The Benefits of Pausing and Practising Mindfulness in Adult ADHD
While people with ADHD are often rushing back and forth, task to task, finding the next new stimulating thing, juggling 20 different things our plates; it seems almost impossible to even remember what we were supposed to be doing let alone implement mindfulness in our day. This blog post and here’s why you should be doing it too. (As an alternative treatment for adult ADHD or to supplement your medication!)
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you probably have heard of mindfulness: the practice of being present in your mind, body and environment. Studies have also shown that mindfulness has been helpful in the treatment of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and stress. The ADHD symptoms of maintaining attention and self-regulation are all covered in this explorative meditation.
(You by no means have to sit cross-legged under a waterfall.) A top tip I have learned is to accept and not judge you while learning to be mindful. If you need to fidget or shuffle or move after 2 minutes then do it! The practice is essentially the entire belief this meditation is based on, so be kind to yourself and give a go.
1. We make fewer mistakes.
One of the symptoms of our ADHD is our hyperactivity, which means we often rush through the task at hand. Is it boring? I know I certainly can’t wait to get something over and done with if I’ve lost interest. If we take the time to pause, slow down and be present, we are able to accept and to notice our surroundings. How many of us have had work return to us because we’ve lost interest and made mistakes towards the end? I know I certainly have.
2. We make less impulsive spends.
ADHD behaviour often involves impulsive decision-making, which can sometimes hit hard in the bank. How many times have you ended up at the end of the month with no savings, or worse in debt because you brought that new teapot that you’ll never use or new books you’ll probably never sit down to read. Mindfulness allows us to make wiser and more informed decisions. (Maybe actually get started on some of the already purchased hobbies!)
3. We enjoy life more!
This is the principle for everyone who practices mindfulness. It isn’t just us ADHDers who miss out on the good things in life. When we are rushing from place to place, we don’t have time to appreciate the sun on our faces or the quiet song of the birds. Wouldn’t it be great to just feel a little less stressed and rushed? Imagine giving your brain a little holiday every now and then. I think everyone deserves a brain holiday daily.
4. Manage Emotion
Having ADHD means we are more prone to other mental health diagnoses, such as anxiety and depression. Do you often get angry, or find yourself dwelling and ruminating on things that have happened? Do you suffer from anxiety and worry? Mindfulness helps us manage and come to an acceptance of those emotions so we are less likely to experience meltdowns or explosive feelings. By watching your thoughts, you get a better insight and understanding of how your brain works, and how to redirect those thoughts that are the unhelpful kind.
5. Better mental health means better sleep!
…and better sleep means better mental health! A lovely little cycle!
6. Getting Unstuck with ADHD
Often I find myself extremely overwhelmed by the numerous thoughts and ideas that cross my mind. Where do I even start? What should I do? Sometimes this ends up with me not making any decisions at all. Followed by the self-critical misconception of ‘I’m a failure, I must just be lazy.” By taking a break, I begin to notice those changes going on in my brain and to make a plan from there.
Sadly, it is often our partners, family and friends get overlooked when we are caught up in the moment. Taking a break allows us to nurture our bonds with loved ones and to give them the attention they deserve.
8. Taking charge of your life!
Taking a break gives us a chance to become a self-advocate for you. Once we are adults, we are responsible for our mental health and behaviour. Mum isn’t there to stick up for you on in the career playground when you forget to put the breaks on.
Pausing and taking a breather is not only kind to ourselves but it allows us to question what is really important and what we need right now in our lives. It sets us up for planning the next steps in our lives, which gives the hope we need to move forward and grow. Developing self-compassion fosters good self-esteem and self worth.
I don’t know about you but how many times a day do you lose something? Or put something down and have no recollection of putting it there? Practising mindful movement and taking a pause, has allowed me to become more aware and present at the moment. I have noticed a significant improvement in where I place things in my bedroom
If you are looking for a way to self regulate your emotions, have better memory, feel a less stressed, slow down and enjoy life a little more, I recommend giving mindfulness a go. From just 10 minutes a day, you can see an improvement. Learn to work with your ADHD is a lot kinder than fighting against it, and damaging your self-esteem. I recommend joining a group or if that is too stressful there are plenty of guided meditations, apps or online courses you can gain instant access to start learning about this.
Have any of you discovered any ADHD coping strategies like mindfulness? I would love to hear back about your experiences. I really hope this has been helpful, and if you have any advice or wat to ask anything, feel free to drop me a comment below. 🙂
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