Seriously how do you meditate with a brain that never stops?!

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  FlowerwithADHD 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #117315

    fasterthannormal
    Participant

    Hey everyone, so I want to mediate as I firmly believe it is so so good for everyone & every aspect of your life. But legit how do you guys do it?!

    I try and focus on the breath. I repeatedly acknowledge the thought and go back to the breath but it’s just a constant flood of thoughts. Thinking about people, my work, my gf, anything. I live 99.9% of my life inside my head. I’d love to live life in the present moment but my brains like “namaste focused on that dumb thing you did yesterday” 😭

    I’m essentially just closing me eyes for 10mins

    Do you / can you guys meditate?

    Thanks

  • #117317

    pjmadd
    Participant

    I have the same problem and used to SCOFF at meditation because of my overactive brain…So I joined a certain meditation group which is TM and a bit different from the others, there is a 20 min mediation morning and evening. What I like is that it is ESSENTIAL to have a TIMER on and TM let you have any sorts of thoughts coming in that are dealt with through a mantra. I do not think that ALL mediation methods are the same BUT I think that each individual responds differently.

    • #119253

      Hi! I find that I can meditate best with music. I have found that the music occupies a track of my mind that babbles. Then I can really focus on being mindful.

    • #122974

      FlowerwithADHD
      Participant

      Hi Faster than Normal and Everyone!

      Diane_Kelly: I think I will try the music method that you are using as one of my meditation methods. Thanks for the tip.

      FasterthanNormal: Sometimes, I hear thoughts in my mind. I just let it do what it needs to do and then try to redirect my thoughts back to my breathe. PJMADD, has a point about different types of meditations, like using TM. I agree you need to find what works best for you as an individual.

      I think there is so many awesome options available to you in all these posts. Active or Inactive, which is better for you? Listening to sounds or focused on silence, which is better for you?

      I used to go to Vipassana Meditations at the local Vipassana Sangha. I found their meditation to be an easy one for me because it allows me to experience the sensations in my own body and the sounds I heard around me. It gives me freedom to be who I am, naturally. I am welcome my distractions of sensations. Sometimes, just closing my eyes and breathe as if my mind was taking a nap. Or listening to music in my head is good too.

      Basically, I think you should do what works for you and your ADHD symptoms. I don’t think Meditation should be restrictive and oppressive. It is suppose to work with who you are and allow your body to relax and take a break from stress and anxiety or whatever.

      Trust yourself to do what is best for you. Meditation is just as individualized as our favorite colors as far as I am concerned. What’s your favorite color? What is your favorite effective form of meditation? I wish you a happy path of finding the right meditation that works for you!

      Flower

  • #117402

    Penny Williams
    Keymaster

    Try mindfulness practice first. The entire point of mindfulness is practicing redirecting your focus. So your mind wandering is perfect practice. It’s not about stopping your mind from wandering, it’s about learning to redirect to be more present. It’s kind of like going to the gym — the more you do it (practice), the better the results. If you stop going (practicing), the weight (overwhelming thoughts) comes back.

    The Time Timer app is free and offers thousands of mindfulness practices to chose from.

    Mindful Awareness: How to Combat ADHD Symptoms with Meditation

    Penny
    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #117585

    felimuno
    Participant

    Hey! I Penny didn’t beat me to it I would have said the same! I’m meditating daily and am struggling for the same reason. My mind wanders of all.the.time.

    The App that I use, Ten Percent Happier, have several courses and one of them is Focus. Yesterdays meditation practice included the meditation guides words saying : The moment your mind wanders off, is what we like to call the Magic Moment. It is the moment in which the opportunity for growth arises. It is in that moment we can practice self-compassion and mindfulness.

    Bringing the attention back to the breathe is the clue here, that’s the practice! It doesn’t matter if it wanders off 1000 times and where it wanders off to (worry, stress, past, future etc.) doesn’t matter either.

    I’ve seen tremendous upside by simply continuing every day for 15 minutes in the morning. I feel more calm and less impulsive about getting to the next task. I handle my emotions better and better, and that, in turn, makes me feel even happier about my progress.

    Good luck!! <3

  • #118324

    vdkallianes
    Participant

    Good for you for trying! I’m not a long-time meditator, but I have heard from others that one never gets to the point of an “empty mind” – as someone else pointed out, the practice is not to empty the mind but to train yourself to keep going back to the breath or mantra, not to get sucked into the rabbithole of thought, to step back and observe yourself thinking…as one of my meditation teachers said she uses the phrase “ah…thinking again”.

    I Agree w the other good suggestions, e.g. TM, mindfulness. You might want to experiment w forms of mindfulness meditation–for example walking meditation could be helpful. I once read Ticht Nan Ha (sorry for misspelling) describing mindful dish washing as a practice.

    Once I took a meditation “class” where we tried out a variety of different strategies, which I found helpful. In addition to sitting & walking meditations we tried focusing on sound (or on quiet) either a mantra or sounds outside of the room, or on visuals (a candle, a mandala). You may also want to try a recorded guided meditation (a CD or an app like Headspace).

    Maybe trying out a variety will help you find what works best for you.

    Good luck!

  • #118531

    Dr. Eric
    Participant

    Ditto in support of the “active” meditation ideas.

    I stopped wearing earbuds when I went on long bike rides… as the local military base that allows cyclists bans them.
    It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
    Once I got used to it, I got more “flow state” rides that felt like meditation.

    I also find playing poker meditative and relaxing.
    I don’t play a lot of hands, so I use my teime trying to calculate odds and predict hands.

    It is the same idea at those meditative adult coloring books.

  • #119250

    Want2
    Participant

    Try prayer while doing your stretching instead. God wants to hear from you. He cares about you and wants you to talk to him. The Bible says that when you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. So instead of trying to clear your mind of all thoughts, talk to God, thank Him for all the things going well in your life, and communicate with Him.

  • #119259

    QuirkyGirl
    Participant

    The struggle is real! I brought this up to my therapist a few weeks ago. She told me to try meditating ON something. So I’ve been choosing to visualize a desirable feeling, situation, behavior, goal I want to reach, etc. My mind stays with the “theme” I choose and I feel great afterward because I feel much more positive about myself. After doing this for awhile, I’m hoping I’ll get better and controlling my thoughts and be able to clear my mind through meditation sometimes. Find what works for you. Best wishes!

  • #119277

    ADHDinPGH
    Participant

    I echo the active meditation stuff. For me it is walking or, even better, roller skating.

    Tibetan singing bowls are cool for some less active meditation that still allows you to “fidget” too.

  • #119284

    Yashmira
    Participant

    Hi, so I myself have not been diagnosed but my mind wanders and wanders and I multitask and forget half the stuff I’m doing because of LOTS of distractions around me and in my own head….. Anyway, I found an app that I really love. Breethe, what I enjoy about it is that I can take 5 minutes to try and meditate, sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t but I can’t beat myself over that since I know how hard it is for me to focus on the present moment. I do keep the app on at work throughout the day, it has different selections for different moods. I am a school social worker so I also keep the app on when I have kids in my room, whether we are talking, playing, or just sitting together. The kids enjoy it, I enjoy it, I feel at peace even when I am not purposely meditating.
    But like everyone else, we are all different and what works for one may not work for the other. However don’t give up, do what works for you. If you haven’t seen Natural Life they have your daily chirp of the day: Today is going to be the best day ever!!!! One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.

  • #119304

    vdexter
    Participant

    Here’s the best thing I’ve ever been told about meditation: Just the act of trying to do it–whether you think you’re successful at it or not–is beneficial. Remind yourself of that. Be gentle with yourself about the whole thing. You try a little, be pleased that you tried, and plan to try it again tomorrow (or whenever).

  • #119362

    bryantbush67
    Participant

    I have started meditation with the app “10 Percent Happier,” based on the book. After spotty consistency and feeling like a failure I tried the free beginner meditations again and heard, loud and clear, a phrase that I somehow missed the first time around: “Simply begin again.” That phrase changed everything. They apply it to times during the meditation where your mind wanders as well as to the whole process. When your mind wanders or you miss days, you don’t start over, you make yourself aware, without judging, of the break in the pattern and simply begin again. One of the most annoying symptoms of my ADHD, is my loss of time. I missed meditation for what I thought was two days but found out eight days had gone by! So I simply began again where I left off. I’ve been getting so much better and enjoying the benefits of meditation and of seeing my abilities progress. I’m missing fewer and fewer days as I keep practicing and my mind wanders much less than it used to. It still wanders way more than a “normal” person, I’m sure, but I’m seeing the progress and it’s great.

  • #119402

    MrNeutron
    Participant

    Practicing belly breathing before meditation can reduce anxiety, which I’ve found helpful. It turns out that when we breathe mostly from the upper chest, it amps up our fight or flight nervous system, which can create a self sustaining loop of anxiety.
    The Breathe2relax app has good information and a simple exercise you can practice with.

  • #119777

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    Try this one. It’s more ADD friendly. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Actively listen to everything around you. Label every sound as you hear it. Fridge. Dog barking. Car passing. Listen closer. What’s the farthest sound you can hear? Because your brain wants to be active, it’s tough to try not to think. This gives your brain an active task, while practicing mindfulness, which is just being focused on THIS moment in THIS place. At first, only try it for 5 minutes.

  • #122799

    adhdfuturenurse
    Participant

    My brain races like I’m speedy Gonzalez. I know how this feels.
    Guided meditation apps like calm or simple habit help your racing mind to focus on the guides instructions.
    Make a list or write down your 468973 thoughts.
    Getting these thoughts onto paper allows your brain to slow down because you can’t forget it.
    Talk to a therapist once a week to work on this. Seems stupid but I swear it helps.
    Talk to someone. Rant about your life. Get all of it out. Record yourself. Voice memos videos whatever. Getting your thoughts out on paper ensures that you won’t forget which is therapeutic. If your thoughts are anxiety related, try a lower dose of your meds or anxiety medication.

  • #122932

    Chellymc
    Participant

    I started meditating with the Buddhist society of Western Australia. Every Friday they hold a live meditation on Youtube followed with a dharma talk.
    You meditate in silence and focus on your breath and the noises around you. I always found meditation with music or talking very distracting and I would stop paying attention and think of other things.
    It’s ok if your mind wonders when meditating, you just bring your thoughts back to your breath and surrounding sounds each time. You are allowed to notice the noises around you and even name the sounds out in your mind as you hear them as a beginner.
    I have not been able to clear my mind yet, but it is the best meditation classes in my opinion and after a few weeks I was feeling better about myself

    PS. The monk lets you know when the meditation is done so you don’t have to be distracted by time.

  • #122933

    R2
    Participant

    Lol! Monkey Mind!

    Meditate by biking, running, walking, playing/listening to music… even sit still whatever.

    Just notice your thoughts going by.

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