Coping Skills for Hyperactivity (7 Strategies to try)

Here, we are going to explore some highly useful coping skills for anyone struggling with hyperactivity. At first, we will understand better what hyperactivity really is. Then, we will take a closer look at eight such coping strategies.

What are Coping Skills for Hyperactivity?

If you’re seeking some effective coping skills for hyperactivity, try this quick list of helpful strategies:

  • Finding Physical Outlets for Energy
  • Eating Right and On-Time
  • Spending Time Outdoors
  • Playing with Animals
  • Grounding Techniques
  • Relaxation Exercises
  • Practicing Sleep Hygiene

What is Hyperactivity?

Hyperactivity is the state of being excessively active. In this state, one experiences constant movement, easy distraction, and impulsive behaviour — often aggressive. As a result, the people around, such as teachers, employers, or parents, may have a tough time managing the hyperactive individual’s behaviour.

Typically, hyperactivity is an overt manifestation of an underlying mental or physical health condition. For example, ADHD, brain disorders, thyroid issues, substance abuse, or issues of the nervous system.

Fortunately, hyperactivity is treatable if the cause is detected early. If left untreated, it can lead to impairment in functioning, depression and anxiety, strained interpersonal relationships, accidents/injuries, or an increased risk of substance abuse.

7 Helpful Coping Skills for Hyperactivity

In this section, we will focus on seven helpful coping skills that can ease your experience with hyperactivity. These coping skills should also be taught to teachers, employers, and parents so that they can learn how to make things easier for everyone.

Finding Physical Outlets for Energy

If someone is being excessively active, it’s only possible because their body is producing large amounts of energy. This is reflected in their restlessness, inability to sit still, fidgeting, and psychomotor agitation.

One way to reduce the amount of energy in the individual is the create healthy physical outlets for it. This can prevent accidents or injuries and make the person feel a little more centred.

Some examples of such outlets are sports, dancing, exercise, physical labour, etc. For younger children, more examples include craftwork, playing games, toys that require manipulation, and building creative objects.

Eating Right and On-Time

It’s imperative for anyone experiencing hyperactivity to start paying attention to diet and nutrition. Consuming things like sugar, caffeine or other stimulants tend to increase energy levels leading to more hyperactivity.

So, one must practice maintaining limits on the consumption of such food items. Moreover, it should also be accompanied by other healthy food habits like eating a balanced meal and at fixed times.

By doing so, one can learn how to keep their hyperactivity predictable and controlled to an extent. Therefore, exacting well makes it easier to cope with this state.

Spending Time Outdoors

Researchers have found that spending time outdoors in a natural setting can potentially improve symptoms of hyperactivity. Being surrounded by trees, open spaces, fresh air, and nature’s creatures not only lightens the mood but also gives enough opportunity to release some energy.

You can manage your hyperactivity by adding regular exposure to the outdoors to your daily routine. Try adding it twice a day if possible, especially once in the morning so you can enjoy the beauty of nature starting its day.

Playing with Animals

There has been a lot of research done on animal-assisted therapy interventions for hyperactivity. Some of the mechanisms explored in these studies included calming, socialising, motivating, and cognitive benefits.

Overall, experts have found that being around animals does have a positive impact on hyperactivity. That’s why having an emotional support animal can be a brilliant way to cope with this condition.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a high-maintenance pet like cats and dogs. You can also consider smaller pets like hamsters, gerbils, mice, and tortoises.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Grounding Techniques

Often when someone is hyperactive, they tend to be sensitive to environmental triggers. Something that works them up can lead to inappropriate emotional reactions. In moments like these, it helps to practice grounding techniques.

A grounding technique is a strategy that reorients you to the present moment, making it easier to focus on what’s in front of you in a calm and relaxed manner.

Generally, these techniques require you to pay attention to the sensory information being perceived by you, such as what you can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste. Nevertheless, there are also many cognitive grounding techniques that engage your brain in tasks that distract you from the trigger.

Relaxation Exercises

It’s very hard for a relaxed body to be hyperactive. Hence, an effective coping strategy is to train the body to relax on demand. However, that’s easier said than done.

The important thing to remember about relaxation is that it will only work if you’ve released some of the extra energy built up inside you. Without that, it’s pointless to try and relax. Engaging in some kind of physical activity is a great way to discharge excessive energy.

Once you have done that, it will be a lot easier to relax the muscles in your body. Some useful relaxation exercises are progressive muscle relaxation, shaking, bamboo swaying, yoga stretching, and meditation.

Practising Sleep Hygiene

Hyperactivity, especially during the night, tends to impact one’s sleep cycle. It’s hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up when you’re supposed to. This then becomes a vicious cycle because lack of sleep leads to more dysfunction, more anxiety, and more hyperactivity.

Therefore, practising sleep hygiene is a crucial part of coping with hyperactivity. Sleep hygiene is a set of certain habits that promote adequate and good-quality sleep. These habits include the following:

  • Avoiding screentime 30-60 minutes before bedtime
  • Having a bedtime routine that is followed consistently
  • Using the bed only for sleeping and no other activity like eating, working, or watching stuff
  • Doing some light stretches or relaxation exercises before bed

Conclusion

Here, we explored some highly useful coping skills for anyone struggling with hyperactivity. At first, we understood better what hyperactivity really is. Then, we took a closer look at eight such coping strategies.

The coping skills included in this blog were Finding Physical Outlets for Energy, Eating Right and On-Time, Spending Time Outdoors, Playing with Animals, Grounding Techniques, Relaxation Exercises, and Practicing Sleep Hygiene.

What we recommend for Counselling

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression or any other mental disorders then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

FAQs (Coping Skills for Hyperactivity)

How can I be sure that my kid is hyperactive?

Though hyperactivity is generally detected in childhood, it can be a little tricky for parents to know whether their child is hyperactive or simple an energetic kid. The best way to know is to consult a physician or mental health professional. Nevertheless, here are some telling signs of hyperactivity:

  • Extreme fidgeting and squirming
  • Difficulty relaxing or playing quietly
  • Constantly talkative
  • Being short-tempered or easily triggered

Is hyperactivity normal?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hyperactivity can be considered normal for some children. Though this state can indicate an underlying neurodevelopmental problem like ADHD, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. It is possible for kids to be hyperactive and yet not require clinical interventions.

Can caffeine cause hyperactivity?

Caffeine definitely is a stimulant so it causes consumers to feel more active and energetic. When it comes to children, it can even alter certain brain mechanisms and development. It’s best to avoid caffeine consumption in childhood as there are also many side effects to this.

References