Meditation is a fantastic thing to do for your ADHD mind. Although it is not necessarily ‘easy,’ it can have everlasting rewarding benefits on your mind, body and well being. Deepak Chopra has wonderful videos on meditation, you can see an intro here.
There are a number of different definitions for meditation, I found the most common one being: A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. However, the most valuable definition I found was ‘a self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind’. One of the most difficult thing for those with ADHD to do is control the mind and impulses, which is why I find meditation particularly helpful.
Let me stress; it is not easy! For those who say it is, well, I just don’t agree. It takes practice, discipline, total control over impulses, calmness, steadiness, and is in many ways in direct contrast to what our ADHD mind wants to do. However, once you learn how, the health benefits are tremendous.
I have found some tips that make it easier, so I thought I would share. IF you have never meditated and want to start:
- Try finding a local meditation class. I have found it much easier to meditate in groups than alone, as the energy around you is calming and your body tends to mimic it. There are often free meditation classes at Buddhist Temples, Unitarian churches, and at local hospitals.
- Start with very short meditations. Even a one or two minute meditation. When you start off with 15 or 20 minute meditations, it is easy to get frustrated and quit. If you have never meditated it can seem like an eternity. Start very small so your body slowly gets used to it and challenge yourself over time.
- Get a timer / set an alarm during your meditation. Even for two minutes. You don’t want your mind thinking about ‘is time up, do I need to quit, it must be over – and opening one eye to check’. So erase that distraction from your mind completely by setting an alarm and knowing when your time is done.
- Make a ‘sanctuary’ for meditation. We are affected by our sensory experiences, and with our eyes closed our sense of smell, touch, taste and sound becomes even more profound. Make sure you don’t have sound distractions (if you absolutely can’t get rid of sounds, try headphones with calming music or a fan). The smell should be pleasant and not distracting. Your body should be comfortable – but not too comfortable. Your meditation should be a place of welcoming.
- Applaud yourself each and every time you do it. It is easy to become critical of ourselves for not doing the complete time, etc. – but if you get to your meditation space you are ahead of the game. Be patient with yourself, and work to recognize the good you do instead of pointing out the bad. Inch by inch.
I will go into more detail in the next posting about the health benefits to meditation, especially to those with ADHD, but until then let me just say it has profound positive, scientific benefits that are absolutely astounding. Starting a practice with yourself or your child can go a long way to improving health, including those with ADHD.
Do you have suggestions for how to start meditating? Please share!