Meditation and Adult ADD

Adult woman with ADHD trying to meditateAs an adult life can get hectic between working full-time, taking care of kids, running errands and so on there is sometimes not much time left to relax. When that rare moment presents itself, it can be hard to transition into stillness.

For adults living with ADD this transition can be even more difficult. With the adult ADD mind running on warp speed, it needs help to slow down. Meditation helps you slow down by encouraging a focus on the present. Just a few of the benefits of getting calm through meditation for adults with ADD are:

  • More patience: Patience, especially when dealing with people, leads to happier relationships.
  • Less anxiety: Being less anxious leads to a more positive outlook on life.
  • Reduce stress: Less stress means you are giving your body a chance to reap some pretty cool health benefits.If you’re an adult with ADD looking for a way to create stillness in your everyday routine, here are some tips to ease into a meditation practice:

Tip#1: Don’t take yourself too seriously πŸ™‚ You’ll be happy to hear that there is no one right way to meditate. Play with it. Think of it as your time to relax and unwind.

Tip #2: Speaking of playing, mixing things up can keep it interesting. Some people enjoy settling into one meditation routine without altering it and if that works for you great, however if you find boredom is settling in, then switch things up. Try a new type of meditation, or meditate in a different place than usual.

Tip #3: Keep it positive – Living with adult ADD means sometimes you are your own worst critic, so be kind to yourself when you become distracted. A wandering mind is common when you learning to meditate so simply notice when your mind has wandered away from what you are doing and bring it back to the meditation at hand.

Tip #4: Set limits for how long you meditate. Restlessness and anxiety go hand in hand with adult ADD so it’s only normal that you might be worried about falling asleep and miss something important in your day (like work). Don’t be. If you tend to get hyper-focused, set a timer. Here are two timers that will do the trick

Tip #5: Get comfortable – Taking a hot bath, listening to soothing music, wearing comfortable clothes all can make it easier to transition into meditation. Also use forms of meditation that suit your needs that day, for example if you are tired you can meditate lying down, or if you are too antsy to even sit still try a movement based meditation. Again, there is no one right way to meditate.

Tip #6: Set the mood – Turn off the TV and put away your electronic gadgets (except that timer, if you need it) to help set a calming tone for meditation. If you suffer from a lack of focus, eliminating the distractions ahead of time will stop the problem before it begins. Set yourself up with an environment that promotes concentration. You can put on mellow instrumental music (something without lyrics, which can be distracting) in the background to help set the mood.

Tip #7: Use cues – Breathing, sensory, and verbal cues can aid greatly in transitioning into a meditative state. For example, focusing on your breath will not only help you transition into a meditative state, but will also help with feelings of restlessness or anxiety about starting to meditate. Drawing your attention to your breath will also help overcome lack of focus.

You can also set up sensory cues – for example leaving visual clues for yourself, like putting an item you associate with meditation (like a candle) where you are likely to see it at the time you plan to meditate.

Tip #8: Make it a routine – Scheduling a regular time for your meditation, or putting it on your to-do list will help you remember to do it. Tying the action of meditating to another action you do regularly can also make it easy to remember and do. For example, if you do your grocery shopping or something social on the same day(s) every week, you can use meditation as a way to prepare for the event or to wind down afterwards.

Tip #9: Get moving – Moving meditation is as good as stationary meditation and is definitely a more appealing choice for the hyper active ADDer. Moving meditation eliminates the distraction of feeling restless when you’re trying to calm your mind. For it to be most effective, choose something simple and repetitive, like walking.

Tip #10: Keep it short – If you find yourself lacking the motivation to start or continue your meditation practice, try breaking it into shorter sessions. You can build up to longer sessions once you are more comfortable with it. If you find yourself lapsing into daydreaming when you meditate try starting with a short 3 – 4 minute meditation. Starting small makes it more likely to happen and a 3 minute meditation done with focus is a great starting point.

Every person with ADD has their own unique set of personality quirks that can make relaxing and unwinding challenging. We can help walk you through those challenges.

Keep going, after all it is called a meditation practice for a reason πŸ™‚

To your inner stillness – Anna

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