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3 Counterintuitive ADHD Coping Strategies

ADHD doesn’t always make sense. At least, it doesn’t always make sense the way you expect it to.

If the common-sense ADHD coping techniques aren’t working, maybe it’s time to try some non-common-sense strategies. Here are three counterintuitive ADHD coping strategies.

  • Working in noisy places: If people with ADHD have trouble concentrating, clearly the solution is to work in quiet places to avoid getting distracted, right? Well, sometimes silence helps, but not always. Lack of stimulation can make it even harder for people with ADHD to focus, in which case working in a more lively setting rather than a silent, empty room can actually help.
  • Listening to music: Along the same lines, you might expect that listening to music would be distracting for people with ADHD. However, for some people with ADHD, listening to music can provide stimulation and stave off boredom, making it easier to stay on task.
  • Procrastinating: Procrastination is a double-edged sword – too much of it can cause a lot of problems. On the other hand, people with ADHD procrastinate for a reason: doing things at the last minute can provide the extra shot of adrenaline the ADHD brain needs to kick into gear.

You might notice that all three of these strategies have to do with finding the optimal level of arousal for the ADHD brain.

Traditionally, we think of a calm and low-stress environment as being ideal for concentration. For people with ADHD, though, lack of stimulation makes it harder to stay on task. When the ADHD brain gets bored, it automatically checks out and goes to find something more interesting to do, whether we want it to or not.

So keeping the ADHD brain happy by working in more interesting environments, listening to music, or adding a little last-minute pressure can actually be conducive to concentrating.

Of course, this will vary for different individuals with ADHD. Ultimately, it’s about finding what works best for your brain. But as a starting point, these three strategies are definitely worth a shot!

D’you have other counterintuitive ADHD coping strategies? Please share them below!

Image: Flickr/Fred Seibert under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

3 Counterintuitive ADHD Coping Strategies

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on education, learning disabilities and technology. He received his B.A. in 2014 and was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of his college studies. Neil also works for a music education non-profit and hopes to help create an education system that can better serve students with ADHD.


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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2016). 3 Counterintuitive ADHD Coping Strategies. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-millennial/2016/12/3-counterintuitive-adhd-coping-strategies/

 

Last updated: 13 Dec 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Dec 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.