Impulsivity, what's the Deeper Meaning?
Oceans are expansive, vast, and boundless with many aspects and nuances. The Ocean presents itself in many ways to the human sight and experience. The water can be calm and shallow on the edges of the shoreline or deep and foreboding with the absence of land. The same is true with impulsivity. It is more than what meets the eye, more than hindsight, and deeper than foresight, and way more than an extrinsic trait. Each human vision, and experience around impulsivity can be quite different.
Impulsivity, what's it All About?
The Dictionary.com definition of impulsivity is “swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses”. Impulsivity from the root word “Impulsive” denotes a brisk and abrupt action based on a person’s feelings or emotions without careful thought or analysis. One example of this is an inclination to buy things upon first glance, which often results in regret. The behavior is often quick, not thought out, and includes spur of the moment decisions that may be harmful to any aspect of our lives; relationships, health, finance, goals, dreams and aspirations.
Impulsivity and ADHD what are The Tell-All Tale Signs?
One of the most common signs of ADHD is Impulsivity. Impulsivity is most obvious in children who are often emotionally driven to act. For example, the child who throws a toy out of frustration or runs across the street without looking when he or she sees something interesting. In the case of growing teens, they are more likely to indulge in behaviors based on emotion which can get them into trouble. Examples here may be related to the hormonal shifts that are rapidly occurring at that developmental stage. Adults can also engage in impulsive decisions when there are high emotions or a trigger from past experiences, especially if they have not learned the skills to manage impulsivity.
Everyone experiences impulsivity from time to time after all, we are human and perfectly imperfect. When impulsivity occurs in a person's life over and over in ways that do not align with goals and aspirations, it can be harmful and destructive. In a child, he or she may have that impulse to have something right now, leading to snatching a toy that caught their attention from the hands of another child thus impacting friendships. The teenager, buying that red dress at the shopping mall without any thought about the need for it or cost. For adults, looking at the beautiful fancy watch with a high price tag, and paying for it with a credit card could lead to serious financial struggles when this type of behavior becomes habitual.
Impulsivity is essentially a swift action into a decision without much thinking or consideration. Impulsivity can show up in many areas of your life, such as in relationships, career, work, finances and spending, health, eating. When it consistently works against your goals it puts you at such a great disadvantage.
ADHD and Impulsivity what the impact? Wiring in the Brains?
Having ADHD often sets up the brain wiring to be at risk for increased impulsivity, furthermore, the lack of or weaker executive function skills in those with ADHD add to the problem.
Here are some examples of the ADHD and impulsivity connection…...
So, can you say it's not your fault? Well sort of yes and sort of no…. We all have work to do on ourselves, ADHD aside. This is work you CAN do and be successful around taking control of the impulsivity and its impact in your life.
Impulsivity and Life
Impulsivity within our communications can often hurt other people’s feelings. Very often we are not even aware of this. Ultimately what we may see are troubles in our relationships both personal and professional. Other areas where impulsivity may impact us involve risk taking behaviors. A few examples are explorations with sex and drugs can often lead to serious health consequences related to sexually transmitted diseases and early substance abuse disorders. Driving and impulsivity can have life or death consequences. Research has shown significant risk of accidents in those who have ADHD possibly related to the weaker executive function skills, specifically impulsivity and inattention. Meanwhile, drunk driving due to impulsivity in drinking alcohol is the primary reason for engagement in various incidents of road accidents. Impulsivity in choices regarding career can lead to taking and quitting jobs more often. This can be disastrous. Binge-eating on food can impact your health and well being, leading to obesity or other eating disorders. Bingeing on things can hurt your good credit.
How to Self-Manage Impulsivity in Teens and Adults
Impulsivity is an intrinsic trait in part due to some of the brain wiring for many with ADHD. With this in mind, here are a few steps to follow to help you self manage your impulsivity and stay on track.
When you practice this continuously you set yourself up for more success in achieving your goals and bring longer term happiness and peace to your life.
Once you uncover some areas impacted by impulsivity you can try the following tactics
Seeking Professional Help
Begin at the beginning, and be sure you are receiving proper treatment for your ADHD symptoms. Talk to your doctor about options that are right for you. Medication, coaching, therapy, can all impact how your ADHD is managed. Working with a coach can help you to quickly identify, clarify, and create strategies for managing any ADHD trait, especially impulsivity. Programs created with a coach are specifically designed to be unique to you. You can also work with a coach to develop your executive function skills that will support you further. If you behaviors are especially risky do not delay, reach out for help today.
Feel free to message me for assistance and guidance. You are NOT alone….I am here for you! There are many who can help you in your journey in achieving your goals and living your best life! Life is not all about fighting the battle alone. It is fighting the battle with others! I am a friend! Journey with me…. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!
Feel your life with wonders and adventures. You can become who you want to be. It may take time and effort but the journey will be all worth it. Sail with me - and we’ll explore all possibilities.
Love to all,