Meditating for Inattentive ADHD

Meditation helps with focus, concentration and attention. Children as well as adults can be taught to meditate and there are now many studies showing that even 10 minutes of meditation a day can improve concentration. None of this is too surprising. When you meditate you are purposely telling your brain to focus on one thing and to filter out distractions. These exercises, that make our brain practice attending, are like mental ADHD aerobics.

Just as our muscles get stronger when we use them for certain tasks. Our brain too gets stronger when we do exercises that strengthen our weaknesses. There are several different types of meditation. Buddhist monks routinely do something called compassion meditation where they think about the suffering in the world.  I cannot imagine that this is relaxing.

Other types of meditation for Inattentive ADHD include breathing meditation which involves paying attention to your breathing while breathing deeply. Mantra meditation can also be called Transcendental Meditation and involves repeating something over and over again and focusing only on the mantra. Meditating on loving kindness is a type of meditation where you think of the most loving gift of kindness that you have ever received and you look at this gesture with as many details as possible.

Empty mind meditation involves clearing your mind of everything. I believe that this is almost impossible for anyone with ADHD. When I was younger I tried to do this type of meditation and failed miserably. It seems as though my mind is incapable of not thinking.

Activity meditation involves paying attention to an activity that you are doing such as walking or gardening. You focus only on the physical and emotional components of that activity and filter out anything else. This is a form of meditation that is great for people with ADHD as it combines exercise and meditation.

Mindfulness meditation involves becoming deeply aware of the here and now and not analyzing, just observing your current state of being. One point meditation and guided imagery meditation involves focusing on one thing. This form of meditation has been studied extensively and has been found to be helpful in people with ADHD.

Below I have listed three guided imagery meditations that the Huffington Post suggested are an easy way to get you started on your way to better attention. Before you began with the meditation get in a comfortable place where your body and mind are relaxed, pay attention only to the image in your mind's eye and concentrate deeply on that image. Ok, now you can begin!

Travel back, in your mind's eye, to a time when you felt a healthy exhaustion after hiking, biking, playing sports.., and let you re-live that moment as vividly as you can.

Then, remember, re-experience, a loving exchange that really touched you. Pause. See your partner. See the moment. Smell it. Hear what happened around you.

Now, travel to the most magnificent place you have seen. Enjoy the views. Pause. Listen. Smile. Appreciate.

Way to go!! You meditated.

Pediatrics; Sitting-Meditation Interventions among Youth: A Review of Treatment Efficacy;
Black DS, Milam J, Sussman S.; August 2009

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