: Deep Breathing
You may have heard about deep breathing as a way to relieve stress. This method can be particularly helpful for people with ADHD because it helps balance the autonomic nervous system. This can result in feeling more relaxed, which is great for those moments when stress overwhelms you. In addition, these types of breathing exercises can help with improved attentiveness so you feel focused rather than rattled or scatterbrained.
Slow your breathing down to about five or six breaths a minute. As you do this, try to relax your muscles and focus solely on your breathing. Practice this technique once a day for about 10 to 20 minutes. This will help you respond more easily when stress does occur.
Strategy #2: Exercise
When you’re having a particularly stressful day, try to set aside some time to be active. Exercise can be incredibly effective for stress relief by increasing the serotonin levels in your brain. This can help to fight against increased cortisol levels, bringing feelings of relief and calm.
While any type of physical activity can help, studies have found that exercising for 30 to 45 minutes can help increase relaxation and boost your mood for 90 minutes to two hours. In addition, exercising when you’re not stressed can help by essentially raising your stress threshold.
Strategy #3: Journaling
If it feels like the thoughts bouncing around in your head are making you more stressed, let them out on paper by journaling. Many people with ADHD are able to find relief from stress when they unload their worries by writing them down.
You don’t need any special prompt or purpose to your journaling. Instead, just write down what you’re thinking about and express your feelings in writing. If that feels daunting, write about anything you want, whether it’s a story, a memory, or even lyrics from a favorite song. You can even just doodle if you don’t feel like writing.
If you’re struggling with stress and ADHD, you’re not alone. These techniques can help, but one of the most powerful ways to manage your ADHD and the stress that comes along with it is to have a good treatment plan in place. Contact Done to discuss your options with one of our ADHD clinical specialists.