When I finish a project I am in the habit of stepping back and taking a moment to appreciate
what I’ve done and notice how good I feel when it’s done. In my work with ADHD clients for almost two decades, however, I have noticed that more often than not when we finish a project or a portion of a project clients rarely look back and appreciate our completions. Their brains seem to automatically take them to the next thing. This habit is a missed opportunity to celebrate themselves and their accomplishments and build self-esteem.
For me the stepping back, noticing what I’ve done, and patting myself on the back when I’ve finished a task have been my positive payoff for my hard work. What I only recently learned is that with each completion the brain rewards me by releasing serotonin, the neurotransmitter that promotes positive mood and emotional balance. In order to feel the benefits of the serotonin, however, I have to pause to allow myself to feel it. Rushing on to the next task on my to-do list distracts me from pleasure of the release of serotonin.
So, when you finish tasks take a few minutes to look back at what you’ve accomplished. Celebrate your completions even if you have much more to do. Pause to appreciate your efforts and enjoy your well-earned serotonin surge.