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“How I Learned to Meditate (Even Though I Can’t Sit Still)”

I always thought meditation was only for the zen, those preternaturally calm people with altars in their homes. Lesson one: Throw out your preconceived notions, because you don’t have to sit in silence to meditate.

6 Comments: “How I Learned to Meditate (Even Though I Can’t Sit Still)”

  1. It was seeing over and over articles like this and reading one about the book altered traits that explained what meditation really does and the real reason it everyone raves about it, put simply

    What meditation really does is increase your emotional intelligence
    Now combined that with learning the science of emotions from books like “how emotions are made”. “Emotional agility” and “The emotional brain”. And I look back now and can’t believe it.

    I wouldn’t say I’m physically yet in a different place, but I literally stepped out of several bubbles in my perspective. There is plenty more that went with this but it all started by picking up meditation and reading an article that said what it really does is improve your EQ.

  2. Hey guys, this article is on point. Something that was very helpful to me as a child (my mom taught yoga and meditation) was turning lights off in my room and focusing on a candle flame. This would replace time outs or whenever I was overstimulated. It was much easier to focus on something moving and changing, and even as an adult I find it a great way to empty my brain while remaining somewhat entertained.

    1. I love that idea! Thanks for sharing it. That reminded me that there’s something similar on the Wii, I think on Wii Sports maybe? It’s a calming activity where you sit really still and watch the flame flicker — the more still you sit, the better your score. That could work better for more tech-savvy kids. Come to think of it, there’s probably an app too! 😉

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

  3. Yes, we can train our ADHD brain. Take it from someone with ADHD and who teaches meditation! And I’m quite a popular teacher too. 🙂

    Btw, seeing that I can create the conditions for a calmer brain, I prefer to call this thing Hyper Brian Propensity Disorder.

  4. Easiest meditation for ADD folks:

    Sit, lie down … whatever makes you comfortable. Close your eyes to limit distraction. Focus only on your hearing and name (aloud or silently) every sound you hear. Fridge coming on. Dog. Passing car. Dog. Leaves blowing. Upstairs neighbor. Car. The problem with meditation for people with ADD is that when you try to shut down the conscious mind, you only end up with it spinning in circles with all that unconscious mind stuff that now has space to come forward. So you don’t want to try to empty the mind, but rather occupy it in a way that stops it from running about randomly. Moreover, naming the sounds means you must be “present” to notice them. And, as a bonus, you keep getting different sounds, so boredom is less of an issue. It’s like meditation with training wheels.

    1. I am a newcomer to meditation, and I find that I am much more relaxed when I’m lying down; as a woman, I’ve been culturally conditioned to “hold in my stomach” at all times as a “social grace,” and that is not exactly conducive to total and authentic relaxation. Perhaps someone with amazingly strong core muscles can sit like that comfortably and call it “relaxed.” Who knows, after lots more meditation, maybe I’ll never think of my posture again!

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