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How To Relax With ADHD

Relaxation is not an easy thing for me either ...
Relaxation is not an easy thing for me either …

For people with ADHD, relaxing is something we just barely understand the idea of. And while we are aware of how it is supposed to work, few of us have truly experienced relaxation for more than a moment or two at a time.

In fact, for some of us, the thought of sitting still and quiet is unnerving. And actually doing that? Sitting still and quiet? That’s been a threat of punishment for us since grade school.

What exactly is relaxing? For most of the world, relaxing involves sitting still and meditating or maintaining our mind calmly and quietly. Often when people “go” to relax it involves finding a place where responsibilities don’t exist and then wallowing in that lack of responsibility.

That sounds better than sitting still and quiet …

For those of us with ADHD, the idea that there is a place where responsibilities don’t exist is a dream. We of the quickly flailing minds can find no place short of being anaesthetized where that lack exists.

From wondering if we left the stove on to dwelling on how many years overdue our taxes are and all points of tension and contention in between, we bring our stress with us everywhere we go.

Have stress, will travel

It’s little wonder that so many of us have addiction issues. Where else can we find a little peace? When the stress that keeps you from being able to relax is actually inside your head, what would you be willing to do to silence that stress?

And if you choose the route of abstinence from substance use or abuse, how long can you go before the cacophony of stressful responsibilities takes its toll on you in the form of depression.

So how do we relax?

A good question. Sadly there is no one answer that will serve all of us. Personally, I employ two methods to move myself as close to relaxation as I can get.

I, like many of us, am able to relax my mind if I employ a form of moving meditation. Yoga, Tai Chi, or simply walking works for me, and if it does for you it can prove very beneficial. For those who can employ this technique it involves recognizing that relaxing your mind and your body at the same time is not necessary. Do one and then the other.

But also, think positively …

For others, relaxing can sometimes be mimicked by employing positive thought practices. For me, making a practice of finding the good in every day on a daily basis can be a substitute for relaxing. It causes the mind to become habitual in its search for the good and makes for less stress in life. And less stress is the very thing that relaxation is employed to provide.

Pick your passion

Choose positive thinking or moving meditation. Or, if you need all the help you can get, try both. As alternatives to substance use, these may not be as effective in the short run, but if they are effective enough, they may save you even more stress in the long haul.

How To Relax With ADHD

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2015). How To Relax With ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jul 2015
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