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“9 Calming Strategies for a Racing, Restless Mind.”

“although it can be exhausting to live in my head, i now feel so much more in control after learning and implementing techniques that help calm my racing mind. here’s the formula i’m constantly tweaking, ensuring that the daily dance with my thoughts is a mostly positive one.”.

Kate Moryoussef

Prior to my diagnosis, I assumed that my inner chatter, curiosity, questioning, hypervigilance, and overthinking were pretty normal. I wondered why no one else seemed so completely drained by the end of the day, but I did not yet appreciate the extent to which people with ADHD dwell inside their particularly busy heads. Yes, I am always taking in other people’s thoughts and opinions, but the real exhaustion came from contending with my own, disruptive inner chatter.

The ‘H’ in ADHD, I learned, doesn’t just refer to physical hyperactivity (although sitting for long periods isn’t easy for me). It is also very much connected to ‘ internal restlessness ’ and a fired-up nervous system – in itself connected to emotional burnout. When my diagnosing psychiatrist explained this to me, it was like the heavens opened, and I could hear the angelic echo of ‘hallelujah.’ Finally, I understood the cause of my frequent mental exhaustion, and why I often prefer to listen, rather than talk.

Don’t get me wrong – having a busy brain that runs at x 1.5 speed can also be a huge asset. I’m the queen of ideas, from brainstorming to problem solving to matchmaking (I have a mental Rolodex of single friends and have orchestrated four successful relationships to date).

But an ever-running mind has caused some major headaches over the years. With four children (one already diagnosed with ADHD), overthinking and catastrophizing doesn’t help much. Years of working in public relations had me convinced that one oversight on my part could mean the end of an entire business. True insight into how my mind works could have spared me years of anxiety and worry.

Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I thought I was just a neurotic killjoy, sapping the fun out of most situations with my anxiety-ridden ‘what if’ and catastrophe-setting scenarios. Now I recognize that overthinking and ruminating are common to the ADHD experience.

[ On Rumination: How to Stop Obsessive Thoughts ]

Although it can be exhausting to live in my head, I now feel so much more in control after learning and implementing techniques that help calm my racing mind.

So here is my formula that I’m constantly tweaking, ensuring that the daily dance with my thoughts is mostly a positive one.

How to Relax Your ADHD Mind

1. take action — any action..

If we know that we have the tendency to live in our heads, then sometimes taking the smallest step forward can be enough to quiet our thoughts, worries, and anxieties.

Staying in the rumination zone leads to procrastination, perfectionism, guilt, imposter syndrome or believing we’re unable to do anything. But taking any action often leads us out of this zone. Action, in many ways, is the antidote to a busy mind. When our focus is away from our automated thoughts, we can pour more focus, love, patience and creativity into the things that matter. The more we access this, the less space we have to overthink negative thoughts.

[ Read: 6 Ways to a Worry-Free Mind ]

2. Try to be more intentional with your thoughts.

Guard your headspace, and pay attention to where you’re focusing your mental energy; set clear boundaries for emotional wellbeing. When we’re not intentionally choosing the right thoughts, the negativity can quickly become our reality and we begin attracting relatable scenarios to match what we’re energetically absorbing. Try this EFT tapping video to help you overcome your anxious thinking and ruminating.

3. Dismiss the thoughts that do not serve you.

Just because it’s in your head doesn’t mean you have to believe it. Make a conscious effort every day to return your brain to a neutral thought and avoid getting sucked in by the negative. Take five minutes in the morning, before you check your phone, to do some meditating , breathing, or tapping to ground yourself and decrease reactivity. No matter what, don’t allow a negative narrative to pull you off path and limit your success – whatever that may look like.

4. Notice your triggers.

Create mental boundaries to protect yourself from certain thoughts or beliefs that aren’t serving your highest good. The TV shows or channels we watch, the podcasts we choose, the people with whom we engage, and the books we read can all inform our self-beliefs – sometimes in the negative. These combine to play a feedback loop to our brains, potentially making our ruminations even scarier.

Take notice of the activities and people that align with your values and contribute to inner peace. Magnetize yourself to only the stuff that creates positive energy, action and change. If the other stuff fills you with dread, unpack it and decide if it’s there to serve you or shame you.

5. Commit to what makes you feel best.

What makes you feel good? What would improve your day? Whether it’s a yoga class, singing, baking, exercising, dancing, or chatting with a friend, try incorporating one element of joy into your day to keep your mind in a more positive state.

If you’re unable to commit to a feel-good activity, think deep about where the push/pull is coming from, and what areas of your life can be adjusted.

6. Resisting isn’t always the answer.

Embrace and accept the way your brain works. Trying to put a full stop to your thoughts will never work; that resistance often contributes to our internal battles and anxiety. In understanding our brains more, we empower ourselves to make conscious and aligned thought choices every day.

Try EFT tapping , which helps the brain step out of fight or flight mode and instead activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with calm and stress reduction. Taking an opportunity to pause and consciously breathe can also do wonders to quiet the mind, as can meditation – being conscious of our thoughts with no judgement.

7. Relax the body.

Try this powerful technique of noticeably softening your body by recognizing where you’re holding tension. This grounding exercise allows the body and mind to simultaneously relax and become more present. You can do this reset as many times as you need (I do it up to 20 times a day) to help recalibrate and regulate your emotions.

Physically shaking it off is another way to jolt your system “out of it.” In all, any form of physical movement you enjoy is great for disengaging the brain from overthinking.

8. Attend to your restlessness.

Could your inner restlessness be trying to tell you something? Do your thoughts and worries follow a pattern? Consider gently inviting them in for a change. Learning to sit with your thoughts and reconnect with your intuition can be especially valuable with ADHD in the picture. Our hypersensitivity and emotional dysregulation can sometimes lead us off course and plague us with self-doubt, which is why it’s important to train the skill of recognizing when something feels right or wrong.

9. A sense of humor helps.

Being able to laugh at ourselves can be a powerful tool toward self-compassion and kindness. A sense of humor removes the heaviness of a situation while offering commonality and interconnectedness. Develop your sense of humor and lightness by embracing your truth, learning to open up with vulnerability, and speaking with honesty.

How to Relax Your Mind: Next Steps

  • Read: How to Feel Carefree When You Have ADHD
  • Read: “Why Do I Assume the Worst-Case Scenario?” How to Stop the ADHD Mind from Worrying
  • Download: Make Mindfulness Work for You

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How to focus a wandering mind, new research reveals what happens in a wandering mind—and sheds light on the cognitive and emotional benefits of increased focus..

We’ve all been there. You’re slouched in a meeting or a classroom, supposedly paying attention, but your mind has long since wandered off, churning out lists of all the things you need to do—or that you could be doing if only you weren’t stuck here…

Suddenly you realize everyone is looking your way expectantly, waiting for an answer. But you’re staring blankly, grasping at straws to make a semi-coherent response. The curse of the wandering mind!

But don’t worry—you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert sampled over 2,000 adults during their day-to-day activities and found that 47 percent of the time, their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing. Even more striking, when people’s minds were wandering, they reported being less happy.

wandering minds add

This suggests it might be good to find ways to reduce these mental distractions and improve our ability to focus. Ironically, mind-wandering itself can help strengthen our ability to focus, if leveraged properly. This can be achieved using an age-old skill: meditation. Indeed, a new wave of research reveals what happens in our brains when our minds wander—and sheds light on the host of cognitive and emotional benefits that come with increased focus.

What happens in the wandering mind?

For something that happens so often, what do we really know about this process of mind-wandering?

For thousands of years, contemplative practices such as meditation have provided a means to look inward and investigate our mental processes. It may seem surprising, but mind-wandering is actually a central element of focused attention (FA) meditation. In this foundational style of meditation, the practitioner is instructed to keep her attention on a single object, often the physical sensations of breathing. 

Sounds simple enough, but it’s much easier said than done. Try it for a few minutes and see what happens. 

If you’re like most people, before long your attention will wander away into rumination, fantasy, analyzing, planning. At some point, you might realize that your mind is no longer focused on the breath. With this awareness, you proceed to disengage from the thought that had drawn your mind away, and steer your attention back to your breath. A few moments later, the cycle will likely repeat.

At first it might seem like the tendency toward mind-wandering would be a problem for the practice of FA meditation, continually derailing your attention from the “goal” of keeping your mind on the breath. 

However, the practice is really meant to highlight this natural trajectory of the mind, and in doing so, it trains your attention systems to become more aware of the mental landscape at any given moment, and more adept at navigating it. With repeated practice, it doesn’t take so long to notice that you’ve slipped into some kind of rumination or daydream. It also becomes easier to drop your current train of thought and return your focus to the breath. Those who practice say that thoughts start to seem less “sticky”—they don’t have such a hold on you.

As a neuroscientist and meditator, I’d long been fascinated with what might be happening in my brain when I meditate. Being familiar with both subjective, first-person meditative practice and objective, third-person scientific research, I wondered what would happen if I put these two modes of investigation together. Could I get a more fine-grained picture of how this process works in the brain by leveraging the experience of these cognitive shifts during meditation?

I started by considering the default mode network, a set of brain areas that tend to increase in activity when we’re not actively engaged in anything else—in other words, when our minds tend to wander. Maybe it was this default mode network that kept barging in during my meditation, interfering with my ability to keep my attention focused. And maybe this network was what I was learning to “tune down” by practicing over and over. I wondered if I could test this scientifically.

Supported by funding from the Mind & Life Institute , and with the help of colleagues at Emory University, I started to test which brain areas were related to meditation. We asked meditators to focus on their breath while we scanned their brains: whenever they realized their minds had been wandering, they’d press a button. Then they would return their focus to the breath as usual, and the practice would continue. As they did so, we collected MRI data showing which brain regions were active before, during, or after the button press that corresponded to various mental states.

The study, published in the journal NeuroImage , found that, indeed, during periods of mind-wandering, regions of the brain’s default mode network were activated. Then when participants became aware of this mind-wandering, brain regions related to the detection of salient or relevant events came online. After that, areas of the executive brain network took over, re-directing and maintaining attention on the chosen object. And all of this occurred within 12 seconds around those button presses.

Looking at activity in these brain networks this way suggests that when you catch your mind wandering, you are going through a process of recognizing, and shifting out of, default mode processing by engaging numerous attention networks. Understanding the way the brain alternates between focused and distracted states has implications for a wide variety of everyday tasks. For example, when your mind wandered off in that meeting, it might help to know you’re slipping into default mode—and you can deliberately bring yourself back to the moment. That’s an ability that can improve with training.

The benefits of building focus

What are other practical implications of this knowledge? Recent behavioral research shows that practicing meditation trains various aspects of attention . Studies show that meditation training not only improves working memory and fluid intelligence , but even standardized test scores . 

It’s not surprising—this kind of repeated mental exercise is like going to the gym, only you’re building your brain instead of your muscles. And mind-wandering is like the weight you add to the barbell—you need some “resistance” to the capacity you’re trying to build. Without mind-wandering to derail your attempts to remain focused, how could you train the skills of watching your mind and controlling your attention?

In our study, we also wanted to look at the effects of lifetime meditation experience on brain activity. In agreement with a growing number of studies, we found that experience mattered—those who were more experienced meditators had different levels of brain activity in the relevant networks. This suggests that their brains may have changed due to repeated practice, a process called neuroplasticity. 

One brain area stood out in this analysis: the medial prefrontal cortex, a part of the default mode network that is particularly related to self-focused thoughts , which make up a good portion of mind-wandering content. It turns out that experienced meditators deactivated this region more quickly after identifying mind-wandering than people who hadn’t meditated as much—suggesting they might be better at releasing distracting thoughts, like a re-hash of a personal To Do list or some slight they suffered at work yesterday.

In a follow-up study, we found that these same participants had greater coherence between activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and brain areas that allow you to disengage attention . This means that the brain regions for attentional disengagement have greater access to the brain regions underlying the distraction, possibly making it easier to disengage. Other findings support this idea—more experienced meditators have increased connectivity between default mode and attention brain regions, and less default mode activity while meditating.

This might explain how it feels easier to “drop” thoughts as you become more experienced in meditation—and thus better able to focus. Thoughts become less sticky because your brain gets re-wired to be better at recognizing and disengaging from mind-wandering. And if you’ve ever struggled with rumination—re-living a negative experience over and over, or stressing (unproductively) about an upcoming event—you can appreciate how being able to let go of your thoughts could be a huge benefit. 

Indeed, the Killingsworth and Gilbert study I mentioned earlier found that when people’s minds were wandering, they tended to be less happy , presumably because our thoughts often tend towards negative rumination or stress. That’s why mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly important treatment of mental health difficulties like depression , anxiety , post-traumatic stress disorder , and even sexual dysfunction .

More on Mindfulness & Mind-Wandering

Learn more about how mind-wandering can make you unhappy

How mindful are you? Take our quiz!

Watch Jon Kabat-Zinn talk about mindfulness .

Reading all this might make you think that we’d be better off if we could live our lives in a constant state of laser-like, present moment focus. But a wandering mind isn’t all bad. Not only can we leverage it to build focus using FA meditation, but the capacity to project our mental stream out of the present and imagine scenarios that aren’t actually happening is hugely evolutionarily valuable, which may explain why it’s so prominent in our mental lives. These processes allow for creativity, planning, imagination, memory—capacities that are central not only to our survival, but also to the very essence of being human.

The key, I believe, is learning to become aware of these mental tendencies and to use them purposefully, rather than letting them take over. Meditation can help with that.

So don’t beat yourself up the next time you find yourself far away from where your mind was supposed to be. It’s the nature of the mind to wander. Use it as an opportunity to become more aware of your own mental experience. But you may still want to return to the present moment—so you can come up with an answer to that question everyone is waiting for.

About the Author

Wendy hasenkamp.

Wendy Hasenkamp, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and Senior Scientific Officer at the Mind & Life Institute.

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Let Your Mind Wander

Experience the benefits of daydreaming in creativity and problem solving..

Posted February 20, 2024 | Reviewed by Davia Sills

  • Understanding Attention
  • Find a therapist to help with ADHD
  • Mind wandering is a universal human experience rooted in evolution and brain science.
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving happen when people's minds wander.
  • Mind wandering also allows individuals to simulate the future and script their range of responses.

Comedian Steven Wright deadpanned, “I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.” With that quip, he encapsulated the universal human experience of mind wandering .

Our minds are never idle. When not focused on doing a specific task or achieving a goal, we daydream, fantasize , ruminate, reminisce about something in the past, or worry about something in the future.

In fact, research with thought-sampling techniques has shown that an average of 47 percent of our time is spent with our mind wandering. 1 Think of it: nearly half our waking hours!

Research also suggests that mind wandering is not time wasted but a constructive mental tool supporting creativity, problem-solving, and better mood.

Peshkova / Shutterstock

Creativity Benefits From Mind Wandering

Mind wandering can be negative and obsessive and present obstacles to accomplishing goals . Left to their own devices, people may gravitate toward the negative.

But that is only part of the story. Many reveries are welcome, playful, creative daydreams to be nourished. Mind wandering allows us to learn from our imagination . Consequently, mind wandering is critical to “creative incubation,” the background mental work that precedes our insightful “Aha!” moments.

In my lab, we have found that broad and unrestrained mind wandering can also promote better mood among people with mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression .

Learning Through Imagined Experience

Memory stores actual experience. It can also hold the outcome of experiences we imagine or simulated scenarios. I’ll give you an example.

While on an airplane flight once, I was reviewing a paper, and my mind drifted until it landed on the emergency door, which triggered the following simulation: What if the door suddenly opens while we are in the air?

I will need a parachute, I thought. I could probably use the airplane blanket on my lap, but I will not be able to hold on to it in the strong wind—it needs holes. I can use my pen to make the holes. And so on.

This story is far-fetched and funny, but nevertheless, I now have, from an imagined experience, a script stored in my memory that would be helpful should the unlikely event ever happen.

We do this often, and not always about possible catastrophes. By fabricating possible future experiences, we have memories that we can call on to navigate our lives and fall back on to guide our behavior in the future.

Wandering Is the Brain’s Default

One of the most meaningful developments in recent neuroscience is the serendipitous discovery of the brain network that hosts our mind wandering: substantial cortical regions clustered together in the brain’s “ default mode network .”

Wandering is what our brain does by default. So, logic dictates that if our brains dedicate so much energy to mind wandering, mind wandering should play an important role.

There is a trade-off, though. With all the benefits of creative thinking , planning, decision-making , and mood, mind wandering takes us away from the present. Evolution seems to have prioritized our ability to survive and flourish over our ability to cherish the moment.

I remember having lunch at a cafe in Tel Aviv with a visiting professor from Stanford. I greatly admire his work and his personality . At one point in our conversation, he told me he had once heard something that had completely changed him, how he thinks, and how he lives his life, and he wanted to share it with me.

I have no idea what it was. Despite his dramatic introduction, my mind drifted far away as he spoke. I was too embarrassed to tell him I hadn’t caught what he’d said once I realized what had happened. I can only imagine how odd he must have thought it was that I didn’t comment meaningfully on what he’d said but quickly changed the subject.

wandering minds add

Happily, though, I can report that my mind had wandered to something interesting in my own life. Perverse as our mind wandering can be, at least it generally does have a purpose.

Margaret Wiktor / Shutterstock

Put a Wandering Mind to Use

Most of what we do regularly involves some creation or production, from making food to fixing a leaky shower, from writing a letter to gardening. Even thinking is an act of creation. New ideas, inventions, and plans you make while your mind wanders are all products your mind created.

While we cannot direct our mind as to what to wander about, we can strive to fill the mental space of possibilities with what we would have liked to wander about, either because we seek new ideas, because it makes us feel good, or both.

Before I go on a long walk or do any other activity that is not overly demanding, I ask myself what is on my mind. If it is something like the bills I just paid or an annoying email, I try to replace it with something I’d rather spend my mind-wandering stretch on instead.

I might reread a paragraph that caught my interest recently. Or I might bring back a problem that engaged me before I gave up on it or warm up the idea of an upcoming trip so I can fine-tune the details as I simulate the future with my mind.

This post was adapted from M indwandering: How Your Constant Mental Drift Can Improve Your Mood and Boost Your Creativity by Moshe Bar, Ph.D.

1. Killingsworth, M. R., & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330(6006), 932. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1192439

Moshe Bar Ph.D.

Moshe Bar, Ph.D. , is a cognitive neuroscientist and the former Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

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wandering minds add

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The science behind your wandering mind and what to do about it

Get the full scoop on the good, the bad and the not-so-ugly of zoning out.

Despite what your parents or teachers may have told you as a child, daydreaming , aka, when your mind wanders off task and into the wilderness of unrelated thoughts, good, bad and in-between, is not always a bad thing.

While until fairly recently neuroscientists thought that the electrical activity of the mind at rest was just neural background noise , it actually looks like all of that mental meandering likely serves a purpose.

In ancient times , being able to remember what happened in the past, and predict what might happen in the future probably helped our ancestors avoid catastrophe. And today this ability may be a major source of support and inspiration when it comes to creative problem solving and planning.

Is mind-wandering a default?

We all zone out far more than we’re probably willing to admit. In fact, according to a 2010 study , our minds wander around half (47%) the time we’re awake. And mind-wandering involves a system in our brains called the default mode network .

When your brain is at rest, but not asleep, i.e. not focused on anything in particular, your default mode network is at its most active.

This network consists of some important structures in the brain and although it’s known to be involved in things like thinking, it's deactivated when focussed on a specific task.

The default mode network is also active when you are thinking about yourself, about others, remembering the past or planning for the future, aka, letting your thoughts roam wild and free.

While some past studies have associated a wandering mind with a general decrease in mental wellbeing , more recent studies have demonstrated that daydreaming can improve performance on repetitive tasks , increase creativity, divergent thinking, and novel ideas and could even make some people feel happier as they indulge in pleasant, off-task musings to distract themselves.

Which means that letting your thoughts drift might actually help you reach a breakthrough or come to a new conclusion that changes your current project for the better. In fact, a study of writers and physicists indicated that while they came up with creative ideas on task too, the ideas they had while their minds were somewhere else (aka, not on the task at hand) were more likely to be associated with overcoming an impasse or having an "aha" moment.

This is why taking a break when you’re feeling blocked and doing something else (like going for a walk or recording your thoughts in Foundations ) can free the block and help you refocus.

Of course, your brain’s roaming isn’t always a good thing. When it leads to worry , overthinking , or worse still, rumination—things can quickly take a turn for the worse and ruin your mood (and your day).

A stressed woman (who's maybe ruminating) covers her eyes with her hands, as she sits in a chair upholstered with chevron fabric.

Ivan Aleksic via @ unsplash

Ruminating , a negative sort of mind-wandering where your mind keeps running off to the same negative place, again and again, can become intrusive and hard to reign in, especially when what we’re worrying about is something outside our control.

Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to replace your unhelpful thoughts and help you redirect your attention.

The not-so-ugly

And, as it turns out, daydreaming is a default behaviour , and our brains automatically do it whenever we’re not actively directing our attention elsewhere. But whether or not that default has a positive or negative influence on our wellbeing depends on where the mind tends to go.

Our brains are attracted to unresolved issues and can lean towards hope or worry, depending on the situation at hand, the person in question and their biological disposition and life experiences. Fortunately, we have a substantial amount of influence on how (and where) our minds wander. Read on for a few things you can do to help your mind wander in a more positive direction.

3 things you can do (when your mind wanders)

1. get mindful and meditate.

Mindfulness and meditation help us change how we relate to the present moment, and over time, the world and people around us. Compassionate meditation in particular (like the Loving-kindness meditation in Foundations ), can make for more positive mind-wandering. This sort of meditation can help people feel more caring towards themselves and others—both of which are tied to happiness.

Doing mindfulness meditations can also make it easier to redirect your thoughts in moments you need to concentrate, as part of the practice consists of noticing when your attention gets off track and gently directing it back to the present moment with a breath or a mantra. For more on mindfulness, read our post on evidence-based reasons to practise mindfulnes s.

2. Record your thoughts

Tame your unruly mind with this simple technique from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . Make a regular habit of getting your thoughts down (on paper, or in your Foundations Thought record) and give your brain a break. It’s an excellent hack that can help shift your default .

Looking to learn more about this technique? Foundations' Challenge your thoughts program walks you through the basics.

3. Let your mind do what it wants

Instead of trying to force your brain to focus, give yourself a break. If your mind is wandering a lot, give yourself permission to take a few minutes off to see where it wants to go. Take five and let your thoughts go wherever they will.

And if mind-wandering is a recurring problem for you, try scheduling a regular time of day to give your thoughts free rein . Research shows that letting your focus move away from the task at hand helps relieve any boredom associated with concentrating for longer stretches and helps people return to what they’re doing with new ideas, feeling refreshed.

Do you get distracted while working and find your mind wandering ? Let us know at [email protected] .

Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

1803 East Willow Grove Avenue Glenside, PA 19038

Book cover for ADD: Wandering Minds and Wired Bodies

ADD: Wandering Minds and Wired Bodies

Written by Ed Welch

Easily distracted or forgetful. Mouths, arms, hands, and legs that run ahead of thinking. Impulsive decisions, chronic difficulties meeting deadlines, mistaken notions of one’s own abilities… behaviors often associated with Attention Deficit Disorder.

What is ADD? What are the strengths and weaknesses of ADD children? What can be done about this puzzling disorder? Noting both the challenges and responsibilities of ADD children, Edward T. Welch clarifies the physical and spiritual dimensions of ADD. He offers parents—as well as adults who fit the profile—help, encouragement, and biblical wisdom on how to handle this condition.

Book Details

18 pages Publisher: P&R Publishing Publication Year: 2009

eBook Details

24 pages Publisher: New Growth Press Publication Year: 2011

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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

Easy distractibility or forgetfulness. Mouths, arms, hands, and legs that run ahead of thinking. Impulsive decisions, chronic difficulties meeting deadlines, mistaken notions of one's own abilities... behaviors often associated with Attention Deficit Disorder. What is ADD? What are the strengths and weaknesses of ADD children? What can be done about this puzzling disorder? Noting both the challenges and responsibilities of ADD children, Edward T. Welch clarifies the physical and spiritual dimensions of ADD. He offers parents—as well as adults who fit the profile—help, encouragement, and biblical wisdom on how to handle this condition.

Edward T. Welch

Edward T. Welch

Edward T. Welch is a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is author of a number of books, including When People Are Big and God Is Small and Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave .

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Mindfulness For the Wandering Mind: Life-Changing Tools for Managing Stress and Improving Mental Health At Work and In Life

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Pandit Dasa

Mindfulness For the Wandering Mind: Life-Changing Tools for Managing Stress and Improving Mental Health At Work and In Life 1st Edition

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Reduce your stress level and become happier and more productive in work and personal life

Written by a monk-turned-leadership-guru, Mindfulness For the Wandering Mind offers unique insight on how you can focus your mind, become more resilient, respond better to conflict, and build stronger professional (and personal) relationships. It’s all possible when you begin to understand how your mind works and take control of this complicated mechanism. This book will show you how to identify and close the “apps” that are constantly running in your own mind, so you can eliminate distractions and find greater peace and productivity in your daily life.

In this book, you’ll find specific meditation processes and actions you can take to help you succeed as you begin or continue your journey. Through presentations and talks across the country, author Pandit Dasa has offered his wisdom on applying mindfulness in the workplace. In this book, he shares his wisdom with you, revealing that, no matter what your external circumstances or environment, you can find the time and space to reflect and unlock the benefits of mindfulness.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety by eliminating unnecessary distractions and closing unused “apps” in your mind
  • Harness the principles of forgiveness, patience, compassion, and selflessness to improve work-life balance and mental health for yourself and your employees
  • Break through the stigma surrounding mental health concerns and identify the obstacles that are keeping you from happiness and fulfilment
  • Complete reflection questions and exercises to develop a deeper awareness of how your mind works―and what you can do to improve it

Mindfulness For the Wandering Mind is for anyone who is looking for a solution to the constant feelings overwhelm, distraction, and anxiety that plague us in today’s fast-paced, media-saturated world. Teach your brain how to block out the noise and find focus, and observe the radical transformation that mindfulness can make in your life.

  • ISBN-10 1394197624
  • ISBN-13 978-1394197620
  • Edition 1st
  • Publisher Wiley
  • Publication date August 1, 2023
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Print length 224 pages
  • See all details

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From the Publisher

Tushar Bajaj endorsement of Mindfulness For the Wandering Mind book by Pandit Dasa


PANDIT DASA is an internationally renowned speaker, lecturer, and author. As a former monk, he began speaking and teaching about mindfulness, work-life balance, and managing stress at Columbia and New York Universities. He has since delivered over 700 speeches and workshops to organizations of all sizes, including Kellogg, Citi, and Kantar.

Editorial Reviews

“Pandit explains difficult concepts with very easy-to-understand examples, while pointing out the benefits in your everyday life that can be realized from day 1 of reading the book. I highly recommend this book to leaders of the future who are looking to lead with humility, become active listeners, and create a culture of mindfulness at the workplace.” ―D. Sharma, Founder and CEO, meditation.live “Anyone who is in a leadership role or is responsible for leadership development should make this book a must-read. Every page has invaluable insights to meaningful leadership. Mindfulness For the Wandering Mind is a useful tool that every leader can benefit from and apply. It’s honest, authentic, and engaging leadership.” ―Roger Jans, Manager of Workforce Planning Organizational Development and Classification, Ramapo College, New Jersey “For me personally, working in banking and finance and leading international teams in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, I need all the tools I can get to remain present, empathetic, and productive. Pandit’s book provides the very tools that are required to stay centered and maintain the work–life balance required for healthy living. I could not have read it at a better time.” ―John Thurlow, Chief Operating Officer, Capital Markets Division, Royal Bank of Canada “Pandit Dasa has provided a wonderful formula for those aspiring to high levels of professional success while maintaining their personal character. This book will provide the crucial tools students and professionals need to become caring and mindful professionals in the engineering and medical fields. In fact, there isn’t an industry that won’t benefit from this well-thought-out and highly relevant content.” ―Dr. Zhi-Hong Mao, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh “Pandit Dasa brings his extensive corporate experience speaking about these concepts into a book. This book is a must-read for individuals looking to balance career success and personal growth. The message the book transmits – do not get lost in nonessential things – is extremely important in corporate America, an extremely competitive and hardworking environment.” ―Ionut Florescu, Research Professor in Financial Engineering, Director of Hanlon Laboratories, Director of the Financial Analytics program, School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology “This is a must-read for anyone aspiring to remain mindful while overseeing teams and remaining productive.” ―Tushar Bajaj, Sales Leader of Hybrid Cloud Integration, IBM North America

From the Inside Flap

Reduce anxiety, manage stress, and improve focus and resilience Mindfulness For The Wandering Mind is a powerful and inspiring exploration of how to apply the principles of mindfulness in your own life to overcome the constant distractions, noise, overwhelm, and anxiety produced by contemporary society. Written by former-monk-turned-leadership guru Pandit Dasa, the book is a practical resource for focusing your mind, improving your menatl resilience, resolving stubborn conflicts, and strengthening your personal and professional relationships. You'll find specific and effective meditation processes that reduce stress and anxiety by closing unused "apps" running in the background of your mind, and explore the power of forgiveness, patience, compassion, and selflessness to improve your work-life balance and mental health. The author also offers reflection questions and exercises you can use to develop a better understanding and deeper awareness of how your mind actually works―and what you can do to make it work better for you. A can't-miss resource for busy professionals and anyone else looking for effective ways to deal with the constant influx of distraction and anxiety produced by our fast-paced, media-saturated environment, Mindfulness For The Wandering Mind is the companion to daily life we've all been waiting for.

From the Back Cover

A can’t-miss resource for busy professionals and anyone else looking for effective ways to deal with the constant influx of distraction and anxiety produced by our fast-paced, media-saturated environment, Mindfulness For The Wandering Mind is the companion to daily life we’ve all been waiting for.

About the Author

Product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wiley; 1st edition (August 1, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1394197624
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1394197620
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • #597 in Theory of Economics
  • #2,886 in Motivational Management & Leadership
  • #14,888 in Personal Transformation Self-Help

About the author

Pandit dasa.

Pandit Dasa is a Mindful Leadership Expert, author and motivational keynote speaker. His inspirational speeches aim to create a more mindful workplace culture which increases productivity and improves retention. He encourages leadership and co-workers to appreciate and celebrate the success and contributions of others. This attitude fosters trust, enhances teamwork and greatly impacts employee performance. He emphasizes the importance of leading without ego and highlights the importance of cultivating self-awareness and personal growth and development.

Pandit captures the audience's attention by sharing his journey on how and why he spent 15 years living as a monk in New York City, the incredible life and leadership lessons he learned from that experience and why he's no longer a monk. His story is chronicled in his book, Urban Monk. Some key messages the audience will take away are:

- Understanding how our mind, thoughts and emotions impact our reactions and behavior.

- Tools for managing one's emotions and staying calm and collected before pressing the "send" button.

- The value of consistently appreciating our colleagues.

- Attendees will be encouraged to lead by example by setting a proper leadership model.

- Learn breathing and focusing techniques that can reduce stress, improve productivity and boost emotional intelligence.

Pandit Dasa has spoken to many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. Some of the organizations he has spoken to are:

Google, Citibank, IBM, State Farm, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Nationwide Insurance, SAP, Bank of America, AMC Theatres, Intel, WeWork, Royal Bank of Canada, AMC Networks, Novartis, Comcast, TD Ameritrade, JPMorgan Chase, The World Bank, World Government Summit, SHRM National Convention, Oracle HCM Convention and many others.

For more information, visit www.panditdasa.com

Pandit's Speaker video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89UFFCMlCTc

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50th anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th home run: His closest friends remember the HR king

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They kept moving closer and closer to Hank Aaron on Atlanta’s bench, and he kept moving further and further away to protect them.

They kept looking for a stranger wearing a red jacket, Aaron kept staring at the pitcher.

Their minds kept wandering, sometimes in dark places; Aaron kept his sole concentration on the game.

It was a time the entire nation should have been showering Aaron with praise and glory. Instead, it was a time when part of the nation was showering Aaron with racism, hatred and death threats.

“We were scared to death,” Dusty Baker, Aaron’s close friend and teammate, tells USA TODAY Sports. “We didn’t know what was going to happen.”

MLB SALARIES: Baseball's top 25 highest-paid players in 2024

It was 50 years ago today, April 8, 1974. It was the moment that became instantly entrenched in American history.

It was the night Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, sending Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing’s fastball over the left-center field fence for No. 715 of his career.

“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.”

While legendary broadcaster Vin Scully magnificently described the moment, as the record crowd of 55,775 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium screamed in delight, Baker and Ralph Garr, Aaron’s closest friends and teammates, simply exhaled.

All the hatred, the death threats, that terrifying letter saying the killer would be wearing a red coat that evening when he pulled the trigger, could not stop the great Henry Aaron.

Nightengale: I'll never forget my afternoon with Hank Aaron, a true American hero

“We were scared to death,” Baker says. “Me and Ralph couldn’t even watch the game. We kept looking for the guy in the red coat the whole game. Hank acted like it didn’t bother him. But I know there was pain. A lot of pain.”

It was such a horrifying ordeal that when USA TODAY Sports sat down with Aaron on the eve of the 40th anniversary, the memories were still too vivid to appreciate the historic feat.

“I was being thrown to the wolves,” he said. “Even though I did something great, nobody wanted to be a part of it. I was so isolated. I couldn’t share it. For many years, even after Jackie Robinson, baseball was so segregated, really. You just didn’t expect us to have a chance to do anything. Baseball was meant for the lily white.

“Now, here’s a record that nobody thought would be broken, and, all of a sudden, who breaks it but a Black person.”

Aaron broke the most sacred record in all of sports at 9:07 p.m. ET, driving a 1-0 fastball over the outstretched glove of Bill Buckner, landing in Atlanta reliever Tom House’s glove in the bullpen.

“It was the greatest moment of my lifetime,” Ralph Garr told USA TODAY Sports. “I don’t care if you’re talking about the first time a man walked on the moon, or anything that ever happened in this country. It was one of the greatest feats on earth. Nothing will ever top the night Hank broke the record.

“Hank and Babe Ruth together in baseball history. What a blessing it was to witness it.”

More: Yes, Barry Bonds is baseball's home run king – but Hank Aaron's legacy runs deeper

Billye Aaron, Hank Aaron’s widow, hosted a dinner at her home Sunday night for Baker, Garr and Aaron’s former friends and teammates.

On Monday, they will gather to celebrate Aaron’s historic moment and life throughout the day in Atlanta. 

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the morning for the More than Brave: Life of Henry Aaron Exhibit at the Atlanta History Center. There will be a Henry Louis Aaron Fund 715 celebration luncheon featuring a panel with Ambassador Andrew Young, Baker, Garr and House. And there will be a poignant pre game ceremony before Atlanta’s game against the New York Mets featuring Aaron’s family, local dignitaries, Hall of Famers and Commissioner Rob Manfred.

It will be a time to remember, reflect and celebrate not just the night of 715, but the glorious legacy Aaron left behind for generations still reaping the benefits.

“He was such a marvelous human being,” says Garr, Aaron’s former roommate. “As great a ballplayer Hank was, Lord, he was even a better person. You couldn’t have a better human being than Hank. He led by example and treated everyone with the same respect. Black, white, young, old, everyone. He helped everyone.

“Look at me. He and Paul Snyder gave me a job working for the Braves some 40 years ago, and I’m still working for them. So, even though he’s gone, he’s still taking care of me right now.”

Garr, 78, Baker, 74, and Aaron, who died in 2021 at 86, were inseparable as teammates. Aaron would regularly have them over to his home for dinner. He would have them in his hotel room after games on the road to talk about baseball and life. He would bring them to Civil Rights meetings, introducing them to Ralph Abernathy to Jesse Jackson to Young to Maynard Jackson.

“He was the most instrumental influence in my life, outside of my father,” Baker said. “He introduced me and Ralph to everybody. We’d meet everyone in the Black music scene in Atlanta and Memphis. Al Green. Gladys Knight. Rufus Thomas and Carla Thomas. Isaac Hayes. Archie Bell and the Drells. Little Johnny Taylor. You name it, we saw them all.

“And we’d go to meetings with the civic leaders. Hank would always try to protect me and Ralph from being too much on the scene because that scene wasn’t popular with parts of America. So, he would always guard us.”

It was the same with all the hatred and racist mail Aaron received leading to his march toward Ruth’s record. Every day that he moved closer to hitting his 715th homer, his mailbox was stuffed with vile, racist letters. There were death threats on his life. Kidnapping threats on his daughters.

He was assigned a security guard, Calvin Wardlaw, an Atlanta police officer. His name was registered under one room, and he’d check into another. He was on a different floor, sometimes even a completely different hotel than his teammates, listed under an alias, A. Diefendorfer.

“He would never tell us what he was going through,” Garr says. “He kept it all inside. He didn’t drop any of it on us. He didn’t want to be a distraction. He didn’t want to worry us at all. You never would have known he was even going to break Babe Ruth’s record.”

Aaron, so protective of his teammates, didn’t even let anyone in on the late-night accident that could have created an absolute firestorm in the 1969 playoffs.

Atlanta just clinched the National League West title at the end of the season when a few players decided to go out and celebrate before they were scheduled to face the New York Mets in the NL Championship Series. The next thing they knew, third baseman Clete Boyer temporarily lost control of his car in the rain and they wound up in a ditch. Everyone got out and started to push.

Aaron, standing behind the car, pushed so hard that his right hand broke through the car taillight, slicing his hand and fingers.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Garr said. “It cut his hand up, bad, really bad. We said, ‘Oh, man, what are you going to do Hank? What are you doing to do?’ He said, ‘Man, I’ll be all right.’ I was scared to death. We needed him.

“He didn’t practice the next day, but then came in and had three cold shots of novocaine in between all of his finger. He threw on a black batting glove and went to play.”

It might have been the first time Aaron ever wore batting gloves in his career, but he needed protection to keep the stitches from ripping out of his hand.

The Mets wound up sweeping Atlanta in the inaugural best-of-five NLCS, but Aaron was unreal, hitting .357 with three homers and two doubles without striking out once. He drove in seven of Atlanta’s 15 runs.

“Man, no other human being on earth could have done what Hank did that series,” Garr said. “That was just amazing.”

It took 55 years for the secret to be revealed, but this was vintage Aaron, protecting and helping his teammates under every possible circumstance.

He treated Baker and Garr like his sons, actually filling out room service order forms and hanging them on Baker’s hotel door, making sure he got up in time for breakfast, stressing the importance of eating properly.

“He got on me all of the time for getting up and having breakfast,” Baker says. “He was big on eating at a regular time. He was on nutrition and taking care of yourself far ahead of anyone I knew.

“I’d hang out at night, and want to sleep to noon, and there’s a knock on my door at 9 in the morning, and it would be room service. I’d get upset. But that was Hank. He was making his point to get up and have breakfast.”

Aaron even insisted that Baker and Garr sat beside him on team planes to make sure they behaved themselves, and got their rest on planes, instead of going to the back of the plane and hanging out with teammates or joining card games.

“He’d go to sleep and me and Ralph would try to sneak out and go to the back with the fellas,” Baker said. “He would grab our wrists, and say, ‘Sit down.’ We certainly did.

“I tried to never disappoint him. There’s a couple of times where my actions disappointed him, and I felt so bad. If he asked me a question, I would never lie to him. If he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t get on me, he’d just not say anything. That made you feel worse.”

Yet, no one would be happier than Aaron when he watched the accomplishments of the two players he regarded as sons. While 1974 will forever be remembered as the year when Aaron broke the home run record, Aaron was more thrilled for Garr when he hit .353 to win the NL batting title. When Baker congratulated Aaron for being elected into the Hall of Fame in 1982, Aaron was still lauding Baker for winning the 1981 World Series championship with the Dodgers.

“He told me how happy he was that I won a World Series,” Baker said, “and told me that one day I was going to win a World Series as manager, too.”

Forty years later, Baker managed the Houston Astros to the World Series championship, with Garr cheering from the stands and Billye Aaron congratulating Baker from Atlanta, saying how proud Aaron would be. 

“That was the way Hank was,” Garr said. “He was overjoyed when someone accomplished some feat just out of the respect he had for the game of baseball.

“It was no different than how he felt for Barry Bonds when he broke the record, too. You never heard Hank complain about Barry Bonds or nothing. He broke the record. He respected him as the home run king.

“But what Hank and Babe Ruth did, man, that was off the chains what they did for the game of baseball.

“Really, what they meant for America.”

A half-century later, everyone can sit back, reflect and truly celebrate one of the greatest feats in not only sports, but all of American history.

“It feels like yesterday, but the one thing you know about time is that it doesn’t stop for anybody,” Baker says. “It lets you know how quickly and temporary this life is when 50 years can come and go this quickly.

“Fifty years seems like an eternity when you’re young, but now that I’m 74, I look back, and it’s just a short time in history.”

April 8, 1974.

A moment that will be forever entrenched, particularly those who lived it.

“Hank Aaron left a legacy not only for minorities, but for everybody,” Garr says. “He was one of a kind. Someone else may come along and hit more home runs. Someone may have a greater career.

“But I’m telling you, there will never be another man like him.”

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Neurodiversity is the future! Best ADHD jobs & career

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Finding a suitable job and career fulfillment is challenging for many people these days. But if you're dealing with a neurodivergent brain, for example because you have ADHD, autism or ADD, it might be even trickier. For some adults with a unique brain – which we call the Wandering Mind – it can almost feel like an impossible task to find job satisfaction.

But there is definitely hope for the Wandering Mind! Because more and more experts expect a demand for neurodiversity in the future. This will make it easier for Wandering Minds to find a suitable job. 

As an adult with ADHD or ADD you just have different qualities and needs than someone with a neurotypical brain. What is suitable work for someone with autism, ADD or ADHD? How do you find happiness within your career as a HSP? What are typical ADD or ADHD professions, in other words, the ideal jobs for someone with a brain that works differently? In this article we hope to give you some inspiration and tips.

Job or career challenges for neurodivergent adults

Work & career is perhaps the life area in which adults with AD(H)D, autism and HSP struggle the most. Almost every day we receive messages in our Dutch  Facebook  community where adults with ADD or ADHD are sharing that they are unemployed, ill (burnout) or even incapacitated for work. But it is also known that this group regularly underperforms, is bored at work or does not find satisfaction within their career. The corporate world does not always seem to be suitable for people with a neurodivergent brain. The way the Wandering Mind works is simply different, and not all employers know how to deal with that. A missed opportunity, we believe, because neurodiversity can be a great strength for companies.

Conflicts in the workplace, lack of understanding, feelings of powerlessness, failure due to illness or communication problems at work are of no exception. If you have a unique brain, things may be expected of you that don't suit you at all. Many of us don't come to our full potential.

Research on ADHD and work/career

Remarkably, little research has been done on the effect of ADHD on work and career. In fact, many ADHD practitioners, therapists, and coaches aren't exactly sure how to help clients with ADHD when it comes to their work lives. The Dutch psychologist Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D., who worked with ADHD children for years and later with ADHD adults, says psychologists and therapists who specialize in ADHD are undertrained in helping clients when it comes to their careers. In 2005 she published  an article on career choices and workplace challenges for individuals with ADHD  .

The Impact of AD(H)D Symptoms at Work

Several AD(H)D symptoms make it difficult for adults with this label to function within certain jobs and corporate cultures. Therefore, not all professions are equally suitable for people with ADHD.

For example, many adults with ADHD find it difficult – especially when still unable to deal with the symptoms – to  concentrate on one task for a longer period of time. In addition, as an adult with ADD or ADHD you may have difficulties with planning , organizing and getting things done on time . Following rules might be hard, as we sometimes know things can be done in a more efficient or better way. It is also difficult for many people with AD(H)D to stay motivated when a job offers little variety. Boredom sets in quickly. Or we get overstimulated, and then  burn-out  (or understimulated, followed by bore-out).

Fortunately, with our unique brain, we are smart enough to either (1) learn to deal with our symptoms or (2) find a job in which we can fully use our unique qualities. In addition, it is said that neurodiversity is the future! It is important that we recognize our value and step into our power.

Neurodiversity is the future

The future is neurodiverse, according to the Dutch Maartje Laterveer. She published an article in the Dutch newspaper NRC on June 16, 2022. “Little by little, more companies offer a policy aimed at people whose brains work differently than average. This is called neurodiversity. Rightly so, according to experts, because the future is neurodiverse. Neurodiversity is needed.

What is classified under the term ‘neurodiversive brain' are autism, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyscalculia and recently also giftedness and high sensitivity (HSP). More and more companies are recognizing the power of the neurodivergent brain and are adjusting their policy accordingly. Vodafone and Microsoft, for example, have programs specifically aimed at people with autism.

Finding a job that matches our qualities and talents

Knowing this, it might still be challenging to find that workplace where your Wandering Mind is valued. But we can't get around it anymore: some jobs have a strong match with our AD(H)D brain (and the qualities that come with it). We might even call these jobs real ADD professions, ADHD professions or HSP professions. The key is, to find a career that best fits our passions, skills and talents, and where our challenges don't cause major problems.

People with AD(H)D are creative, inventive and original. As an adult with AD(H)D, you are probably excellent at connecting the dots and solving problems. Because we can think quickly, out-of-the-box and master conceptual thinking, we easily find new angles and creative solutions. Jobs where originality and innovation are important, come naturally to us.

Also, people with ADHD often excel at analytical thinking and in seeing the bigger picture. This quality can come in handy in many different professions. Or we have fantastic people skills and with our empathy, openness and intuition, we excel in connecting with people.

neurodiversity career adhd hsp add autism

This was one of my (volunteer) jobs in New Zealand: I was a beekeeper for a week ;-). Maybe not the first ADHD profession that comes to mind. But this was a great temporary job. I loved being outside all day and working with my hands.

What does someone with a neurodivergent brain need in a job?

Do you know what your Wandering Mind needs in order to thrive in your career? What job is a good fit for someone with a neurodiverse brain? What is typical ‘AD(H)D work'? Where does the Wandering Mind comes to their full potential? This question is difficult to answer, because every person and every brain is different. But maybe the following information will give you some inspiration.

Creativity, fun, variety and meaning

For someone with AD(H)D or HSP it is usually important to have the opportunity to be creative and have fun at work. Everyone wants to enjoy their job, but for some of us Wandering Minds, this may be even more important. Being able to work with our creativity, keeps boredom and frustration at bay. It is also important for most of us, to have variety in work.

While many people feel sufficient motivation by receiving a salary and good work conditions, it is important for many adults with ADHD or HSP to be intrinsically motivated. We love to be really interested in the things we do on a daily basis. We prefer to even feel passion and meaning in our work. When we know that our work matters, we excel.

The right work environment

Not only the type of job is important for someone with a neurodivergent brain. The working environment and corporate culture are also decisive for success. Do we have our own office, or do we share the office with one person and can we easily concentrate, maybe by isolating ourselves? How is the space furnished? Does our boss expect us to be in the office from 9-5, or are we allowed to work from home? Is creativity valued, or are we mainly expected to carry out our tasks? These are all influential factors.

Open-plan office?

Someone with ADHD may not be able to concentrate well in an open-plan office. Because open workspaces give an abundance of stimuli. This can make it hard for the Wandering Mind to concentrate. We might be completely exhausted after a day at work. But put us in a creative brainstorm session in a creative space, and we thrive. After a day like this, we come home with an abundance of positive energy.

When looking for work, don't just look at the type of job, but also at the environment and culture of the company.

A large open space may not be the ideal work environment for someone with ADHD. Unless we can work with  noise canceling headphones , that might help.

adhd jobs, ideal career for people with adhd

Our neurodiversity is needed for our evolution!

Helen Taylor, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, says neurodivergent brains are not flawed, but have qualities that are essential for our evolution. The qualities of the unique brain are necessary for humanity to adapt to changing environments. She even uses a term for this: “neurocognitive specialization”.

The neurotypical brain is perfectly capable of maintaining the status quo, but when change is needed, neurodivergent brains are needed. Because they can come up with innovative solutions. Think, for example, of the current climate-, political and health issues.

Self-knowledge: essential for finding a suitable job with AD(H)D or HSP

Neurodiversity is important and even necessary for our evolution. But even with this information, how do we find the job that best suits us? How can we thrive in our career, find meaning and make a difference?

If we want to find a job that suits us, it is essential that we know ourselves well. That means knowing who we are, what is important to us in a job, what qualities we have, what we enjoy doing and what we would like to contribute.

Are there any ADHD symptoms that are preventing you from thriving in your career? What can you do about this? What do you need in a job to be able to come to your full potential?

These are all important questions to ask yourself.

Know yourself for direction & focus

There are many ways to increase self-knowledge. Think of reading books (like What Color is your Parachute?), doing courses, listening to podcasts that offer exercises. But also meditating, journaling and mindfulness are powerful methods.

In 2016 I was traveling in New Zealand, feeling very motivated to find my core values, to be able to find more meaning in life and in my work. For weeks, I was doing different kind of exercises to know myself better. That process never ended; I’m still working on it every day. And every day, I’m finding more meaning in life. The proces of self-knowledge changed my life completely.

My experience, finding meaning in my career as an ADD woman

My ADHD coach, back in 2015, said I might never be able to work full-time, like ‘normal’ people. It was something I had to accept. My Wandering Mind might just not be suitable for it. Working for myself would be a terrible idea too, because I would have to deal with ‘boring tasks’ like finances and administration. Now, years later, I work as a freelancer and entrepreneur on various projects, such as this website. But I also offer SEO advice, mostly to small-scale travel organizations such as  Roy Reizen ,  Norway Adventures  and  Kingfisher Tours and through my  SEO course for beginners  on Udemy.

I only take on jobs for which I feel intrinsically motivated. Also, I determine my own working hours. This makes a huge difference; I really enjoy working, almost every day. Because I’m able to work for different clients, and also make space for my own creative projects, I stay motivated. I don't work full time. This is a conscious choice; I value my free time and I place no value on buying a big house and expensive things. My sort-of minimalistic lifestyle enables me to work less than average. I’m so grateful for this life I created.

Exercise for finding suitable work as an adult with ADD or ADHD

There is no unequivocal answer to the question ‘what is the best job for someone with ADHD or ADD?’. The answer to this question is very personal. It depends on your skills, talents, interests and your personal needs.

The following exercise may help: Make 3 lists: (1) what are you good at, (2) what do you like to do and (3) what will someone pay you for? The ideal job for you as an adult with AD(H)D would appear in these 3 lists. If you don’t master a skill yet, but you would like to do it and someone would pay you for it, it might be worth it to learn something new. Invest some time and money in self improvement.

Jobs for adhd people, or add, hsp, autism

List of ideal jobs for men and women with AD(H)D

The perfect job for someone with AD(H)D does not exist. But since I work with SEO, I Know that many people search for “What is a real ADHD job, ADD job or HSP job?” in Google. Maybe that was you. You might wish to find a list with suitable jobs.

Some examples of jobs that might be a good fit for someone with ADHD are: innovator, woodworker, teacher, baker, interior designer, writer, architect, art director, designer, translator, actor, musician, editor, chef, carpenter, inventor, fashion designer, journalist, industrial designer, researcher, web designer, data-analyst, psychologist, coach and advertiser.

Physical occupations can also be a good fit for someone with ADHD. Think of a firefighter, catering employee, gardener, personal trainer or gym teacher.

But don't let these examples limit you. With your unique brain you can go in so many directions!

There are plenty of suitable professions for people with ADD, ADHD and HSP

Getting a label like ADD, ADHD or HSP, might have made you think in limitations. But someone with AD(H)D can excel in a job. It is important to find out what you are good at, where your interests lie and in which environment you function best. The possibilities are endless, and you too can find work that suits you (and your unique brain). You can also get a grip on your symptoms, for example with the help of a coach. And don’t forget: the future is neurodiverse!

Did you already find the ideal job, as an ADHD or HSP adult?

Have you found your dream job as an adult with AD(H)D? Or are you still looking? We would love it if you share your experience in the comments.

  • The future is neurodiverse, NRC 2022

Follow us on the socials for more tips, experience stories and a dose of extra inspiration for your Unique Brain. Do you want to connect with like-minded people? Our community is a safe place where you share experiences, ask questions & make new friends.

About The Author

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José Schrijver

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2 thoughts on “neurodiversity is the future best adhd jobs & career”.

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Thank you for bringing to light the autistic obstacles that face many of the workforce. I recently [Sept/Oct 2023] asked for noise cancelling headphones at my workplace and learned that I needed to find something suitable myself. After spending four plus hours online and two physical hours in-store plus more hours trying to configure/setup the headphones I purchased, I was beyond dysfunctional. I had already given my notice around the same time and ended up resigning because I couldn’t fathom the idea of showing up in person; let alone remotely.

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Wow, thank you for sharing Kimberly. That sounds really intense. I hope you have the right support around you!

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