Is your glass half full, or half empty? Are you a positive thinker, or a negative thinker? Unfortunately, it’s very common for an adult with ADHD to get caught up in destructive negative thinking patterns.

ADHD symptoms like overwhelm, difficulty with organization and time management, lack of focus, and the resulting frustrations often lead to negative thinking patterns. Of course, when you feel like you’re constantly failing and falling short of expectations, it’s easy to fall into a negative thinking trap in which you begin anticipating the worst. And when you’re trapped in negative thinking patterns, it becomes even harder to manage your challenges and move forward in your life.

The good news is that it’s absolutely possible to change those negative thinking patterns into positive thinking patterns!

Practicing positive thinking allows you to focus on your strengths and accomplishments, which increases your happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows you to spend more time making progress and feeling good, and less time getting stuck and feeling down.

Here are my Top 5 Tips for Practicing Positive Thinking as a Tool for Managing ADHD:

#5: Increase Your Social Activity

Give yourself permission to get out and have fun. Positivity is contagious. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will rub off on you!

#4: Refrain from Using Absolutes

Have you ever told a partner “You’re ALWAYS late!” or complained to a friend “You NEVER call me!”? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like always and never makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into falsely believing that things are hopeless.

#3: Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For

Stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad when you are continually reminding yourself of the things that are right in your life. Taking just a moment or two each day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference.

#2: Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions

Fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that’s causing you anxiety, look for the proof. Don’t assume that your boss’s bad mood has something to do with you, or that your friends are secretly gossiping about you. It’s a waste of time and energy to worry that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.

And my #1 Tip for Practicing Positive Thinking is… Take Really Good Care of Yourself!

It’s much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. When your body feels good, your mind can’t help but to feel good, too!

So…is your glass half full, or half empty? Tell me about it in the comments below!

 See Also: ADHD in Adults: Shifting a Negative Mindset


Jennifer Koretsky About Jennifer Koretsky

Jennifer Koretsky, SCAC is the Managing Partner of the ADD Management Group, LLC and Chief Executive Officer of She is a Senior Certified ADHD Coach, and the author of Odd One Out: The Maverick's Guide to Adult ADD.