Living with ADHD can be challenging. Difficulty with focus, impulsivity, and restlessness can leave individuals feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. However, there is a simple practice that can help manage these symptoms and bring a sense of calm into daily life: mindful meditation.
Mindful ADHD meditation involves focusing on the present moment, without judgment or distraction. Meditating with ADHD may seem daunting at first, but with practice, it can become a powerful tool to help reduce stress, improve concentration, and increase overall well-being.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of mindful meditation for those with ADHD, and how meditating with ADHD can be a game-changer in managing symptoms and improving quality of life.
Table of Contents
What Exactly Is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries, and involves training the mind to focus and be present in the moment. Mindful ADHD meditation is a specific type of meditation that can be helpful for those with ADHD. It involves paying attention to your thoughts and emotions, without judgment or distraction.
Meditating with ADHD can be challenging at first, but with practice, it can help reduce stress and improve concentration. The practice of mindful meditation can also help with impulse control and emotional regulation, which are common challenges for those with ADHD.
By incorporating meditation into your daily routine, you can learn to manage your ADHD symptoms and feel more in control of your thoughts and emotions.
The main objective when it comes to mediation isn’t about how still you can be or how long you can hold your breath. Those things do not matter. The purpose for mediation is being able to connect with your thoughts and feelings by focusing purely on you and not your surroundings.
Mediation is supposed to allow the most unheard voice to speak, this is what it means to be mindful. This idea can seem frightening but it is very necessary to acknowledge whatever is hurting us so we can be able to heal from it. And the way to unleash these thoughts can be done in numerous ways. The key component is to be mindful.
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
ADHD and its symptoms
ADHD is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms can make it challenging for individuals with ADHD to stay focused on tasks, complete assignments, and manage their time effectively.
By recognizing the signs of ADHD, you can take steps to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Some common symptoms of ADHD include:
– Difficulty paying attention or staying focused
– Hyperactivity or restlessness
– Impulsivity or acting without thinking
– Forgetfulness or disorganization
– Poor time management or procrastination
Meditation and ADHD: How it Helps
What I found to be so fascinating about mindful meditation and that- it’s so simple but very difficult to do. There was something powerful about observing myself and being able to reflect on my past actions. Once you become self aware of why you do or say certain things, you begin to refine yourself.
Mindfulness, in contrast to many treatments for ADHD, strengthens the patient from the inside out. Your capacity for self-observation, attention training, and developing new coping mechanisms for stressful situations will increase.
Meditation can help people become more self-aware and less prone to acting on impulse by teaching them to focus their attention on the act of concentration itself. That’s a common struggle for those who have ADHD.
There is a growing body of research that supports the use of meditation as a complementary treatment for ADHD. One study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders found that adolescents with ADHD who practiced mindfulness meditation for eight weeks had significant improvements in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity compared to those who received no intervention.
Another study published in the Journal of Child Neurology found that children with ADHD who practiced transcendental meditation for six months had improvements in cognitive function and executive function.
Mindful Meditation Strategies For ADHD
Meditation is a practice that can be practiced by anyone at any time. It’s an easy tool that can help you learn more about yourself and the world, but if you have ADHD, you may have trouble maintaining focus long enough to get the benefits of meditation.
To help you get started or fine-tune your practice, consider the following methods:
1. Always maintain an open mind
When it comes to using mindful meditation for ADHD, always maintaining an open mind is an essential strategy. Meditating with ADHD can be challenging, and it’s important to approach the practice with patience and an open attitude.
Mindful ADHD meditation is not about achieving perfection, but rather about being present in the moment and accepting your thoughts and emotions as they are.
By maintaining an open mind, you can approach each meditation session with a sense of curiosity and wonder, rather than frustration or judgment. This approach can help you stay engaged with the practice, even when it feels difficult or uncomfortable.
With time and practice, you may find that maintaining an open mind during mindful meditation helps you cultivate a greater sense of peace and calm in your everyday life.
2. Find A Relaxing Place
Using mindful meditation to treat ADHD can be helped partially by being to a calm space. Meditating with ADHD can be challenging, as the mind tends to wander and become easily distracted.
Therefore, it’s essential to find a quiet and relaxing place where you can focus on the practice without any disturbances. Whether it’s a quiet room in your house, a nearby park, or a meditation center, finding a calming environment can help you feel more grounded and focused during your meditation session.
By reducing external distractions, you can better focus on your breathing and bring your attention back to the present moment when your mind starts to wander. With practice, you can develop a greater sense of awareness and self-control, both of which are key skills for managing ADHD symptoms.
3. Be Patient With Yourself
When practicing mindful meditation to manage ADHD, it’s crucial to be patient with yourself. It’s essential to remember that meditation is a practice, and progress takes time.
Being patient with yourself means accepting that some meditation sessions will be more difficult than others, and that’s okay. Instead of becoming frustrated, try to approach each meditation session with a sense of openness and curiosity.
Recognize that your mind will wander, and that’s normal. When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your attention back to your breath without judgment.
By being patient with yourself and allowing yourself to make mistakes, you can develop a more positive relationship with your meditation practice
4. Set A Goal
Start with a daily target of three minutes. At first, this could seem like an extremely lengthy time. You’ll most likely find your thoughts wandering. You shouldn’t worry; this is very typical.
Setting a specific goal for your practice can help you stay motivated and focused. For example, you may set a goal to meditate for 5 minutes every day for a week. Or, you may set a goal to attend a weekly meditation group. Having a goal can help you stay on track and measure your progress.
Additionally, when you achieve a goal, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, which can help motivate you to continue with your meditation practice. Remember, the goal is not to achieve perfection but to establish a regular practice that works for you.
Having a calm, relaxed state of mind or holding steady thoughts is not the objective here. Dr. Shepard believes the trick is to keep an eye on your thoughts and, if you become aware of their wandering, gently guide them back to your anchor.
5. Have A Meditation Buddy
Having a meditation buddy can provide accountability and support, which can help you stay motivated and committed to your practice. Your meditation buddy could be a friend, family member, or even a therapist or meditation teacher.
By meditating with someone else, you can share your experiences, ask questions, and support each other in your practice.
Having a meditation buddy can make the practice more enjoyable and social, which can make it easier to stick with.
6. Focus On Your Breathing
In meditation, breathing is typically used to bring your focus back to the here and now. Try to breathe normally and focus on how it makes your body feel.
Then, when you’re ready, take a deep breath in and focus on how it makes your body feel once again.
What happens in your stomach when you think about it? What’s going on with your chest? For a few seconds, hold your breath, and then slowly release it. Examine how it feels to let your breath out completely.
7. Try Meditation App
Using a certified meditation app might serve as a helpful introduction to meditation. There are a plethora of apps like Calm and Headspace available.
Each one provides access to a wealth of materials for both novices and seasoned practitioners, in addition to other advantages like community-based support and focused meditation.
Many meditation apps include a selection of meditations, and some even display the duration of the meditation session.
You may tailor your meditation practice with several applications to your specific stress areas.
8. Pick The Right Time Of Day
When it comes to practicing mindfulness meditation or another kind of meditation, some people find that some times of the day are more suitable than others.
On the other hand, you may find that you benefit more from meditation practice during a particular time of day. Some individuals meditate before bed to help them relax and fall asleep.
Others like to do their meditation in the morning so they can start their day with a peaceful mindset.
Find the most realistic time of day you can dedicate at least 30 minutes to practice meditation.
How to Start Meditating with ADHD
Getting started with meditation can be challenging, especially for individuals with ADHD who may struggle with focus and impulse control. However, with some practice and patience, anyone can learn to meditate. Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Start small: Begin with just a few minutes of meditation per day and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable.
2. Find a quiet space: Choose a quiet and distraction-free space to meditate, such as a bedroom or a quiet corner of your home.
3. Focus on your breath: Take slow, deep breaths and focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
4. Be patient: Don’t get discouraged if your mind wanders during meditation. Simply acknowledge the thought and return your focus to your breath.
Types of Meditation for ADHD
There is no one correct method of meditation; instead, there are many methods to choose from. Clearing your head and sitting in silence are common goals of certain types of meditation.
Guided Meditation: Try listening to a guided meditation if you have trouble staying focused and need help returning to the present moment when you feel it’s too much.
Music Meditation: Pick a song that relaxes you and serves as a useful tool to focus. Nature recordings and calming music, such as that played on Tibetan singing bowls, are popular options.
Body scan Meditation: One way to improve your health is to do a body scan, in which you carefully examine every component of your body. (tensing and relaxing the muscles).
Other Techniques for ADHD Management
When you feel the need to get up and walk while meditating, it’s often due to restlessness, anxiety, or physical discomfort.
Walking Meditation: This involves walking slowly and attentively, paying attention to your breath and your surroundings. Focus on the feelings in your feet as they touch the ground, the movement of your body, and the noises and smells around you.
Yoga: If you have trouble sitting still for long periods of time, you may find that the physical and mental benefits of yoga might help you meditate. Yoga combines physical activity with breathing exercises. It’s a terrific method to calm the mind and get in touch with the physical self.
Dance: It’s best to do this while listening to music and allowing your body to move freely. Put all your attention on the beat of the music and the way it makes you feel in your body, and try to let go of whatever problems you may have.
How Mindful Meditation Helps ADHD
Improved attention: Mindful meditation involves focusing on the present moment and training the mind to stay focused on one thing at a time. This can help people with ADHD improve their ability to concentrate and sustain their attention.
Reduced impulsivity: ADHD is often associated with impulsive behavior, and mindful meditation can help reduce impulsive actions and increase self-control.
Better emotional regulation: People with ADHD may experience strong emotions and have difficulty regulating them. Mindful meditation can help individuals become more aware of their emotions and better regulate them, leading to greater emotional stability and resilience.
Increased self-awareness: Mindful meditation can help individuals with ADHD become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which can lead to a better understanding of their condition and more effective management of their symptoms.
Reduced stress: Mindful meditation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD who may experience high levels of stress and anxiety as a result of their condition.
The primary goals of meditation are to hone your mind’s capacity to concentrate intently on a single topic and to develop the patience necessary to see the practice through to its natural conclusion.
Even medical professionals are surprised by the positive effects that meditation has on ADHD.
Find a yoga partner, listen to some guided imagery or audiobooks, or utilize music—whatever helps you relax and focus the most.