Do you live in your head? I know I do. Or do you think that’s a crazy question? Actually I think a lot of ADDers live in their heads.
By living in your head, I mean that you spend a lot of your time thinking, analyzing every moment as it’s happening. You spend time at a party or a networking event going over and editing everything you say and do before you say or do it. In fact, you spend so much time in your head that you’re not really there. You never get to really know people and actively participate because that voice in your head won’t let you.
Living in your head is the reason why you forget or misplace things, why you miss snippets of conversation, and why people might think of you as spacey.
I think that as ADDers, we live in our head because we feel the need to constantly monitor ourselves and our behavior. We trying so hard to avoid making a mistake, saying the wrong thing or looking foolish that we miss much of what’s going on around us.
So what can you do? Well I’ve got a few ideas.
First, remind yourself to be present whenever you think of it. Being present means to focus in and see what’s going on around you. Right now as I focus in on the present, I can hear the neighbor mowing their lawn, my dog barking and some kids radio bumping. I also hear the breeze in the trees. I am conscious of how hard the chair I’m sitting on really is, how the sunlight is making me a little warm, and how good it feels to just take it all in. Make more of those simple moments in your life.
Make it a habit to take a break every hour or so. Stop what you’re doing and just check in. Maybe stretch a little and get a glass of water. Look, listen, and feel just for a minute or two.
Stop worrying about what people think of you. OK, maybe you should be on your best behavior when you meet a new client, but why can’t you be yourself most of the time? You know what people will find out about you? That you’re intelligent and funny and they like being around you. And you can start to relax and turn off that critic in your head.
Finally, if you’re going to live in your head, make some of the time worth it. Try meditating. It’s great for ADHD symptoms and it does wonders for relaxation. Use a guided meditation – where someone talks you through the meditation – so that your mind doesn’t wander off. Give it a good try – you’ll be amazed at the results!