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Mindfulness Meditation for ADHD

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People with ADHD often struggle with sitting still and focusing on given tasks. While the use of stimulant medication has been proven to be an effective way of counteracting many of the symptoms of ADHD, it is not the only treatment option available. Mindfulness meditation is an effective alternative (or supplement) to medication treatment, and can be practiced to help individuals struggling with ADHD to improve their ability to control their attention.

The practice of mindfulness meditation involves increased awareness of one’s moment-to-moment thoughts. Often it is practiced seated in a comfortable position with one’s eyes closed and deliberate breathing, but can be done in many different forms including walking, showering, or eating. The main priority is your focused attention on your thoughts and feelings. It can be done for as long or short as you’d like, however it is best to start small in increase the amount of time as you go.

The ability to maintain focused attention is a skill to be acquired with time. You cannot expect to be good at it immediately, however by continually practicing mindfulness meditation one’s ability to do so will improve. The key to successful practice is becoming aware of the moments your mind is wandering, and noticing where your mind goes. By observing what happens when your mind wanders, effort can be made to reduce the amount of instances where it happens.

Current research on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in aiding in the treatment of ADHD has revealed promising results. Dr. Lidia Zylowska of UCLA conducted a feasibility study on the effectiveness of an eight-week mindfulness intervention on ADHD symptoms. Participants attended an evening session once a week for 2.5 hours and completed daily home meditation practices that increased from 5 minutes to 15 minutes over the eight weeks. At the end of the study, participants reported a significant decrease in ADHD symptoms of attention and cognitive inhibition, and satisfaction with the program. Patients struggling with ADHD symptoms and the implications of which in their lives would benefit from daily mindfulness meditation practice.

Recently, Dr. Hallowell tried a meditative form of Yoga called Yoga Nidra that carries great health benefits and helps anyone who has challenges staying focused, such as people with ADHD.  Click here to listen to Distraction, Ep. 30 and and participate in Dr. Hallowell’s session.

The Hallowell Center NYC offers group mindfulness techniques/meditation practice classes. You can also schedule a private one-on-one session to work on mindfulness with our expert practitioner. For more information about mindfulness and meditation, or to schedule an individual session, please call (212) 799-7777 or email info@hallowellcenter.org.

Check out our mindfulness/meditation facilitator at the Hallowell Center NYC: Cheryl Jacobs

The Hallowell Center Boston MetroWest offers complementary and alternative treatment programs. Learn more here.

 

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