For people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsivity is a challenging symptom they have to face. The behavior can manifest in different ways for adults with ADHD. It can range from seemingly harmless repetitive behavior to more self-harming coping mechanisms.
For example, impulsivity might cause an individual to talk out of turn or interrupt conversations. They might hop from one distraction to another in a minute. They might engage in other harmful behaviors, such as drug use or multiple casual sexual encounters.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways adults with ADHD can learn to manage their impulsive behaviors. Ultimately, receiving treatment or dialectical behavior therapy from a local practice is the most effective way to address ADHD. In addition to this, other strategies can help.
Sharpen your self-awareness by practicing mindfulness. Pay close attention to the present moment and observe your surroundings without any judgment. Focus on your emotions, thoughts, and urges, along with how your body feels when you’re impulsive.
Initially, it’s a struggle since you might feel your impulsivity worsens. But with practice, you can immediately identify what triggers your impulsive acts.
Being mindful also offers opportunities for you to distance away from your urges. This way, you’re not driven by your impulses; you’re just observing them from afar, giving you more thought on how you should act.
For instance, when you notice an urge, give it a name in your head. Once you’ve named your triggers, practice mindful self-coaching.
Understand How Your Condition Function
No two ADHD cases are the same. For this reason, it’s essential to understand how ADHD affects your life. How does your impulsivity manifest? What are its consequences to you and your family?
To gain a better understanding of your symptoms and the skills needed to manage them, go online to read more about ADHD, seek professional advice, and attend support groups and conferences.
Make It Harder to Act Impulsively
If your impulsiveness leads to expensive shopping activities, leave your credit card or wallet behind. If you need to bring money, bring enough for what you need to buy. As for online shopping, refrain from checking out ASAP. Instead, put them hold and think about them for a day. Doing so gives you more time to decide whether you need them or just want them.
Do you experience blurting out unsolicited comments during meetings? Bring a notepad with you so you can write down your thoughts. Only mention them when it’s appropriate.
Engage in Calming Activities
Stress often triggers moments of impulsivity. Keep the stress from getting to you by relaxing yourself. Try guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, or listening to calming music. Participate in online yoga classes or just go somewhere that is peaceful and quiet.
Replace Your Behavior
Impulsive behaviors serve a purpose. They can help you cope with emotional pain. To address harmful impulsivity, find another healthier way of dealing. Consider the following alternatives:
- Write down your emotions
- Seek out a friend
- Meet with a support group
Managing impulsiveness due to ADHD proves a challenge. But gaining a better understanding of your impulsive tendencies gives you better control of your actions and your life.