Those with ADHD Can Maintain their Balance and Focus

Do You Have to Choose Either Excitement or Boredom?

Man in middle of bungee jump

"Wow! Am I focused?"

Is Attention Deficit Disorder a problem of too much stimulation, or too little?  The answer is both.  ADDers who find themselves in situations where there is not enough going on, or they are not interested in what is going on, or what’s going on is too routine, often slip into what can be a painful boredom.  That’s when other ADD symptoms surface: difficulty maintaining focus, daydreaming, impulsiveness, problems finishing things, blurting things out, etc. In order to turn on that focus center in the brain, Adders need an environment that engages them.

When the focus center is turned on for an ADDer, they are tuned-in, excited, and it feels good to them.  You will see it in their enthusiasm and passion.  In fact, one of the characteristics of people who have ADD is they are drawn to high-risk activities. Why?  Because that’s when their brain’s neurons are firing and the focus center is turned on, and that’s when they feel the best. Anyone for bungee jumping?

Ah . . . but where there is a Ying there’s a Yang!  On the flip side, ADDers can too easily be over-stimulated.  When there’s too much going on, too many activities, too much conversation, or too many things that have to be done all at once, they can quickly feel overwhelmed.  What happens then?  Very often the ADDer’s brain will shut down and he won’t feel like doing anything.  That’s when procrastination sets in and those who try do deal with this problem in a more conventional way, such as increased pressure, are missing the mark.  They are dealing with the symptom not the cause.

Boy who is totally bored


You might ask, “Isn’t this true for everyone?  Doesn’t everyone get bored and start daydreaming if there isn’t enough stimulation and get overwhelmed if there is too much going on?”  Yes!  But for ADDers it is simply more of an issue.  They seem to have a narrower range where the amount of stimulation is just right.  It’s more of a delicate balancing act as they walk that narrow I-beam, the range between overwhelm and over-stimulation.

The best chance for success is for ADDers to increase their own self-awareness and then, to the extent possible, take control of their environment or situation, and keep their balance

To learn how the coaches at ADHD COACHING EMPOWERS can help you improve your life, click here and use the Contact Us page.

And to leave a comment, click on the word “Comments”  below.



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  1. Ben

     /  May 9, 2012

    My life has been filled with activities like rock climbing and body surfing. I always did these things alone, which kept me focused without distractions.

  2. Eric

     /  May 9, 2012

    Great article, creating that balance is critical! A lesson I learned teaching was too allow ADDers more options for assignments or tasks, this removed the overwhelming feeling.

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