Does your mind often feel like its racing? Do you struggle to focus and complete one task before going to the next?
I believe one of the best treatments for ADD/ADHD is meditation. Meditation, or the process of slowing the mind, is a form of self-care and a chance to step back from the noise of life.
When we breathe, we fill our lungs with oxygen, which then gets transported by red blood cells throughout the body to produce energy. Most of us wouldn’t consider breathing as self-care because we do it without deliberate thought or focus.
Basic meditation is about checking in with the breath, and the body, and slowing your mind—a needed skill for those ADDers whose mind tends to run fast and in many different directions. If mindfulness is staying aware of how your body is feeling, than meditation is training it to focus and pay attention.
Meditation Helps ADD/ADHD
Basic meditation principles:
- Find a spot where you won’t be disturbed.
- Focus only on your breath.
- Breathe in, breathe out.
- Sit still for five minutes and gradually work your way to 10 minutes, then 15, then 20.
- Do this daily.
You may want to check your breathing throughout the day: while standing in line, or while walking down a crowded street or while sitting at your desk or in a meeting.
Does scientific evidence support the effects of mindfulness?
Simple meditation has its benefits. Some adults have claimed to be less critical, more forgiving, more understanding and less reactive after meditating for just a few weeks. Research shows meditation changes EEG and MRI patterns in the frontal lobe (the area most involved with ADHD), and raises dopamine levels, something ADHDers need more of.
Thinking about your body, your breath, and taking time for deliberate and focused thinking reminds the brain to slow down and find peace.
Tags: ADHD, meditation
George Sachs PsyD is a child psychologist in New York City, specializing in the testing and treatment of ADD/ADHD and Autism. Dr. Sachs offers parent coaching, psychotherapy, neurofeedback training, medication management and social skills groups for children and teens. Dr. Sachs has appeared on NBC, CBS and Vice Television. He is the author of three books, including his most recent Helping Your Husband with ADHD and Adult ADD Solution, all available on Amazon. To reach Dr. Sachs, please contact his office at 646-807- 8900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org