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Happiness and ADHD: 6 Game-Changing Tips

Happiness and ADHD

Life can be challenging with ADHD. Having ADHD myself, I can relate! It’s normal for negative thoughts to set in when you’re facing obstacles daily. They can take over and leave you feeling hopeless. However, it’s essential to recognize that happiness and fulfillment are well within reach.

Happiness is a state of mind that you can achieve by embracing your strengths, engaging your brain, and filling your life with higher energy. It’s about eliminating shame and understanding your unique brain and the strategies that can help you transform your ADHD into a positive force. 

Here's how:

1. Practice Self-Compassion
Finding happiness when you have ADHD

As individuals with ADHD, we can be pretty hard on ourselves! But telling ourselves that we are not working fast enough or as efficiently as others doesn’t serve us. Anxiety and insecurity stem from our self-judgment. 

So what’s the answer? Dr. Kristin Neff, a renowned scholar in the field of psychology, says it best: “It’s to stop labeling ourselves as “good” or “bad” and to simply accept ourselves with an open heart. To treat ourselves with the same kindness, caring, and compassion we would show a good friend or even a stranger.” 

I know, easier said than done. Changing habits takes time, but you can practice self-compassion by noticing your self-talk. When your inner voice is being mean to you, think about how to show yourself kindness instead. Creating a more positive inner dialogue reduces stress, and improves self-esteem, and overall emotional well-being. The results are robust!  

2. Fall in Love
6 steps to happiness with ADHD

And by falling in love, I’m talking about passion. Falling head over heels for something—a type of art, a time in history, playing a sport, or creating music that touches your soul—is one of the biggest factors that help us live a happy and fulfilling life with ADHD.

Making lots of time for your loves and weaving them into your life will engage your brain, give you higher energy, and balance your life with joy. Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D., psychiatrist and leading authority in ADHD, has said: “The degree to which you find your life meaningful is directly related to the depth and number of your loves.

3. Empower Yourself Through Movement
Find happiness with ADHD

Exercise and movement aren’t just good for the body; they do wonders for the ADHD brain! Studies show that physical activity releases dopamine and endorphins, which can enhance executive functions - a key benefit for those with ADHD. 

For many with ADHD, physical activity is a non-negotiable part of their day, whether playing a sport, dancing, or simply walking in nature. Not only does it reduce stress, but it also improves motivation. Incorporating exercise can result in a more positive state of mind and significantly improve your quality of life.

4. Find a "Challenging Pursuit"
Happiness and ADHD: 6 Game-Changing Tips

Individuals with ADHD have been criticized for their abilities throughout their lives, but they are known for excelling in things they are interested in. This is where the concept of a “challenging pursuit” comes in. A “challenging pursuit” is something that matters to you, that you find rewarding, and that challenges you. It can be a hobby or creative outlet that pushes you out of your comfort zone despite the difficulties.

Discovering your “challenging pursuit” can happen at any age. Think about hobbies you enjoyed during your childhood, or open yourself up to trying new ones. Immersing yourself in your “challenging pursuit” daily is one of the best ways to enhance your life with ADHD and cultivate a sense of purpose.

5. Build Support
Happiness and ADHD: 6 Tips

Set yourself up for success by seeking out supportive environments. Whether it’s the friends you surround yourself with or your chosen career, make sure you feel valued and appreciated. Join a community of people who share similar struggles to normalize your experience and foster a sense of acceptance.

Consider being part of an ADHD support group such as ADDA, an organization that offers online groups at a small annual cost. Partner with an ADHD Life Coach to help you embrace your strengths, understand your brain, and discover personalized strategies to help you catch your dreams. You don’t have to do it alone! 

6. Embrace Connection
Find your happiness. Don't let ADHD stop you

Social Connection has powerful results for ADHD. Studies show that it releases much-needed hormones like dopamine and oxytocin, which have been proven to positively impact mood and overall health.

Connecting with others not only means making time for friends and family, but it can also mean being open to small talk with people in the supermarket, or smiling at people when you walk down the street. According to Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D., connecting with others can be magical for individuals with ADHD and can “make the ADHD brain sing.” 

When you create a plan to include these elements habitually in your life, you’ll be able to turn ADHD into a true asset. Once you know you have ADHD, your life can only continue to get better, and there are endless ways to learn and grow!

You got this!

Julie Kliers ADHD Coach New York

P.S. Struggling with procrastination? Click HERE to learn easy ways to gain motivation and get started on tedious tasks.

P.P.S. To learn how coaching helps individuals with ADHD live to their full potential and feel more fulfilled, click the link for a FREE 15-minute Coaching Chat with Julie.

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