ADHD & Strong Emotions

difficult to cope

Many ADHD’ers experience intense emotions. The prefrontal cortex, responsible for emotional regulation, may be less active in those with ADHD. This can lead to heightened emotional responses, impulsivity and quick intense reactions to the stimuli in our environment.

emotions in the body

Sometimes our emotions also show up as various body sensations. It’s not uncommon to get an upset stomach, racing heart, restlessness and racing thoughts when feeling anxious or have a headache after crying… 

soothe your nervous system

The first thing we need to focus on is soothing your nervous system. This can be anything, from taking a walk, journalling, to doing breathing exercises (this actually helps even more when we do it on day to day basis when we’re not feeling intense emotions, so it becomes a habit and strenghtens the nervous system). Here’s one of my favourite exercises.

move your body

Let out the pent up energy through exercise, dancing, singing, jumping, crying, taking a walk… This can help with restlessness and the urgency to “do something” that the strong emotions usually bring. When we act on this intensity, it can often lead to impulsive decisions and regrets.

get to know the emotion

Visualise the emotion and get to know it. Name it and understand where it’s coming from and what it’s trying to communicate to you. Ask questions:

  • Why are you here?
  • What do you need?
  • How can I reassure you?

express the emotion

Express your emotions through therapy, venting to a consenting friend or loved one, speaking about it to yourself (sometimes it can be helpful to record yourself speaking and then listen back to gain more understanding). The goal here is to express it, so it’s not trapped in your body – release this energy.

If some boundaries need to be set – figure out what’s needed and take action (once you feel more clear headed). 

accept the emotion

Accept the emotion without trying to control it. You’re allowed to feel all kinds of feelings. Feelings are not bad! Allow emotion to pass through you by showing it acceptance.  Emotions come and go. Sometimes they carry important information about the present moment and our needs, sometimes they are a reminder of the past hurts that are still waiting to be healed. 💗

adhd coaching can help!

ADHD coaching can be instrumental in helping ADHD’ers with various challenges:

  • Goal setting
  • Accountability
  • Understanding strengths and values
  • Building structures
  • Self-awareness
  • Skill building
  • Stress management
  • Building self-trust


 Reach out here. 💕

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