Stress & Anxiety

ADHD and the Power of Positive Thinking

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. It makes life with attention deficit disorder much easier.

The words "thinking negative" crossed out by someone diagnosed with ADHD
Thinking negative vs. thinking positive

How many times have you fallen into a downward spiral, where it seems like nothing will ever go right? You have so much going on, and so little time to do it. You start thinking about all the things you can’t do — everything that’s ever gone wrong in your life. “Why do I even bother?!”

This kind of stress is often part of living with ADHD. Negativity causes stress. Conversely, positive thinking reduces it. If we can get a handle on our stress level, it’s much easier to do things. Procrastination becomes less of an issue. Planning doesn’t seem quite so hard.

One of my clients recently remarked, “It’s really easy to go negative. But it’s really not much harder to see the positives!” He went on to observe that when he looks for the positives, his whole outlook is brighter and everything just seems easier. He had a hard time with public speaking, freezing up in front of large groups. When I asked him what he thinks about in the moments before a presentation, he realized that he tended to focus on what could go wrong: “What if I forget my lines? What if I say something stupid? What if they don’t understand what I’m trying to say?” So the next time he had to speak in public, he tried thinking about all the things that could go right, instead: “They’re here because they’re interested in my topic. This is my chance to demonstrate my expertise and earn their respect, which I deserve. This event is probably the most fun thing they’ve done all week, and I’m a part of it.” It worked! He was much more comfortable and confident, and his performance was flawless.

Everything has a bright side and a dark side. It’s up to us which we look at. It’s a choice. When we choose to see the positives, that’s what we attract into our lives. As my grandfather is fond of saying, “Walk on the sunny side of the street.” When you catch yourself being negative, stop and find something positive. It’s usually right there next to the bad stuff you were looking at.

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. It makes life with ADHD much easier.