Medications and treatment can help you manage the symptoms of ADHD. They aren't, however, your sole options. Mindfulness meditation, in which you actively notice your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, may now be an effective approach to calm your mind and increase your focus, according to new research. According to a 2017 survey by ADDitude magazine, more than a third of adults with ADHD employ this technique, and about 40% rate it highly. Mindfulness meditation, unlike other treatments, does not require a prescription or a visit to a therapist's office. It can be done while sitting, walking, or even doing some types of yoga.
How Does It Work?
When a muscle is weak, you can strengthen it by doing workouts. The same can be said about your mind. Meditation that focuses on mindfulness improves your capacity to manage your attention. It teaches you how to look at yourself in the mirror and concentrate on something. It also teaches you how to bring your wandering mind back into the present moment. It can also help you become more aware of your emotions, making you less inclined to act rashly.
Meditation is supposed to aid in the treatment of ADHD by thickening the prefrontal cortex, a portion of the brain involved in focus, planning, and impulse control. It also increases the amount of dopamine in your brain, which is in short supply in ADHD brains.
According to research, mindfulness meditation can help those with ADHD symptoms. People with ADHD who attended a 2-1/2-hour mindfulness meditation workshop once a week for 8 weeks, then conducted a daily home meditation practice that gradually increased from 5 to 15 minutes, were better able to stay focused on tasks, according to a major UCLA study. They were also less anxious and depressed. Since then, several investigations have produced similar results.
Although much of the study has been done with children, yoga has been demonstrated to help reduce ADHD symptoms. It increases dopamine levels and strengthens the prefrontal brain, just like mindfulness meditation. According to one study, children who practiced yoga poses for 20 minutes twice a week for 8 weeks improved on attention and focus tests.
With ADHD, here are some tips for meditating.
Do you have an overabundance of thoughts going through your head? Consider a sky that is blue with fluffy white clouds. The clouds represent your ideas, while the sky represents your consciousness. To refocus your attention, concentrate on the "space" between the clouds.
If you have problems staying still, a walking meditation might be just as effective as a sitting meditation. Bring your attention back to the feelings on the soles of your feet when your mind wanders.
Make some clues to help you make it a habit. Make a note of it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone at a specified time.
Having someone to do meditation or yoga with can help you stick with it, just as having a partner to keep you company during workouts can help you stick with it.