Feeling Overwhelmed with ADHD

November 22, 2022 Michael Thomas Kincella

Everybody can feel overwhelmed from time to time. Whether problems are work- or home-related or of matters entirely unrelated, modern living can tax us physically and emotionally. And, while feelings of overwhelm aren't the sole preserve of people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional dysregulation can act as an antagonist for me--especially when it comes to dealing with modern challenges. In other words, ADHD can add to my feeling overwhelmed.

I Lose Objectivity Thanks to ADHD

For me, becoming overwhelmed almost sneaks up on me. Quite often, it springs from benign events, and before I know it, I wind up in mental places I shouldn't be anywhere near. On occasion, I allow innocuous things to morph and grow into problems generated by my mind's eye. Thanks to a fertile imagination, I can make problems worse by dwelling on them for too long and losing a sense of objectivity.

How I Combat ADHD-related Overwhelm

Luckily, when I do get overwhelmed, I can row things back with a few time-tested methods.

I Go for a Walk

I'm blessed to live quite close to a park. It's a sprawling affair: huge tracts of grassland, acres of dense woods, cleaved up the middle by a big river. A basic pathway hugs this river and creates a loop I can walk around in about one hour. That's plenty of time to absorb some nature and allow my subconscious to chew on whatever problem is bothering me at the time. Throw in an elevated heart rate generated by a brisk walking pace, and the whole event is a success for body and mind.

And, having got home--showered, eaten, and sat down to a mug of tea--my problem never seems quite so terrible.

I Talk Things Over

If I'm lucky to live near a lovely park, then I'm especially lucky when it comes to confidants. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I can call on a few people to talk to--a few people whose judgment I trust. Not only do I get catharsis from the act of talking, but I also get another vantage point on my problem. In most cases, these people offer a more objective analysis and help me reorient my thoughts about whatever is bothering me.

I Sleep on It

Sleep is the great restorer. No matter how bad something seems, I always feel in a much better position to solve problems after a great night's rest (and a great afternoon nap).

Getting plenty of exercise helps me get a great sleep. This sleep helps me exercise, and so the cycle goes. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed, I think about how much worse off I would be if it weren't for the twin powers of exercise and sleep.

How do you deal with overwhelm? Do you exercise? Do you nap? Let me know in the comments.

APA Reference
Thomas, M. (2022, November 22). Feeling Overwhelmed with ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Michael Thomas Kincella

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