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Adult ADHD: Tips to Curb Impulsive Speech

Practice 'Two-Way' Conversations

Laugeson recommends that you practice conversation as a way to trade information. This is especially important for people with ADHD who tend to do all the talking.

"Look for common interests," she says. "That should be your goal."

That way, talk moves two ways. Take turns -- both of you should ask and answer questions.

"It makes it a more interesting conversation for both people," she says. "It should not be all about what you want to talk about."

And when you keep the conversation on-topic, you're less likely to blurt out personal information you might later regret sharing.

Practice

Self-talk is a simple but effective way to curb impulsiveness, says psychiatrist George Keepers, MD.

Like role play, you rehearse the types of social scenarios you often find yourself in. You’ll want to practice with someone, ideally a therapist. When you do, say out loud the behavior that best suits the situation. For example, before you mention your idea at a meeting, say to yourself, "I should write down my idea."

"That will help you remember the habit," says Keepers, who directs the Adult ADHD Clinic at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

With enough practice, you won't need to speak your reminders aloud. You can say them to yourself in your head.

Try Mindfulness Meditation

This offers a lot of benefits for adults with ADHD, Keepers says. To meditate, sit quietly and calmly. Clear your mind as you focus on your breathing. As thoughts enter your mind, you gently push them away.

It can take some time to get used to it. At first, your thoughts may distract you. But with daily practice, you will get the hang of it.

"It helps people to engage and be present, to learn to observe and not be quite so distracted," Keepers says.

Start with a how-to book or take a class, then practice on your own. You may be able to find audio online for a guided meditation where someone will talk you through it. At first, try just a few minutes at a time and build on that as you become more comfortable.

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