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8 Things That Make My ADHD Brain Happy

When you have ADHD, there are a lot of situations you can put your brain in that will have it gnashing its teeth at you before very long. Namely, anything that involves being patient or tolerating boredom.

SmilingBut there are also some situation that will make your brain smile at you. Here are 8 things that make my ADHD brain happy:

1. Buying groceries at night

No crowds. Even better, no lines and no waiting.

2. Phone meetings

My favorite kind. I can pace around, doodle, and otherwise indulge my hyperactivity in ways that might not go over so well at in-person meetings.

3. Setting my own schedule

Concentrating can be tough when you have ADHD. Concentrating on a schedule someone else has assigned you can be even tougher. Being self-employed means I can adjust my schedule to work with my flighty prima donna of a prefrontal cortex.

4. Traveling

There’s nothing I like more than the feeling of being somewhere I’ve never been before. The ADHD brain is searching for constant stimulation, and traveling is a way to give it exactly that.

5. Music

Music is a great buffer against boredom and understimulation. Putting on some music can turn mundane chores into something enjoyable.

6. Gmail’s attachment checker

Remember when Gmail added this feature that detects when you mention an attachment in your email but don’t actually attach a file? I do because that’s the day I started being able to sleep soundly at night.

7. Running

One of the special and mysterious properties of the ADHD brain is that it somehow knows how to feel lethargic and overly energetic at the same time. Exercise can wake it up and calm it down in all the right ways.

8. Swivel chairs

I have a nice chair that swivels, leans back, spins around, and all the rest. While I work, it lets me go through a continuous series of improvised motions I call the “ADHDer trying to concentrate dance,” which in turn helps me focus.

What makes your ADHD brain happy? Please share in the comments!

Image: Sanchez

8 Things That Make My ADHD Brain Happy

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on psychology, ADHD and education. In addition to ADHD Millennial, he writes about psychology at Psych Central's AllPsych blog and about ADHD at He can be found on Twitter at @ADaptHD_blog

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2016). 8 Things That Make My ADHD Brain Happy. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 May 2016
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