Practically any life situation can cause stress. For adults with ADD/ADHD, seemingly small stressors can present themselves as larger than life... creating or adding to existing struggles sometimes present in communication between those with learning and concentration difficulties and others who do not. Since it is not possible to completely eliminate stress, it is important to develop a positive attitude towards life that can help manage stress that occurs.
- Expecting others to behave and do things according to your likes and dislikes is one of the major causes of stress, particularly with those with ADD/ADHD. You cannot possibly change others, and therefore it is imperative that you change your attitude towards such people and incidents while you accept the inevitability and avoid apprehensions. By understanding limitations and accepting them (and encouraging others to do the same), you can greatly improve your relationships.
- Stress is best avoided by changing your attitude towards others and life as a whole. Stress, however, will not wait until you are able to adapt to a new outlook, which is difficult to achieve and may take some time. Techniques like meditation, exercise, biofeedback, or other relaxing practices for managing stress will come in handy until the time you are able to adapt your perceptions and outlook.
- Do not keep your thoughts and feelings within yourself. Talk to someone you trust or join a group or community on the Internet. Do not be afraid to share your feelings and thoughts. You should not aim at seeking solutions with this technique. Just express your feelings, even if it is just to get it out of your system. Seek a counselor, or simply write down your emotions in a journal. Expression helps in identifying stressors and finding possible solutions.
- Deep breathing always helps in reducing stress symptoms. Breathe deeply through the nose and pull in air as much as you can easily. Hold your breath and count up to six and then exhale slowly through the mouth. Repeat for six to eight times and then start normally breathing. Consult a yoga expert to learn more breathing exercises.
- Take time out. Remember that besides your job, you have a responsibility towards your own self, too. Whenever you feel stressed, take time out, even it is for a short walk around the room.
- Identify the activities that please you the most. Sift them according to the time involved and make sure that you devote time to some of them on a daily basis.
- Laughter is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress. You need not always have a reason to laugh. Watch comedies in your spare time, and avoid dramatic films that tend to capitalize on emotional responses from viewers by always depicting sadness, dejection and helplessness.
- Learn to say no to yourself as well as others. Do not expect from yourself what you cannot live up to, nor accept unrealistic demands placed on you. If you are always willing to concede, it is liable to lead to undue pressure and cause stress.
- Stress can manifest itself in the shape of mental or physical stress. Some of the common stress symptoms include tension headaches, anxiety, an increase or decrease in appetite, sleep, as well as excessive crying and exhaustion. Turning to alcohol or drugs can also be a sign of stress. Stress may also lead to a lack of enthusiasm about events, relationship problems, and frustration.
- It is important that you set your priorities right and concentrate on important things in life that matter and ignore trivial matters. The process also involves avoiding extreme reactions to irrelevant and minor events. Avoid hate, anger, and selectively change the way you react to situations, people and events.
- Don't get burdened by thinking of the larger objective that you have. While it is important to plan, and it is also advisable that you dream big. The overall objective can be broken to smaller, more achievable tasks. As you achieve each small step, celebrate the success and completion of the task at hand. Setting realistic goals is therefore extremely important. Assess your ability and set goals for each day that are achievable (albeit with a slight stretch) so as to keep you motivated and challenged.
- Take time off to offer help to others. Volunteering to help friends and relatives, even strangers, is a great stress buster. It takes your mind off your own worries and prepares you to find a better solution when you return back to overcoming your worries.
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