ADHD, Working Memory, Worry and Anxiety

Many of those with ADHD don’t learn in a linear fashion. They tend to ping pong all over the place, bouncing from topic to topic based on what they’re interested in. In the long term, do they actually learn? Or is it a waste of time? In this video, ADHD coach Jeff Copper shares a personal experience how his non-linear learning over a period of time is starting to come together in a very orderly way. Jeff shares his insight, hopes, and observations from his personal experience to inspire you to stick to the learning method that best suits you. If you need inspiration and if you’re a non-linear learner, this is a video you won’t want to miss.  []

Video Transcript:

Welcome, everybody, to this edition of Attention Talk Video. I’m your host, ADHD and attention coach Jeff Copper. Today, I’m here to talk about anxiety and working memory and worry and emotions. I have been doing a lot of focus and a lot of work on working memory. We’ve done a lot of shows talking about how working memory is really underlying and the basis of a lot of challenges of those with ADHD. And we actually have a couple of videos out there on working memory that actually use attention exercises to put you in a situation to simulate, so you can get an idea by putting you in the experience of witnessing the process of working memory inside your head.

So with all that being said, one of the things about people with ADHD, they have a lot of anxiety and some of that is kind of genetic and biology based but I’ve had a lot of coaching conversations with people ADHD and we talked about working memory and the idea that you can only hold so many thoughts and ideas in your mind. Let’s say hypothetically that you could hold five and you’ve got 15 important things that are out there. What happens is, and I’m just going to use a thought, like one through five, let’s say all of a sudden number seven comes into your mind and if you can only hold five maybe you drop off two, then number 10 comes in and you drop off five, then number 15 comes in and you drop off one. What do you have left? It’s boggling my mind now even to remember what’s left, so then what happens is one of the words that you forgot and when the thoughts you forgot comes back in.

The idea really here is you can only hold so much in and mind is constantly spinning around trying to get its head around all 15 items, which it can’t do. Those simulations or that spinning around ends up kind of manifesting as worry. Worry is just worrying about what about this? What about this? What about this? Now, I did an interview on Attention Talk Radio with Sharon Suleiman one time and she talked about anxiety is the physical manifestation of worry, so when you get kind of anxious that’s a byproduct of your head spinning around kind of in circles and as you get anxious you get kind of emotional and so, it’s been fascinating with me in coaching people with ADHD to say, listen, if you’ve got a lot of emotion and you have a lot of anxiety, let’s go take a look at what we can do to manage your working memory and make it less taxed, like write things down on paper.

 In the middle of the night maybe a thought or idea comes up, maybe you call your voicemail or you send yourself a text so that you can capture that, so you have that all in one place. Oddly enough, for some, this has had a material change in their anxiety when we started focusing on how we could manage their working memory. Anyway, something I’m throwing out there for you to think about. If you have a lot of anxiety, maybe think about some of this a little bit and find ways to get it outside of your head and get it down. Which, by the way, I think some people, when they’re actually journaling, they’re doing a lot of getting thoughts and ideas out of their head, which enables them to relax, organize their thoughts, and reduce that anxiety. So subscribe to our YouTube channel. Please make a comment. What do you think of the video? Is this helpful for you? Did it spark another insight? We’d love to hear from you. Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Attention Talk Video, take care.


6 thoughts on “ADHD, Working Memory, Worry and Anxiety

  1. I get a lot out of your videos but I even showed them to someone and they also feel the same as I do they are like teases with very vital information and concepts for a 2 or 3 minute video but then like “Where is the rest to make heads of the video?” You introduce the 15 juggling thoughts which is absolutely an AHA ! for me but then you finish the video? 🙁 Also I clicked on the video link you gave us but it was an error i wasn’t able to access it but I would love to listen to the that video! Last thing lol I noticed that is there a coaching promotion being offered I saw i forget it was most likely email saying due to the covid 19 virus attention some type of attention coaching is being offered right now by ? I am also very keen on being able to see and learn from those other Work Memory Simulation videos . My mother would benefit from seeing it a s well! if be so kind to attatch or leave the links to where the other Working Memory videos that have been already created where I can find them little easier? . Are they on youtube as well?
    Warm regards ,

    1. Thrilled you get a lot out of my videos. They are 2 to 3 minutes long specifically because most people like them to be short. There is a lot to working memory and it would take a while to review the topic from beginning to end. (Note, I’m working on a digital class that covers it from beginning to end.) I did offer a virus discount to a class that started April 6 (Setting Up Your Mind to Solve ADHD Problems). Not sure when I’m going to run another one. I do offer it privately if you and your mother wanted to take it together. For the most part, you can find all my videos on working memory by searching “Attention Talk Video working memory” in YouTube. You might consider listening to my interview with Dr. Russell Barkley on Attention Talk Radio. Just Google “Attention Talk Radio GPS.” Thanks for your comment.

      1. That sucks that I just saw your reply! :(( Can I still sign up for that full length Digital class on Working Memory Jeff? Also I do recall we have spoken before about getting coaching services. Is possible to email you about the costs for Individual coaching,etc?

  2. Very good information that you present in a simple, understandable manner. AND the video is short – love that! Thank you, I feel less anxious now!

    1. Thank you for commenting. There is an old saying… name it to tame it. When I watch Alfred Hitchcock movies, I notice the suspense (ambiguity) is what is scary. One thing is clear… it isn’t so scary. My hope is that the video would make things tangible to help down-regulate emotions. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *