For many long years, ADHD was thought of as a condition that only affected younger children. It wasn’t common to diagnose adults with the same disorder since the symptoms are often mistaken for laziness or a lack of motivation. Adults with ADHD struggle to balance their work and personal lives.
However, not all is lost. Many studies suggest that mindful meditation is proven to aid adults with ADHD. Mindful therapy seeks to develop a healthy approach to sustaining focus and attention more consciously.
What Is Mindful Therapy?
Mindful therapy helps you gain control of your attention using meditative techniques. Meditation allows you to practice your ability to focus and concentrate in the present. Through meditation, you can be more aware of your focus and listen to your inner voice.
Mindful therapy is a great natural remedy that can help relieve symptoms of ADHD. You do not need to buy specific medications or drive to your therapist’s office, as you can practice mindfulness by yourself. But mindful therapy is not all about relaxation and de-stressing. It helps us exercise our minds to shift attention to the present moment. Many people practice mindfulness in their everyday lives, as it helps them maintain their concentration on activities.
Understanding Adult ADHD
Most adults with ADHD are only diagnosed later on in life. Around 4% of American adults are often diagnosed later. Unsurprisingly, it is because they have mildly visible symptoms. However, adult ADHD can severely debilitate their work, life, and relationships. Many symptoms of ADHD can also be found with other conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. This makes it difficult to diagnose ADHD among adults.
While ADHD can affect people of all backgrounds, individuals of marginalized communities have a higher diagnosis rate. Many people from socioeconomically disadvantaged statuses are more likely to have ADHD due to factors that can negatively affect their upbringings, such as poverty and housing.
ADHD can be hard enough for many, as it can go undetected for years past adolescence.
Some signs and symptoms of untreated adult ADHD include:
- impulse control
- poor time management
- a short temper
- inability to cope with stress, and
Adults with ADHD may also struggle with multitasking and managing their time. This can strain their relationships with other people, as many don’t see this behavior as a brain disorder. Many adults with ADHD are often called lazy or childish, and it can negatively impact their feelings.
Many therapists would recommend meditation on top of prescribed medication. When your muscles are weak, you want to train to be stronger. The brain is a muscle that needs strength training. This is how mindful activities can work to improve your brain functions.
Applying Mindful Therapy
Using mindful therapy plans will help you practice shifting your attention to your inner thoughts. Mindful therapy activities include thinking in the present moment and accepting wandering thoughts with no judgment.
Therapy works by paying attention to how your mind wanders and lingers on a specific thought or topic. Tracing back your thoughts is like a guided meditation. Mindful therapy is all about introspection and self-reflection with a state of awareness.
This kind of therapy can also help improve your relationship with stress. Adults with ADHD are prone to procrastinating and putting off work due to an executive function problem or an attention problem. Because of that, many can feel negatively about their work habits and, in turn, feel incompetent and lacking.
Studies have shown that mindful therapy is linked to helping patients with ADHD self-regulate and have emotional control. This means that it could improve your attention span and impulses, a common problem that most adults with ADHD struggle with. Below are some activities that your therapist may include in your treatment plan.
Common Mindful Therapy Techniques
Taking a walk is a common solution to regulating your ADHD through light exercise. Even a light jog can do wonders for your brain, as it can ease stress and improve executive function. Other benefits of regular exercise include reducing your risk of diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight.
Yoga is also proven to be effective in treatment. This helps patients with ADHD by focusing inward and concentrating on their position and breathing. It helps you stay present at the moment. Other health benefits to practicing yoga include improved sleep, flexibility, and cardiovascular function.
Another technique is to use guided imagery exercises. This exercise can improve your self-awareness by using your imagination. Color breathing is a guided imagery exercise where you visualize a color and assign it a positive feeling. This exercise is known to improve stress levels and emotional well-being.
Mindful therapy also makes use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT. It is rooted in eastern meditative practices that center on mindfulness and emotional regulation. DBT is mainly used to treat patients with borderline personality disorder, anxiety, or PTSD.
Proper mental health care means basic accessibility for everyone of all backgrounds. Since mindful therapy does not really cost a single cent, many adults coming from marginalized communities can effectively practice mindfulness.
Practicing mindful therapy can be a great strategy to add on top of your other treatment plans. It includes exercising your attention and control over your thoughts to help you self-regulate. It also allows you to better understand yourself and how your ADHD can affect your lifestyle.
While there are more disadvantaged groups prone to ADHD, it’s important to recognize that everyone needs basic access to proper mental health care. Many therapists recommend mindful therapy on top of medications, as it is a natural remedy that anyone can practice anytime, anywhere.
There are plenty of ways to practice mindfulness. Making a conscious effort to succeed in life compounds over time. Discuss the best possible treatment plans for you with your therapist. Mindful therapy may not be for everyone, but many studies support this therapeutic plan, as it positively impacts many people.