Welcome to another episode of the ADHD Families Podcast. Today, we are going to be looking at thinking patterns together. Now, this is something that comes up again and again in ADHD coaching. And so I thought I'd do a quick episode on it today, just to highlight, sometimes when we shine a light on certain patterns of behavior, or maybe things that we recognize in ourselves and in our kids. we sometimes lose a little bit of their power and we are able to change the course of action or at least be aware of some of our actions. So that's what we're doing today. We're gonna be looking at thinking patterns. We're gonna be talking about the negativity bias and also the ADHD ability or preference to be a black and white thinker. So join me today, let's get started. So we all have patterns of thinking or thinking patterns that we revert back to. Perhaps they are things that are ingrained from our childhood, perhaps they're things that we tell ourselves. I often talk about our own negative voice, you know that voice in your head that tells you all the limiting beliefs that we don't like to hear. Sometimes I think it's helpful to give that. person a name, my person's name is called Leslie. And whenever she says something negative to me, I just say shut up Leslie in my head, which I saw. I actually copied from the book that Claire Bowditch wrote, which I think is kind of cool. She calls her negative voice Frank. I won't tell you what she tells Frank to do. You can read the book because it's a swear word. So I was just curious, I was thinking about today about different. thought patterns that we have. Now firstly, I'm gonna preface that by having a little bit of a discussion about the ADHD brain's negative bias. So naturally, the ADHD brain tends to look on for the negative in the situation. And when you think about it, when we have a positive experience or a negative experience, our body releases hormones in response to that experience. And the negative... chemicals that your body release actually stay in your body for three times the amount that the positive ones do and you couple that with some short-term memory recall issues that people with ADHD have and they tend to remember the negative more And their brain also looks for evidence. So we've got we know about RSD rejection sensitivity dysphoria their brain tends to look for evidence of the negative a lot So in a lot of ADHD coaching, what we do is we uncover strengths that the person can use and tools to put in their tool belt. But we also do a lot of marking the occasion for positive experience and looking for the positives or the situations where they've used some skills, succeeded, and actually highlight those moments because it's really important to mark those so that the brain can remember those. positive experiences. I mean how often do we achieve a goal or we do something well and we go all right on to the next thing and we just move on to the next. We start thinking immediately after we finish to go to the next goal and we don't actually stop or slow down long enough to recognize all the incredible things that we do and the things that we've made it through, the achievements that we've had. Often we just get on to the next, we're about moving forward instead of marking those occasions. And it can make it quite hard. We tend to remember the negative stuff because we perhaps slowed down on the negative to think about it. And we know that the chemicals last for three times the amount as long as long. So we have more time to remember it. So knowing that is we're going to use that information when we're talking about thinking. today. The other thing that I wanted to highlight here is that the ADHD brain is prone to a little bit of black and white thinking and so when I talk when I'm talking about black and white thinking I'm talking about you're either good or you're bad, you're on, you're off, you're on routine, you're off routine, perhaps you tell yourself you're gonna eat chocolate like you're gonna be healthy and then you have one piece of chocolate and then the whole day is ruined, you know that kind of thinking. all or nothing approach. And what I try and work with our clients about is to live in that grey. We don't need to be black or white. There's no one that's good or bad. There is this whole other side of things that we don't often consider in the ADHD world, which is grey. We want to be in the middle. That is the most balanced approach. So when we catch ourselves doing that black or white thinking, you know, am I on or am I off? we can pull ourselves up and say, okay, is this actually like, what are the facts to say that this whole thing that now I'm off? Is it recoverable? Can I live in the gray and not in the extremes? Someone to highlight some common patterns of thinking here, moving on from those two ADHD trends that we hear. And I say all the time to myself, and I wanna hear from you guys, whether you think. they resonate with you. So one of the ones that I am a bit prone to, doesn't make me sound awesome, but I have no shame, is the I know that. So when I hear information, and if I get the gist that I might've heard something similar before, my brain wants to do the I know that. So it goes, oh, I know that so it can partially check out and start thinking about something else. Now, when we have a curious mind or a curious mindset, perhaps it's something new and exciting or something that we're interested in, we tend not to do the I know that very much. We are curious, we listen out for new information. I can't tell you how many presentations and seminars and podcasts I've listened to over the years. And every single person presents it slightly differently. Sometimes you need to watch it or listen to it three or four times to absorb the information or absorb something new. There's always these little parts that you miss on the first time. So having an I know that pattern of thinking can actually mean that you miss out on some of the gold. So I am conscious of it in myself. And I'm interested to know whether you guys have an I know that pattern of thinking. So I know that is an excuse to check out and think about something else. Or I know that it's like I don't really need to give my full attention because I know this information. But the truth is we don't know what other people are going to say or how they're going to present it or any sort of facts that they're going to put or a new spin on something that we do know. We don't know it. So I know that is my first pattern of thinking that think is quite interesting. The next one is I've tried that before. So often, you know, if people come up with a new strategy or something like that and you present it, there is a bit of a pattern of thinking of, I've tried that before and it doesn't work. Or I've tried that before and it didn't happen for whatever reason. So I tried that before, it's a bit of a tricky one because it has evidence. Right? So you are saying I have tried it before. You've got evidence for why it's not going to work. But I guess what I'm trying to shine a light on here is that we are always changing. There's neuroplasticity. We always we're growing and developing as people. And what worked for us then probably might not work for us now. And something that we tried before that didn't work might work for us now. So it doesn't pay to be close minded about it. We've just got to give things a go. And how I view life and how I view coaching with ADHD, it's really just as an experiment. We view it curiously. We go, okay, we're just gonna give this a try and see what happens. We're not emotionally invested in the outcome. We just experiment. And this is what I did with my own family as well. We just experiment with strategies. and we see how they go and then we use that information. If they fail, it's just more information and we use that information to refine it and find what does work. And the best thing about the ADHD brain is that it's an ideas factory. You guys always have new ideas, new ways of solving problems, new things that you can tweak, different ways of working things and a different perspective of looking at problems. So there's no shortage of your ability to problem solve. So the second pattern of thinking is I tried that before. And so it's really interesting to just have a think about that or catch yourself when you start discounting any strategy that you wanna try, or perhaps you're thinking about a new system that you wanna put in for your household. to not discount things that you have tried before because we know as we grow up and as our brain develops and our kids change ages, you know, new levels, new devils, maybe what works for them has changed as well. The next pattern of thinking that I wanted to talk about is that doesn't work for me. So I feel like this one is probably a little bit sneakier in how it appears when we're doing strategies and things like that for families. That doesn't work for me and then it can be followed by a variety of reasons. But I guess what I'm asking with this thought pattern, how we're challenging this thinking pattern is to really examine why. Why it doesn't work for you. And what is your reasoning behind? not giving that whatever you're wanting to try a try. So it's just about shining a light on it. Why, what is the reasoning behind it? Having a look at whether the reasons behind it are valid, whether they're still valid. They might've been valid before, but maybe they're not so valid now. Whether it's something that we have grown and changed with. And then the other thing I wanted to... had about is the, this way that we talk to ourselves. So when we're talking about Leslie and that negative voice, in our heads, that voice that's frustrated with ourselves. Like, why can't I, why can't I do X, Y, Z? I should be able to do this. I should be able to, you know, manage this household. I should be able to parent my kids. Why can't I do it like? you know, like so-and-so on Facebook. Those kind of statements are so, so intense. We really do beat ourselves up with those patterns of thinking. And they don't actually motivate us to really try things new. They're just their frustration statements, right? That don't propel us forward. And they are an example of black and white thinking. that we talked about at the beginning of this podcast, this why can't I, this feeling that we should be able to operate on this super high level and we're frustrated that we can't quite get there. And so it's that black and white thinking of being good or bad and not operating in that gray that we wanna operate in. And then this is not so much a thinking pattern. This is like a pattern of being. I often notice that myself included, I get stuck in rushing energy. So rushing energy is when, you know, when you've got, it feels really productive. You're like, we've got to get out of the house, we've got to do this, like get your shoes on and we've got to deliver. And we're doing all the things, like we're doing lots of stuff. And we bring that. rushing energy. Do you guys know what I mean with when I'm talking about rushing energy? It's when you you're quick, you know, you basically this is different. Anyone without ADHD can bring rushing energy as well. It is that sort of state of being that's in perpetual motion that's hurrying other people along as well. It's like when you want things to happen quickly and you're you know creating that sense of urgency and You might have heard me talk about it before, but I kind of view, when I'm working with people with ADHD, I kind of view it in two modes. It's very simplistic. The ADHD brain is not simplistic at all, but just how I picture it in my head is so I can easily identify where people are at. So I picture it as open or closed, like little pinball arms, right? So pinball arms open, pinball arms closed on a pinball machine. And we know that there's certain things that close it. So I think pressure, overwhelm, the sense that they're not liked, the sense that they're not very good at something, you know, that negative feedback, those are the things that close it. So when it gets those feelings, it tends to shut down. The other thing that closes it is that rushing energy. That's that pressure component. All right. So we come in and we go, come on, we gotta get out the house, you gotta put your shoes on, you gotta get in, blah, blah. And we come at this rushing energy with our kids. and their brains go, the little arms go closed and they either go into that paralysis state where they're just not sure what to do and they just kind of freeze or they explode because we've bought that rushing energy. Now, when we're talking about the ADHD brain closing it, we also know that there's things that open it. When you think about the pinball arms, I'm doing, for those of you that are listening on the podcast and not on YouTube, I'm doing pinball arms. It's a special thing to see. So, when we're talking about opening the ADHD brain, there's things that we know open it, like praise opens it, asking questions opens it, allowing the person with ADHD to ask questions opens it. So these are the things that they're trying to engage and use, like turn on their brain, open their brain, rather than shutting it down. So when we think about that, when rushing energy is involved and we bring our rushing energy to our kids because we want them to get moving, it's kind of counterproductive if their brain goes shut and they go into that paralysis state or a meltdown state. So I wanted to just have a chat about those today, those different thinking patterns. So just to recap, we talked about the negative bias, we talked about black and white thinking, we talked about the I know that pattern. but I've tried that before pattern. That doesn't work for me pattern. Why can't I? I should be able to, frustration. And then also that rushing energy pattern that we get into. And sometimes myself included, we just get a bit stuck there and we rotate these same patterns over and over and over again. And they don't really get us anywhere. So as a little reminder to myself and maybe a little reminder to you guys as well. I just wanted to talk about those patterns today. I wanna know from you what ones you guys rotate, what do you get stuck in? There might be other ones that I haven't even spoken about today that you think, oh, it's something that always comes up for me. Little thinking patterns that you rotate in your brain and they're just habits really. And maybe we haven't challenged them enough. Maybe we haven't stopped to think about. Is this actually productive or does this work for me? Or is this even in line with any of my values? Is this being kind to myself? All of those things, maybe they're just a habit that we're doing unconsciously and it's worthwhile shining a light on them now. So I hope that this has got you to think about a little bit about some of your thinking patterns. It certainly has for me. And I wanted to encourage you to have a look at those patterns as they come up for you, and also to have a look at your rushing energy. What are you bringing forward in your family? Are you bringing that rushing energy, or are you a calm, stable energy? And what is your child's brain, or your beautiful people with ADHD's brain, is it open or is it closed? And if it's closed, is there something that we can do to open it and make it a little bit easier for them? I hope you're having a great day, guys. Thanks for listening.