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Does Mindfulness Help ADHD?

As defined by mindful.org, “ Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

For an individual struggling with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), this can be very difficult. The ADHD mind, which can be rushed by nature and overrun with information, is the exact opposite of mindfulness.Meditation 428382 640

A recent study published in Behavioural Neurology and highlighted in Psychology Today suggests that mindfulness could be a promising new way to help control symptoms of ADHD.

Researchers examined 13 studies with a collective total of 753 participants having an average age of 35. All of the studies had mindfulness-based treating ADHD. Researchers reported that all 13 studies indicated that mindfulness techniques were helpful as part of a treatment plan for ADHD.

Psychology Today reviewed the types of mindfulness techniques that helped with ADHD.

Since individuals with ADHD may find it difficult to sit still, it might be best to start with walking mindfulness.  Walking mindfulness allows you to become more familiar and comfortable with the process before moving on to seated meditation.

Dr. Wei suggests that “Beginners should consider starting with the exercises below for 5-10 minutes a day. Remember consistency is key.

Mindful Walking with Breath Awareness

  1. Pair your breath with your steps and notice how it feels for your feet to be walking on the ground.
  2. Breathe in for five steps.
  3. Hold your breath for five steps.
  4. Exhale for five steps.
  5. Repeat for 10 cycles.”

The article in Psychology Today provides examples as well for seated mindfulness and can be viewed here.

Children can also benefit from mindfulness practices. ADDitude Magazine recently discussed a study regarding mindfulness and ADHD. In the study, 25 adults and 8 adolescents were observed to have significant improvements in both attention and hyperactivity as a result of mindfulness intervention. In cognitive tests, participants of the study were able to stay better focused even when distractions were increased. Many participants reported less stress and feelings of sadness at the end of the study.

In this article, Attitude Magazine also cites a study from 2012 titled “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness Training for Children with ADHD and Mindful Parenting for their Parents”.  This was published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.  This was an 8-week trial of mindfulness training for children 8-12 with ADHD along with mindful parenting training.  This study reported a significant reduction in parent-reported ADHD symptoms after the 8-week training as well as a reduction in parent stress and over-reactivity.

Play Attention also develops Mindfulness.  Play Attention provides immediate feedback regarding attention. Since the mind moves screen characters by being present, it promotes the development of mindfulness. If your mind starts to wander, then you are immediately alerted by the screen character moving the wrong direction because of BodyWave technology. Play Attention gives visual feedback encouraging you to stay in the NOW. Being in the moment is a direct result of controlling impulsivity, staying on task, and filtering distractions. Play Attention and mindfulness go hand in hand.

Check out our mindfulness activity, Lotus.  Lotus will allow you to practice Mindfulness. Learn how to keep your mind on the present moment. Be present. Be calm. Be in the moment.