Gaining Perspective on Negative Thinking For Women with ADHD

Research has suggested that it can be very beneficial to process and reflect on our negative thoughts. Even when a women with ADHD tries, we end up ruminating and get caught up in the loop of repetitive negative thoughts. Gaining a different view on negative thoughts or self-distancing is a practice that allows women with ADHD to view our thoughts from an outsiders perspective. This can be done with the language of saying she or you instead of I and in other times it can be accomplished by visualizing an image of an experience from a distance rather through your own eyes. Taking a more distance view can help a women with ADHD reduce anger, sadness and other negative thoughts around a distressing event or situation.

Why It Works

In everyday life women with ADHD think and talk about yourself using the first person pronouns such as I and me. However, using the self-distancing language like you or she means that you are referring to yourself the way we usually refer to others. This cognitive shift allows you to gain a perspective on whatever is going on.  It also encourages women with ADHD to think in more abstract terms: rather focusing on the details involved in a situation you are more likely to have realization, have a better understanding and find closure. This allows women with ADHD to deal with negative thinking constructively without getting caught up in them.

How to Do It

-Take a few minutes to think about a difficult situation you are dealing that made you angry or sad or something you are worrying about in the future.

-Try to understand your thoughts using you, he/she or your name as much as possible. For instance, if your name is Mary you would ask yourself “why does Mary think this way? What are the underlying causes and reasons of these thoughts?

-When you begin to see the situation or event in your mind try to watch through the eyes at a distance, a third-party observer rather than through your own eyes.

-The goal here Is not to avoid or separate from your thoughts but to analyze them from a clearer point of view.

-Spend three minutes reflecting in this way, writing down your thoughts if you feel so inclined.

-Even though it may talk to yourself in a third person, but research has shown that it can assist you with dealing with difficult thoughts without becoming overwhelmed by them.

Eventually, you might be able to use this kind of self-talk during difficult ADHD situations or something coming up in the future (i.e. starting a new job, going back to school)