How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed with ADHD - Deepstash
How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed with ADHD

How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed with ADHD

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When sensory overload happens, your brain is overwhelmed with information from your five senses and can’t process it correctly.



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Sensory Overload

Sensory Overload

Your ADHD brain is prone to being overstimulated. Once you get into that state, your brain starts telling your body that you need to escape and you lose the ability to prioritize.


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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of regulation

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of regulation

Help prevent overwhelm by:

  • holding conversations in a quieter area during a party
  • making a shopping list before you go to the store
  • plotting out low stimulus locations that you can take refuge in
  • telling a trusted friend your plan so that they can help
  • getting enough sleep
  • having a balanced diet
  • regular exercise
  • strong and healthy relationships
  • meditation and mindfulness
  • appropriately prescribed medication


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Help regulate by remembering TIPP

Help regulate by remembering TIPP

Temperature: Changing your body changes your blood pressure and heart rate. Some cold water on your face or holding an ice cube can help.

Intense Exercise: Allows you to direct the tightly wound energy into a task and trick your body into completing the stress response cycle.

Paced Breathing: Can slow down your natural breathing rhythm and allow your body to focus on something other than the stimulus.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Relieves muscle tension and also focuses your attention on something other than the stimulus.


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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.



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Getting over the peak

Getting over the peak

When you are hit with a bout of overstimulation, sometimes you feel the urge to lash out at those around you. If you can take a breath and briefly hold it at the height of your emotion, it will peak, and hopefully enough of your rational brain will kick in to prevent you from saying or doing something that you'll regret.


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Stop the cycle

Stop the cycle

The first thing you should do when you are having a big emotional response is get away from the cause.

The second thing is calm yourself with TIPP.

The third thing is to name your feeling. This helps create distance and perspective.

The last thing is to soothe yourself. You've just experienced something hard and could use a hug. Give yourself some comfort by experiencing something nice for your five senses. Look at something beautiful, taste something delicious, hear something encouraging, touch something comforting, and smell something pleasing.


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One of the common symptoms of ADHD that I experience is sensory overload. This article helped me understand what is happening and some tips on how to regulate during and attempt to prevent the overload from occurring.

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