I used to be the queen of always putting my foot in my mouth. I would always say the first thing that came into my ADHD brain without even thinking. My intentions were always positive, and I would never intentionally try to offend or hurt anyone, but it lands me in more trouble than I can count. This spread into other areas of my life. I would impulsively buy things that I did not need before thinking it through. Then I learned how to use my pause button. For me learning how to use my pause button meant that I had to listen and figure out what Learning to press pause means listening before I opened my mouth. I often hear a voice in my head saying what I would have normally voiced out loud, but in the few seconds I allow myself to pause, I realize it doesn’t need to be said at all and I’ve become a mindful when I see a dress I want to buy even though I just bought a new dress a few weeks before. My responses don’t have to be immediate Here are my steps for using your pause button.
Recognize The Trigger– What is the sensation you are feeling when you want to interrupt a conversation or saying something that you might regret or impulsively purchase something you don’t need. Maybe it is the rising heat in your body, a pulse in your head or a knot in your stomach. Recognize these triggers as signs to activate your pause button. Recognizing what your trigger is enough to tame it and send it crawling back into its hiding place.
Press Pause– Say pause too yourself when you feel that sensation.
Take A Deep Breath– Taking a deep breath helps your ADHD brain to compose your thoughts and brings you into the present moment.
Observe – Jut hold off and listen, there is no rule that you have to say anything right away. Just notice your thoughts that are going through your mind and simply observe them without judgement. This is good for impulsive buying or stopping yourself from saying something that you might regret. Again, allow yourself to simply observe the thoughts that pass through your mind.
Press play – Now you are ready to act mindfully. You may be thinking “Coach Jenna that sounds great but in that particular moment it will take too long or I will forget to do it.” Yes, you may feel like it will take to long, and if you are hard-wired you may have reacted already. I understand that, but it is a case of reminding yourself that it is ok to take a few seconds to pause before reacting can make a difference. Pressing the pause button will give you the chance to stop, make a good decision and the press play to continue in a better way.