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  • Kerri Cummings

HEY LOOK! A SQUIRREL! (How my ADHD Brain Drives Me Bonkers, and What I Do to Stop

Hello, fellow Mindfuls! Welcome to another episode of "The ADHD Brain Chronicles," starring yours truly. As someone with ADHD, my brain is like a wild roller coaster ride, filled with twists, turns, and loops that can leave me feeling dizzy and frazzled. One of the most challenging aspects of living with ADHD is the constant overthinking that plagues my mind. So, today, I thought I'd share my hilarious adventures with my overactive ADHD brain and how mindfulness comes to the rescue.

Let's set the scene: It's a typical day, and I'm going about my business, trying to stay focused and productive. But suddenly, my brain goes into overdrive. It's like a tornado of thoughts swirling around, each one vying for my attention. "Did I lock the door?" "What if I left the oven on?" "Did I reply to that email?" "Am I wearing mismatched socks?" "Did I forget to feed the cat?" These thoughts flood my brain with such intensity that I feel like I'm spinning around.

In a desperate attempt to calm my racing thoughts, I start engaging in what can only be described as "ADHD brain gymnastics. I pace back and forth, checking and re-checking the same things over and over again, as if a ninja thief is out to get me. I start to imagine worst-case scenarios, like my house burning down or my boss firing me because I missed a crucial deadline. My mind becomes a battleground of irrational thoughts, and I'm the hapless warrior trying to fend them off with a rusty sword. Like literally folks, my thoughts are a bunch of ninjas jumping around and I'm trying to be Jackie Chan (but with a much smaller paycheck).

But the comedy of errors doesn't end there. Oh no, my ADHD brain is just getting warmed up! I decide to distract myself by engaging in a task, but my brain has other plans. It starts to hyperfocus on the most trivial things. For example, I could spend hours researching the history of rubber duckies or the mating habits of fruit flies, instead of finishing a work report that's due in an hour. Anybody feeling me out there? Holla! It's like my brain has a mind of its own, and it's determined to sabotage my productivity with its wild and wacky musings.

And let's not forget about the dreaded "what if" scenarios. My ADHD brain is the master of conjuring up the most absurd and unlikely situations. "What if I accidentally send a love letter to my boss instead of a work-related email?" "What if forget to call my niece for her birthday?" "What if I say something stupid?" "What-if, what-if, what-if..." These thoughts swirl around my mind like a never-ending carousel of hilarity, leaving me in fits of giggles and eye-rolling at my own absurdity. Not to mention me literally forgetting something someone says a few minutes after they tell me. Not to brag, but I can piss someone off because of this faster than you can spell ADHD.

But fear not, dear readers, for there is a savior in this tale of ADHD brain chaos - mindfulness! Mindfulness is like a superhero that swoops in just in the nick of time to save me from the clutches of my overactive brain. It's the ultimate weapon in my arsenal against overthinking, and it helps me keep my sanity intact (most of the time).

When I practice mindfulness, I become an observer of my thoughts rather than a victim of them. I learn to notice my thoughts as they come and go, without getting entangled in them. I become aware of the sensations in my body, my breath, and the environment around me. I bring my attention to the present moment, and I let go of the worries and distractions that my ADHD brain loves to cook up.

So how do I practice mindfulness? Well, it's not always about sitting in a quiet room and meditating (though that can be helpful too!). For me, it's about finding little moments throughout the day to tune into the present moment and let go of the overthinking.

For example, when I'm feeling overwhelmed with thoughts, I'll take a few deep breaths and remind myself to focus on what's happening right now. I'll notice the sensations in my body, the sounds around me, and the feeling of my feet on the ground. This helps me anchor myself in the present and bring my attention away from the whirlwind of thoughts in my mind.

I also find mindfulness in everyday activities, like taking a shower or eating a meal. I'll try to fully engage my senses in the experience, noticing the warmth of the water on my skin or the taste and texture of the food in my mouth. This brings me into the present moment and helps me let go of any racing thoughts that may be taking over my mind.

And when my ADHD brain starts going into overdrive with overthinking, I'll use mindfulness techniques like "thought labeling" where I simply acknowledge the thoughts as they arise without getting carried away by them. I'll say to myself, "Oh, there goes my brain again, overthinking about what to wear for that event," and then gently bring my attention back to the present moment.

Of course, mindfulness is a practice, and I'm still a work in progress. There are still moments when my ADHD brain goes into overdrive, and I catch myself spiraling into a whirlwind of thoughts. But with regular practice, I've noticed a significant improvement in my ability to stay present, let go of overthinking, and not get overwhelmed by my frazzled thoughts.

Mindfulness has helped me become more aware of my thoughts, stay present in the moment, and let go of unnecessary overthinking. It has given me a sense of calm and clarity, even in the midst of my ADHD brain's wild ride. So, while I may still have my quirky moments and occasional overthinking episodes, I can now laugh them off and use mindfulness as a tool to keep my ADHD brain in check.

So, here's to all the fellow ADHD brains out there! Embrace the humor in the chaos, practice mindfulness, and remember that you're not alone. Our unique brains may come with their challenges, but they also bring plenty of funny stories to tell. And with a little mindfulness, we can keep our overthinking in check and enjoy the ride with a smile on our faces.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go double-check if I locked the door and turned off the oven, for the tenth time today. Ah, the joys of living with an ADHD brain! Until next time, stay mindful and keep laughing - at yourself! (When all else fails, humor always saves the day)


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