I am SO EXCITED to finally get the chance to get these words written down and share my “aha moment” with you all!!
If you follow the Missleadingly ADHD Instagram page then you have read that I have discovered there is a huge difference between your brain and your mind!
Why is this a big deal you may ask?! Well, it is so important because once you understand that your brain is your makeup and that it is almost out of your control, you can start to let yourself “be”. I say “almost” because you can also start to come up with ways of using your mind to reverse your automatic ways of the brain and almost trick it into doing what your mind wants! Also, when you know how your brain works you are able to understand the “why” and you can better shift your brain in the right direction and get it to work for you rather than against you.
Let me elaborate, I will give you some examples of our brains at work:
- Rumination: The brain needs to be interested & engaged. When it isn’t engaged, it can fall into rumination. This is where it gets tricky because our brain loves rumination; the brain is engaged and happy. The trick is for our mind to catch that our brain has entered the rumination wormhole. It is also important to mention that our brain doesn’t care if we are entering a positive or negative rumination, as long as our brain is occupied it is happy! That said, our mind does not like negative rumination.
- Boredom: I recently learnt about ADHD & boredom. It physically hurts us to be bored. Now, this isn’t something that we come up with all on our own; this boredom comes from our brain, not our mind or who we are as a person. This is so crucial because we can feel like we are “less than” others or that we just have to try harder to get things done.
What is the point in telling you about our hurdles without giving you solutions to jump over them?!
- Rumination: The solution for this one is the limbic stop. What is the limbic stop? It is basically pausing the emotional part of your brain (the limbic system) and practicing mindfulness. This is how you pause (below is the pause model from my school):
Pause – stop and be present in the moment. Breathe to expand your diaphragm & get oxygen to your brain.
Pay Attention – Notice how your body feels and locate the feelings. Observe your thoughts.
Process – capture & articulate the array of emotions you are experiencing in your natural processing style.
Pinpoint – Identify the specific emotion that is preventing you from moving forward. Ballistic or angry? Bombarded or anxious?
Remember: name it to tame it!
Then pinpoint empowering thoughts and feelings that will support what you are trying to do and who you are trying to be. (I think this is the most important part)
Plan & pursue – Organize and implement a strategy of action which plays to your strengths to overcome any barrier.
** notice they all start with the letter “P”? Also, I have an infographic for the “pause” from my school. If you are interested in seeing it, let me know!
Tip #1: Set a reoccuring alarm on your phone as a reminder to yourself to take a moment and “pause”. Ask yourself: am i ruminating? Am I on task? What do I want to be doing right now?
Tip #2: Create a pause button for yourself. Example: I am going to start to poke my belly button and that will be my way of signalling to my body “ok, we are pausing now”. If you find poking your bellybutton too weird, the spot could be one of your knuckles or your hip bone! Anywhere that you feel comfortable. Note: the spot doesn’t have to be on your body but it is easier because you will always be with your body!
- Boredom: The Time Timer really works for me! Here is a video on how and why it works so well for me. You can also have an accountability partner or a body double. It is important to know your weaknesses when it comes to boredom so that you can ask for help and put systems in place for yourself.
I gave you a few examples that came to mind but there are lots and lots of ways that our brain vs mind effects us on a daily basis! Our brain is on autopilot and drives us in a certain direction when our mind may not want to go in that direction, but since it is on autopilot that’s where we are going. Unless, our mind goes “wait a minute, no thank you. *Turns autopilot off and redirects*. Now that I have realized the difference between brain and mind, I feel like my mind and brain have been at war. My brain is tugging me in one direction and my mind is like “no, this isn’t what I want!”
Can you think of brain vs mind examples from your life? I would love to hear them!!