Your Brain on Overwhelm

Your Brain on Overwhelm

Last week we talked about how ADHDers function much of the time in overwhelm. It is exhausting! Today we are going to talk about what is going on in your brain during overwhelm, so that you can, again, take steps to control your brain, rather than your brain controlling you.

The two action points we are going to give you are:

1) Show up in the now!

2) Stop “shoulding” on yourself.

Now, imagine that you are walking into an important meeting. While you are trying to focus on being your best, you may also be noticing the smell of the coffee (that reminds you of grandma’s house), or the artwork on the wall (that reminds you of a vacation). ADHDers have to work hard just managing staying in the NOW!

In addition, most of the time we are still trying to process what has happened in the PAST. We are beating ourselves up about how we greeted the CEO in the elevator, or wishing we would have spent better time with our child before their spelling test today.

And, if that is not enough, we are worrying about the FUTURE too! We have so much to do and are afraid that we will not get it all done. We will probably feel like a failure again!

WHEW! That is a lot to handle all at once!

It is important to note that all of our intentions are good. We are always trying to do a good job at all times. We are just trying to manage too much all at once. No one can do that!! Our brain is in OVERWHELM!!! Remember how that causes our system to be flooded by adrenalin that shuts down our logic? Not good, huh?

The first thing to do is to get out of the past and out of the future and just show up in the present. So, plan ahead. Once a day take time to process the things you did yesterday, and decide it is good enough. Let it go! You can’t change it anyway. Then, during this same time, plan the things that you need to get done today. Plan well! Then…….decide to let the past go, let your plan take care of the future and show up in the now!

This is a good place to put a P A U S E …… – remember those? Stop, relax (take a deep breath) and think about what you need to do right now. Shut down that amygdala! Show up, in the moment and do your best. It will be enough!

That brings up the second point to overcoming overwhelm. Stop “shoulding” on yourself!” “I should do this” “I should have done that.” It only creates more adrenalin that shuts down your logic. You need that logic for now!

Tell yourself that the past is past. You can’t change it now. The future has not happened. You can’t change it now. However, if you do your best right now, you can change THAT – – – and that is ENOUGH.