Last week, I talked about a no-cost, natural way to help you reduce the power ADHD can have over your life: meditation.
(If you missed the first part, click here to read it.) Today we’re going to cover my favorite ADHD meditation tricks.
Now, I’ve known the power of meditation for a long time, and I never thought I’d master it with my ADHD. Yet I have.
Is it always easy to be mindful? To sit still and wrestle with my busy brain? No. Is it hard to find the time? Yes. Is it worth it? YES! 100 zillion percent.
The benefits? I’m more focused. More aware of what I’m doing. I am aware of my emotions and negative self-talk and am more able to redirect them to be positive. I’m more confident. And, I know I can do hard things!
But developing my meditation practice wasn’t always easy. And if you know me, you know I like when things are easy. 😉
So over time, I discovered the ADHD meditation tricks that I’m going to share with you today.
5 Easy ADHD Meditation Tricks
Okay. Now that you know why meditation is good for your brain, let’s talk about how to make it ADHD-friendly. This is the tricky part. If building a regular meditation practice is hard for typical people then it’s going to be a lot harder for people with ADHD.
1. Start Small
A trick that helped me get started meditating was starting with 2 minutes. This is the trick that finally got me to meditate regularly. Let go of any ideas that you need to sit for 20 or 30 minutes right away. You want to get there, but at first it’s too high a bar.
Meditating for just two minutes will seem ridiculously easy. That’s what you want. You need to sneak up on it. Gradually add a couple more minutes at a time. Eventually, you’ll be meditating for 10 minutes a day. Our first ADHD meditation trick is to start small and build over time.
And trick #1.5: It’s more important that you find the right time of day that works best with your schedule. Ease into it slowly. Remember you’re building a muscle.
2. Ignore the Shoulds
Our second trick to make meditation work for your ADHD brain is to do what works for you. Experiment and notice.
There are a lot of shoulds surrounding meditation. How you should sit. Where you should sit. How long you should sit. When you should meditate. Use a guided meditation or not. Eyes open or closed. Focus on breathing, seeing, counting, phrases.
Let go of the shoulds and don’t make a big deal of it. Don’t get caught up in the how — just do. Don’t worry that you’re meditating wrong. There’s no perfect way to meditate, just be happy you’re doing it.
The only thing you do need to know is that sitting and thinking isn’t meditating. Focusing on something, noticing when you mind wanders, and kindly redirecting it back is.
The more I’ve meditated the more I’ve learned what works for me. And, that makes it easier to meditate.
3. Shift It Up
ADHD brains thrive on change. This applies to mindfulness, too. A meditation technique that works for you one day may not work the next.
Some days I like focusing on my breath. Some days I do better focusing on sounds. Some days I want to meditate sitting on the floor. Some days laying on the sofa. Eyes open or closed? Shift it up. There are many different ways to meditate. Play with them all.
This may not be by-the-book meditating. The point isn’t to follow some meditation dogma. The point is to sit and try to quiet and direct the focus of your very busy mind.
Try different mindfulness and meditation apps and techniques. Have choices depending upon your mood and how much time you have.
4. Make Peace With the Fidgets
When I first started meditating, my fidgeting frustrated me. But, fidgeting is who I am. So I decided to try to make peace with it.
The trick I learned to make meditating with ADHD easier was to put all my focus on the part of my body that wanted to move. Say my big toe was itchy. I’d notice it and resist the urge to scratch it as long as I could. When I couldn’t stand it any longer I’d move.
Tara, a woman in my first ADHD Success Club, would actually get up and shake out the fidgets and then settle back down. Now THAT’S making peace with the fidgets!
I rarely fidget anymore when I meditate. And, this has helped me be aware and better able to control my fidgets in the rest of my life. A bonus!
5. Find Your Best Formula
It can take some time to figure out the best meditating formula for you. That’s okay. Meditation is worth taking time to figure out.
Some things to consider: What time of day? What app? How will you remember to meditate? Where do you like to meditate?
Also, know what gets in your way. I can meditate with the dogs snuffling around, but not my human family members. My phone needs to be set for Do Not Disturb. Pinging notifications are too distracting.
Practice. Figuring out what works best for you is an important trick for making meditation easier for ADHD.
Remember, any meditation is better than no meditation. Distracted mediation is better than no meditation. This is ADHD Land. Sometimes meditating is like herding crickets. Just notice it. Don’t stress.
The more you meditate, the sooner you’ll get comfortable with it. And, the sooner you begin to notice the focus, calm, and other benefits for ADHD. Meditation is tricky and it’s worth it. I encourage you to give it a try.