Hyperfocus

Hyperfocus, which is often sold as an ADHD superpower, isn’t that pleasant or useful. Sure it can be really fun to be very interested in solving a particular problem, I’m pretty sure that every one of my interests periodically gets a hyperfocus phase and that’s how I came up with the whole PhD idea.

But that being said, I have no control over where exactly my brain decides to hyperfocus. In my case, it’s often some kind of argument with other people, and I’m thinking it over and over, I’m trying to talk to people, if I can’t I’m having dialogues in my head, I’m writing, trying to walk it out, I’m waking up super early and can’t go back to sleep because I already started thinking what I’ve been thinking for the entire day yesterday and that’s how I end up sleep-deprived for a few days.

And all things that go with it — neglected self-care such as: eating irregularly and not taking care of what I eat, higher risk of migraines, not enough activity and fresh air, and overall all the other tasks and routines neglected. All this time I’m in some kind of do/fight mode, probably with high cortisol, it starts to feel really unpleasant, but really hard to snap out of.

I mostly described a bad scenario here, of course, the one where I’m focusing on something negative, but really the effects are often similar even with the more positive topics. I think of my attention as if it’s an untrained puppy — and in hyperfocus, it’s a dog with a bone. That’s an issue with which meditation helps directly, btw, it both helps you snap out a bit and train your puppy to be a bit more manageable. But it takes time, of course, and it’s so hard to keep doing it when you stop remembering how it feels to be out of control.

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