If you find that ADD symptoms get in the way of keeping track of things, finishing what you start, or meeting your responsibilities, chronic worry can be a result. Here are five natural ways to help you stop worrying – at least a little!
1. As a gift to yourself, take some time for planning every day. This can be in the morning or the evening, but find 15 minutes or so to become aware of your upcoming appointments, the things you want to do, and the things you need to do. What is coming up today? Or tomorrow? Or within the next few weeks? Relax before you look at your list or your planner by taking a few slow, deep breaths. This is a time just for you so you can feel grounded and worry less about forgetting something or not following through.
2. From your to-do list, no matter how big, pick no more than three things to accomplish each day. Even less is okay, as long as it gets done. When I suggest this to clients, they say, “But I have so much to do! That’s not enough.” Unfortunately, without this kind of a strategy, people can become paralyzed with their huge to do lists and end up doing nothing instead. You’ll be surprised how accomplishing a few things each day can add up. Before you know it, your list will shrink and you will have gotten a lot done. There will be less to worry about!
3. Develop the habit of relaxing your body, even for a minute, when you find yourself with anxious thoughts. Consciously relax your forehead, jaw, neck, shoulders, or any place in the body where you tend to hold tension. Shrug your shoulders and then drop them and let go. Do some shoulder or neck rolls. Take four or five slow deep breaths. If you find your breathing is shallow or in the chest, experiment with softening and slowing the breath. Try breathing more deeply from the belly.
4. Do something you enjoy so you can lose yourself and go with the flow. When people with ADD are doing something they enjoy, they don’t have to worry so much about paying attention. It happens naturally, so give yourself that break. We all need some time for mind and spirit stress relief.
5. If worrying is chronic and doesn’t help you in any way, try a mindful approach. Instead of letting your worries take you along for the ride and strengthening them by imagining all sorts of bad things that could happen, try to remove yourself a little from the thoughts. Label them as, “Just worrying,” and then move on to something else. Sometimes this approach can help remove you from the worrying thoughts and you will find they diminish. Don’t ignore the thoughts or try to change them in any way; just acknowledge them with the label. If you have to do this twenty times a week, a day, or a minute, that’s okay. And try to be kind and non-judging to yourself in the process. Remember that you are doing the best you can.