Making Meditation ADHD Friendly
I love the insights Maya shares in this blog about making meditation ADHD friendly. She’s spot on. Meditating may be important for quieting and strengthening the ADHD brain, but, man is it hard for us to sit still and hush up our thoughts. Patience, acceptance, and small steps are what it takes to build an ADHD friendly meditation practice. Zen Out, Maya! You’ve got this! .- dr
Earlier this year I began trying to take a minute or two to meditate each day using the Breath Apple Watch app, but after awhile when the reminder went off, I found myself annoyed because I didn’t have time to quiet the storm of thoughts in my head. Plus, I felt guilty about the times I chose not to meditate. At that point, I deleted the reminder and let go of the calming breaths that I found weren’t calming me. In this week’s module for The ADHD Success Club, Dana discussed the brain benefits of meditation, making meditation ADHD friendly, and the importance of making meditation your own.
Today while listening to the module I truly heard what Dana was saying about the benefits of meditation. The question is no longer, “How can I find the time to do what I need to do for my brain?” The question is instead, “How can I afford to not take the time to do what my brain needs?” You see ADHD friendly meditation bolsters brain functioning in all the ways I need: strengthen attention, cognition, and memory skills. In addition, meditation strengthens neuroplasticity in ways that the brain structure actually changes. Meditation also helps build awareness and improves response to stress. Hmmm . . . yeah, how can I afford to not take advantage of slowing down my brain for short periods of time throughout the day?
Making meditation ADHD friendly is like everything else with ADHD — accept this brain and work with it in order to make things work for me. Start small and build. Make it my own. Own the fidgeting and brain wandering and don’t become encumbered by it. Don’t fall for the shoulds, build a routine, and be realistic.
In making meditation my own, I’m going to bring back what worked before and build on it by using the Apple Watch app called Breathe. This app works with a timer and a soothing haptic that triggers and times my focused breathing for whatever time I last meditated. In two minute increments, I will begin building on a practice that worked.
While using the Apple Watch seems counter-intuitive to my image of a quiet and peaceful Zenlike mountaintop experience, I realize that moving forward is usually counter-intuitive to my ADHD brain that forges forward full throttle expecting immediate results from big changes.
Instead, whether I’m trying to build a new habit like meditation or troubleshooting an old problem like consistent planning, I need to take small steps forward, build on what works, practice forgiveness when I falter, and tweak a bit at a time. All this I need to do with awareness and understanding that lasting change takes self-awareness and self-acceptance as well as patience and time. Today as I think of the person I am and the person I’m becoming, I am at peace being where I am. Maybe this positivity and clarity is borne of today’s 2-minute ADHD- friendly meditation.