According to Terry Malten author of Survival Tips for Women and Men with AD/HD, impulsivity is one of the core symptoms of ADHD. It is also one of the more difficult aspects to manage. ADHD, when unmanaged, can lead people into fairly inconsequential behaviors such as interrupting in conversations, saying things they may regret or hoping from one subject to another. However, ADHD when untreated can lead to more serious and dangerous behaviors such as overspending, drug, alcohol or food abuse.
The most important thing is to seek treatment from a professional. Medication may be helpful for some types of ADHD. Therapists can teach those with ADHD how their specific manifestation affects them and what the negative consequences are. Professionals will teach a person how to use tools and coping skills to manage impulsivity and to live a balanced life even with the challenges of ADHD.
Just a few more tips include-
Be mindful. Pause and bring your attention to the present moment. Put your focus on how your mind, emotions and body are feeling in the midst of your impulsivity. Identify what’s driving you and allow this mindfulness to separate you from your impulsive act.
Take action on negative thoughts. What’s your inner dialogue? What are the messages you’re sending yourself in the impulsive moment? Turn your thoughts to something different, something positive. Consider how relieved and proud you will feel in NOT acting on that impulse.
Find a calming activity. Find an exercise you enjoy. Get a massage. Tune into yourself with some deep breathing or listen to music you enjoy.
Its takes diligence, consistency and effort. However, the cycle of impulsivity can be broken.
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”