Circular Thinking

Perseverative thinking is a normal part of adolescence/teenage years, and is particularly common among kids with ADHD and those on the Autism spectrum. They become a problem when thoughts get caught up in a loop which is disruptive to every day activities and prevent new ideas and emotions from taking hold.   

Tips to disrupting perseverative thoughts:

-Create a worry bucket, a small notebook where you can write down things to remember and concerns and know they are stored without having to constantly think of them. 

-Visualization: visualize your thoughts rolling by on a conveyor belt, or a river, or as images on a screen. Don;t try to change them, just notice and acknowledge them.

-Move! Do something physical such as taking a walk, jumping jacks, or running in place.

-Stimulate the body with a sensory experience such as drinking tea, eating a snack, taking a shower.

-Use an intentionally repetitive focus phrase to replace the thought. "Calm, happy, wise", or whatever works.

-Create: Draw, sculpt, cook, do an activity which requires both creativity and executive function (organized thought and following steps).