Trying Meditation for ADHD
If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you have probably heard that meditation is good for you. But, you may wonder if it is even possible for someone with ADHD to learn to meditate. If that’s you, I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely possible.
The Benefits of Meditating
There are several reasons why meditation is good for ADHD brains:
- It releases endorphins and serotonin. This counteracts some of the excess adrenaline, helping you become calm and focused.
- It increases focus. The discipline of meditation can help you learn to sustain concentration and focus.
- It busts stress. Meditation increases resilience to stress and calms the nervous system.
- It balances neurotransmitters in the brain. This helps reduce or even eliminate poor impulse control, poor attention, and lack of self-control.
- It helps with attention. Mindfulness meditation focuses on promoting regulation of attention.
- It teaches concentration. The skill of meditation can be called upon at any time to help you concentrate whenever needed.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why learning to meditate would be beneficial for easing the symptoms of ADHD.
But how is it done? Can someone with ADHD learn meditation?
If you are anything like me, you may have difficulty learning to meditate. I’ve been working at it for a while and it’s still a work in progress. I will keep at it, though, because I have felt the benefits. I know it works.
How Does Someone with ADHD Begin?
- Remember meditation does not have to be all or nothing. It will take time.
- Start with two minutes and increase the time as you get comfortable.
- Meditate first thing in the morning before you can find a reason to procrastinate.
- Become aware of how your body feels and know however you feel is okay.
- You can count breaths in the beginning if it helps you.
- If your mind wanders, return to counting breaths.
- Remember there is no wrong way.
You can focus on an object or on a mantra that means something to you. Try to clear everything from your mind except that object or that mantra. When your mind wanders gently bring it back to the object of your focus.
You Don’t Have to Sit Down
Meditation doesn’t have to be done seated. If you wish to be seated, sit however and wherever is comfortable to you — indoors or outdoors.
Do what feels right for you. There is no one way to meditate. Sit down, stand up, lie down, walk — do whatever you find comfortable.
Don’t Give Up!
If you find meditation difficult at first, don’t give up! You can’t do it wrong and any attempt to help yourself is worthwhile.
It can be frustrating, I know. When I first tried to meditate, I didn’t think there was any way I’d ever learn to do it properly. I was stuck in the mindset that I had to sit down, close my eyes, and expect my mind to become blessedly blank.
That never happened for me.
Different things work for different people. I admire those who can sit down, clear their head and stay that way for as long as they like. It’s good enough for me if I can do that for a couple of minutes.
It’s also a good thing that there are many ways to meditate.
Calming Activities as a Form of Meditation
There are many activities you can try to help you feel calm and focused. Many people who hate to sit still, or hate doing nothing, cringe at the thought of traditional seated meditation, but find alternatives to be very helpful.
Any activity that enables you to stop and live in the moment will help:
- Listen to music
- Make some art
I actually find walking to be my best form of meditation. I can concentrate on my footfalls and it’s the closest I can come to clearing my thoughts.
I also spend time with adult coloring books before bed. Even a few minutes working on some intricate pattern is enough to help me stop thinking about things and get out of my own head before trying to go to sleep.
I have a friend who goes to the park and swings on the swing set. The rhythm of the movement, the fresh air, and even the steady squeak from the chain is calming to her. She says she can clear her mind and focus on the movement.
Just Give Meditation for ADHD a Try
If you have never used meditation for your ADHD, give it a try. Just give it a fair chance and try more than once!
I think our bodies crave a little peace and relaxation. We need to slow down and nourish our minds. Meditation is an excellent form of self-care. After all, what do we have to lose except some of the less than positive symptoms of our ADHD?