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15 Things Only a Person With ADHD Will Understand

15 Things Only a Person With ADHD Will Understand

We’ve all walked into the room to search for something, only to forget what we were searching for in the first place. For people diagnosed with ADHD, it is a common occurrence along with many other symptoms that make ordinary life a challenge. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a learning disorder that affects people from the age of 6 years and above. Individuals affected by ADHD face challenges focusing on tasks, organizing things, and following instructions.

Here are a few things people affected by ADHD can relate to:

1. You’re A Multi-Tasking Legend

Well at least in your mind. Do you often find 30 tabs open in your web browser? Because it can be hard to focus, to people with ADHD it can seem like they’re doing a million things at once. These aren’t finished as smoothly as they were started.

2. Your Mind Is Always On

ADHD doesn’t allow your mind to settle. It always seems like there is something important that deserves your attention even if you’re trying to get to sleep. There is no off switch to all the thoughts that are racing through your head.

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3. Your Daydreams Are Like Hollywood Blockbusters

When a person zones out, it can be because of a preoccupied mind or a tiring day at work. If you’ve been affected by ADHD, your day dreams are the stuff of legend. Your train of thought will be full of twists and turns, and you will zone out for what will seem like ages to anyone around you.

4. There’s Nothing You’re Not Passionate About

You may have impulsively signed up for a Save The Whales campaign and are extremely passionate about the cause. You want to do all you can to impact the movement positively. The only problem is there are an infinite amount of things you’ve cared about before, and you have limited time to work on all of them.

5. You Are Passionate About Everything

There isn’t anything in the world that is interesting enough to keep them interested for more than 15 minutes. Even their interests and hobbies are brushed aside quickly, leaving incomplete work and missing pieces. Crossword puzzles are the usual victims.

6. Spontaneous Is Your Middle Name

Have you signed up for something on an impulse? If you’re living with ADHD, every situation can lead to an inevitable outcome. They often commit to things without fully understanding the implications.

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7. Everything Is A Distraction

Do you have that career-defining day at the office tomorrow? Preparing a presentation that will knock your bosses socks off? Oh wow! Look at the way the water drips from the faucet. Is that a new doorbell my neighbor is using? It is a challenge to stay focused even when there isn’t something terribly exciting happening.This is even more so for children affected by ADHD. They find it difficult to follow their regular classes and feel pressurized by the workload.

8. Organizing Your Desk Is A Nightmare

Is your room a mess only a minute after you cleaned it? Is it impossible to find something in your desk drawer? This can happen a lot. ADHD makes it a challenge to organize anything. Even making lists can be a daunting task.

9. May The Focus Be With You

There is another side to the disorder. You may suddenly feel so connected to one particular thing, that everything else is merely a blur in the background. People with ADHD can experience this tunnel vision like situation for random subjects they had no prior interest in.

10. Staying Calm Is Not As Easy As It Sounds

If you’ve ever misplaced something you know the panic that comes with it. For a person with ADHD, it can get much worse. They can become frenzied and disillusioned and will make the situation worse than it is. If you’re around them when this happens, don’t blame them for being careless. Help them find it and try to keep them calm.

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11. You Lose It When Someone Messes With Your Schedule

Organizing anything can be such a challenge that it will give you profound satisfaction to stick to your plan. Someone messing with even the tiniest of details can trigger panic. It makes you either lose your temper or lose interest in the program.

12. Emotional Responses Are Common

If you’re living with ADHD you know it can be challenging to restrain your emotions. You can find yourself feeling extremely cheerful and upbeat for even the most mundane things. The flipside is getting depressed about everything.

13. Patience Isn’t Always A Virtue

Do you feel the need always to be on the move, getting things done? People who live with ADHD often come across as impatient. They may seem restless to other people. This is especially true if they’ ve been forced to be quiet for some time.

14. Procrastination

Because your mind can seem full of endless possibilities, you often end up starting a lot of projects without finishing any. To the untrained eye, this may look like you just keep putting off things.

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15. Time Can Fly Faster Than You Realise

Because you are preoccupied with all of the interesting and important things going on around you, you may forget a few. Suddenly looking at a calendar can lead to panic attacks as you realize that there are bills due and birthdays you’ve forgotten.

Conclusion: Use It To Your Advantage

ADHD can be limiting, but it doesn’t have to control your situations and outcomes.

There are many inspirational stories of people overcoming their challenges and climbing heights even they never imagined. There are also plenty of professors, artists, lawyers and other professionals that are living with ADHD. It has no influence on a persons intellect. Highly intelligent people can still achieve success even with the disorder. You can achieve everything you set your mind to if you receive the right support from those around you.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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