Having difficulty with maintaining attention and being able to regulate our emotions seems to run along a continuum. There are many who simply have many thoughts in their minds that pull their attention away from what is most important in the moment and make it difficult to organize and complete projects effectively. There are others who are in a constant battle of not being able to complete projects, losing track of things, and vacillating in between feeling depressed, frustrated and anxious. Research has found that mindfulness practice can help people learn how to become less reactive and pay attention to what is most important more effectively.
As a resource, a new audio program has just been released by Dr. Lidia Zylowska called Mindful Solutions for Adult ADD/ADHD. In this program, Dr. Zylowska brings us through what mindfulness is, how to better understand our ADHD and how to work with mindfulness to help us strengthen our attention muscle, regulate our emotions and become more present to everyday life.
It's important to note that while medication can be helpful to many people who experience great distress due to ADHD, it's important to continue to develop alternative treatments as a complement or potentially as a different path for those who experience adverse effects of the medication or would simply like to try something different.
The instructions with using mindfulness are simple. Here are 4 brief steps using the breath as an example:
- Bring your attention to the sensation of breathing as an anchor to the present moment. This can be at the tip of the nose, the chest or the belly, wherever you notice it the most.
- When the mind wanders, note where it wandered to.
- Gently bring attention back to the anchor.
- As Larry Rosenberg says in his book Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation, repeat step 3 several billion times.
In her new audio program, Dr. Zylowska offers us many different practices to use.
It's exciting that there is a growing amount of activity around the work of mindfulness and ADHD. We can all benefit.