Why Mindfulness Could Be The Key To Improving Your ADHD

Someone sits on a dock at sunset looking out at the water as the sun sets

When we don’t practice thinking with intention, thinking becomes something passive that happens to us, and not something that we are actively participating in.

When you have ADHD like I do, having all of the thoughts all at once can make it extra difficult to focus your thoughts and make them work for you, instead of against you.

Sometimes it feels like your thoughts are your enemies and something you are constantly battling against.

But what if I told you that there was a way you could actually harness your thoughts and turn them into something that work for you?

In this post, I am going to share if you can be mindful with ADHD, how mindfulness helps people with ADHD, the benefits of mindfulness with ADHD, and tips to practice mindfulness with ADHD.

Can You Be Mindful With ADHD?

For people that have ADHD, it can be a real struggle trying to focus their thoughts. However, if you don’t practice thinking with intention, thinking often becomes something that happens to you.

The thoughts that you think without meaning to are the majority of the same thoughts that you had yesterday. So when you don’t intentionally try to think about things, you end up in the same repetitive cycle of thoughts that can make it challenging to grow and learn.

This is often why we end up repeating the same problems and dealing with the same negative thought patterns and anxious thoughts.

If you have ADHD, mindfulness helps to increase your focus and helps you see things more clearly.

People with ADHD also often struggle with intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression, or negative self-talk, and mindfulness is a wonderful tool for that as well.

How Does Mindfulness Help People With ADHD?

ADHD is mainly characterized by low dopamine levels.

People that have low dopamine often have an addictive personality, because they are constantly chasing things that provide them with the dopamine that they lack.

That is why so many people with ADHD struggle with addiction to impulsive things like shopping, gambling, food, sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Low dopamine also makes the symptoms of anxiety and depression much worse.

By chasing dopamine, people are actually participating in toxic mindfulness instead of real mindfulness.

What is toxic mindfulness?

Toxic mindfulness is using a substance or thing to numb yourself or distract yourself from the thoughts and feelings that you need to pay attention to.

Actual mindfulness is focusing your attention and thoughts on the things you want and need to think about. By focusing on what brings you joy, what makes you feel fulfilled, and what motivates you, you can train your brain to think about those things when you aren’t paying attention, which will naturally increase your dopamine levels.

When you feel good, your entire being begins to shift and amazing things will start to happen to you.

Your body and mind will start to work for you instead of against you, and you won’t need artificial things to increase your dopamine or numb your feelings and thoughts.

Benefits Of Mindfulness With ADHD

There are many benefits of mindfulness for people that have been diagnosed with ADHD. Some of them include:

1. Increased cognitive reserve

Cognitive reserve is your brain’s ability to manage stressful situations. The more that you challenge and train your brain, the stronger your brain becomes and the more resilient you become to stress and the symptoms of ADHD.

That is why the key to overcoming the struggles you experience with ADHD, can be to harness the power of mindfulness.

2. Better clarity

People can often rattle off a list of negatives, or the things that they don’t like, but ask that same person a list of the things they love and they often struggle.

Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging yourself.

There is no such thing as a bad thought.

Meditation allows you to observe your inner world without that judgment clouding your view and create a sense of balance and clarity.

3. More control

Regular practice reduces stress and enhances emotional regulation. This means you are less stressed, not as angry, and better able to control your reactions. Meditation puts you in control of your thoughts, feelings and actions.

4. Increased creativity

Mindfulness helps to enhance your ability to connect with yourself and others.

The opposite of addiction is connection.

Anyone that uses a toxic mindfulness technique is usually trying to do two things, avoid their own thoughts and emotions, and trying to become more peaceful.

Mindfulness helps you to connect with the present moment and this is where creativity and connection thrive. It gives you the ability to harness your imagination and dive deeper into your creative process. It also gives you the permission to thoroughly and authentically express yourself.

5. Increased positivity

Mindfulness isn’t just about doing. It’s about receiving. The more harmony between your mind and body, and the more in tune with them you are the more positive of an experience you will have.

When you are so focused on the things you love, and that bring you peace and happiness, all of the struggles and negativity evaporate.

Tips to practice mindfulness with ADHD

1. Do what works for you

One of the biggest things that prevented me from trying mindfulness, was that I associated mindfulness with meditation and I couldn’t picture myself sitting cross-legged on a floormat with my palms touching, humming for an hour.

That isn’t an accurate depiction of what meditation or mindfulness looks like for most people, and the great thing about mindfulness is you can practice it in whatever way that works best for you.

If you love to take baths, like I do, you could take a few minutes of that bath to just be present and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings in that moment.

Take a few moments to really relax and be alone with your thoughts.

You can do this while doing anything you love, running, going on a hike through the woods, painting, cooking– anything that you enjoy.

2. Try it with someone else

You don’t have to be alone in order to practice mindfulness. Invite someone else to participate with you, and they can help to keep you accountable.

You could also try taking a meditation or yoga class, where you will be surrounded by people with the same interests that will be supportive of you.

3. Find a comfortable space

Sit down. Close your eyes. Relax into your surroundings and focus on your breathing.

I often like to take a few moments before I go to sleep at night to just close my eyes and calm my thoughts.

4. Be kind to yourself

For those of us with ADHD, we often struggle with perfectionism and want to do everything perfectly every single time.

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be that. You don’t have to sit still and calm the entire time. You can fidget. You can sneeze.

The more you practice mindfulness the better at it will become, but it is important to remember to give yourself grace along the way.

Final Thoughts…

While mindfulness isn’t a magic cure for ADHD (there is no cure by the way) it can be a wonderful tool for people with and without ADHD.

Focusing on the present moment is something that everyone struggles with, and by using it as a tool to decrease stress and negativity, it will improve the quality of your life.

Take care of yourself.

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