It can seem that meditation is nothing more than sitting still. Actually, meditation is an active mechanism that teaches the brain to focus and be present. If you or your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD medication can seem challenging.
Here are 7 tips to help you or your child learn ADHD meditation.
1. Set aside a specific time during the day for meditation
Some people find that meditating first thing in the morning will help them reduce their stress levels during the day. Meditating first thing in the morning can help you incorporate it into your everyday routine.
ADHD medication right before bedtime could be a better option if you’re a night owl or have difficulty sleeping.
There is no such thing as a bad time to meditate. What matters most is figuring out when you’ll be able to work it into your schedule.
2. Start small and explore
Many advanced mediation classes are two hours long. Whether you have ADHD or not, this is a challenging choice to start. Warm-up to meditation by doing 5- to 10-minute sessions at a time, or even shorter, to help you get used to it.
See how your brain handles it. Then, once you feel ready, begin gradually moving to longer sessions. The last thing you want to do is rush into anything like this! The purpose of meditation is to slow your mind, take your time and explore.
3. Remove distractions—all of them
There are distractions everywhere in today’s digital world. ADHD medication can be nearly impossible due to the many distractions.
Remove each and all distractions you can think of if you’re serious about learning to meditate. Switch off your phone, don’t just put it on vibrate. Better yet, turn it off and put it somewhere else.
Any tablets or laptops, Fitbits or Apple Watches, desktop computers could create noise if someone emails you, and anything else should be removed.
Distractions aren’t always limited to the digital world. If you share a room or live with others, ask for privacy or find a quiet place.
Also, ensure that you are comfortable. Being in an awkward position, having an itch, and sitting awkwardly can all be distracting factors that make meditation difficult.
4. Let your mind wander
The mind’s nature is to think, and it will do so even during meditation.
When your mind wanders away from the present moment, simply accept the thought and return your attention to your breath. Accept that thinking is the nature of the mind, and permit yourself to have a wandering mind.
Don’t judge yourself or focus your thoughts on your emotions. Simply return your attention to the present moment by focusing on your breathing.
5. Count your breaths
One common difficulty with meditation is that it necessarily requires a state of mental and physical stillness. Since your ADHD medication keeps your mind racing, bouncing from one thought to the next, completely shutting down your mind is nearly impossible.
Counting your breaths has been one trick that has helped you with this. The ability to fixate on counting causes your mind to calm down and focus on a single task.
If you feel particularly unfocused, make the counting process more difficult, such as counting in reverse by twos or threes. This keeps you on your toes just enough to keep you focused on a task but isn’t too difficult to be distracting.
6. End your practice slowly
If you meditate for one minute or thirty, give yourself a few seconds or minutes to return to the present moment after the experience.
- Open your eyes if they were closed
- Take a moment to observe what’s going on in your immediate surroundings
- Pay attention to how the body feels
- Take a moment to recognize your emotions and thoughts
7. The most important tip: Be patient
It takes time to develop an ADHD medication routine, which is why it is called a “practice.” If you don’t get it right away, be patient and don’t give up. Persistence is essential, and the benefits, in your experience, are well worth it!
ADHD medication can seem difficult for people with ADHD. But with a keen understanding of yourself and how your unique brain functions, a little practice will make meditation very doable.
Remove all distractions and find music or ambient sounds that suit you. If you need more help, try a guided session, and most importantly, keep practising.
Is there evidence that ADHD meditation works?
The benefits of meditation for people with ADHD have not been scientifically demonstrated. Some of the issues affecting the reliability of some studies are as follows:
- High levels of bias
- Small study size
- Lack of control groups
More high-quality research on ADHD medication is required, according to one systematic analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Nonetheless, despite a lack of large, high-quality research on ADHD and meditation, meditation appears to have real benefits. Anecdotal evidence suggests that meditation helps millions of people focus and feel calm.
What the research says about meditation’s benefits for ADHD
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disease that impacts both children and adults. There are three types associated with the main groups of behaviours:
- Inattention: Getting easily distracted or having difficulty focusing
- Impulsivity: Taking unnecessary risks or being disruptive
- Hyperactivity: Having excessive energy levels that do not seem to subside, often manifesting as fidgeting or fast speech
Meditation can help minimize ADHD-related behaviours, including difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Other ADHD medication friendly lifestyle tips
Additional ADHD lifestyle treatments and tips you might want to try include:
- Nutritional changes, such as eliminating certain foods from your diet
- Take vitamin and supplement supplements
- Behavioural therapy, including parent education
- Changes in lifestyle, such as the maintenance of a consistent routine and the reduction of environmental distractions
- Using organizational tools, such as apps that offer reminders and time management suggestions
- Social skills training
If you suspect that you or your child has ADHD, make an appointment with a doctor right away.
ADHD medication is beneficial, but it should not be used as the sole treatment for ADHD
Since ADHD-related activities vary and can include psychological and mood-related symptoms such as anxiety, consult with a doctor trained in diagnosing ADHD. To determine the proper diagnosis and treatment, they may take a full medical and psychological history.
Talking with a doctor or therapist can also assist you in developing a multifaceted treatment plan that will succeed in the long run. This is especially important if you are unsure if you or your child has ADHD.
The Bottom Line
According to research, meditation may help reduce disruptive ADHD-related behaviours, including difficulty focusing and impulsivity.
Despite a large body of evidence supporting the effects of meditation in the general population, high-quality research focusing on ADHD medication lacks. Even so, anecdotal findings and current clinical evidence suggest that meditation may benefit children and adults suffering from this condition.