7 Ways to Reduce Stress: Calming Techniques for ADHD Adults

Target Your Symptoms

By Nancy Ratey


"I finally did it!” Bob, an adult with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) said to himself, as he walked out of the office at 5 p.m. sharp, to meet his wife for dinner. For the first time in years, he wasn’t late.

More important, he was ready to enjoy the night out because he felt relaxed and in control. Bob no longer waited until the eleventh hour to complete his client reports — a stressful pattern that had taken a toll on his health and his marriage.

How did Bob cut workplace stress? By using a watch that beeped every hour, so that he made sure he was following his to-do list, a year-long calendar with color-coded client deadlines, and a notebook in which he “parked” random thoughts during the day. The result: less stress and a happier life.

Many people with ADHD live in a constant state of stress. Their neurobiology makes it difficult to screen out competing stimuli, focus, and slow down, all of which increase frustration levels. Being unable to measure up to people’s expectations or feeling guilty about missing deadlines at work creates additional tension.

Like Bob, you can reduce stress with strategies that target your ADHD symptoms. Here are some to try:

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