Adult ADHD / Anxiety / Coping Strategies / Depression

Meditation for the #ADHD-inclined

Been thinking about something I wrote in an earlier post – that I wasn’t able to understand meditation, as explained by neurotypical folks. And that’s true. The whole concept of sitting quietly and doing NOTHING was horrifying and impossible for me, so why would I ever think it sounded appealing?

What I’ve learned, from friends, from reading, and from recent experience (not that I have a lot of experience, but the experience that I have) is that it doesn’t have to be about sitting quietly and doing nothing. You can be making sound. You can be focused on another sound. You can be moving in a variety of ways. Here’s some examples I found, to illustrate this…these are just examples:

Walking meditation – I like this type of meditation and I like this basic explanation. Checking in with your body and breath while moving. And you don’t have to do it for hours…if a minute is all you can handle, just do it for a minute. Then maybe try longer increments. The nice thing about walking meditation is that even if you have difficulty focusing, you can still get relaxation benefit just from the movement. Try it, you might like it.

How about Shaking Meditation? Here’s a video. There’s more videos online if you Google “shaking meditation”. It’s not just a “new age” thing either – think about it. The Shakers were (are…there are a handful of them still) a Christian denomination that incorporated a shaking sort of dance into their worship. It’s another way to let movement help you to focus your mind, and release tension that you may have in your body.

I even sometimes use my own voice as a comforting tool. When large feelings invade, and feel too big to fit inside of my body, I sometimes find a private place so that I can vocalize. Sometimes that sound that want to come out are pretty odd, which is why a private place is a good idea. Sometimes it’s just screaming, but often it’s not. Sometimes it’s a low drone. Sometimes a high pitched wail. Sometimes just plain other-wordly, LOL. Sometimes (often) repetitive, sometimes not. I highly recommend it.

Some might even argue that yoga is a type of moving meditation – though personally, I find that I have to choose my environment and teacher carefully, to maximize my ability to engage. If I ever go back to it, I’m also considering trying it with a small amount of stimulant in my system, to help me settle into it – going in the evenings after my meds wear off doesn’t work well for me!

Sometimes it’s important to look beyond what the surface offers – my initial ideas about what meditation could be were clearly very narrow, partially because “sitting and being quiet” was the only part I’d ever heard discussed. Partially because I held onto that belief tenaciously, because the sitting and quiet made me so uncomfortable. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone sometimes…and always be open to receiving new information.

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2 thoughts on “Meditation for the #ADHD-inclined

  1. At a time (several years ago) when the cacophony in my head and heart was nearly unbearable, I kept being told to meditate. I couldn’t do it. Could.Not.Do.It. Still, I was so agitated, I needed something to focus on, something to direct my attention to. I had raging insomnia, racing thoughts, anxiety…It felt like I had everything at once. I needed to calm down, but couldn’t self-soothe.

    I started making jewelry. First, I had to teach myself and work around a pretty significant hand tremor that was left over from a “neurological event NOS.” Once I settled into it, I could go for hours, not speaking, not fidgeting, just taking in the tactile nature of the task, the colors, the design process, the simple act of stringing beads and bending wire. Sometimes, when I couldn’t sleep, I’d be up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, deep into the work. when I sat at the table making jewelry, my mind calmed down. My breathing slowed. Thoughts started to arrange themselves in logical ways. I had entire therapy-like conversations in my head. I felt better.

    CNN recently ran an article about “your brain on crafting.” I am the poster girl for that.

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