ADHD Tips: Mindfulness for Children and Adults with ADHD

Mindfulness has three components:

1. Mindfulness is intentional.

2. Mindfulness is in the present.

3. Mindfulness is without judgment.

Mindfulness is the key to responding logically and rationally to a situation. People with ADHD might be more likely to respond with emotions. When people respond to situations based on emotions, they are either thinking about the past or the future, rather than the present moment.

When people with ADHD react to a situation with emotions associated with depression, they are thinking about the past and situations that cannot be changed. If people with ADHD respond with emotions of anxiety, then they are focusing on the future or what might happen. In choosing mindfulness, kids and adults with ADHD can be both in the moment and nonjudgmental. The result is neither being depressed or anxious, just in the moment.

ADHD Help Through Mindful Breathing for Adults, Teens, and Adolescents with ADHD

When starting mindfulness, especially when someone has ADHD, begin with a simple activity, such as focusing on your breath, an object, or a song for two minutes. (Be sure to use a timer.) You can start with your eyes closed and work towards doing this with your eyes open.

1. Every day, schedule a specific time to engage in mindful breathing.

2. Find a quiet, distraction-free location.

3. Get a timer. (People with ADHD do best with timers that show the passage of time.

4. Choose to focus on your breath, an object, or a song.

5. Set the timer for two minutes (For people with ADHD, two minutes is enough time to work on mindfulness without feeling overwhelmed and working towards making mindfulness a habit.)

6. Pay attention to your breath, the object, or the song.

7. If you find yourself being distracted by emotions, bring your awareness back to your body and the activity.

It doesn’t matter how many times you get distracted. What matters is that you recognize when you are distracted and switch your focus back to the activity without judging yourself for getting distracted.

It’s important to remember some days you might be more distracted than others. No matter how you do, always start where you are. Over time, people with ADHD will generalize mindfulness to other environments. Mindful breathing will seem more natural, and lead to a decrease in emotional responding, such as those responses associated with feelings of depression and anxiety.

What Now? 

If you or someone you know may benefit from exploring managing aspects of ADHD in more detail, contact Monarch Counseling today and ask about meeting with a licensed counselor or psychologist for help. The licensed therapists associated with Monarch Counseling provide both Telehealth and face-to-face assessments and counseling for children, adolescents, teens, and adults located in Ohio.