Pause and Hit the Reset Button

ADHD wreaks all sorts of havoc in the lives of those of us with ADHD. It is easy for the ADHD brain to get overwhelmed. One of the most devastating things that can happen is swirling thoughts. Any of the many struggles an ADHDer faces can lead to these thoughts. We see something that is not going the way we desire, and we become upset by it. We feel a need to fix it and begin searching for a way to do that. However, our minds are not thinking clearly. This is where we need to pause and hit the reset button.

The Swirl

When ADHD rears its ugly head, our thoughts can start swirling. This rumination paralyzes us. We cannot seem to stop analyzing and overanalyzing the situation. Our thoughts feel like they are swirling and we have know control over them. It can be terrifying. The situation is bad enough, but the swirl makes things worse.


When rumination kicks in, we need to escape. The temptation is to stay with those thoughts, to keep wrestling with them until we can solve the problem. However, rumination only leads to more anxiety and struggles. What is needed is an escape from the cycle of rumination. But, how does one get out of the swirl? By pausing.

The Power of the Pause

When the thoughts begin to swirl, PAUSE. Take a deep breath or several deep breaths. This will help your mind calm and allow you to look at things rationally. You will be able to take a bird’s eye view of the situation and have a clearer picture of what is going on and what needs to be done. It is not perfect, but it helps.

This may seem like an impossibility for the ADHD brain, but it is possible. I have done it. I was skeptical when I first heard about this concept of pausing, but if you practice it, you will get better at it.

I should point out, however, that it is more effective when you pause early in the swirl or even before the swirl begins, if possible. The sooner you intervene and stop the swirling thoughts in their tracks, the more effective the pause will be. The more you pause, the better you become at identifying the early stages of the swirl and pausing before they get out of control.

Once You Pause, Hit the Reset Button


A pause is an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button on your ADHD. This is a moment where you can say, “Nope, I’m not going to admit defeat to the ADHD. I’m going to hit the reset button and begin again. I will not let ADHD win.” Once you hit the reset button, remember to move forward with a new, more effective strategy.

Today’s Reset ADHD Challenge:

Practice pausing in your life.