How To Practice Meditation For ADHD
ADHD meditation or therapy can work in good ways to manage the behavioural symptoms of ADHD. However, this is not it. Mindful meditation is done by observing your feelings and thoughts actively, which in turn helps to improve your focus and calm the mind.
More than ⅓ adults who have ADHD practice meditation, and more than 40 per cent found it effective. Unlike other medical treatments, meditation does not require a prescription or a therapist. You can practice it anytime and anywhere while sitting on the sofa, lying on the bed or while taking a walk in the park.
So here are some tips to start a mindful meditation practice to control your ADHD symptoms. First, let’s understand what ADHD is.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that can affect both adults as well as children. There are three major types of behaviour groups associated with ADHD people:
- Inattention: having trouble concentrating or easily getting distracted
- Hyperactivity: high energy levels which do not subside, fast speech or fidgeting
- Impulsivity: being interruptive and taking excessive risks
How To Do Mindfulness Meditation For ADHD?
Here are some tips for practicing ADHD Mindfulness Meditation to manage the associated behaviors.
Dedicate a specific time of day to meditation
Some people say that mindfulness meditation, when done in the morning, helps them to reduce stress. Doing focus meditation early can help you build a schedule before you start the day doing daily activities.
If you are a night owl or face trouble sleeping, you can meditate before going to bed. There is no wrong or right time to meditate. You need to figure out what fits your schedule and can be practised every day.
Find a comfortable position.
Before you begin with ADHD mindfulness meditation, you need to find a comfortable position that works for you. There is no particular pose that will make the meditation more effective.
Some people prefer sitting in a traditional pose like the cross-legged lotus position. However, you can do your mindfulness training while sitting on a chair or simply by lying down on a bed.
Whatever position you choose, make sure you feel comfortable maintaining a longer duration of your ADHD focus meditation practice.
Wear relaxed clothing
When you are wearing tight waistbands, trousers, or shirts that are digging into your skin, it becomes difficult to keep your mind relaxed. The same thing goes for any accessories that you wear on your hands, ears etc.; you must wear comfortable clothing when you sit for mindfulness training.
Turn off your phone.
This is the most important step to do before you sit for ADHD or mindfulness meditation training. Sit in a quiet corner that is free of any type of distraction, including mobile alerts like emails, calls or text messages. Keep your phone away to another room, and if possible, close the door of the space you are in so that you can meditate alone.
Remember that quiet is relative.
Even if you live near a busy street, you can easily practise focus meditation successfully. With continuous practice, meditation will help you to ignore any outside noise and keep you focused on your breathing pattern. To tune out external noise, you can play soft meditation music on your phone.
Focus on your breathing
The main focus of meditation is paying attention to your breathing and anchoring the mind to the present moment. Sart by breathing in and out in natural rhythm and notice how your body feels. When you feel ready, start with deep inhaling and notice the way your body feels. Does your chest feel full or your tummy rise?
For a few seconds, hold your breath and then exhale gently as long as you need breath and then let go,
Let your mind wander.
The mind has a nature to think even when you try to meditate. When your mind wanders away from the present moment, acknowledge that thought and focus back on breathing.
Meanwhile, do not judge your thoughts and put your focus on breathing.
End your practice slowly
When you do ADHD meditation for 1 minute or 30 minutes, give yourself some time to get back to the present moment again.
Open your eyes if they are closed, notice your surrounding environment to understand what is happening. Notice the way your body feels, and take some time to acknowledge your thoughts and emotions.
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Benefits of meditation for ADHD
Behaviours related to ADHD like hyperactivity, trouble in focusing and impulsivity may reduce with the help of focus meditation.
A study analyzed the effect of mindfulness meditation training on the symptoms of ADHD among the general population and got all positive results. According to this data, meditation can develop sustained attention, regulate emotion and control mind wandering.
One study conducted among high school students found that meditation can help in reducing aggression and impulsivity. Another small study was done on ADHD adults also found that meditation improves emotional regulation along with the development of mental skills that are related to executive functioning like:
- flexible thinking
- working memory
Lifestyle tips for ADHD
Along with ADHD focus meditation, you can follow certain lifestyle practices to keep a check on your symptoms.
- Nutritional changes- get rid of certain foods from your daily diet
- Take supplements and vitamins
- Go for the behavioural therapy and also planet training
- Social skills training
- Utilize organizational tools and keep apps for reminder and time management
- Make lifestyle changes, including following a fixed routine and get rid of any environmental distraction.
Consult a doctor
If you think you or your child has ADHD, it is important to go to a professional doctor. Meditation is beneficial, but it can alone not work as a treatment for ADHD.
Since the symptoms and behaviours of ADHD vary from person to person and can also include mood and physiological related symptoms like anxiety, you should see a doctor who diagnoses ADHD. They will take your psychological history and detailed medication to find the right treatment and diagnosis. Talking to a therapist or doctor can help you develop a multifaceted treatment that can work for the long term.
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Mindfulness meditation training can prove beneficial for ADHD and reduce the associated behaviours as impulsivity and troubles focus. Despite having larger evidence about the benefits of mindful meditation on ADHD, there are no high-quality studies done so far.
If you suspect your kid or any adult in your family having ADHD, you should consult a professional doctor to get a long term treatment option.
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