“Don’t Wait 20 Years to Practice Mindfulness”
“I wrongly thought mindfulness meant spending 30 or more minutes a day thinking about nothing. This isn’t true.”
More than 20 years ago I heard that mindfulness can benefit people with ADHD. But I didn’t listen. It was too “new age-y” and trendy. Plus, the thought of undertaking a new activity, even one promising to improve my life, overwhelmed me.
There were too many steps, I thought, and I didn’t know where or how to begin. Would I need to read a book and self-instruct? What book? Did I need classes? Where were the classes? How expensive was it? How time-consuming? Would it pay off? I assumed too many roadblocks. I believed it was impossible for someone with ADHD to stay in the moment.
Three months ago, I discovered a free app for mindfulness that made trying it simple. I was finally willing to try. I listened to the program a few times, but the instructor didn’t resonate with me. Then I found the free UCLA Mindful app, which has a very calm and accepting instructor.
She said things like, “You can close your eyes, or partially close them or leave them open. Whatever works for you,” and “You may want to sit up or lie on the floor. Whatever you decide is perfectly fine.”
There was no way I could fail with her accommodating instructions.
At first, I was discouraged. “I can’t do this! My mind keeps wandering,” I thought.
Then I challenged myself to improve — and I did. After a few months of following the teacher’s instructions, I decided to strike out on my own.
I wrongly thought mindfulness meant spending 30 or more minutes a day thinking about nothing. This isn’t true. It’s about focusing on the present moment and listening. I am even learning song lyrics I never knew because I didn’t listen carefully in the past.
Don’t wait 20 years to find your own mindfulness fit. The changes are subtle but significant. You will become more present with others, more relaxed, more at peace, and all-around happier.
Benefits of Mindfulness for ADHD: Next Steps
- Read: Forget the Lotus Position: How to Meditate — ADHD Style
- Read: “Why Women with ADHD Benefit the Most from Meditation”
- Watch: 7 Ways to Meditate with a Busy Brain
- Read: 9 Days to a Less Stressed You
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