“How do I respond to this situation?”
“How can I feel less overwhelmed?”
“Where do I want to focus my mental energy/thoughts?”
These are some of the questions that Adults with ADHD ask themselves on a regular basis.
Having strategies that will allow you to slow down and center yourself are helpful in answering these and similar questions.
ADHD and The Wandering Mind
As an adult with ADHD you know that your challenge is not inattention. If anything you have a surplus of attention.
The challenge when you have ADHD is being able to regulate your attention, as well as your actions, thoughts and emotions.
That is, being able to make a decision about what to do in any given moment.
Without a system for bringing yourself back to the present and taking control of your thoughts, actions and emotions, you cannot “steer your life.”
To be sure, part of the challenge with regulating attention when you have ADHD is due to the neurological differences in brain functioning. This difference, as you know, makes self regulating more difficult than if you did not have ADHD.
However, there is a habitual component . You will do more of what you are used to doing, unless you work on making it different.
Makes sense, right?
Attending and Making A Choice
And, yes, it is possible to self-regulate and attend better with some effort. You can stop reacting out of habit.
For many, the first step is noticing what is happening in your body. Perhaps, you can feel your mind racing, your heart beating fast or your stomach getting tight. When you have these feeling it is time to:
- ask yourself what you are thinking and feeling
- and then decide how you want to respond in that particular situation
In other cases, you may be busy, getting things done, but feeling really overwhelmed. When you notice this you can:
- take a moment to check in with yourself
- ask yourself if you are doing what is most important and/or what you planned
- perhaps, ask yourself what you can do differently
Last, you can cultivate a sense of mindfulness by planning. Planning allows you to be intentional and present, rather than just doing whatever comes up. You can decide where you want to focus your energy.
Making Attending Easier
Meditation is a way to create mindfulness on a regular basis. And, yes, you can do this even if you have ADHD.
There are many anecdotal findings to support meditation as a means of treatment for ADHD.
Though not conclusive, there is also some research, which I have included below, that also supports meditation as a form of treatment.
- Mindfulness Meditation Is Associated With Structural Changes in the Brain
- Mindfulness Meditation Training in Adults and Adolescents With ADHD
Through my reading and my own beginners experience, I have come to recommend meditation as part of holistic treatment plan for ADHD.
At the very least, it will not have an adverse affect on your well being.
ADDEd Perspective Bottom line
Mindfulness comes in many forms. Meditation is just one form.
But it is possible to incorporate a sense of mindfulness into your daily life in other ways, too. And when you are more present in your day to day life, you will have more opportunities to be intentional in the choices you make.
Ready to steer your own ship?