Discussions about adult ADHD tend to focus on the challenges. You hear so much about impulsivity and reduced concentration that you might forget there is a bright side. There are some very positive traits associated with the condition.
Keep in mind that ADHD symptoms vary widely. The three most common patterns are Predominantly Inattentive, Predominantly Hyperactive, and a combination of these types. The symptoms can also fluctuate over time and range from severe to mild.
That means your individual set of advantages and disadvantages are unique to you. As you’re working to understand your strengths and weaknesses, consider these amazing powers that often accompany ADHD.
Creativity and ADHD
Adults with ADHD typically generate lots of ideas, often at the same time. You may also excel at finding unusual solutions to challenges that others overlook.
Try these techniques to help use creativity as a strength:
1. Make art. You might find performing especially appealing. If moving to Hollywood is out of the question, start a garage band or audition at a community theater.
2. Study science. Maybe your talents lie in experimentation and inventing things. Turn your passions into a career or build prototypes in your free time.
3. Engage your curiosity. Any chore or errand can be a creative project depending on your attitude about it. Ask questions. Read about subjects that intrigue you. Take sensible risks and learn from experience.
4. See things through. Do you get bored and give up midway through crafts and home renovations? Develop the motivation to persevere. Reward yourself for finishing what you start.
5. Be practical. Figure out which ideas are worth pursuing and which could hold you back because they’re unrealistic. Analyze your available resources. Listen to feedback from others.
Hyperfocus and ADHD
ADHD is usually associated with being distracted. However, some children and adults also experience hyperfocus, where they can devote long periods of intense attention to something that sparks their interests.
Use these strategies with your hyperfocus:
1. Boost your performance. What do you love about your job? You can stand out by being extra productive and delivering high quality on the tasks that put you in the zone.
2. Develop a hobby. You can also use your hyperfocus in your leisure time. Maybe you want to play sports or volunteer for a worthy cause.
3. Be selective. Then again, it’s easy to squander your gifts if you lose yourself watching TV or playing video games. Prioritize your activities, so you’ll reach your goals.
4. Manage your time. A flexible schedule and daily routines will give you structure. Make lists and set reminders on your phone.
Energy and ADHD
Living with ADHD can keep you in perpetual motion. It can also leave you prone to fatigue if you overdo it.
Try these suggestions for making your high energy levels work for you:
1. Exercise regularly. Your active lifestyle protects you from the consequences of being sedentary. Exercise is also a safe and healthy way to deal with stress.
2. Get organized. While you may be eager to put forth a lot of effort, you probably have to struggle with coordinating things. Use checklists to stay on track and ask others for help when you need it.
3. Note your surroundings. Your family and friends probably appreciate your exuberance. On the other hand, you may need to restrain yourself in situations where you’re expected to sit quietly.
4. Rest and relax. Honor your limits, even if you feel invincible. Take breaks during the day and aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
ADHD is a serious neurological condition but highly manageable, often with medicine and behavioral treatments. Knowing how to handle the positive aspects, as well as the drawbacks, will help you to enjoy more happiness and success.