What is Negative Self-Talk & How Does it Impact ADHD?
Negative self-talk can be defined as the inner dialogue we have with ourselves that is filled with negative thoughts and emotions. It can have a huge impact on those living with ADHD, as it can cause a decrease in self-esteem, difficulties in relationships, and a lack of motivation. In this article, we will explore what negative self-talk is, how it affects those living with ADHD, and ways to combat it.
The Causes of Negative Self-Talk in People with ADHD
People with ADHD often struggle with negative self-talk, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and depression. Negative self-talk is a common symptom of ADHD and is often caused by a combination of factors, such as:
Difficulty managing emotions
Difficulty regulating attention and impulsivity
Difficulty with executive functioning skills
The impact of environmental stressors.
Having ADHD myself, I understand the daily hurdles that come with it - from reduced self-esteem to various missed opportunities leading to strained relationships and more. Despite this, we persist and continue to fight these struggles each and every day. I know that sometimes it can feel like fighting a losing battle, but you only lose if you give up fighting. Even though you may have attained success in various aspects of life, you may still be hurting from being overlooked and misunderstood for a long time. Nonetheless, this doesn't make you any less capable or valuable - it is okay to acknowledge that the pain exists and allow yourself to heal.
How to Overcome Negative Thinking & Start Having Positive Affirmations
Negative thoughts can be very damaging and can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, and low self-esteem. Negative thinking can also make it difficult to focus on tasks and accomplish goals. Fortunately, there are some steps we can take to overcome negative thinking and start having positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations for ADHD can help people with this condition refocus their thoughts in more productive ways. Positive thinking for ADHD can help individuals better manage their emotions, increase their self-confidence, and reduce stress levels. Additionally, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones will help us stay motivated and achieve our goals more easily.
There are many ways to build more positive thought patterns and train your brain to start to “right the ship” of your self-talk. We can slowly shift our frame of mind over time using various techniques. I should mention, this is not a substitute for professional medical advice or guidance, but here are a few of the things I and others have found useful.
Meditation - Having a daily meditation practice has been proven time and again to not only help you train your brain to focus and direct it’s attention better, but it can also have serious positive impacts on your self-image and self-talk. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this book meant for those of us with ADHD to learn more.
Daily Intention Setting - Daily intention statements can be a powerful way to set the tone for our thought patterns throughout the day. Take a moment each morning to pause and reflect about what you want for the day, what kind of energy you want to attract, and what you want to get out of it. Check out our 31 Daily Intentions book if you need some ideas (or get the eBook version for free by joining our newsletter readers!)
Set “Milestone” Goals - Instead of setting an unrealistic goal such as “I want to never think negatively about myself”, set achievable “milestones” instead. For example, I might set a milestone goal of “I want to have 1 full day without judging myself negatively.” Once you achieve that milestone, you can set another one such as for a whole week, etc. Progress is key goal to have, so using milestones is a great way track your progress day-to-day.
Tracking Your Progress - What gets measured gets managed. Simply tracking your habits of self-care and positive self-talk can have a huge impact on your consistency and progress. Try focusing on positive habits, such as having a good conversation with yourself, or forgiving yourself for a silly mistake. Use a notebook, planner, or calendar to track whether or not you completed this each day to keep it in the forefront of our ever-forgetful ADHD minds. (This simple, inexpensive Habit Tracking Calendar works great!)
Conclusion: Taking Control of Your Thoughts & Creating a Fulfilling Relationship With Yourself
Having a good relationship with yourself is essential for achieving success in life. It can help you become more confident and improve your overall wellbeing. However, it can be difficult to develop and maintain a positive relationship with yourself. Fortunately, there are some strategies that you can use to help you improve your relationship with yourself. These strategies include setting milestone goals, practicing self-care through meditation, and being mindful of your thoughts and feelings through daily intention setting.
It is often said that we are our own worst enemies, and this is especially true when it comes to our thoughts. We can find ourselves in a cycle of negative thinking and self-doubt, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Taking control of our thoughts and creating a fulfilling relationship with ourselves is the key to living a more meaningful life. This involves understanding why we think the way we do, recognizing destructive patterns, and learning how to make conscious decisions that will lead us towards a more positive outlook on life. By taking control of our thoughts, we can create an environment where we are able to reach our full potential and live with purpose.
Remember always, if you’re struggling there is help available for you. Your ADHD matters, your mental health matters. YOU matter, and you will make a positive difference in this world.