June 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm #121017
So I know it’s supposed to have all sorts of benefits, but I can’t get on the mindfulness bandwagon. I spend plenty of time “in the present” not worrying about the past or the future. Sure it’s nice to have a break from worrying and managing yourself, but…. I just still don’t get it. Do I misunderstand what mindfulness is? Most of my ideas were formed as an inpatient at McLean hospital.
So I spend plenty of time being “mindful” according to my own understanding. Being present, letting thoughts pass through, not focusing of worries about the future or the passed, observing feelings but not indulging in them. And here’s the thing. At the end of this, I still have to figure out how to deal with my problems. I still need to work. I still need to figure out how to be my best self. And that’s the hard part. Mindfulness feelings like an escape to me, but you always have to go back and face reality in the end.
I don’t get it.
June 25, 2019 at 4:05 pm #121043
Hi! This is my first time commenting on anything here, but I totally relate to your question. I practiced mindfulness on and off to try to deal with my symptoms and depression before I figured out I am a poster child for adult ADHD, Inattentive.
So this is my guess based on personal experience plus a bunch of reading. I always seemed to ace the “in the moment” stuff too. If my hyperfocus lands on it, I can get lost in 30 minutes of eating a raisin like I am Buddha’s BFF. Yay hyperfocus, I still remember that raisin. But do I have the kind of organized low-level focus eat healthily and regularly on a day-to-day basis? Absolutely not.
Because of that I focus less on the “in the moment” stuff and more on the mindfulness skill set of noticing where your attention is in the moment and moving it attention where you want it to go, but in a nice way, as if it’s a beloved pet or a small child. That’s actually kind of a complicated skill, especially if you have ADHD and are used to basically yelling at your attention that it isn’t where it’s supposed to be. I do better at it when I practice.
I go with non-religious audio and basically hyperfocus on following the instructions and images as if I’m in a class for a subject I’m incredibly interested in. The audios most helpful for me are the ones that focus on creating awareness of your thoughts and emotions using images that you practice: your thoughts are clouds, or a movie that you’re watching, or you count them or name them. If your thoughts are a movie, it would be like Inception, because you notice thoughts about thinking about your thoughts… and that’s fine too, of course, and actually kind of entertaining. Your mind is doing all kinds of stuff.
Once I got the hang of the different practices, which now feel kind of like different gym workout routines for my brain, I noticed a big difference in my ability to head off stress and anxiety before they swamped me. I was kickboxing competitively and suddenly started winning more, without training more or differently. Instead of trying to be calm with breathing or imagery, I started to notice myself panicking before a match and think “oh yeah, that’s me freaking out, like everyone does, no biggy.”
I have a rotating collection of audios, but if you haven’t already, check out the Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD by Lidia Zylowska MD, who also appears on this site. The audio guides that accompany the book are perceptive about ADHD and SHORT. (During my first course the body scan was 1.5 hours, with 20 minutes on just the left foot. I dropped out because I dreaded the group sessions.)
Buddhism-tinged materials say you’re not supposed to be trying to a achieve a particular outcome, but let’s cheat on that. I think a overall goal of being able to be in the moment at times, but also to have perspective on your own thinking and how you respond to what’s going on around you can’t hurt.
So, mostly, good luck and high five for taking the plunge and lying or sitting there trying to do something to help yourself, which is impressive already, if you think about it.
June 27, 2019 at 12:34 pm #121032
No, but it is very difficult to do well.
Also, for decades, the research has consistently shown that the best intervention is that there is no one best intervention. A comprehensive approach is what provides the best benefit.
If anyone pushes a one-hit-wonder approach, I will bet a paycheck that someone is making money off of that one-hit-wonder.
August 26, 2019 at 7:07 am #126444
Mindfullness does not make life easier, just makes you understand more of yourself and around you…so, I think you got it…When I do Pilates, I get 40 min.off from my Adhd symptomes…same with mindfullness.Good luck, hope you find what works for you.
August 26, 2019 at 8:36 pm #126545
Trying to fit inParticipant
I cannot do it. Mindfulness is so incredibly boring. It is pure torture for me. I can’t wait for it to be over. That’s all I can think about. Hurry up. I have better things to do. My doctor scolds me for not trying it more. I have so many mindfulness CD’s and apps. Some of the apps I never opened after downloading.
I so wish I could get into it. I always hear it really helps. My ADHD prevents me. If I had the ability to master mindfulness then I think I wouldn’t have needed it to begin with.
August 28, 2019 at 8:48 am #126644
You don’t have to be still and quiet to practice mindfulness. You can practice it in everyday activities and definitely while moving.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
September 3, 2019 at 8:55 am #126668
Trying to fit inParticipant
September 13, 2019 at 2:04 pm #127494
I have a thought.
How about thinking more of others than yourself, then you won’t have to worry or not if you are being mindful because you won’t be nitpicking at everything you do 24 /7.
We are just not that important. We have a learning disability when coming to ADHD and simply or not we have to relearn some thoughts so actions will differ than results will be better.
Medication helps get us through the day but we can’t just stay on amphetamines all-day, we have to do some real work like not focusing on ourselves all the time. Do things we don’t feel like doing etc.
This all sounds good on paper anyway.
Let me know your thoughts
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