Living in Your Head

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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!

Picture of Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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4 Responses

  1. I don’t have ADD (that I’m aware of) but this was helpful to me. I often find myself zoning out and then the people around me feel like I’m not present. I miss a lot of details around me and my surroundings. I also don’t hear parts of conversation. I started on the drive home from work the other day to pay attention to my surroundings. It’s quite challenging to do for long periods of time though.

  2. You know, I don’t think labels are always needed. If you have trouble with focusing or organizing or whatever, you don’t need to call it ADD to learn how to manage better. Glad I could help!

  3. I’m not sure if I can relate to this particular article, but in the way I would describe myself as living in my head would be…well the fact that I almsot have a fantasy life inside my head not even wanting to sometimes to return to reality…it doesn’t really stop me from having a social life but I do find myself wanting to return to my thoughts back again and spending time pondering about my new fantasy.
    Perhaps it’s normal behaviour after all, maybe I just need to start my thoughts..Im not sure!