As a home organizer, I have a lot of clients that have ADHD. Disorganization is one of the hallmark signs of having ADHD. I have ADHD myself, yet I have always had a particular interest in cleaning and organization. This has been largely inspired by my love of caring for horses when I was 7, which is why organizing is easy for me. Another one of the hallmarks of people with ADHD is habitual feelings of optimism and hopefulness that are quickly balanced out by frustration, impatience, and feeling overwhelmed. The internet is full of ADHD memes that joke about this common phenomenon. There are scientific explanations as to why people with ADHD experience overwhelm and frustration more often than people with neurotypical brains. To balance out your neurochemistry, it’s possible that a better diet, more sleep, meditation, exercise, or any number of lifestyle tweaks can help level things out. But for others, taking a pharmaceutical prescribed by a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychiatric nurse who really KNOWS ADHD may be what you need. There is a huge stigma against taking medication for ADHD, and so that’s why I emphasized “knows ADHD”. By getting a proper diagnosis from someone who is very experienced with ADHD, they not only will be able to help you understand how and why your brain works the way it does, but they have also have the experience to know what kinds of pharmaceuticals to prescribe for your situation. It’s also important to talk to a functional medicine doctor or naturopath to rule out any other underlying conditions such as depression/anxiety, auto-immune disorders (mistreated Hashimoto’s looks a lot like ADHD), food sensitivities, mycotoxicity, or other gut related issues.
Gabrielle Bernstein is one of my favorite spiritual teachers. In her book, Super Attractor, she teaches about the emotional guidance scale that she learned from Abraham-Hicks. To summarize it, the more time you can spend in higher-vibe emotions such as joy, appreciation, empowerment, freedom, and love, the easier it is to attract what we want in life. It’s important that these are authentic feelings of joy/appreciation etc, rather than forcing yourself to fake being happy when you’re really not. Society often pathologizes or demonizes these lower vibe feelings such as fear, insecurity, jealousy, and hatred etc. So what many people do is pretend they are happy when they’re not. Truthfully, there aren’t emotions that are better than others. We are here to feel a full range of emotions. When we don’t actually allow ourselves to feel these emotions, and we ignore them, or choose to wallow in them, that’s when they become stuck and hard to move out of, or become habitual.
How to move up the scale
When you want to feel better feeling emotions, identify with full honesty where you are on the emotional scale. This can also be hard because we often feel a mix of emotions at any given time. Choose the emotion that feels most dominant. Instead of trying to reach for the top of the scale right away, see if you can reach for thoughts that might allow you to move up one rung on the scale. You could do writing exercises, talk it out with a friend or to yourself, play music, do some jumping jacks, make some art, or do whatever you can to validate feeling your current emotion. Have fun! Being of service to others is also a great way to expand your consciousness, provided that you aren’t acting in a co-dependent way (unhealthfully avoiding your own problems by focusing on others). As soon as you’ve been able to allow that emotion to really feel heard, your emotions will naturally rise up the scale. Try it and see! Don’t scold yourself for moving up too slowly. Notice that “jealousy” is above “guilt”. Jealousy is an emotion that gets a bad reputation, but by skipping over this authentic feeling, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Allow yourself to feel jealousy, rage, revenge, anger, and congratulate yourself every step of the way. If you’ve been feeling habitual feelings of a feeling somewhere in the middle of the scale (such as overwhelm or frustration), you may want to work backwards to the lower vibe emotions to see if there is an underlying thought that is keeping you weighted down. Often with ADHD, due to societal challenges, there may be some strong underlying feelings of insecurity, powerlessness, and wishing things were different (grief).
Don’t go too fast
I want to reiterate that moving up the scale as fast as possible is not better. Forcing yourself or pretending to be happy will backfire in the long run. Try to really allow yourself to stabilize in an emotion that is one rung higher before moving up too fast. The more you practice this, the more automatic it will become.
Emotional Awareness as an ADHD hack
When you spend too much time being frustrated or impatient, that part of your brain gets stronger. It makes it very difficult to accomplish anything because you can’t calm your mind for long enough to think clearly. Your thoughts also create your reality, so the more frustrating thoughts you have, the more frustrating experiences you will manifest. Instead of swinging from optimism to frustration so quickly, see if you can go from optimism to hopefulness or contentment rather than swinging as low as frustration or allowing yourself to get overwhelmed. The more you practice training your brain to not get overloaded, the easier it will be to regulate these emotions in the future. The more time you can spend in authentic feelings of freedom (not unhealthy entitlement!), the easier it will be to finish projects, organize your home, and make healthier choices for yourself. The more clear and free your mind is, the more your outer environment (your home) will reflect this sense of freedom. You’ll start to notice that your spaces such as your closets, surfaces, desks, floors, garages, basements, and bedrooms will be clear, open, organized, and filled with joy!
What’s your favorite way to move up the emotional scale?
Send me a message, I’d love to hear about it!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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