Meditating with ADHD
9.4% of children in the United States aged 2–17 are estimated to be living with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and 2.8% of adults worldwide have been diagnosed. While there are many ways to manage symptoms, new research shows mindfulness meditation having positive results.
Mindfulness meditation is when you actively observe thoughts and train yourself to let go of negativity, slow racing thoughts and instill a feeling of calm. It basically combines meditation and mindfulness, using deep breathing and an awareness of body and mind.
Tips for Meditating with ADHD
Mindfulness meditation helps strengthen the ability to concentrate. During practice, it teaches you to observe your thoughts and bring your mind back when it wanders. It can also help to reduce impulsive actions, by making you more aware of your emotions.
Mindfulness meditation is thought to help those with ADHD, because it increases the brain’s level of dopamine and thickens the prefrontal cortex which is involved in planning and focus. Follow these steps to get started:
- Get comfortable
First, get into a comfortable position. This may be sitting on the floor, on a chair or lying on the bed.
- Use Music as a Focus
Not all meditation has to be done in silence. The right music can give people with ADHD something to focus on. Mindfully breathe in and out to the tune of a song or rhythmic meditation music. Get started with curated sounds from the BetterSleep app.
- Acknowledge and Release Thoughts
Mindful meditation is not stopping thoughts completely. Instead it is acknowledging them, releasing them and returning your attention back to breathing.
- Take Slow, Even Breaths
Aim to breathe slowly and evenly, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. As your mind begins to calm, your breathing will slow naturally.
- Be Kind to Yourself
Avoid saying ‘’I have to do this’’ or ‘’ I should be doing this’’. Give yourself a break and repeat mantras such as:
- ‘’I will refrain from judging myself’’
- ‘’There is no wrong way to meditate’’
- Try Moving Meditation
The beauty of meditation is that it can be done sitting, lying or even walking. If you struggle staying still, relax yourself with a repetitive motion like walking.
- Start Small and Build Up
Even 5 minutes a day of mindfulness meditation will help. Start here and increase the length of your session when it feels natural.
8D Music and ADHD
8D (eight-dimensional) music changes the way you hear the music. When listening to an 8D track with headphones, areas of the recording shift between each ear as the song plays. This can give the feeling of being in a large room with musicians and singers moving around you.
Benefits of 8D Audio for ADHD
According to research, music helps promote focus and attentiveness in individuals with ADHD. 8D audio in particular has a range of benefits including:
- Stress relief
- Improved focus
- Increased positivity
- Full body tingles
Combining mindful meditation with relaxing 8D music is a way to manage and improve symptoms for those with ADHD. However, be aware that what works for one person, might not work for the next. The best way to find out what works for you, is to try!
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